Today, I want to talk about learning through play in your homeschool. I must warn you that I am about to gush about a resource called BrainPOP.
I started My Little Poppies back in 2014 when I found myself suddenly, unexpectedly homeschooling my twice-exceptional son. His kindergarten year was a disaster and, to make a long story short, we found ourselves homeschooling. We soon added two more kiddos to the fold.
It’s wild to think that we have been homeschooling for over eight years. That little guy is about to enter high school. My daughter is headed to 7th grade and my youngest is a rising 6th grader.
We have used oodles of homeschool resources over the years. Some were great matches for our unique family, while others were total flops. Other resources we dip in and out of, depending on the homeschooling season we find ourselves in. I am sure you can relate.
When I was offered the chance to review BrainPOP, I was thrilled. BrainPOP was one of the very first homeschool resources we used and loved that first terrifying year.
If you’ve been with us for a while, you might remember that my oldest was afraid of screens when he was younger. I mean phobia-level frightened. He was also a tornado of a boy and I wanted, more than anything, to just have a minute. I was envious of parents who could plop their kiddos in front of the television and have a moment to breathe. It was impossible in my world.
That is it was impossible until he turned 6 years old. At six, he conquered his fear of screens and was able to watch some television. And he fell in love with BrainPOP. His siblings followed suit and I finally had a moment to breathe.
I have so much nostalgia for BrainPOP! And, if you stay with me to the end, you’ll see that I’m not the only one feeling nostalgic!
I am thrilled to share this gem of a resource with you today.
Learning Through Play With BrainPOP
*Disclosure: I received BrainPOP Homeschool Combo (grades K-8) at no cost and was compensated for my time to write a review. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own. I only share products and resources that I would use with my own family and those that I believe other families will enjoy. Our family has subscribed to BrainPOP in the past and the kids *loved* it, and that’s why I wanted to share a review.
BrainPOP is a homeschool curriculum for kids who love diving down rabbit holes
When we discovered BrainPOP back in 2014, it was love at first sight. BrainPOP was recommended to me by parents in the Davidson Young Scholars community, an online support network for parents of profoundly gifted (and often twice-exceptional) children and teens.
It was so hard to keep up with my oldest back then. His quest for knowledge was insatiable. (If we’re being honest, that hasn’t changed but he’s independent now!) I couldn’t keep him in books. His questions were endless. I loved (and still do!) his curiosity and love of learning, but it was A LOT. If you have a profoundly gifted child, you know what I’m talking about.
Anyway, the DYS parents recommended BrainPOP because it was a safe online learning platform that allowed, and encouraged, children to jump down rabbit holes. Are you interested in dinosaurs? Great! BrainPOP has plenty of dinosaur content. Want to learn about MLK, Jr.? BrainPOP has got you covered.
Here is a blurb about BrainPOP from the My Little Poppies archives, when my kiddos were teeny tinies:
BrainPOP is a fantastic interest-based learning resource. Once your child has covered one topic in BrainPOP, the platform recommends related topics. You can dive down rabbit holes for hours. You might start off learning about winter and end up, a half hour later, learning about Mozart (as you can see below).
Here’s a blurb about BrainPOP from a 2015 Day-in-the-Life post:
Notice the timestamp on that last blurb? BrainPOP was a godsend during the dreaded witching hour!
Here is that little guy now, at 14 years old. He’s about to enter high school and he still has fond memories of BrainPOP:
And here you can see that all of my kiddos are feeling nostalgia for BrainPOP:
Learning Through Play Can Be Just As Educational (if not more)
Research has shown, again and again, the power of play. Play benefits the whole child; it positively impacts physical, cognitive, and social-emotional development.
As a school psychologist and homeschool mom, I place immense value on play-based learning and gameschooling. I have witnessed the power of play in our homeschool time and time again. Play has taught my children how to tell time, make change, understand probability, learn about WWII, and so much more.
Play is magic when it comes to learning. When you’re playing, you’re having fun. You’re interested. You’re invested. Play is interest-based learning at its very best. Play is learning and when you learn joyously, you retain more!
Screen Time and Learning In Your Homeschool
Screens tend to get a bad rap, but screens can add value to your homeschool educational journey if done well.
BrainPOP does screens very well! BrainPOP is highly engaging, funny, and irresistible for kids. It’s so fun that, in the early years, BrainPOP was our “carrot”- the kids needed to finish all of their homeschool must-dos and then they could “play” with BrainPOP!
See what my 10-year-old has to say about BrainPOP:
Children and teens are born with a natural curiosity. Providing our kids with space to explore their unique interests can fuel knowledge. When a child or teen is interested in a certain topic, they naturally retain more information about the subject. If you’re interested in a topic, you will naturally retain more than if you were forced to memorize the information for a quiz!
BrainPOP Homeschool Combo is a great addition to your homeschool curriculum
BrainPOP’s mission is to empower kids to shape the world around them and within them. BrainPOP Homeschool brings high-quality, teacher-approved education tools and content home, to help every kind of learner connect deeply to what they’re exploring.
BrainPOP offers the following programs:
- BrainPOP Homeschool (grades 3-8):
- BrainPOP Homeschool Jr (grades K-3):
- BrainPOP Homeschool Combo (grades K-8)
Learning Through Play With BrainPOP Homeschool Combo (grades K-8)
Our family has been enjoying BrainPOP Homeschool Combo (grades K-8).
BrainPOP was created by a leading edtech company and is trusted by over 6 million educators. BrainPOP has been used in over 70% of schools in the U.S. during the pandemic.
BrainPOP covers all academic subjects in a fun, engaging way. Children can learn about virtually any topic of interest. This provides children with a sense of autonomy and control over what they are learning.
In addition to engaging educational videos (featuring a goofy robot named Moby who my kids adore), BrainPOP also offers movie-making, coding, simulations, quizzes, and more.
Parents can easily track their children’s progress via an easy-to-use dashboard. BrainPOP allows for 4 learner profiles and one teacher profile per account and parents can create custom assignments for their kiddos if they wish to do so.
Try BrainPOP Homeschool Combo (grades K-8) in Your Homeschool
If you’re interested in checking out BrainPOP, you can save up to 33% on a Family or Homeschool annual subscription and get 2 weeks free!
Learn more at BrainPOP.com!