Frequently Asked Questions
“A question not asked is a door not opened.”
– Marilee Adams
What is Bennett Live?
- Bennett Live is a platform and a series of programs and offerings for children and families.
What is the purpose of Bennett Live?
- We believe every child should have access to a progressive and experiential approach to learning, that every child is a maker, creator, and designer, and that at-home, remote, and learning via the screen can be fun, creative, and social.
- Our mission is to ignite joy and creativity in learning and to inspire the growth mindset of young designers, creators, and makers, everywhere
How did Bennett Live get started?
- Bennett Live was a response to the global pandemic and mass school campus closure in March, 2020.
- When our school, Bennett Day School, closed campus, we faced the reality of developing and delivering a progressive learning curriculum that prioritized hands-on, tangible learning, yet delivering it via the screen when all our learners and teachers were at home working and learning remotely.
- We experimented a lot and used a number of different technologies and activities.
- Learning how many schools and families were struggling too, we decided to share what we were doing and learning publicly, and began sharing our classes and project-activities via Facebook, both live and pre-recorded. Bennett Live was then born.
Is Bennett Live connected to Bennett Day School?
- Bennett Live is a Bennett Labs creation for children and families everywhere, created by Dr. Kelly Page, Director of Bennett Labs.
- Bennett Labs is the learning and innovation division of Bennett Day School, a progressive independent school in West Town, Chicago, Illinois.
Who is Bennett Labs?
- Bennett Labs is a learning innovation and development lab embedded in the life of the school, committed to advancing creativity and innovation in child, family, and educator learning experiences.
- The Bennett Labs team of educators and designers works closely with the Bennett Day Schools education leadership team and faculty on professional development, and the sharing of different creations and innovations developed in the classrooms, externally with families, teachers, and schools, everywhere.
Who do I contact if I have more questions?
- You can contact us via this webform if you have any questions.
- You can also call 1 (888) 855-3889 and leave a message. A member of our team will follow-up with you.
Our Learning Approach
What learning approach is Bennett Live grounded in?
- We adopt a progressive approach to learning. We value learning through doing and experiential learning for child and human development.
- Experiential learning is considered to be the best way for children to handle real-life situations, and fosters the development of a child and youths’ social and emotional skills, teamwork, creativity, critical thinking, and independence.
- Reggio Emilia, Project-based Learning, and Growth Mindset are the three approaches to learning and human development we value and learn a lot from.
What is Reggio Emilia?
- The Reggio Emilia approach is an educational philosophy and pedagogy focused on preschool and primary education.
- This approach is a student-centered and constructivist, self-guided curriculum that uses self-directed, experiential learning in relationship-driven environments.
- Adults serve as observers and documentarians of the learning of children and youth, as well as each other. The child, the environment, and the adult are all in relationship to each other.
- Time, space, and natural light are key elements in a Reggio-inspired experience that facilitate learning and exploration.
- The child as central to their own learning, are able to pursue their own interests. Children have multiple ways of thinking, playing, exploring, speaking, and doing.
- The environment is critically important, open, and free-flowing. It enables uninterrupted exploration, play, and learning be it at home, in the classroom, or via the screen.
What is Project-based Learning?
- Project-based learning is a student-centered pedagogy that involves a dynamic classroom approach in which it is believed that students acquire a deeper knowledge through active exploration of real-world challenges and problems.
- PBL encourages learners to work on short and long-term projects through a hands-on approach. The educational content is organically placed and the curriculum is emergent so learners absorb the information in a very natural way.
- Learners actively engage in co-participating, collaborating, and being co-responsible for the planning, development and execution of a project.
Is Bennett Live home learning or home schooling?
- Home learning is learning at-home. A child’s home is a powerful learning environment and home learning includes activities such as reading a book, completing a class or pod project, or drawing a picture. These can either be guided by a teacher, tutor, or self-guided.
- Bennett live offers children, youth, and families a collection of programs, classes, and activities that can be experienced and completed wherever you are, be it at home, at your grandparent’s house, or even on the road while traveling.
Why is home learning important?
- Formal and informal learning activities at home raises a child’s love and engagement in learning and their meeting of developmental milestones.
- It also helps to foster healthy practices and ideas about learning, of value throughout their school and college life.
What is the role of the caregiver in home learning?
- Unlike Home-Schooling where the caregiver is also the teacher, with home learning, parents, caregivers, and siblings serve to encourage, support, and model home learning for young learners.
- We, at Bennett Live, serve as the guide and teachers via the screen, supporting and bringing experiences for you, your children and family to experience together.
Bennett Live Projects
What is a Bennett live project?
- A project represents a range of tasks that can be done at home or in the classroom, by learners, or groups of learners, quickly and over time.
- Projects are also often, yet not always, a single, focused endeavor, with a program a collection of projects – together all the projects form a connected package of work.
When do projects feature on Bennett Live?
- Nearly every episode, class, or learning experience has a specific project you can work on with the teacher-guide on the screen.
