Are you more than ready to step into this world of natural learning with your child?
Are you holding back because of overwhelm with state regulations or the fear that if your child ever has to transfer, you won't have what you need?
At Bridge Academy, we support you and your child's unique learning journey through official private school enrollment status, natural learning resources, and a community of involved parents leading the way in unschooling.
01 Confirmation of Enrollment
This official confirmation of enrollment letter is what you’ll need to meet the compulsory attendance laws for your state; and it's what makes your child an official private school student, meaning you no longer have to register as a homeschooler! If you're already registered as a homeschooler, this letter will be all you need to send to the school district. We have made it as easy as pie for you to transition to the Bridge Academy family and step into freedom of learning YOUR way!
02 Curriculum for Support
We provide you with the Your Natural Learner Curriculum that matches your child’s grade level. This is a flexible curriculum designed to encourage your child’s natural learning journey - it is not required to use, but offered as a support and flexible guide if you need it.
03 Transcripts & Records
At the end of the school year, we will connect with each Bridge family to share about how their unique learning journey went that year. This is RISK FREE and does not require you to keep records or a portfolio. We’re here to celebrate natural learning with you - not make anyone feel nervous or performative! We want to hear about the magical, the exciting, the silly, and the rabbit holes you dove down into together. Using this discussion, we’ll create a customized transcript each year for your child, including the “basics” from the included curriculum and any additional elements to incorporate from your natural learning journey that year. These transcripts can be used to keep for your own personal records or to transfer if your child ever transitions to a public or other private school in the future.
Can I enroll my child who is in middle or high school?
Currently, Bridge Academy is focused on providing support for elementary ages Pre-K through 5th grade. This is mainly because we are still working on our accreditation status and have curriculum prepared for those levels. (See accreditation question below for more details.) This does not, however, mean that we cannot provide enrollment status for students in 6th through 12th grade. You are more than welcome to enroll your middle and high schooler in Bridge Academy and we will provide you with an enrollment letter and a custom transcript at the end of the school year. Please just be aware that we will not have curriculum resources available for those levels at this time, and should accreditation matter to you at this point, it is not something we can guarantee (it is generally not a concern for most unschooling families until high school level, if at all). All of that said, we do have middle and high school students enrolled in Bridge Academy currently, and we look forward to providing accredited transcripts and curriculum and other resources in the near future!
Does enrolling in Bridge Academy mean I no longer have to register as a homeschooler in my state?
Your responsibility as a parent of a school-aged child is to meet the compulsory attendance laws of your state, meaning you either provide home education according to the requirements of your state or you enroll your child in a public or private school. The parameters of the compulsory attendance law vary by state in the US, but by enrolling in Bridge Academy, you successfully meet the requirements of that law in every US state. Bridge Academy operates as an independent private umbrella school, meaning we take the responsibility for ensuring your child is enrolled in an educational program for the required number of days each year. Since Bridge is a private school, this exempts you from needing to file intent as a homeschooler in your state, since once your child is enrolled, they are officially a private school student. If you are already registered as a homeschooler, you will simply need to send your enrollment letter to the school district letting them know that your child has enrolled in a private school and is no longer registered as a homeschooler.
Disclaimer: In some rare cases, your state will not accept your enrollment in Bridge Academy as a way to avoid filing status as a homeschooler. In that case, you will have to work with your local school district to ensure you are meeting all regulations. However, this is a rare occasion, especially in the elementary years, since Bridge provides parents with curriculum meeting all state standards. In 99.9% of instances, enrolling in Bridge Academy is all you have to do. Consider this just our legal disclaimer that we cannot guarantee that in every case, you will be covered. We encourage all parents who are seeking to educate their children outside of the norms of the system, and we will do everything in our power to provide you with the resources and support necessary to meet your needs, but we advise you to do your own research about whether or not this is the path for you. Bridge Academy and its affiliates cannot be held responsible if things don’t go as planned with your learning aspirations.
Is Bridge Academy accredited?
