As a homeschooler you are always trying to find the best way to teach your child. Sometimes you think having more interaction would be good for them. Recently we got the opportunity to try a learning lab, by Bridgeway Academy.
What we took:
Little Monkey took their Magic Tree House: Through the middle ages class which is designed for kids in 1st –8th grade. This class was taught by Kathy Thomas. Each class was Monday afternoons from 1-2pm.
Here is some of what was covered in this class. . .
- Overview of the Middle Ages
- Life on a Medieval Manor
- Life in a Medieval City
- Knights and the Crusades
- The End of the Middle Ages
- Art & Music
The whole class is a total of 8 weeks. Each week Kathy assigned them homework, which usually didn’t take to long to do. Then they had one large project to do.
I’m sure you are wandering how they did a class online. They used what was called Jigsaw Classroom. It is a place where the kids can log into a “classroom” and have face to face time with the instructor via webcam, and can take part with a microphone. It is divided into four sections on your screen with a spot for presentations, a white board for notes, a spot for links for assignments and what the teacher is showing. Very similar to a powerpoint presentation really.
The first class or two Little Monkey was rather confused. It was a bit overwhelming to get figure out how to get around. Then she got the hang of it. Unfortunately due to a few last minute appointments for me (I have been having medical issues) she missed a few classes. However, most classes are recorded, and when she couldn’t do that she made sure to have an option for them. Then she would be sure to email after the class, to send any additional links, or papers they needed to do for homework.
We thought this was a very interesting way to take a class. I’m not sure it was really what Little Monkey needed. She seemed to have a hard time with it sometimes. She is more of a physical class child. I think that it was fairly well put together though. I was really impressed with the teacher. She did a great job keeping the kids engaged, and giving them assignments.
Overall this is not something that I think I would do for her, but maybe for my older child. A great option for some older students. I think it brings a whole other part of learning in that is good for the kids.
Learning Labs by Bridgeway Academy are 9 week long courses. They use Jigsaw classroom software, which is a few program to use. You do need the use of headphones, a microphone, and webcam to participate in this class.
For the 9 week course it costs $145
Check out more reviews from the rest of the TOS CREW.