Finding a balance between exclusively teaching your own child, participating in co-op, taking online classes, taking classes at a junior college, and a myriad of other options is one of those things that all homeschoolers have to do. Most will, at least once, step out of the schoolroom to see what other options exist. For us, that happened in the last couple of months with our experience with the Homeschool Learning Labs from Bridgeway Academy.
Bridgeway Academy offers a host of accredited classes (and even textbooks) for homeschooled students. Easy Essay is one of their high school offerings. The class typically meets for 90 minutes per week over the course of a nine-week period. The class costs $275 and yields a .5 high school English credit. For the purpose of this review, we were offered an eight week class that met for 60 minutes each week.
How It Works
Watching the video is the best way to understand the process. Essentially, Therese's (12) High School Essay class met each Monday at 12:15 Central Time. About ten minutes prior to the class start time, students started logging into class through Jigsaw Meeting Software (basically a Go To Meeting type thing). At 12:15, Kimberly Kulp, the class instructor would begin class. Each class had a set topic, known to the class ahead of time by virtue of the syllabus. Mrs. Kulp would conduct the class with the assistance of a Power Point presentation, allowing for limited student interaction via their microphones. Students would be able to take notes on the whiteboard on screen, chat with the teacher or the class via the chat screen, see Mrs. Kulp, and view the Power Point.
The class required about two hours of homework per week in addition to the hour in class. The homework was due on Friday. Mrs. Kulp typically returned it via email an hour or so before class. For some reason, Therese could not email Mrs. Kulp directly. Her emails were rejected by the server. I had to email for her.