A lot of educational cartoons come and go through the years, many are good, a few are excellent. Three come to mind almost instantly. If you haven't seen them, check them out. They are not new, but they are well worth viewing, or reviewing if it has been a while.
- The Magic School Bus by Scholastic. This is a science program, that covers a wide variety of topics. All the episodes can currently be seen for free at http://www.veoh.com/ . The scholastic website also has a number of fun games and science experiments to go along with the shows. And the local library carries many, if not all, of the books that cover even more topics than the shows. The episodes are a wonderful introduction to, or a backup for, many of our science units. They are geared for middle elementary school years, but younger and older children still enjoy learning from them.
- Liberty's Kids. This is a history series dealing with the Revolutionary War. It can be seen for free at http://www.kewlcartoons.com/ , though they rotate the episodes 5 at a time, so it can be a little tricky to catch all of the episodes in order. The series does have a very good follow-up website at http://www.libertyskids.com/ .
- Cyberchase: This is a math series which used to air on PBS (it may still, since we cut the dish I've lost track). We generally catch the episodes on YouTube, or pick them up at the library. Netflix also rents out many of the episodes. They are aimed at about 3rd grade, though again, older and younger children can still learn from them, and enjoy them. The animation is a little disturbing for this series, but the math is solid, and the basic story lines are light and fun. The end of each episode contains a live action clip dealing with the math concepts in real life. They are a corny, but they do help to bring out the uses for math in everyday life.
I'm sure there are many more excellent educational cartoons for children, but these three are at the top of our don't miss list. They can be an excellent save on those days when everything else falls apart, but you just have to get a little learning in.
With shows like these available for free at your fingertips, it really is great to be a homeschooler!