From the time my son was in preschool and we started down the homeschooling route, we had always expected to teach him at home all the way through high school. That is still our plan; and since Jackson is a junior this year, we’re approaching the achievement of that goal!
However, something unexpected happened along the way in our homeschool journey. The older my son grew, the more I began to notice that we were suddenly bumping up against subjects I felt absolutely unqualified to teach. Now, when your child is in elementary or middle school, it’s much easier to learn new material before or as you are teaching. But the closer your child gets to college, and the more advanced the subjects become, the more difficult that task can be. And while I am generally a “can-do” sort of person, I began to feel enormous trepidation at the thought of teaching some of the high school courses that Jackson was going to need for college entrance. What they would require from me suddenly seemed to be more than I could provide.
I am, by both inclination and ability, a words gal. So, it is both a delight and very natural for me to teach my son literature, grammar, history and writing. And even some foreign languages. But upper-level sciences and math? My own high school science education ended at biology; my math, with algebra 2. I never took chemistry, physics, calculus, or trigonometry, at the high school or college levels. And while I have a passing acquaintance with them from life experience and from Jackson’s early education years, that’s all I really have. I feel as though they are written in an esoteric language that I don’t even know the alphabet for. And yet, they are completely necessary for my son. What can a homeschool mom do when faced with this challenge?
For us, the solution was two-fold. My wonderful husband, who has always been completely on board with our homeschooling, actually majored in math and computer science. He has taken over the math instruction for Jackson. That has lessened my anxiety over not teaching this upper-level subject well and in ways that my son could really apprehend. In addition, when he has to explain a subject or math task, he actually understands it already instead of needing to teach it to himself first! The outcome of this is that Jackson is progressing, with his dad, way beyond what I could have brought had I continued with his math instruction.
The second part of our solution was Bridgeway Academy, and they have provided excellent upper-level science instruction for my son. Jackson took Bridgeway Academy’s Biology and Lab last year as a tenth-grader, and had an incredible experience that included everything: experiments, online class work, semester projects, testing, and textbook work. This year, he has been enrolled in Bridgeway’s high school Chemistry and Lab class. Chemistry meets online each week for an hour and a half. The instructor teaches them about the elements, the experiments they’ll do on their own, goes over math equations they’ll need, and engages with them in this work. During the rest of each week, students complete assignments, reading, and experiments and other lab work.
I am so grateful for this! Bridgeway Academy’s science instructors are certified teachers. They are educated in science themselves, which means that they speak and understand this language that is so foreign to me but that my son definitely needs for higher education and for life. And the classes provided not only a way for him to study these courses, but to excel in them. For me, it removed so much difficulty, and even anxiety at having to learn these courses and attempt to teach them well.
I would recommend Bridgeway Academy for many reasons. But perhaps most important, having the opportunity for Jackson to take his upper-level science courses with Bridgeway’s certified teachers met a significant need that we had — one that would have been very difficult for me to accomplish with Jackson myself. In closing, I’d tell homeschooling families to consider online learning with Bridgeway Academy! Your children will be able to learn well from experts in each subject and field, and you’ll be able to rest in knowing that they are being well-educated.