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Use Movies to Bring History to Life for Your Teen (and your children)

By Michelle Osborn, owner and founder of Yellow House Book Rental and Homeschooling Teens Successfully

Guest writers are invited for their insights into different aspects of Homeschool Hub Utah's four pillars, which are to connect, empower, educate, and serve homeschooling families in Utah. While we feel each guest blogger's message will be helpful to homeschooling families, not all ideas presented by every guest blogger are officially endorsed by Homeschool Hub Utah.


History was my favorite subject to teach. Together, we learned some pretty amazing things about people and places.

When I was in school, history was just another subject. It was dry and boring, full of names and dates that didn't mean much. But oh my goodness! As a homeschool mom, learning history was fascinating! I discovered so many interesting facts about events, people and places that I never remember learning in school.

Do you know why I think that is?

Because history was not taught in a way that was enjoyable. There was nothing memorable about the learning experience. We were not able to see and discuss nor even encouraged to think. We were just given names, dates and events.

But as a homeschool parent, you can incorporate all of that for your teen!

Whenever I could find a movie that went along with what we were learning, I would make time in our school schedule to watch it. People of all ages learn best when they can use as many ways of learning as possible!

Even in the teen years, our history time was full of reading together, discussions, activities, and field trips. We spent almost every school day, after lunch, in the living room, on the couch letting our imaginations run wild as we listened and discussed, and sometimes watched how others experienced life.

With a smart TV and WiFi in your home, the learning possibilities are almost endless. Adding the visual is now easier than ever before!

I used the movies like "The Diary of Anne Frank” to supplement our learning of the Holocaust, as well as movies about Ruby Bridges, civil rights, the JFK assassination, and so many more. Adding real people, places and events was extremely beneficial to my teens in understanding what these people faced.

Because I know how beneficial movies can be to learning, I created this incredible resource.

History and Movies: A HUGE list! is a list of movies that cover historical events from the 1750s-2020s (13 pages!) Get this for FREE now, through May 26, 2023 when you use code MOVIES on the second page of checkout.

In this download, you will find a list of movie titles, the year of the historical event, along with each movie's rating, where to watch the movie, and if it is based on facts, a documentary or, novel based, etc.

Did you know that Amazon Prime members have access to thousands of movies, documentaries, and TV shows for free?

If you have a college student at home the price is even better, Prime Student 50% off. When our children went to college, we paid for their prime account and we all reaped the benefits!

Membership includes:

  • Instantly watch over 40,000 movies and TV episodes with titles for everyone

  • Borrow books from the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library

  • Get unlimited FREE two-day shipping with no minimum order size on Prime products

  • Parental controls are available under Amazon Video setting

Notgrass has a homeschool history membership that provides hundreds of resources to help make history come alive. It is a web-based app that you can access from any device.

  • Find videos available to watch for free and movies available on streaming services.

  • Search by topic, time period, country or region, and type of resource.

  • Find books to check out at your local library.

  • Find field trips near and far.

  • Connect with other parents to share ideas and identify the best resources for your family.

As always, it is our responsibility as parents to know what our teens are watching. Although there are excellent teaching programs and movies available through these options, there are even more extremely harmful movies available. I strongly encourage parental controls be set on these channels. Sit with and learn alongside your teenagers. It might just be a new thing that you enjoy together.

When planning your history curriculum for your teen, don't forget to add supplements like Homeschool History, Netflix, YouTube, Amazon Prime or any other movie source. These will not only add life to what could be a very dry subject, but might turn history into your teen’s favorite subject!

I believe my history curriculum choices also made a difference as well.

I am an eclectic homeschool mom. During their teen years, I used Sonlight, Notgrass as well as The Mystery of History. You may find all of these for RENT and for sale at Yellow House Book Rental.

And of course, don't forget about hands-on learning (yes, even for teens), field trips, or just start having more family discussions about what they are learning.

Show them by example that history is exciting.

Help your teen experience the fun of history!


Get on the waitlist to be notified when registration for the FREE virtual Homeschooling Teens Summit begins.

Visit our Homeschooling with Movies Pinterest board where you will find blog posts on movie resources.

Enjoying the journey,

~Michelle Osborn


Michelle Osborn is the owner and founder of Yellow House Book Rental, specializing in providing homeschool curriculum for rent or purchase, as well as counseling and guidance for homeschool families. She is a wife of 32 years, a 22-year homeschool veteran, and mom of four children and five grandchildren. Three of her children are now entrepreneurs, running their own businesses and doing quite well. Michelle’s passions include serving by leading worship at her church and encouraging homeschool moms through one-on-one, social media, and speaking engagements. She has found her niche in helping parents homeschooling their teens through the high school years and on to pursue their dreams

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