There is no federally accrediting body in the United States for K-12 schools. Any private school that has accreditation seeks this from local or regional bodies as a means to raise their standards. Bridge Academy offers parents enrollment in our private school, curriculum that meets all state standards in the US and in most foreign countries, and transcripts at the end of each year to document your child’s learning career. That being said, we know how important that accredited seal of approval can be for many parents, especially at the high school level where college is on the horizon. Bridge Academy is currently in the arduous process of securing accreditation from several bodies, and hopes to have this finished by the start of the 2023-2024 school year.
What are the enrollment dates for Bridge Academy?
Bridge Academy operates on a year-round school year calendar, as we believe that learning happens every day, not just for 180 days a year. This means that your enrollment in Bridge Academy will more than cover your compulsory attendance dates for whatever state you live in.
Enrollment is open year-round and operates on a 12-month enrollment schedule. Annual enrollment “officially” runs from August-July of each school year. You will be covered for the entire year in which you enroll, retroactively. *For the 2022-2023 school year, we are offering an early enrollment period from May 1-July 15. If you enroll anytime in this period, your official start date will be August 1st, 2022 and your end date will be July 31st, 2023. Your early enrollment comes with several perks, depending on when you enroll (not the least of which is knowing that you can ease into Summer knowing that you are covered for the year ahead... hello sweet relief!).
I run a microschool - can I enroll multiple students that are not siblings?
Yay! We love microschools and their supportive network for parents and students! We can provide enrollment and resources for microschools consisting of multiple families under 15 students at a discounted rate. If you run a program or school with more than 15 students, we can offer licensing of our curriculum for your use, but cannot offer individual enrollment at that capacity. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to set up a call to chat with one of our staff about your options.
What if I live outside of the US?
Bridge Academy operates as a US-based online private school, but we welcome worldschooling students and students from around the world. If you are a US-based worldschooler, enrollment in Bridge Academy helps you meet the requirements for compulsory attendance no matter where you call your home base. If you live permanently in a country outside of the United States, you are responsible for understanding the laws for home education in your country, and in making the decision surrounding whether enrollment in Bridge Academy will offer you legal coverage as a private school student.
Is Bridge an umbrella school? What does that mean?
Yes, Bridge Academy is an umbrella school. Umbrella schools have an exciting and community-based history in supporting home learning over the past many decades. Originally created as a way for homeschooling families to band together to overcome the anti-homeschooling regulations in many states, umbrella schools today operate to provide homeschooling families with resources and support in meeting the looser-than-the-past-but-still-sometimes-oppressive regulations of their home states. What this means is that when you enroll your child in Bridge Academy, your child is officially a private school student, meaning they are not required to register as a homeschooler or comply with any of the regulations set forth for homeschoolers in your state. By being enrolled as a private school student, you legally are required to follow the regulations of that school (and spoiler alert: ours are pretty relaxed 😘).
Do you provide resources and supplies?
Yes! This is what sets Bridge Academy apart from other umbrella schools you’ll find. While we fully embrace and support unschooling, and do not require testing or assessments as proof of learning, we also recognize that by providing a curriculum that meets all state standards, you are less likely to be scrutinized and parents who need the resources for supporting their learners actually have them! Unlike any other virtual umbrella school out there, Bridge Academy offers our own, designed-in-house licensed curriculum - Your Natural Learner Curriculum - designed to support your learner on their unique, child-led journey. This curriculum is provided to you as a part of your enrollment. It is not required that you use it, but it is a wonderful resource to have! In addition to your digital curriculum, we provide training resources for parents, and a supportive community space to connect with other Bridge families. Bridge Academy does not provide any supplies or additional resources for learning beyond the YNL curriculum and community.
Does Bridge Academy require any assessments or standardized testing?
We believe in the natural learning power and journey of the unique learner, and trust that as their parent, you are more than capable of providing that experience for (and with) them. Standardized tests and assessments do not tell us anything about the individual learner - they are designed solely to find norms in a large group, and as such, we do not support using them to assess a learner. Bridge Academy does not require parents to provide any assessments or standardized tests. By being enrolled as a private school student at Bridge Academy, this means that you are also exempt from any testing regulations for homeschoolers in your state. Should you wish to provide a standardized test to your child for his/her own curiosity, set up a free consult and we can connect you with options.
