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Bridgeway Academy Family Spotlight: Silas’ 2020-21 Homeschool Journey

by David Engle | Jun 10, 2021 | 3 min read

This is stating the rather obvious, but the 2020-21 school year was far from ideal, at least from the perspective of students attending traditional school–not to mention teachers, administrators, and parents. There was the pandemic itself, which posed serious health risks to nearly everyone on the planet; the adjustment to remote–and then hybrid–learning, which produced mixed results depending on whom you ask; and the chronic disruptions in learning due to COVID-related shutdowns and quarantines.

All of the issues above led many families across the country (and the world) to choose homeschooling, at least for one year, until the pandemic was under control. One family who made this important and difficult decision includes Silas, a Bridgeway Academy student, and his father, David.

COVID-19 was the primary driver of the decision to homeschool Silas, as David has underlying health conditions that made the prospect of Silas potentially bringing the virus home from school a grim and dangerous one. But another major impetus in the decision to homeschool was the unorganized and unsatisfactory way in which Silas’ brick-and-mortar school handled remote learning.

“The school Silas was attending remotely was totally inadequate in their remote learning,” said David. “I kid you not when I say that Silas received around 15 to 25 minutes per teacher, per subject, per week. Plus, there were five ways for remote learners to receive work and another three or four ways for them to turn in the work.”

If this sounds like chaos, just imagine how difficult it was for a sixth-grader like Silas to navigate through it all. With that in mind, it was time to look into full-time remote schools and homeschooling. After communicating with several schools, David and Silas determined that Bridgeway Academy offered the best program and fit for their family.

As they were contemplating schools and programs, David placed a priority on Silas’ independence as a student. And while he preferred Silas work independently as much as possible, David also understood that Silas would need help from time to time, and he wanted that help to be readily available for Silas when he needed it. So, Silas enrolled in our Total Care Live Online Middle School (Half-Year) program and embarked on his homeschool journey.

As the school year comes to a close, both Silas and David reflect fondly upon their Bridgeway experience, though for different reasons. As a parent, David found Bridgeway’s online system to be intuitive and convenient and liked that he could check on Silas’ grades. Additionally, David noted that Silas’ academic advisor, Kacy Clowser, was–and is–always available for questions and support.

From a student perspective, Silas mentioned how simple it is to find his grades and to obtain and return his classwork, a complete contrast to his remote learning experience with his previous school. Silas also noted that quizzes and Quizlet help him with his studies, but that his Live Online Class teachers always explain the material in a way that is easy for students to comprehend. This is just the experience David and Silas were looking for in a homeschool–one that offered plenty of independence (thanks to his Self-Paced elective classes) yet provided help and support whenever it was needed.

And it is that experience that David believes will set Silas up for future academic success. “Bridgeway has helped Silas by reinforcing that he needs to be responsible for school, but that it is always OK to ask for help when needed.”

Yes, the 2020-21 academic year has been one filled with hardships, challenges, frustrations, and fears. But Silas’ experience also proves that there were victories, new opportunities, and successes along the way. In fact, Silas pretty much embodied the school year as a whole.

“Silas had such a difficult time during the first half of the year…he kept his grades up, but his morale was low,” explained David. “When he started with Bridgeway, there was definitely a change in his attitude toward school. Silas was such a strong kid this year, and I am so proud of him!”

And so is Bridgeway, David.

To learn more about Bridgeway Academy or the Total Care Live Online program Silas excelled in during the school year, call us at 1-800-863-1474.

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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