- No two episodes have the same project or activity.
Why do projects feature so much on Bennett Live?
- Project-based learning is a form of practice-based learning for developing a learner’s competencies in processes and practices, as well as content over the lifetime of a project.
- We believe children and youth learn a lot by creating and completing projects, so every episode, class, or pod experience involves a project or activity of some type.
What does my child need to complete a project?
- Every series is different and comes with a learning guide which includes a list of resources and advice on completing the project.
- We advise reading the learning guide first, getting all your resources ready, then work alongside our teacher-guide on the screen to complete the projects.
What if my child doesn’t finish the project?
- That is ok! Our projects are not designed to be completed in the episode or class time.
- We designed them so learners can get started with a project and then can continue working on their project after the episode is viewed.
How may I share my child's projects with others?
- At Bennett, we document the creation of all our projects.
- As your child is working on their project, we encourage you to take pictures and keep a journal of their activity.
- We often feature Bennett Live projects on our website and social channels. You can submit your child’s project to be featured via the Bennett Live App OR share it with the hashtag #BennettLive
Bennett Live Media Series
What is the Bennett Live Media Series?
- The Media Series is a collection of over 18 series or 240 episodes of pre-recorded video content on a variety of topics, ideas, and experiences.
- We designed each media series for you specifically at home.
How do I access the Media Series?
- The media series is available via our Bennett Live Application for IOS and Android available on Google Play and iTunes.
- You can also access some episodes via our YouTube Channel and Facebook Page.
How much does the Bennett Live App Cost?
- The Bennett Live App costs $USD9.99 a month or $79 a year.
Is it possible to make the app free?
- The app fee goes to paying our teachers, contributors, and supporting the making of Bennett Live for you, at home.
- We are committed to paying all our teachers and contributors for their wonderful work creating media episodes, classes, and pods for all our learners.
- We are also committed to paying all our partners for their support and involvement in getting Bennett Live into your hands, and at home.
Can I watch Bennett Live on any device?
- Yes, we’ve made Bennett Live as accessible as possible. You can watch it on your phone, iPad, or screencast it to a television in your home.
Sometimes the video quality is not great, why is this?
- All Bennett Live episodes are filmed in our teacher’s homes, real classrooms, or on location. We can never guarantee the perfect sound quality.
- Often our contributors are filming their series by themselves using whatever device they have available to them. Sometimes, video quality or picture may not look perfect.
- We do not have a production crew, as we value real, authentic learning experiences and we want to keep our costs as low as possible.
- We are working with all our contributors to bring the best possible quality from their homes, classrooms and towns to yours.
Bennett Live Classes
How are classes different from the media series?
- Classes are either live and in person or self-paced, so you can control the time it takes you to complete a class or challenge.
- The media series by comparison is produced by our team in advance, so is pre-recorded.
- You can stop and start them at any time, yet it is a little harder to interact with the teachers on the screen.
What type of classes are available?
- We focus our classes on creativity, movement, explorations, and social activities.
- You can find the class list on our class page.
- We are adding more classes every week, so sign-up for our updates from our team to be notified of the latest classes.
How many classes are available?
- We offer a small number of classes and challenges, yet are adding more to our class list every week.
- Sign up for our updates and we’ll let you know all the new and different classes we are adding to the class schedule.
How do I register for a class?
- You can find the full class list on our Class Page.
- To register, find the class you want and click through to our Class Registration System.
- Register your family for an account, add your children to your family and then register them into our classes.
When are classes available?
- We schedule our live classes for afternoons, after school, and at weekends.
- We value many of our learners are either learning in school, at home via remote, or doing 100% home learning. We have found afternoons after school and weekends are the best time for families.
- Our design challenges are self-paced. You can sign-up and register for these anytime.
How do I access live classes that are online?
- Once registered into a class you will receive access to the class page on Moment, our class management system.
- The class page will have location instructions if in person, or online link credentials if via the Internet.
- You can also message your teacher directly if you are having any problems.
How much do classes cost?
- Our classes vary from $25 per class to $199 for a series of 8 classes.
- We also offer week-long and weekend immersive experiences. These vary in price depending on the theme or focus of the class and the resources required to complete it.
May I suggest a class theme or topic?
- Yes, please let us know what you may be interested in.
- We’d love to hear from you, what types of classes you’d like to register your children for.
- Complete our contact form with information and any suggestions. We’d love to hear from you.
Bennett Live Pods
What is a Bennett Live Home Learning Pod?
- Our Pod Program is a small group, healthy, screen-based learning program for children ages 3-5 years at home.
- Organized by multi-age group and developmental needs, our pods meet daily via technology with a Bennett Live educator and members of their pod to learn together.
Why participate in a Home Learning Pod Program?
- Home learning has been shown to have a direct positive impact on the success of a child in their learning at school, and at college.
- We believe that the learning of our littlest learners is very important. Designing home learning experiences, if designed intentionally to be creative, social, and active around the screen, can ignite a child’s joy in learning at home.
