Tuesday, October 4, 2016

My Top 5 Disney Junior Shows for Homeschooling

Disney has a lot of really good shows on both the regular and Junior channels but there are some shows that I don't allow my son to watch (i.e. OddBods - too much violence). My son has lost interest in Disney Junior shows for a couple of years. He shifted his attention to the Disney channel and watched big kid shows (hello Phineas and Ferb!) when he was around 15 months old. About a week ago, my husband put the Disney Junior channel on and my son rekindled his love for some of the shows he used to watch when he was younger. (My son is 3 years old now for all of you newbies here)

The TV mostly serves as background noise because he prefers to do activities instead but there are times when he will pay attention to some of the shows. I take advantage of these shows to teach him something new or to use in our homeschool discussion.

Here are my top 5 homeschooling shows in random order. I chose these shows for their content, themes, graphics and for their appeal to both boys and girls. 

Captain Jake and the Neverland Pirates

I'm not a huge fan of Peter Pan the animated movie but I was (still am) smitten with Jake and the Neverland Pirates especially now that Jake has become the captain of the Colossus. My son's favorite was Captain Hook when he was younger. Well, Captain Hook is one of my favorite characters of all time. In this series, Captain Hook is a good guy. Well, he does some mean things at times but now he is part of the League of the Pirate Captains and acknowledges Jake as a captain so he is not all bad. Also, he is not portrayed as an evil character in this series unlike in the original story. And do I need to mention how adorable Mr. Smee is in this series?

I like Jake the series because it teaches about friendship, teamwork, cooperation and manners (thank you Mr. Smee for always reminding the captain to thank the popinjays). It also has a little bit of math with the doubloons counting bit. I also like the adventure and suspense and the different themes they use for each episode. It's not just all fighting. Sometimes it's problem solving. I also like the music, singing and dancing courtesy of Sharky and Bones. We always have a blast when we watch this. And not to forget, the triumph of good over evil. 

This series is great for homeschooling as we can do some singing and dancing (to "wiggle all the waggles away") to help my son focus on the show and on the lesson. We have the Busy Book set which we use to recreate the story we just watched. We also have a Duplo play set with Captain and Hook and Scully which we use for math and other activities. I incorporate the values we learned from the show into our lessons. 

Sheriff Callie's Wild West

Sheriff Callie is geared more towards girls but there is a good mix of male and female characters. The themes are also for everyone. This series is like Jake and the Neverland Pirates but in the Wild West setting. It teachers manners, good attitudes and a lot more values that each child should have. They have tackled different situations like bullying, lying, making friends, valuing friendships, saying sorry, etc. The show reinforces the values that I teach my son. We also like the singing and dancing. I just love Mandy Moore's voice. 


Need I say more? Anybody who has a child in Asia knows this group. With Hi-5, you don't have to plan for a unit study. They have it all in one episode. Just a few hours ago, we watched Hi-5 with the theme, "places we come from". It talked about the diversity of the Hi-5 cast. They all live in Australia but their ancestry comes from South Korea, South Africa, Lebanon and Greece. This is the episode where Stevie, Mary, Lauren, Dyane and Ainsley were the cast. This episode had songs, dancing, musical instruments from different countries, how to write names in Korean, different expressions and the story talked about different places on earth. You can base your unit study on an episode and just give further activities to your child.

Sometimes the theme is about food, sometimes friendship.You can literally just watch an episode at the start of the week and reinforce the lessons with books, other videos and activities for the rest of the week. 

Doc McStuffins

Doc McStuffins is great for health and science. It teaches kids good health habits. The show also helps kids to become familiar with doctors so that they won't be afraid to go for checkups. My son doesn't like going to the doctor. Until now, he cries a little but shows like Doc McStuffins really help a lot to help him understand what goes on in the doctor's office. 

Aside from health habits, the show also teaches good values, problem solving, story comprehension and retention (with the review question at the end of the show). 

Higgly Town Heroes

I wish Higgly Town Heroes was shown at an earlier time slot but we really like it and so we usually stay up late to watch it. If you are teaching community helpers, this is the show for you and your child. There is some silliness in the show but it also has some merits. It's about a group of friends who like to play and have fun together but during the course of their "adventures" they find themselves in a bind and need the help of a Higgly Town Hero. The hero can be a fireman, chef, baker, carpenter, ambulance driver, etc. It's a great way to introduce kids to community helpers and also help them understand and remember what each community helper does. The graphics are simple, perfect for preschoolers. Aside from community helpers, it also teaches teamwork, problem solving and some values. I watched this show a lot when I taught my son about community helpers. I got a lot of good ideas from this show. Until now, we still watch it as there are a lot of community heroes that my son needs to know. 

Honorable Mention - Chuggington

We absolutely love Chuggington! First, because my son adores trains. Second, we like the adventures and challenges the characters go through in each episode. It teaches a lot about problem solving, teamwork, responsibility, good values and more. I used Chuggington trains to teach my son sight words, colors and numbers. 

Chuggington has been in and out of Disney Junior. The only episodes they show nowadays are the Badge Quests. 

Honorable Mention - Pocoyo

I think Pocoyo is no longer shown on the Disney Junior channel. It used to be on at 10:30pm daily. My son loved it so much. The show teaches simple math concepts, problem solving, values and more. You're lucky if you still have Pocoyo on your local Disney Junior channel. If not, you can catch it on YouTube. It's such a fun show - very interactive, very engaging. The graphics are simple, also perfect for young learners. I got a lot of ideas for our homeschool activities from this show. 

These are my top Disney Junior shows for homeschooling. If you want to save this list, just Pin the image below to your board. 

What are your favorite Disney Junior shows?


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