Homeschooling Online with BrainPOP

Homeschooling Online with BrainPOP

Homeschooling online can be greatly beneficial. Every student has different learning styles, needs, and preferences. It can be hard to tailor your homeschool to the varying needs of your children with an “all in one” or “open and go” curriculum. That’s when homeschooling online shines. With so many web-based options out there, it can be hard to choose with one to go with. That’s why I am excited to share BrainPOP with you!

Disclaimer: I received this product for free, and I was compensated for my time for this post. As always, my opinions are honest and true to my personal experience with these productand services.

BrainPOP was created by a leading educational technology company. It is used by over six million educators in both traditional and home education settings. BrainPOP is like many other online platforms. You have a dashboard and create an individualized class with up to 4 learners. However, what makes BrainPOP so unique, in my opinion, is it’s appeal to neurodivergent learners.

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Homeschooling Neurodivergent Children

Homeschooling neurodivergent children is no small feat. I am not a doctor, and I do not have any specialized training. Yet, two out of my three children are neurodivergent. Additionally, I was given a neurodivergent diagnosis earlier this year. How neurodivergence impacts our family is one of the major reasons we decided to homeschool in the first place. So, when I find a resource that appeals to this group of kiddos, I want to shout it from the rooftops! BrainPOP does just that.

Every topic of learning in BrainPOP Homeschool is introduced with a “movie.” I use quotations, because these are actually short animated videos, but they are super engaging. Throughout the video there are questions for the learner to answer to make sure they are understanding the topic. You, as the parent, have the ability to tailor these questions to your child’s grade level. So, right off the bat, learners are visually stimulated, and their comprehension is immediately evaluated. This creates an active learning experience from the start.

Additionally, BrainPOP encourages high order critical thinking skills. This focus is vital for developing executive functioning skills for neurodivergent kids. Making a concept map, creating a movie, and inventing a new game by coding are all ways executive functioning skills are stimulated and practiced. It is pretty awesome, if I do say so myself!

Girl homeschooling online with BrainPOP. She is watching a video about weather on a laptop in a homeschool room.

Core Subjects or Supplemental Learning?

So, I bet you are wondering if BrainPOP Homeschool is designed for core subjects or supplemental learning. While all subjects are included, BrainPOP is best viewed as supplemental learning. Designed in units, you and your learner can choose topics like Greek Gods, Weather, Algebra, Conflict Resolution, Grammar, and so much more. Seriously, there are so many great topics. However, you would need more for a full year’s curriculum.

Furthermore, BrainPOP showcases a “Topic of the Day” on your homepage, and they will even give you recommendations based on your child’s grade. When you sign up, you get to choose from BrainPOP Homeschool, BrainPOP Homeschool Jr., or BrainPOP Homeschool Combo depending on your family’s needs.

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Final Thoughts on Homeschooling Online with BrainPOP

While BrainPOP Homeschool is meant for all kids, I am so impressed with how their lessons and format appeal to neurodivergent kids. Because neurodivergence is a core characteristic of our family, I am always viewing resources through that lens. BrainPOP gives kids autonomy in how they learn, and feel ownership over their experience, which is a big deal to neurodivergent learners. When you sign up for an annual membership, you get two weeks free AND 28% off, so check out BrainPOP today!

Self Paced ASL Classes for Your Homeschool

Self Paced ASL Classes for Your Homeschool

Discovering Mr. D Math’s ASL: Elementary 1 was like finding a treasure chest for our homeschool. Mr. D Math offers a variety of classes, and we enrolled in the self paced ASL (American Sign Language) option. We decided this year that ASL would be our long term foreign language study for our homeschool. I learned a few basic signs as a child, and I knew some baby signs as well. However, my children came into our study knowing nothing.

Because I came into our ASL study with such limited knowledge, I had no idea where to begin. We tried to find YouTube videos. But there are so many that I didn’t know where to begin, much less make an impactful linear study of the language. When I was introduced to Mr. D Math and the self paced ASL class, I knew I found what we needed to ensure a proper, respectful, and comprehensive study of American Sign Language.

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Disclaimer: I received this product for free and was compensated for my time. My opinions are honest and true to my personal experience with this product.

The High Quality of Mr. D Math’s ASL Elementary

Mr. D Math is an online platform offering a variety of live and self paced classes for every age. We chose Mr. D Math Elementary ASL 1, which is a self paced ASL class. To be completely transparent, I have been hesitant to use any online classes in our homeschool. I felt like if we were going to do home education, then I needed to be teaching only out of hard copy books at all times. Friend, don’t box yourself in like that. As soon as we started learning ASL, I knew I needed a curriculum with actual teachers who were more knowledgeable than me. I needed someone to come along side me to teach my children, and Mr. D Math does just that.

This image shows two children engaged in an online ASL lesson. One child is shoeing the sign for letter P.
Each lesson is straight forward and highly engaging for my children. They love ASL days!

Mr. D Math Elementary ASL 1 includes 32 lessons, which is a great amount for a full school year. Our teacher, Thia S., graduated from Gallaudet University, which is the only Deaf college in the world. It is so important to have qualified instructors when learning ASL. The deaf and hard of hearing community feels very strongly about this, and I am so glad Mr. D Math respects and supports that. I also really appreciate how I have the option to message our teacher if needed.

The Ease of Self Paced ASL Classes

One of my most favorite things about homeschooling is the individuality you can infuse into every part of education. Like I mentioned before, I had been hesitant to add an online curriculum to our schooling. Part of that hesitation was rooted in the fact that I didn’t want the pressure of being on someone else’s schedule. Let me tell you, the self paced ASL class has eased all of my fears.

Each lesson includes a video where our teacher introduces new signs. She is so fun and engaging. Furthermore, she encourages children to turn off their voices and practice their signs in daily life. My seven year old especially loves doing this! There are review worksheets and coloring pages, as well as a short review quiz for all 32 lessons. The course is well tracked through the online portal as well. It keeps track of our progress (I am learning too!) and quiz grades automatically. We usually do two to three lessons per week, but you can go as fast or as slow as your children need to.

This image shows two elementary aged children coloring their review worksheet from their ASL lesson.
Birthday sign review coloring pages were definitely a hit!

Is Mr. D Math Elementary ASL 1 Class Worth It?

I absolutely believe this self paced ASL class is worth it. If you are looking for a quality curriculum to fill any possible gaps in your homeschool, Mr. D Math is a great place to start your search. You can really tell this company wants to empower home educators. There is even a podcast by founder Dennis DiNoia. Additionally, for the price of $197 per self paced course, you get so much. Before I was introduced to Dr. D Math, I was scrounging YouTube for our ASL lessons. I didn’t always know the credentials of the person making the video, and there was no route to achieve our long term goals of becoming proficient in ASL. I fully intend to stay with Mr. D Math ASL classes until we progress beyond them. Check out Mr. D Math today and let me know what you think!