What if I need more support?
We are fully confident in your ability to lead your child’s learning journey, and we trust with you in your child’s capability as a learner. Through the YNL Curriculum that is provided as part of your enrollment, parent training videos, and the community space, most parents should feel fully supported in their learning journey with Bridge Academy. We also recognize that there are special circumstances where you may be hitting resistance or needing an additional layer of support/resources beyond what Bridge offers. In these cases, we offer the option to schedule a call with a team member (free and paid options) or invite you to ask questions from other parents in the community forum. We are willing and excited to help you find and make connections to the resources that you need to support your child on their unique learning journey.
Are there supports for children with IEPs or special learning needs?
We believe that all children are capable learners, and that they bloom and learn on their own natural timeline. In almost every case of a child with special needs, having them learn in the safe surroundings of their home is the best and most supportive experience that they could have. Most IEPs are designed to help a child conform to the learning/behavioral requirements of the system... once a child is at home and allowed to learn on their own timeline, those support systems are rarely needed anymore. Through the flexible curriculum, supportive community, and parent training resources that Bridge Academy provides, we believe that you will be fully supported to help your child learn regardless of what learning needs may arise. We also recognize that there may be situations in which parents do not feel that they have what is needed to adequately support their child’s special learning needs. In this case, we offer consults to discuss your needs with an expert who can either directly support you or point you in the direction of resources to help.
How are Bridge Academy transcripts created if we don’t have to keep records or provide assessments?
By providing the Your Natural Learner Curriculum as a part of your enrollment, we have a Scope and Sequence framework with which to design your child’s transcript each year. This helps to ensure that your child is meeting any state standard that they may be held to, as well as provide a foundation should your child have the need to transfer to another school in the future. At the end of each school year, we will connect with you to share your learning experiences, helping to create a customized transcript for your child.
What do the end of year meetings look like? What do I have to have prepared?
Don’t panic! This is nothing like the portfolios and documented book lists that you may have had to keep as a homeschooler in the past! These meetings are super lax and informal, and can be conducted via chat or email, respecting your family’s schedule and time. At the end of the school year, we will reach out to you asking you to share your favorite experiences of the year. We encourage you to share more than academics here - what did your child LOVE? What were they interested in? How did they choose to spend their time? Your child is welcome to complete this for themselves or you can do it together or for them. Through these discussions, we will create a customized transcript for your child’s learning journey that year, taking care of the documentation needs for you. Bridge Academy does not believe in providing numeric or letter grades at the elementary and middle grade years, as these do not transfer through schools anyway. All subjects we put on the transcript will be considered a “Pass” on a Pass/Fail scale. For high schoolers, we will work with you to design a grading scale that aligns with your child's achievements and needs.
Collapsible rowCan my child still participate in sports or other events with our local public schools as a homeschooler?
This is generally not a concern until high school level, but it will be entirely dependent on the rules set forth by your local school district, so you will be encouraged to reach out to them for clarification. In general, by enrolling as a private student at Bridge Academy, your child is no longer eligible to participate at a public school in extra-curriculars as a homeschooler unless you continue to register as a homeschooler in your state.
Can I talk with someone to find out if Bridge Academy is right for me?
Absolutely! You can email us at email@example.com to schedule a free 15-minute consult call with a member of our staff. We can help answer any questions you have about enrollment and determine if Bridge is right for your family.
"I didn't know where to start but now my children are directing us honestly. It's flexible and let's us step away when we need to. It's a helpful tool when I feel uninspired."
- Margarette (California)
"We used charter school funds to purchase this curriculum for my child after my friend recommend it. It's been a much better fit than the kits we were trying before."
- Roger (New York)
"I used this with my year one children and plan on doing so with their sibling. It's a great go-to for us."
- Louis (Australia)
A global community
We're all in this together! When you enroll in Bridge Academy, you receive a free year of membership in the Parent Learning Lab - come play in this space, get to know the other members, take advantage of the incredible resources, and learn and grow together.