Sunday, October 27, 2013

Bridgeway Academy - Magic Tree House Online Class Review

Bridgeway Academy is an accredited online Christian homeschool resource for families that are either seeking a little extra help or looking for full semester courses.  Since 1989 they have been working to meet the highest state and national accreditations as possible.

We recently had the opportunity to try Bridgeway Academy's online Magic Tree House - Middle Ages class ($145.00 for a 9 week course).  This class was designed for students in Grades 1 - 6.

I was really not sure what to expect.  I could not figure out how they were going to space out the Magic Tree House Knights at Dawn book.  How many classes could you truly have on this book?

We met weekly for an hour online.  And I was very impressed with the amount of information that was provided each week by Kathy (Lydia's teacher).  The class did not revolve around Jack and Annie.  In fact, she did a wonderful job covering food, village life, architecture, religion and art during the Middle Ages.  She was very patient and really worked to draw the kids into an online classroom setting.  Lydia was begging to raise her hand during class and answer questions.

Does this look like a comfy way to attend school?

Lydia is just now showing interest in learning technology, so I was concerned with her ability to follow along in class.  I was highly impressed with the way the instructor handled the wide range of skill levels in this class.   Some kids were very proficient, some needed help, and some of the parents (no names will be revealed to protect our privacy) needed help too.  Kathy was very patient and there was even a great tutorial included to get us familiar with the classroom technology before we even started.  After the first class, Lydia picked it up right away and was flipping between the windows easily.

The course content was age appropriate, and yet at the same time provided enough of a challenge to keep it from being boring to the kids.  I even learned new facts during this class.

Assignments were easily shared through email or could be downloaded from the classroom.  We would discuss them in the class or one assignment was emailed to the teacher.  Lydia was very excited to show her teacher her finished castle, with a drawbridge door.

Classes are recorded, so if you are worried about can easily catch up.  We did miss a class due to not making it home from art class in time.  We were able to easily make up for what we missed.  So no time was really lost.  The only downside with that, Lydia missed the direct interaction with her teacher online.  So I wouldn't want to make that a habit.

There seems to be a lot of flexibility with scheduling, so if you do have an issue with your child sitting for large amounts of time in front of the computer....they won't be.

Bridgeway Academy really does try and make this a very easy process.  They provide tutorials and meet and greet sessions to get parents and children familiar with the programs they will be using to work in their classrooms.  I cannot emphasize how user friendly this whole process was.  The only "technical" difficulty we had on our end was syncing Lydia's computer with her headset she was using.

I really do like the set up through Bridgeway Academy.  It is easy to use, and I had little work that I needed to complete other than the one assignment each week.  So if you are looking to have very little planning to do with schooling, this is a great perk.  After the past 8 weeks, I will need to add Social Studies back into Lydia's schedule.   The only issue that will pose a barrier for our family is the cost.  At $145.00 for a 9 week class, this is way out of our budget for one child.  I understand that the cost of technology needs to be compensated for, but that is a huge hinderance for our family.  I could see myself using Bridgeway Academy for special classes or start looking at them for Joey for high school classes.

 Please take some time and check out Bridgeway Academy.  Their staff is very nice and love to work with kids.  I could tell how much Kathy cared for the kids each week, and really appreciated this.  She made Lydia feel like she was the only kid online. I really did enjoy our experience with Bridgeway Academy and look forward to when we can do another Learning Lab online course with them again. 

Several members of Schoolhouse Review Crew had the opportunity to try out various online Learning Labs from Bridgeway Academy.  Be sure to stop and see how these classes worked out in their homes.


  1. I too have homeschooled my daughter from The Ogburn Online School. I was really impressed by their way of teaching. Their experience and new methods in teaching made lots of improvements in my daughters study.