I had such a wonderful offer to review Bridgeway Academy’s Marine Biology course these past few weeks(9 week course is $145.00). It has been such a fun time and I have lots to share.
First off, my 4th grader was just old enough to participate. Marine Biology is a challenging course, and unlike many online courses, it is very thorough with homework assignments that make the student really dig into the information. Because my child has some learning issues, I wasn’t sure if he could manage jumping right in to a course with many other kids. He has anxiety issues that create a challenges to overcome when he is in new situations where he has to stay on track with distractions.
Every week, a link was sent out to direct Josiah to his class for that week. The setup was interesting; the screen had the live teacher in one box, the chat for the students in another, and a section of whiteboard where the class work was presented. It was engaging and really felt like a live class for him.
What was interesting, was that the class had to participate as a whole while the teacher taught. It was nice that she would ask a question and students would be answering and she was giving feedback very smoothly. Clearly, our teacher was very well prepared and comfortable. I have had quite the opposite experience with online classes previously, making it hard for my son to stay focused. There was no problem with Bridgeway Academy.
After the class was over, he was assigned homework to do until the next class. Each lesson was about him researching the topic they learned that week, and coming up with either a brochure or a newspaper article about the marine animal he chose. Below, is one of his drawings based on a lesson:
He had to create an imaginary creature based on the characteristics they had learned about that day. He then had to write a paragraph or two about his creature explaining how it would live. It was a fun homework assignment that actually made him think. Who wouldn’t love that?
The classes are available to watch again anytime, which was good for review or if it seemed that he didn’t understand something. Also, the teacher was available if we ever had an issue with our log in or homework assignment.
All in all, I would use Bridgeway Academy again. In fact, my son has asked if we could sign him up for other classes. It was a very thorough class, we could tell that the company was organized and serious about offering *real* class experience to it’s students. My son loves his time spent in class. We feel so lucky to have been chosen to review this great company.
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