You may not know this but BrainPOP UK is popular within home educator networks, as well as schools.
We wanted to meet some of our home educators so we asked on our Facebook Page if we had any fans who, as home educators, might want to write about how they use BrainPOP UK as part of our Maths Focus Fortnight.
Sister Janet Icha from London quickly responded: “Yes, I would definitely like to do it – my boys think BrainPOP UK is GREAT!“.
So over to you Sister Janet, Joseph and Elijah!
“Whenever I am asked about what tools or methods I use whilst home-educating my children, BrainPOP UK is always at the top of my list of recommended resources. Why? Because it works. During recent BrainPOP time, my son Joseph interrupted:
“BrainPOP is the best website ever!! I like Moby best because he is silly.”
What is BrainPOP UK? It’s a website that has educational videos for primary and secondary age children, teaching about most subjects that our children learn in school – and more!
BrainPOP UK movies are approximately 5 minutes each and teach the viewer all about the subject in such an engaging, succinct and humorous manner that you can’t help but like the main characters Tim and Moby the Robot.
Specifically, Maths tends to be a subject for concern with most parents – but not if you use BrainPOP UK it isn’t! For example, as a parent, one of the things that I like most about BrainPOP UK is there are the usual functional videos such as decimals, prime numbers and how to measure circles.
But there are also movies which teach the theory of mathematics such as What is Calculus? What is it used for and by whom? Euclid or even (I’m showing off now!) the ‘Sieve of Eratosthenes‘ .
Of course, learning the history and theory helps children (and us adults!) have a much better and stronger understanding of any subject, and builds their confidence, which also strengthens their ability to use the subject matter.
So how do I use BrainPOP UK on a day to day basis?
Home-educating means we do not have the same time restrictions that are upheld within schools. We don’t necessarily spend one hour on one subject, then move to the next one, so we have the freedom and luxury of watching the same movie over and over again, or moving onto other movies that are connected to the same topic.
We have found the children have the time to not only learn about a specific theme or subject, but actually have the time and space to enjoy it and appreciate it without having to rush off to their next lesson or off to do something else.
My 12 year old son Elijah says:
“Brain POP UK is easy to use, because every thing is set out neatly. If there is a special film you want to watch quickly, you can go to the search box. The only thing I’d change is there should be a few longer movies, like 10 minutes. I want Tim and Moby to elaborate on some things like ‘PI’, and ‘Flight’ “
Because the movies are presented in such an engaging, light-hearted manner we have found a method which works very well for us:
- We watch each video twice. During the viewing, we pause, rewind or stop when we need to in order to discuss what is being said, or even to link it to something else that we have been learning.
- Then we try the graded version of the POP Quiz. Sometimes, I may print a quiz and allow the children to complete it later in the day. This is really to test to see not only how much they learned from watching the video, but also how much they remember from it. They usually remember almost everything – particularly the ‘jokes’.
- We compete to see who can get the most correct answers - and/or who can say the answer the quickest!
Of course, school teachers have their resources and information given to them, which are all in line with the National Curriculum.
With home-educating I decide and plan what the children learn, how we learn it, and when.
On the Internet there are so many different resources, websites and locations that it can make your head spin and leave you (or me, actually) in confusion about what to do and how to do it.
BrainPOP UK’s teachers’ tools help greatly with this because everything is in one place. I don’t have to keep changing sites, looking for things or even worse, trying to remember what resource was where – it’s all there.
It also has Primary and Secondary resources organized according to the National Curriculum guidelines, so I can see year-by-year what school-based children are learning and what the standards are. There’s also a link that can even take me to videos related to the specific subjects we are working on.
It’s an easy and very efficient way of planning our days, weeks and learning years without having to rely on a vast amount of ‘classroom’ equipment such as books, CDs , whiteboards, blackboards etc.
We laugh a lot whilst working with BrainPOP UK – which absolutely re-inforces the learning process – particularly at the jokes in the movies and during the POP Quizzes which sometimes have funny comments or remarks within the questions.
My children are so enthusiastic about ‘going on BrainPOP UK’ that they don’t actually see it as ‘school work’ or ‘work’ – even when we do the quiz.
During their own free time, they choose to go on BrainPOP UK and watch interesting movies, so I know they find learning with this site fun (it’s also a great and safer alternative to TV/Internet).
We all find the site easy to navigate, accessible and practical to work with for both me as the adult and the children.
BrainPOP UK videos are interesting, contemporaneous, humorous and engaging for people of all ages.”
Many, many thanks Sister Janet Icha. We will be posting you out some lovely new Moby tshirts for your boys.
If any other home educators out there want to tell us how they use BrainPOP UK we’d be more than happy to hear what you’ve got to say.