Since March of last year, schooling has looked very different in all aspects. For children who attend public or private schools, there’s been a major adjustment to hybrid or exclusively remote learning online. For homeschoolers, there hasn’t been as much of a change–except, perhaps, that online learning has become the predominant method of instruction. After all, COVID-19 more or less forced schools and educators across the world to adapt an online-first mentality.
And there have been some benefits–the schools that may not have been sufficiently prepared for remote learning during the 2019-2020 school year were much better equipped to handle the demand this time around. Education companies and curriculum providers had to improve their online offerings–and did–and schools took advantage of the better product to implement a high-quality virtual learning experience for all students. But with more online learning comes a whole lot of screen time, and that’s a dangerous rabbit hole for parents and children to navigate.
So Much Screen Time…
Back in November, we published an article about why it’s important for kids (and adults, too, if we’re being honest) to put down the devices from time to time and pick up a book. Here are some of the staggering statistics associated with kids and screen time, which you can also find in that same blog post. According to the 2019 Common Sense Media Census: Media Use by Tweens and Teens:
- Tweens (ages 8 to 12) spent an average of just under 5 hours (4:44) using entertainment screen media every day.
- Teens (ages 13 to 18) spent an average of nearly 7.5 hours (7:22…!!) on the same type of screen media each day. (Keep in mind, these numbers do NOT include time spent using screen devices for homework or studying!)
- Among teenagers, 62% spend more than four hours on screen media per day, while 29% spend more than 8 hours each day on their screens.
- More than half of tweens (56%) watch online videos (like YouTube) every day; 69% of teens do the same.
- Both tweens and teens spend approximately 1 hour per day watching online videos (56 minutes and 59 minutes, respectively).
These numbers blew my mind back in November, and they blow my mind today. It’s absolutely amazing how much time kids–especially teens and tweens, but also younger children–stare at a screen each day, not even taking into account screen time for school and homework. So, the question is: how, in an increasingly online world, can you limit screen time, especially considering your kids might need to spend some time online for school? The answer: blended learning.
What Is Blended Learning?
Simply put, blended learning is a combination of online learning and traditional paper- and book-based activities. Blended learning offers students the opportunity to give their eyes a rest from the screen and use their hands for something other than clicking, typing, and scrolling. And, as we like to say at Bridgeway Academy, blended learning lets students “learn without boundaries.”
Bridgeway’s Total Care Blended Program–designed for elementary school students in grades 1 through 6–offers the best of both worlds: the best online learning platforms and textbook learning, as well as exciting hands-on activities, experiments, and more. This combination keeps students engaged while offering plenty of flexibility to complement your schedule. Plus, if your child is a more independent learner, our Blended Program offers him or her every opportunity to excel in a more self-reliant environment, which allows the student to practice some of the life skills they’ll need as they get older and become more self-sufficient. Blended learning, however, still allows for plenty of opportunities to interact with and instruct your student in a more traditional homeschool format.
Along with lessons and curriculum personalized just for your student’s learning style, Bridgeway’s Blended Program includes the support of a dedicated academic advisor who is there to help and answer any questions you may have every step of the way. Plus, your family receives a full year of record-keeping support that covers report cards, transcripts, honor roll, and all other necessary records. Perhaps best of all, our Blended Program is fully accredited, meaning your student’s hard work is recognized by schools, colleges, and universities across the globe.
Total Care Live Blended Learning
If you have a student heading into or already in grades 3 through 5, our Total Care Live Blended Learning program is another excellent option. This program includes just about everything in our Total Care Blended Program, but with a weekly dose of live, teacher-led learning. Live Blended Learning includes up to seven courses (four core courses plus up to three more reading or elective courses) that utilize both online and textbook learning; additionally, there’s a scheduled “meet-up” time at the end of each week dedicated to lab presentations, virtual field trips, and other engaging activities. This element offers students a chance to interact with classmates and teachers and be part of an online learning community.
The Best of Both Worlds
You can’t go wrong with either of Bridgeway’s blended learning programs. Each provides you and your student with the best learning experience around, plus all the support you need. And, by combining our online and hands-on textbook learning, you can cut some screen time out of your child’s day–and that’s a win for everyone. To learn more about our blended learning offerings and how they can work with your child, call us at (800) 863-1474.