As a home-schooling mom, I try to get Mary to interact with other kids like she would in a real school. But with my schedule, sometimes it's hard since home-school is based around the hours I work. Since I work fully at home, I have to use the computer for a majority of the day so it's hard for me to leave the house unless it's for business. So when I was able to review an online class that Mary could do at home, I was happy to pull out my laptop to let her do it.
Bridgeway Academy offers homeschooling families a variety of services to make the homeschooling experience a little easier and hopefully enjoyable for everyone involved. This includes the ability to have an entire curriculum plan customized for your child.
Since Mary is in first grade this year, we ended up choosing Magic Tree House Social Studies- The Middle Ages with Mrs. Kathi Thomas (Grades 1-5).
In this course, Mary was able to learn fascinating facts about the lives of ordinary people during the Middle Ages of medieval Europe. Music, art, literature, science and war were all explored. This class had 45 minutes-1 hour of project oriented homework plus weekly reading. The Magic Tree House book, Knight at Dawn was required for the course as well.
Since Mary has never used an online classroom before, she really had to learn the aspects of it. Eventually I had to help her out because she couldn't get the hang of the computer and since she's never been to school before, she didn't really understand how to act for an online class. It was more like a game to her than a way to learn something. Honestly I did a lot more than I had planned to do with her on this since she was supposed to be able to do it herself.
The classroom was pretty much set up like a normal classroom would be in real school too because you could write on the whiteboard and even raise your hand. But my teaching methods with Mary aren't as strict as regular school. Since I went to a private school my entire life, I learned to walk a straight and narrow line all the time. I didn't speak unless I was spoken to, I was extremely disciplined and I was pretty much a kid that was seen and not heard. That's how my school taught you to be. But I didn't want that for Mary.
In our home-school, she is open and free to do what she wants. She picks the subjects and does what she needs. We have no strict rules and we really go by a Charlotte Mason way of learning in which everything can be a learning experience, not just books. So for Mary to sit down and try to understand the concept of a classroom learning style, she really didn't understand it.
Another thing we have tried with Mary were Microsoft Course online for training because everyone needs to know about Microsoft today.
We did try the classes weekly and I was adapting out social studies into them, but Mary missed how our regular home-school was where she would go to her stations and find what she wanted to learn about. So I didn't want to force her into anything she wasn't ready for.
Bridgeway Academy is a very good tool for home-schoolers, but it just didn't work out for Mary. She's more of a free spirit and she couldn't sit down for the length of the class. But that doesn't mean it can't work for everyone. I'm sure it would have worked for me as a child since I was used to classroom settings. And I'm sure that it will work for other kids too.