List 10 Best Back To School Movies for Children

10 Best Back-to-School Movies for Kids

School is about to start, and kids usually feel bittersweet about their vacation ending and the new session starting. Students are looking forward to hanging out with their friends, football matches and new beginnings. The upcoming mid-terms and long lectures may dampen their spirits a bit, so showing them a back-to-school movie excites and inspires them. Back-to-school movies are mostly centred around self-improvement and talk about new beginnings, so they are best to inspire the kids to perform better this session and become better individuals.  They make the kids love the new school year, as they promise new friendships, personal growth and lasting memories.

Must-Watch Back-to-School Movies For Children

After the long and fun-filled holidays, motivating kids to go back to school is a bit difficult. A back-to-school film screening is an excellent way to ready them for the new school year and make them energized and enthusiastic for the new session. A movie about the first day of school is a good way to transition them from holidays to the school year. Movies are also a great way to teach them important life lessons. Movies about school can encourage young kids talk about the high and lows of school life, as well as other issues they face as they grow.

Here are ten popular back-to-school movies to show to young kids:

1. Bridge to Terabithia

Directed by –  Gabor Csupo

Why to Watch It 

This popular movie based on the novel by Katherine Paterson tells the story of friendship and death. The movie shows an unlikely companionship between the lead Jesse Aarons and Leslie Burke, his neighbour. The timeless story of friendship teaches one to be their true self even if one is different from others, and to always support one’s friends.  Young kids learn about bullying, untimely death and losing a close friend, which matures them and make them wise.

2. Harry Potter And The Sorcerer’s Stone

Directed by – Chris Columbus 

Why to Watch It

The popular movie series for both adults and kids is a must-watch. This delightful movie is a great story about joining a new school and how one’s life changes after it. The new school represents new beginnings and lifelong friendships in the movie.  Kids love the magic, witchcraft, wizardly and mesmerising visuals as they see 11-year-old Harry Potter going to a new school and interacting with new people. Kids learn never to be daunted by challenges, and to be brave in all situations.

3. Matilda

Directed by –Danny DeVito 

Why to Watch It 

Matilda is a surreal family film based on the popular book by Roald Dahl. The movie shows an evil school principal who puts kids in the “chokey” who displeases him.  The “chokey” is a dark closest full of nails and broken glass. Young students are tortured and humiliated by the principal, but Matilda stands up to him and fights for his victims. The movie is centred on personal identity and youthful independence, with a little bit of cartoon-ish violence.

4. Kindergarten Cop

Directed by – Ivan Reitman 

Why to Watch It 

Kindergarten Cop is a funny movie starring Arnold Schwarzenegger. The movie is centred on kindergarten kids and a strong policeman. Arnold, as an undercover cop posing as a kindergarten teacher, is overwhelmed by the chaotic energy of the five-year-olds he is in charge of. He faces some crazy and hilarious scenarios as he traces down a criminal.

5. Akeelah And The Bee

Directed by – Doug Atchison

Why to Watch It

Akeelah and the Bee is a movie based on the true story of talented grade-schoolers who take part in the Scripps National Spelling Bee and tackle tough words. The movie is aimed towards inspiring kids and their parents as the kids prepare for the spelling bee contest. The movie teaches that the toughest challenge faced by anyone is usually the ones they impose upon themselves.

6. Footloose

Directed by – Herbert Ross

 Why to Watch It

The popular musical drama tells the story of a Chicago teenager moving to a small town and the culture shock he faces. The dance-loving teen finds that the little town has prohibited dancing and rock music. The movie shows how the lead teen takes great efforts to befriend local teens and impresses the local conservative council to praise dancing and other celebrations. The movie also explores other life tragedies like abusive relationships, mob mentality and child death. The popular dance movie teaches about friendships and youth power.

7. Back to School

Directed by – Alan Metter

Why to Watch It 

What can be better than a movie whose name is “Back to School” to show kids as they start their new school year! The comedy movie starring Rodney Dangerfield shows him as a father who joins school to keep his dejected son in school. The movie shows how Rodney buys his school admission, parties in the school and raises the ire of the faculty members. In the end, he is required to pass one final test, which he passes with the help of his son and his friends. It’s a comedy movie which is not preachy but still gives life lessons in a simpler way.

8. School of Rock

Directed by – Richard Linklater

Why to Watch It 

The music-inspired comic movie tells the story of an amateur rock enthusiast Dewey Finn. The struggling rock musician takes a substitute teacher’s post, originally meant for his friend, for a class of fourth-graders. Seeing the talent of the class, he decides to form a band for winning competitions and use the money for self-gain. The movie has good performances by young kids and is fun and enjoyable.

9. Stand and Deliver

Directed by – Ramon Menendez

Why to Watch It 

Stand and Deliver is one of the best school-related movies out there, which tells the real life tale of Jaime Escalante, a high school math teacher. He is being hassled by his tough students and by his superiors to control his raucous students. He decides to inspire his students to learn higher maths to control their behaviour. His students, after intensive studies, ace California’s calculus test, but no one believes it and their scores are being questioned. They are asked to take the re-test to prove their credibility.

10. The Breakfast Club

Directed by – John Hughes 

Why to Watch It 

This classic movie by John Hughes tells the story of five high school students who meet on a Saturday for all-day detention. The movie focuses on school discipline, and how people from different backgrounds can unite in defiance. The Breakfast Club is the finest example of anti-authoritarian themed movies.

Kids will love and learn from these back-to-school movies. These movies teach a lot of life lessons needed by young kids to cope with the many issues they face and to overcome difficulties. The movies teach these lessons in an entertaining and interactive manner, which encourages young kids to talk about them to their friends and family.

Also Read:

Educational Movies for Children
Best Animated Movies for Children
Must-Watch Space Movies for Children

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Gauri Ratnam completed her Masters in English Literature from the University of Pune. She began her journey as a German translator soon after completing her graduation, but later moved on to pursue her passion for writing. Having written for both digital and print media in a varied range of industries, she has the ability to write relatable and well-researched content, benefical for anyone seeking advice or direction.