- We also believe in providing our families and children with the support they need at this time, no matter where they are learning. Our pod program does just that.
How is the Bennett Live Pod Program different?
- Our Pod Program is not just preschool via a screen. Our pods are intentionally co-designed with our families, and with creativity, active play, and explorations at the heart of our pod experiences, and healthy screen time.
- Inspired by our Ten Pedagogical Principles, our pods are designed to ignite joy and creativity, and inspire the growth mindset in young designers, makers, and creators, everywhere.
When do the Pods meet and for how long?
- Our pods meet daily for 3.5 hours, Monday to Friday, for 11-12 weeks. The morning session is from 8:30-11:30 am (CDT/CST) with a closing circle at 2:30-3:00 pm (CDT/CST), to learn and share about the day.
- We’ve designed the pods for a minimum 2.5 hours a day of synchronous learning around the screen, with optional off-screen asynchronous home activities.
What age groups are the Pods for?
- Our pods are specifically designed for early childhood learning with multi-age groups of children between 3-5 years.
How many children are in a Pod?
- The pods are designed for small group and paired learning, with about 7-8 children per pod.
How are the Pods designed for EC Learning?
- The learning design of our pods is intentionally for early childhood learning and is guided by our Ten Pedagogical Principles.
- Every day, our learners have dedicated social time, math play, literacy activities, as well as explorations, and project time. We also include time for snacks, bathroom, and screen breaks.
- We have especially designed the experience for healthy screen learning time for our littlest learners, wherein they learn by being creative, active, and social around the screen.
Who are the educators leading the Pods every day?
- We have an inspiring team of experienced and qualified early childhood teachers, trained in early childhood learning and development, Reggio Emilia and/or project-based learning. You can read more about our contributors here.
- Each pod is guided by one of our experienced teachers. Starting week 3 of the program, our pods are joined every week by specialists in Active Play, Dance, and Creative Music.
- We often invite guests and experts into our pods, as determined by the needs of the project the pod is working on.
Will caregivers be needed during the hours the pod is live?
- Our pods are designed to build a child’s capability and independence to start school. Every child has different needs, and we aim to support all our families to independence for at-home learning.
- A caregiver’s main role is assisting your child joining the Pod each morning via Zoom, or handling technical issues.
- With a little preparation of your child’s home learning space, the resources they need are in easy reach for little fingers to participate in pod activities, and easily accessible snacks for snack time. During pod time, there is minimal draw on a caregivers time.
- During the program, there may be times we intentionally invite caregivers to participate and join us, as we welcome family involvement. At the end of every 11-12 weeks, there is also a Pod Demo Hour, at which the children share with their families what they’ve been working on and learning.
What technologies are used to deliver the program?
- We use a combination of technologies, so we are easily accessible to all our families. Every day, registered families can access the pod via a secure Zoom link. Our home learning activities, after-pod time are accessed via Seesaw.
- Registered families will also have access to a dedicated pod page via Moment. We use Moment for all our communications with caregivers. Our teachers post weekly pod summaries, updates, and any news. Caregivers can also message teachers and the team directly.
Do you provide families with technology support?
- We are always here for our families. We work directly with you to ensure you can access your pod and the resources. We provide a Pod Technology Guide with advice on getting your child and family set-up and started.
- We are also available to troubleshoot technology issues your child or family may be experiencing.
What other learning support do you provide families?
- Family learning and support is a priority for our team. We work very closely with our families to ensure they feel prepared to participate in the Pod Program and to support their children in their learning.
- Before the pod starts, you will receive a Pod Welcome Guide. We’ll also have an intake call and a family meet and greet to get to know your family, and the children can meet their pod teacher-guide.
- Every Friday, our teachers will share a weekly learning summary of the current week’s activities and a guide for the next week of pod, with an outline of activities and resources the children may need.
- We host bi-monthly 1-1 family conferences with each family to share learnings and child development insights.
- We also host a monthly Bennett Live Family Social Hour to support family learning and connections.
Will I be able to contact the teacher outside Pod times?
- We use a class management system called Moment.
- Once registered, caregivers can message the Bennett Live Education Team, and the teaching team directly through our class management system, Moment.
How much does the Pod Program cost?
- Our Pod Program delivered safely in your home, for 11-12 weeks, costs between $3-4k per child/pod or about $60/day. If a family registers for the year, it is about $10.5-12k per child/pod.
How do we apply and what are the deadlines?
- We are currently accepting applications. Visit our applications page to apply and a member of our team will be in contact with you to discuss your application.
- The dates and deadlines for the 2020-21 academic year are:
- Pod 1: Sept. 14th – Nov., 20th, 2020
(Deadline: September 09)
- Pod 2: Nov. 2020 – March 20201
(Deadline: November 9th)
- Pod 3: March – June 2021
(Deadline: March 8th)
- Pod 4: June – August 2021
(Deadline June 14th)
- Pod 1: Sept. 14th – Nov., 20th, 2020