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      09.05.2009 16:22
      Very helpful



      Fun Learning For Your Kids

      I literally stumbled across this website by accident one day when my son had a project for school which was entitled the 'human body'. Well I wasn't really sure to be honest how much I should be telling him at this point in his young life (well you don't want to scare them do you!!!) so I decided to seek out advice from educators who are used to teaching children at his level of learning bearing in mind that he is only six and a half. The website I found is geared towards children who are studying the English system of education and is mainly aimed at key stage two and key stage three. I unfortunately only have knowledge of the Scottish system however I believe that these stages are aimed at children between the ages of seven to fourteen years of age. A bit old I know however I was struck by the subjects available on the site and thought I would have a look as it would be one to consider in the future. The website is called www.brainpop.co.uk.

      Fresh from America this website itself is relatively new to the UK and contains literally hundreds of animated explanations and interactive quizzes about various topics from music to history and geography to technology. They focus primarily on The Arts, Design and technology, English, Humanities, Maths, Personal and Social development, citizenship and science. The concept of the site is to provide youngsters with a fun learning experience by viewing the various short videos available on pretty much anything. Each movie follows the adventures of Tim and his best friend who is a robot called Moby who basically explain concepts from across the curriculum.

      The homepage is quite busy on this site; it is an attractive aqua colour which has several boxes featuring the various topics that they cover. Unfortunately this website is not free to use there is a price list available for educational institutions use to prices for single students. I suggest logging on to view prices if you are interested. However they offer a 30 day trial initially which I signed up for. This is great as you don't have to input any card details or anything which means if you are not keen on the site you don't have to go through the rigmarole of cancelling your subscription. You just click onto the log in screen enter the usual name and address details. They then send you a confirmation email once you verify your details then you are able to start your free trial. The homepage lets you log on with the details sent once you have done this you can start looking up subjects which are of interest to your child at that point in his/her education.

      There is such a plethora of information on this site however I narrowed my search down to finding out information about the human body for my son. I clicked on the relevant links and was greeted with lots of categories from which to choose an appropriate subject matter. I clicked on the links to the function of the heart and hearing as I thought that these would be simple ways of getting his interest. I was immediately taken to a new screen which asked me to click on play movie. I was suitably impressed. The movies contain moving animated cartoons featuring Tim and Moby who guide children through the process of what the functions of the heart and nose are. They I have to say are extremely informative and the information is in simple format however one which gets the point over easily. The mini movies only last a few minutes each which is great as they really held my sons attention. The great added bonus with this site is that there is also a quiz relating to the movie which you have just watched which is great for ensuring that they have understood what they have just watched. You can test them by using a graded quiz which gives a score. Or there is a review quiz which won't move on until the correct answer is given. This was more suitable for my son due to his age. Once finished you then have the option of printing off the quiz which I thought was a nice touch.

      I have to say I was suitably impressed with this website and I think that I will continue with a subscription to the site after my trial expires as I believe that it will be instrumental in ensuring understanding of various concepts which I think children find difficult to grasp for example and having had a scour about some of the other topics. What is wind? How does hair grow? What makes a cloud? How is a Rainbow made? And so much more you will have to log on to have a look as there is too much to mention here. The only real disadvantage I found was that the site is a little slow however I believe that the information gleaned is worth waiting for. Overall worth a look as it really will benefit your kids.



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