I just realized that I’ve recommended Curiosity Stream all over Facebook and still haven’t actually written a review. So here I am.
First of all, what am I even talking about? Curiosity Stream is an online video streaming service that works like Netflix, except that their entire catalog of 1,500+ shows are all educational. There is heavy focus on science, nature, history and technology though new shows and series are being added every month. Though some religious titles have popped up, they are presented as historical. I would say this is a 100% secular resource overall.
I found that all the shows and documentaries we watched were very well done. There was a 4-part series on the war of 1812 that was very engaging and told as a series of dramatic reenactments, and a fantastic series on the solar system that addressed the planets with a travel destination approach. Prescription Nutrition was one of the first shows we watched, and it covered all sorts of food with an unexpected focus on plant-based choices.
They have several plans (depending mainly on whether you want HD or Ultra HD), and you can either pay monthly or purchase a year. Right now, you can get a year of their basic service for $30 USD. If you prefer monthly, that same plan is $2.99 per month.
You can access your account from any device with a browser and they also have apps for multiple platforms. Here, I just access the web site through my daughter’s laptop that is plugged into the TV for the big screen. I’ve not used any of the apps. The streaming works fine and we don’t get many connection problems or lags (and that’s with rural Internet service). You aren’t able to download content.
It’s much like Netflix, organized into categories as well as lists of what’s new, trending or popular. Choose the titles you are interested into a watchlist for easier finding later.
One of my biggest complaints with Curiosity Stream is the very wide range of playing times. As I click around, it’s discouraging to find a perfect title for our interests, and find out that it is literally 2 minutes long. And sometimes, it’s just the opposite. An ideal show ends up having 14 episodes that are 90 minutes each. There is nothing really wrong with this, and it does mean you can find short things as well as more in-depth things. It just bugs me personally. I think I would prefer if stand-alone documentaries were presented differently from those with multiple episodes.
Things we’ve watched and liked:
- Deep Ocean
- Behind the Artist (just the Van Gogh episode)
- Prescription Nutrition
- Traveler’s Guide to the Planets
- Mindblowing Breakthroughs
- War of 1812
- Gettysburg Story
- Our Genes Under Influence
- Curious Minds: Astronomy
- Curious Minds: Brain Health
- Birth of a Solar System
- Ancient Earth
- Wild Weather
Overall, we are enjoying the service quite a bit and I have a fairly long list of shows that we will be watching over the rest of this homeschool year. I may even continue with it once our homeschooling is finished because we all enjoy this type of programming, even if it is just for “fun”.
I know that most people tend to look to Netflix, Youtube or Amazon Prime for documentaries, but I really do recommend Curiosity Stream. The quality is very good, the selection is diverse and the price is right.