20 Favorite History Movies for Homeschoolers

20 Favorite History Movies for Homeschoolers

Ok, this should really be the Top 100 History Movies. There are so many amazing movies we can log as homeschool history hours!

20 Favorite History Movies for Homeschoolers

20 Favorite History Movies for Homeschoolers

I polled the population at the Tillman house. (Definitely not a randomized sample- so these are  totally non-valid results- challenge me with your own Favorite 20 History Movies!)

1. A Man for All Seasons- Sir Thomas More makes a heroic stand against Henry VIII

2. Ever After (really, the backgrounds, comments, costumes, spectacles, etc are all very respectfully taken from the Renaissance)

3. Moby Dick- The old one with Gregory Peck or the newer one with Patrick Stewart- both are marvelous!   

Cinema Study Guide Moby Dick

4. Gettysburg- The best Civil War movie of all time. My family has entire dialogues memorized.

5. Little Women- Great look at culture and values during the later 1800s.

6. Hildalgo- Based on true story, American races his horse in Arabia and has adventures. Respectful of cultures- Native American and Saudi.

7. The Miracle Worker- Helen Keller’s story.

8. Rough Riders- Story of Teddy Roosevelt’s charge up San Juan Hill.

9. Gunga Din-Based on Kipling’s poem of that name- the British army in India- those happy about it and not- a frolicsome adventure.

10. Yankee Doodle Dandy- James Cagney as George M. Cohan- a must see.

11. The Yearling-Precious story of rural Florida before it became largely settled. I love this because I grew up near the setting.

12. The Sound of Music- classic, classic.

13. Bridge Over the River Kwai- Powerful story of POWs in WWII.

14. Inn of the Sixth Happiness- Wonderful story of heroic missionary in China who rescues orphan in WWII.

15. I am David– Story of a boy separated from family during the communist takeovers in Eastern Europe.

16. To Kill a Mockingbird- Another must-see.

17. The Russians are Coming, the Russians are Coming- The best look at the Cold War ever!

18. All the President’s Men- Watergate.

19. October Sky- Story of boys and rockets. Precious.

20. Apollo 13- I love a movie where astronauts and engineers are the heroes!

Question: Can you share a top 10 or 20 list, too?

Cinema Studies for Literature Learning

Don’t miss our Cinema Studies for Literature Learning study guides:

  • Each study guide asks the student to read the introductory material, watch the movie once (answering questions as they go, occasionally pausing the video), and then take a week to think a bit about the ideas and the literary devices they observed. Ideally, students should discuss their answers with someone else to enhance the learning process.
  • Students then watch the movie a second time after the questions and ideas have had some time to take root, then write in response to the suggested assignment at the end of the study guide. Writing assignments assume a certain degree of basic understanding on the part of the student regarding paragraph structure and essay form.
  • What people are saying: Here’s a post by Sara May discussing her family’s experience with Cinema Studies for Literature Learning.

7Sisters Homeschool has written History Movies for Homeschooling High School Our Favorites


AND join Sabrina in a chat about choosing the right literature for your homeschoolers:

Are movies a good way to learn about history? Click here for one opinion.

20 Favorite Movies for Homeschool

20 Favorite History Movies for Homeschoolers

Vicki Tillman

Blogger, curriculum developer at 7SistersHomeschool.com, counselor, life and career coach, SYMBIS guide, speaker, prayer person. 20+year veteran homeschool mom.

16 Replies to “20 Favorite History Movies for Homeschoolers”

  1. I loved watching World Trade Center with my 10 year old. Gave a great impression of 9-11 from a fire fighters vision.

  2. If you can get hold of “The Howards of Virginia” it’s a great film depicting life in early revolutionary war era America and the slow adjustment of attitudes. Plus, Cary Grant! 😛
    “Lincoln” is a wonderful film focused solely on the passing of the Emancipation Proclamation.
    “The Butler” is a good film to show how far we’ve grown as a society within the potential lifetime of one person. It is heavily fictionalized, but it includes accurate references to each era.
    Driving Miss Daisy…I love this one; and it has a lot more in the undertones than I remembered from when I was a kid. Worth watching!

    As far as Gone With the Wind, I’d say it should be watched and discussed. Scarlett was whiny and spoiled, but she also figured out how to survive in the only way women really had power back then; and it shows how the class system worked for better or worse. It’s also iconic, and therefore references will be better understood if kids know the original context.

  3. Hi Stacey,

    Good ideas.

    As far as I know, the only movies with different editions have the picture included, if that helps for now.
    They tend to be pg and pg13.

    When I update the post (later this year, I’ll have to include your suggestions).

    Do you have any favorite movies?

  4. I was thrilled to find this list, but disappointed with the lack of commentary on each film. Would it be possible for you to add comments regarding the year of the film (to distinguish different versions…the topic that brought me to your list was the question of which Helen Keller movie to choose.), age the films are appropriate for, rating, and any potentially offensive parts? Thank you!

    • Oh, also…maybe put them in chronological order, or define the point in history where they are relevant? (For those of us who are learning along with our kids 🙂

  5. I agree with Mrs. Groop, The King’s Speech deserves a place on the list. And Gone With the Wind should probably be on there as well, not that I’m biased or anything 🙂 Unfortunately, I have to disagree with you about Gettysburg, I don’t think it’s a very accurate representation of the battle. Glory, however, is an amazing Civil War movie.

    • Kaitlyn, I still haven’t seen King’s Speech- but I hear that it is wonderful.

      I couldn’t put Glory on the list (although I really like the movie) because it is R-rated (I was trying to avoid those). Ah, but you see, the movie Gettysburg is SOOO much about the culture and mindsets of the people (and being from the South it is so nice to not see southern leaders vilified or made stupid)- and the music was awesome.

      I don’t agree with Gone with the Wind. Ugh. Why make a movie about an ego-centric, hystrionic female? Again, Southerns come off so ignorant and selfish.

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