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One thing we have been doing over the summer is exploring the ways that BrainPOP can be used in our homeschool. And ya’ll, it’s been a blast! My kids wake up and this is one of the first things they want to do for the day. So let’s discover what BrainPOP is like.
What is BrainPOP?
BrainPOP is an online program that seeks to build deeper understanding and higher order thinking skills across all subjects. It focuses on active learning experiences that keep kids highly engaged, rather than passive consumption. That design is something we personally have loved, as my kids are always eager to talk about what they did while working on BrainPOP, especially their coding projects. My youngest always asks me if I’ve seen what he’s submitted to teacher because he can’t wait to know what I think about what he’s created.
We have been using the BrainPOP Homeschool Combo (grades K-8), which is great because it gives me access to the material that I need for my 2nd grader and for my 5th grader. This is definitely the option to pick if you have kids in a big range of grades, however they do also have BrainPOP Homeschool (grades 3-8) if you are homeschooling just older kids or BrainPOP Homeschool Jr (grades K-3) if you are homeschooling just younger kids.
Simple to Get Started and Use
One of the best advantages of online homeschooling programs is that immediately after you order you will have access to them. With BrainPOP, you can go in right away and begin to set up a class. Once you have a class set up, that will generate a code that your kids can use to set up their own accounts. From their, they can either explore on their own or you can create assignments for them – or both! BrainPOP is very flexible in how you use it and that flexibility helps make it simple to use. My kids were able to hit the ground running.
Academically Oriented Core Competencies
One thing I really love about BrainPOP is that it really seeks to present quality information to the kids in a way that’s fun and easy for them to understand. And I want to let you in on something that I discovered while we were using this is that BrainPOP has so many resources to help support you as a home educator. What helped me was going to BrainPOP’s educator website because that really helped me wrap my brain around everything you can do with BrainPOP.
On the Educators website, I found a directory of BrainPOP Topics – I found this especially helpful if I wanted to browse, because not only did I find topics I wouldn’t have thought to search on my own (like 3D Printing) but it also has a directory of topics by subject area. This was especially helpful for me because one of the requirements of my state is health – and from the Educators Website, I could see all the health videos at once! This helps me figure out just how I can use BrainPOP in every area that my state requires. Plus, I also found lesson plans and fun extras like printable bookmarks. I encourage you to check out the Educators Website part of BrainPOP for yourself to see what topics you might include!
But Also, More than Just Academics
My kids have been able to explore many areas inside of BrainPOP that benefit them in ways that go beyond just academics. My kids have been exploring the videos on digital citizenship. This was exciting for me to see BrainPOP include because I think that digital citizenship is extremely important in today’s day and age. The digital citizenship resources included subjects such as
- Online safety
- Digital Etiquette
- Information Privacy
I had been looking for a good way to teach these to my kids as they get older and spend more time on the internet and BrainPOP’s resources were a perfect fit! I can also tell that my kids aren’t merely watching the videos, but they are really absorbing the information. After watching the video on information privacy, my youngest son at the park told a stranger that he wasn’t going to share his personal information. How it all went down was a bit humorous and I laughed about it, but it was great to see that right away he picked up on a core message that will help keep him safe in the future!
Another area I was excited to see was social emotional learning. I love that there are options for learning about things like
- Conflict Resolution
- Getting Help
These soft skills are great to reinforce in different ways to help your kids grow as people and I love that BrainPOP recognizes the importance of these!
Tools to Explore Core Subjects In Many Ways
When I first heard of BrainPOP, I thought it was just educational videos. But as I explored BrainPOP with my children, I quickly realized it was so much more. BrainPOP has so much variety in how to explore a topic, from games to creative coding projects (a serious favorite of my kids!) to primary sources. Seeing the inclusion of primary sources makes my history loving heart sing! It’s not always an emphasis of every program, especially online, so to find it in BrainPOP is an awesome thing.
I really appreciate just how many creative options there are. Not only are these creative options fun for my kids, but they take pride in what they are creating. It also helps me to see how well they understood what they were learning.
In BrainPOP Homeschool Combo (grades K-8), you can see that they have differentiated content for different grades and abilities and that is great. It means that both my 5th grader and my second grader can learn and explore on their level. As the parent, being able to assign them assignments, helps me to give my kids BrainPOP activities at their level.
Another way you could use it is if you created a learning map, you could look up some of the topics your children put on their map on BrainPOP. I often keep a running list of ideas I think of to look for on BrainPOP based on books we read or interests my kids have expressed, so when I’m sitting at my computer, I can add them.
Overall a Smart Homeschooling Program
Overall, BrainPOP is a strong online homeschool program that you can feel confident in giving to your kids. So often when it comes to screen time it can be hard to sift through the good from the bad on the internet and BrainPOP is definitely the good. When my kids are using BrainPOP, I can be confident they are getting educational, high quality, and fun screen time!
If you are curious about trying BrainPOP, you can get a 2-week free trial! That’s plenty of time to explore with your children and see if it’s a good fit for you! You can also save up to 28% if you choose to go with an annual plan!
Visit BrainPOP today and explore all the tools they have to offer you to help your child learn!