Sunday, October 27, 2013

Bridgeway Academy

Bridgeway Logo photo bridgewayacademylogo_zps8c2d62cc.jpg

My family received a wonderful opportunity to review Bridgeway Academy’s Learning Lab course.  The courses are a way for your student to participate in a live, online interactive learning environment devoted to one subject.  My student participated in the Marine Biology lab.  There are courses available for elementary, middle, and high school courses.  A sampling of what is available includes:

Magic Tree House Series:  The Arctic (elementary course)
Fun with Science:  The Rainforest (elementary/middle school course)
Fun with Science:  Marine Biology (elementary/middle school course)
Web Design (high school course)
Elementary and Middle school courses are $145
High school courses are $275

My student enjoyed this course.  The instructor was knowledgeable and upbeat.  She has extensive experience in her field and it showed throughout her lectures.  My student learned quite a bit in this course and was challenged by the homework assignments. My student showed up for class one day a week for 8 weeks.  Each class session lasts about an hour.  I didn’t have to remind her of her class time.  She was on time ready to work each week.  However, we did receive an invitation each week to attend the next class session which was nice.  I listened in the first couple of weeks but let her go on her own after that.  PowerPoint slides are available for review after attending class through the Moodle platform but my student took notes during class and used her notes to complete her homework assignments.

One thing this course challenged her to do was to meet deadlines each week.  The homework assignment was due each week by 9 am the day of the next class session.  My dear daughter missed the first week’s deadline and one other week’s deadline.  I have to remember she isn’t used to deadlines and perhaps I should have double checked her completion of assignments.   I did receive an email from the instructor when the very first assignment was not turned in.  That is helpful especially for the homeschooling parent who may be out of pocket on occasion. 

Bridgeway Academy has an exciting line of academic offerings.   A perusal of their website reveals a myriad of options for homeschooling parents.  Some of their homeschool options include Schoolyear in a Box; this option comes with a lot of other services including an individualized curriculum plan and placement tests; full year and half year packages are available; dual credit enrollment and so much more.  The only thing I was looking for that I didn’t find was the option to take individual courses online.  I am an eclectic homeschooler often pulling from many resources to meet my students’ needs.  Sometimes I just need an online or outside course for one or two subjects only.  I would like to see this option among their many other academic offerings available in the future.  One other suggestion I would make is to keep adding topics to the learning labs course offerings. 

When I asked my daughter what she liked and disliked about this program she said, “it was fun and interactive.  Talking with other students via chat was cool.”  She often told me what students were saying via the chat board even when the instructor told them to keep their chatter on topic.  I’m sure keeping class order in an online class is no different than it is in a brick and mortar classroom – a challenge for any teacher.  My daughter said she could think of no negatives about the learning lab experience.    My other daughter who didn’t take this class wanted me to add that the field trips to youtube were fun to look at.  She peeked at the computer now and again during class time when she heard “wow…that’s cool” coming from the actual student in class.

Check out all of their class offerings.  It's a great course for homeschooled students.  I noticed during the last class session many of the students commented that they were sad the course was over.  The interaction is really that great.

Click to read more reviews from the Schoolhouse Review Crew



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