A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this website.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that BrainPop is a paid subscription site (with some free content available to anyone, such as games and some videos) that contains animated content, much of which is aligned to state education standards. BrainPop is designed for kids in fourth grade and up. Lessons begin with a brief animated video and include a wide variety of school- and life-related topics, some that are difficult but handled quite sensitively, including lessons on terrorism, war, sexual reproduction, and alcoholism. There's also a companion site for younger kids, an educational gaming site called GameUp, and a Spanish language site. Families pay $99 a year or monthly with a year commitment; homeschooling families, schools, and other organizations pay more.
What's it about?
There is limited free content, so to get the most benefit from this site consider trying the free trial subscription. If your kid likes BRAINPOP's format and content, purchase the subscription. Once kids choos a topic (such as history, math or health) and a video within that topic, they press play and watch the few minutes-long video. Each video is accompanied by interactive activities and quizzes that reinforce what kids have learned. GameUp offers unique games that explore concepts in math, science, health, and technology.
Is it any good?
BrainPop is a standard-bearer for quality, self-directed online educational content for older grade school-age kids. This interactive site includes videos, audio prompts, graphics, and games in a blended format that will be very familiar to most kids. Kids can spend hours on this site exploring many of the main topics that contain more sub-categories, like the science and math sections. There are some sensitive topics addressed here, such as war and terrorism, but kids are warned to get a parent or teacher to watch that video with them prior to clicking play. A year's subscription is worth it because there's at least a year's worth of content for a kid to explore on BrainPop.
Most games are clever, creative, and address learning concepts not traditionally explored in this format, such as the Judicial Court where kids argue court cases at the Supreme Court. They also offer kids a really nice way to actively engage with the subject matter.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about any of the videos on BrainPop that pique your kid's interest, but especially those that are emotionally or intellectually challenging, such as those that address difficult times in history like war and terrorism, social problems, as well as personal health and physical development and videos that contain warnings about smoking cigarettes, drugs, and alcohol use.
Talk about the different ways of learning. Do you remember more when you have an activity to do after watching a related video?
Families can also talk about other educational sites that benefit learning and where to find reliable information online.
- Subjects: Language & Reading: reading, storytelling, text analysis, vocabulary, writing
Math: algebra, arithmetic, geometry, measurement, probability, ratio
Science: astronomy, biology, ecosystems, energy, gravity, life cycle, motion
Social Studies: citizenship, cultural understanding, events, government, historical figures, history, the economy
Arts: dance, drawing, film, music, painting, photography, sculpture
- Skills: Thinking & Reasoning: applying information, making conclusions, part-whole relationships, thinking critically
Self-Direction: academic development
- Genre: Educational
- Pricing structure: Paid (From $220)
For kids who love learning and exploring
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