Big Minds Online

The Big Minds Difference

Big Minds Online offers multiple programs that emphasize student agency, flexibility, and educational customization. Rather than the traditional models that often cause twice exceptional students* to feel boxed-in, the Big Minds Model is student-centric, allowing our brilliant students to shine in environments where they feel safe, empowered, and able to explore. 

Read more about how Big Minds Online could make a difference in your student’s learning needs and goals below.

(*gifted students who also have one or more disabilities).

Student Choice with Expert Support

Every year, many of our course offerings are designed by our students, with support from our educational experts; others are created by our teachers and coaches with direct input from our students. Because we recognize that our students are some of the brightest young minds in the world, we want to make sure that they’re learning what they want to learn. Whether that’s a class in advanced physics, sustainable living, game design, or bug science, we are ready for anything our students dream up! Our educational experts ensure that students are immersed in their interests, while remaining supported in the learning they may need in high school and beyond. 

Each student enrolled in Big Minds Online full-time also spends regular time with math and literacy coaches who are trained to work with students across multiple spectra. This blend of student choice and professional support helps our students to grow intellectually, socially, and emotionally.

science

Flexibility, Access, and Accommodation

As our programs are designed with twice-exceptional students in mind, our programs are built around accommodating the ebbs and flows of online student learning in more holistic ways. If a student needs to turn off their mic/camera, step away from their screen, spend time discussing their ideas and goals, or jump on a mini-trampoline to stay focused, we welcome all of that. Part of our model involves helping students to advocate for themselves in more meaningful ways, so the minute a student joins our community, we believe in trusting their inherent wisdom. Students and families will work reciprocally with educational experts to ensure that their program is customized to their student’s schedules, goals, and learning styles.

 

We give all of our students the freedom to learn outside of their grade level. Our coaches work hard to build safe, creative relationships with our students. We know that students need to feel safe before they can learn, especially with topics that are impacted by disability or previous chronic stressors. We strive to help every single one of our students bring their authentic self into their learning, and that means helping them to explore topics of any level of rigor that matches their needs.

One amazing part of our programs is our online learning module, which was custom-built with our students’ needs in mind. Students are able to receive reminders, navigate their schedule, and send and receive messages through multiple, different sensory ways. Our students are  neurodivergent and may need to learn through multiple channels, such as auditory, visual, or kinesthetic. At Big Minds, we welcome every style!

Socialization and Community Across Digital Platforms

While many other online programs struggle with helping their students to socialize, we build it into ours! Each online cohort is capped at a small number of students, so that our communities are able to get to know each other. Each cohort also has its own whitelisted Minecraft server, where students are free to build, play, and chat. We host activities where students are able to explore topics they’re interested in with each other – book groups, movie clubs, gaming groups, and more!

Along with this, we ensure that the educators paired with each student remain as stable as possible. For many students, having to learn how to work with a new teacher every semester can be tough – but ours stay with our students during their educational journeys, to ensure that they remain safe and supported. We keep our student-to-teacher ratio low (4:1 at most) to better facilitate this, too!

Planning with the Future in Mind

Many twice-exceptional students in Grades 6-8 may begin to feel stress about their future, since transitioning into secondary education sometimes seems daunting. Understanding that, we’ve built in time for our students and families to plan for what their lives will look like after they graduate from Big Minds Online. For some students, this may mean spending time on specific skills that will serve them well in their next educational journey, like organization or note-taking. For others, it may mean working with families to research secondary-education options that best meet a student’s needs. Others may need support planning for artistic ventures, or research projects, or athletics, or many other possibilities. We welcome all of them, and we ensure that each student graduates from Big Minds ready to continue becoming the best lifelong learner they can be.

Program Options

Big Minds Online offers two options for enrollment: a full enrollment, and an even-more-flexible Home School Support Program. Both programs serve students in Grades 1-8.

Our full-enrollment program emphasizes customization and exploration. Students gain a schedule of courses with built-in opportunities for socialization, and join a community of online learners and teachers. Students may sign in with a computer, laptop, tablet, or phone to engage in safe and accessible learning.

Our Home School Support Program (HSSP) is often a better match for students who seek further enrichment with their current learning (whether at home or otherwise), or for students who seek extra support in their current educational journeys. HSSP provides up to 3 hours of expert support per week for each student and their family. How this time is split depends on student needs – some may use it for 1:1 literacy and math coaching with one of our expert teachers, and others may use it for 1:1 collaboration with a subject-matter expert on a passion project (previous examples of passion projects have included coding, architecture projects, language-learning, and more!).

Interested? Get in Touch!

For information about pricing, enrollment, and accommodations, feel free to get in touch via the Contact Page by clicking here. Be sure to mention which of our programs you’re most interested in, so that we can match you with an expert that’ll best be able to answer your family’s questions. We can’t wait to hear from you!