Ways to Use Brain Pop Jr. at Home School
Home schooling may be one of the greatest challenges I have taken on as a parent. One of my biggest struggles is making learning fun. If the boys spend all day doing seat work, writing, and listening to me teach them, they start to become unmanageable. A house of unmanageable children will wreck your day in a hurry. I figure if it is hard for me to find ways to make it fun, it must be hard for other parents too.
Of course, I occasionally run into those parents that seem to have it altogether, that LOVE home schooling, and their children seem to know everything. Then I think, “Oh, huh, look at that. Actually home schooling is quite easy for some.”
It’s amazing the difference that experience, preparedness, organization, and a toolbox of good ideas can make!
We’re getting there. S-l-o-w-l-y but surely.
I have one ace up my sleeve that is a big help. Alan’s mother and his sister are fully experienced teachers. Nonna taught in the public schools, mostly middle school, for 20 years. Amy also taught middle school for over 10 years. They have both sent me really great supplies this year, and I have used as much of it as I could work in and saved the rest for later.
When Nonna was here this last time, she helped me set up a FANTASTIC filing system. I’ll talk more about that on a future post.
Then she introduced us to……..Brain Pop, Jr.
This can be used whether you are home schooling or not. I just joined as a parent. First, I want to tell you upfront that this is not a free site, nor are they paying me to talk about them. Man, I wish they were! This site offers:
-A huge selection of cute and funny teaching videos, divided by topics and subtopics in math, science, reading and writing, health, social studies, and arts and technology.
-Each sub topic offers a game, printable activity, hard quiz, easy quiz, and more!
-For science, the print-outs are often easy-to-do and fun science experiments!! I am loving this!
I have tech-savvy kids that are hard to impress, and they actually enjoy these videos and activities. It is the very first educational “computer center” that I’ve found this year that the big boys like!
Brain Pop does have a few free videos and games, and you can download all of that on their app as well. This site is computer friendly as well as app friendly. They have a new “free movie” every week.
I warn you. The theme song is so catchy. It WILL get stuck in your head.
They have a whole website of just the freebies! https://www.brainpop.com/free_stuff/
You can choose Brain Pop memberships for home school, school, or parent. I chose the parent option. It was $99.00. If you get your whole co-op to go in together, that cost goes down. I just forked over the money, rather than try to talk my friends into it. I have an instant gratification problem. :/
Oh! And you want to be careful which Brain Pop you get. We use Brain Pop Jr. because it’s for Kindergarten through 3rd grade. The only thing they were missing that I’ve needed so far was Evolution and Natural Selection information, to go with our current science unit in Classical Conversations. Brain Pop has the same hilarious robot videos, but on the more advanced material. Nonna said that her middle schoolers loved it.
(Side note on the evolution bit: Yes, I teach them about both evolution and creation. Obviously, I’m a firm believer that the Earth was created by God. The boys are too. )
Using Brain Pop Jr. with Classical Conversations
So far, we have barely scraped the surface of what all you can do with this technology. You can bet I will be sharing more detail on this in the future. For now, I’ll share what we have done so far, and my Brain Pop Jr. CC Cycle 3 Science Lesson plans for weeks 21-24.
-Composers and Musical Instruments! Brain Pop Jr. made learning woodwinds vs. brass, etc. a lot more fun!
That link will take you to the percussion site.
This will take you to the whole music section: Music
There are so many options there!
I also used Brain Pop Jr. to help Joshua with division:
I used it to help Caleb with Reading and Spelling Skills.
But more than anything, we are using it for Science:
CC, Cycle 3, Week 21:
Brain Pop, Jr. didn’t define uniformitarianism, but it did have a whole video, game, quiz, and activity section on gradual land change and fast land change.
There is an erosion experiment to download, as well as fossil activities, and a Grand Canyon puzzle!
CC Cycle 3, Week 22
Again, they didn’t use the word catastrophism, but they had all the bells and whistles for a fun lesson on “Fast Land Changes”, complete with science experiment and a sequence game.
CC Cycle 3, Week 23
Natural Selection– I couldn’t find it on Brain Pop Jr. either, but I guarantee you they would have it on the not-Junior version.
However, I did find a great video, somewhat related, on Extinct and Endangered Species. It’s a free video!
CC Cycle 3, Week 24
I found a great lesson on the Scientific Method.
Look for a complete list for Cycle 1 to come soon!
Thanks again to Nonna for introducing me to Brain Pop Jr.! For more ideas from Nonna, you can find her here: https://www.pinterest.com/aprilmomoffour/donna-recommends/
Happy Easter Weekend! He is risen indeed!!!