Thursday, February 21, 2013

My Favorite Homeschooling Resource

bunny wearing swag

I don't remember when I first discovered the BrainPOP website, but over the years it has become my favorite source of learning for my boys. The movies cover a huge variety of topics, are entertaining, and above all, educational. The creators of the content are even happy to accept input from their fans as we learned when JT discovered an error in one of their movies.

When I begin to put together outlines for each science unit, I always check to see what kinds of movies and activities I can find on BrainPOP for that specific subject. For example, when I started the planning for our astronomy unit, I looked under the space tab and found this collection of topics. Many of these fit right in with the outline I had already designed. Each movie also has other associated content. The FYI section has pages with further reading on the movie topic, like this one for the Mars movie. I can also print out activity sheets and quizzes to go along with what they are studying.

teacher's answer key

In addition, I can log in to the BrainPOP educator's site to print out answer keys for many of the activities. This feature is very handy when we are covering topics outside of my knowledge base. The educator pages also have other teacher created content, suggestions for using the movies, and lesson plans arranged by subject.

The activity sheet on the left came from a recent lesson on stars. That week we watched a lecture from the Great Courses DVD Our Night Sky, read a chapter from Our Universe by Debbie and Richard Lawrence, watched the BrainPOP movie Life Cycle of Stars, followed by this activity sheet, and finally read a chapter from Janice VanCleave's Constellations for Every Kid. I like being able to spread our learning across multiple formats to keep it interesting.

Science is the topic I seem to use BrainPOP for most often, but I also find myself using it for geography, history, art, music, math, and even grammar. I really like the activity sheets I found in the grammar section and hope they will help EM with some of the difficulties he has when it comes to that subject. Grammar can be very dry, especially for such a kinesthetic learner. Fun videos can make it a little easier to swallow.

I know there are plenty of free resources out there on the web that I could use instead of BrainPOP. But I really feel like the quality of the content makes it worthwhile for me. All of the free help on the educator's site allows me to tie it all together into a great learning experience.

And Tim and Moby crack me up while teaching me, not just my boys.

This was not a paid review. I did not receive anything from BrainPOP for writing this post. I just love the site and want to share that with other homeschoolers.

1 comment:

Annie said...

Such a good reminder. I, too, use Brainpop primarily for science. I've really got to go explore some of those other categories more.