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A Different Way to Learn: Student Learning Labs

by David Engle | Oct 14, 2015 | 3 min read

Sometimes it is hard to find unique learning experiences for your children outside the home while homeschooling. What if your students could interact and learn from a teacher and other students across the country while never leaving your living room?

This past week I caught up with two families who are currently enrolled in Bridgeway Academy’s Student Learning Labs. I was surprised and delighted to hear from both mothers and students about the positive impact learning labs have had on their homeschool experience. Learning labs sparked students love for learning and allowed them to discover things they otherwise would never have known existed.

What Are Student Learning Labs?
Bridgeway Academy’s Student Learning Labs are 9 week courses that meet once a week for approximately one hour. These live online classes give students the opportunity to interact with the teacher and classmates from around the world though a live web camera. The courses are geared to include subjects that are difficult to find elsewhere such as Science Labs, Introduction to Debate, Marine Biology, Architecture with Legos and Exploring Art.

Best part of Student Learning Labs
While talking to several students who have taken multiple learning one thing that came up over and over was how enjoyable learning labs were with these classes. Juliet, a third grader, described her experience as “fun and exciting”. She was thrilled to share with me her dream house project that she completed while in Architecture and Brick building which included a cool dragon boat.
JulietH Architecture with Legos Model of My Dream Home

Dream House by Juliet

Brothers Alexander and Benjamin couldn’t stop talking about how they recently learned about George Washington in the American Revolution class and how George attacked a British post when crossing the Delaware River. Alexander (4th grade) explained that he loves learning about the history of our country and that his favorite class to date was the American Revolutionary War. This live online class brought history to life as he read the assigned book and learned from his teacher about how America became a country.

Interaction from around the world
One incredible benefit of learning labs is students are able to learn from their peers all over the country and often around the world. Kathie, mother to Ben and Alex relayed how wonderful it was to have exposure to kids from other cultures and see things they are not normally accustomed to seeing in their Californian home. In Architecture with Brick Building the final project is to create your dream home; Kathie expressed how fascinating it was to see homes from other parts of the world. So many students had unique projects and she liked how students could share what buildings look like in their part of the world.

igloo_front_viewDream House –  Igloo

Unexpected benefits
One unexpected benefit Catherine, mother to Juliet, found was how multidisciplinary each live online class turned out to be. In Architecture with Brick Building the kids learned not only about architecture but also math, art and history! She also expressed how the learning labs gave her the opportunity to learn alongside her daughter.  In one class she was able to learn how to produce videos and in another class she was able to brush up on her early American history.

Kathie also had unexpected benefits from learning labs. She was surprised to see her sons become fascinated in areas she never expected. Her son Alex became intrigued with ancient China after taking a course in ancient Chinese history. He became so engaged with learning by reading and doing research and she would often hear him singing songs his learning lab teacher taught them while playing in his room.

Do you want this same interactive experience for your students? Bridgeway has 3 sessions of learning labs throughout the year with over 30 classes for students in grades 1-12. Learn more and watch a demo by clicking here.  Or if you have any questions, call us at 800-863-1474.

David Engle
Hello, and thanks for reading! I’m David Engle--dad, husband, sports fan, and writer/editor. As a father for the last 18 years (father of two for the last 14), I consider myself to be pretty well-versed in all things related to education, childhood, and parenting, and I'm thankful for the opportunity to share some insights and knowledge with fellow parents. I have been a professional writer and editor for a quarter of a century (it pains me to admit that) and have been writing in the educational space for a number of those years. I reside in southern New Jersey with my wife, two kids, two dogs, and three cats. Never a dull moment.
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