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August is almost here and that means the back to school season is here. Just a few more weeks until things start full swing with school both in the community and in our homeschool. So, it is the perfect time to watch a show or two that is set in or around a school. Hope you enjoy the list of Back to School movie suggestions I pulled together.
Note ~ Links for the films go to Amazon where you can read plenty of reviews. They are affiliate links which means a purchase through them nets our family a small commission.
Back to School Movie Suggestions~ Shows for the Younger Crowd
The Magic School Bus: The Complete Series is both educational and entertaining. Join Miss Frizzle as she takes her class on learning adventures that are unlike any field trip you might have taken in school. My boys have watched these just for fun as well as pulling out specific episodes when we’ve studied the topic in science. If you have kids in preschool through elementary, this particular collection is one I highly recommend buying regardless of whether you homeschool the kids or not.
Diary of a Wimpy Kid is a fun series of books with 3 movies that have been produced bringing the story of poor Greg Heffley as he navigates middle school. Like many, Greg’s attitudes and behaviors can be less than ideal. After laughing along with the show, you can always talk with the kids about how they might act differently. Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules, and Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days are the 3 movies which can be found individually or in a Diary of a Wimpy Kid movie collection.
How to Eat Fried Worms was a great book and a fun film as well. See how Billy challenges the town bully on his first day of school that ends with a challenge to eat 10 worms in one day. Upper elementary into middle school is a rough transition time and this film captures that angst.
School of Rock is a fabulous film starring Jack Black as an aspiring rock star who poses as his roommate to secure a substitute teaching spot. He soon discovers the students are musically gifted and ends up training them to enter a competition he’d been eyeing for a long time. All my boys (even the almost 6-year-old) recently watched this with me and loved it.
Back to School Movie Suggestions ~ High School is Rough!
John Hughes made a TON of films in the 1980s which typically focused on the trials and tribulations of high school. The boys and I have been watching many of these as I recall loving them all in my teen years. Some are still just as delightful over 25 years later while others have not stood the test of time. A word of warning, some of these films are WAY more risque than I remember from my youth. Sixteen Candles has a shower scene with full nudity (female) which I did NOT recall and had to quickly skip the scene with teen boys in the room. Weird Science also has plenty in it that caused my mom to turn it off a couple years ago when we were visiting and checking out their On Demand options. Just a little bit more emphasis on the ‘sex’ component.
Sixteen Candles does a great job showing how hard it is to feel comfortable in your own skin during those high school years.
The Breakfast Club is set IN the school, but it’s a Saturday detention for a rather diverse small group of students. I had very fond memories of this film, but found it was no where near as entertaining to me now as it was then.
Ferris Bueller’s Day Off is one that has stood the test of time and I do NOT get tired watching. Both of my teens enjoyed this one. After all, haven’t we all wanted to just skip out on a day of school and escape the adults in charge who seem like imbeciles to us?
Pretty In Pink is such a classic showing the difference in ‘classes’ at high school. While I didn’t grow up on the other side of the tracks, I definitely was not in the ‘in’ crowd at my high school. I still love aspects of this film now, although it has lost a little of its luster for me.
Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and Pretty in Pink are also available in the Too Cool For School Collection along with Some Kind of Wonderful for a better price for the 3 movies on DVD. Yes, I had to order this one after finding it on Amazon.
Grease and the not as good sequel Grease 2 bring a bunch of music to the perils of senior year of high school first in the 50s and then then early 60s. Lots of sexual innuendo or straight out references in these films, which of course fits with what a lot of teens have on their minds.
Clueless is a great remake of the novel, Emma, with the setting a Beverly Hills High School. Matchmaking gone awry is the best way to describe this one.
Easy A is another modern take of a novel, this time The Scarlet Letter. I adore this film and highly recommend it, especially if you have a child reading The Scarlet Letter and just not loving it. I wrote a review of Easy A that describes more about why I love it.
10 Things I Hate About You is all about finding love in the halls of high school. Being a new kid in the school also means having to learn the pecking order of things.
Napoleon Dynamite is a very quirky film that you’ll either love or hate. I’m still a little undecided as I do love films that show the ‘outcasts’ who are seeking their place in the high school world. I do have a few friends that adore this film and say it grows on you the more you watch it.
Dead Poets Society is a much more serious film (drama) set in an all boys private school. “Carpe Diem” is the order of the day as a less than conventional teacher inspires his students.
Back to School Movie Suggestions ~ College Crowd
I can hardly believe I have one entering college this fall. I thought it would be fun to share a few shows that are set in colleges, too. Animal House is a classic look at how chaotic life in a fraternity house could be. Definitely a classic, but not for truly young eyes. Of course, things are taken to an extreme in this spoof on life on a college campus during the 1960s.
Pitch Perfect is a great look at finding your ‘crowd’ at college. There are so many options when you hit campus, but not all a good fit. My eldest son is not a huge musical fan, but adored this film. We are eager to see Pitch Perfect 2 soon.
Are any of these school themed shows a favorite of yours?
Suggestions of ones I might have missed?
For more back to school related posts, please visit a few of my favorite blogs:
- Bullying Movies for High School from In Our Spare Time
- Movies to Watch Before You Graduate High School from My Kids Guide
- Required Reading: 7 Novels You Actually WANT to Read Before College from Pretty Opinionated
- 5 Fun Back-to-School Movies from Mom Does it All
- Most Inspirational Movies about Teachers from Our Family World
- Picture Books to Get Ready for School by SMS Non Fiction Book Reviews