Hybrid Homeschools: A Movement of the Future?
Let’s face it: there are definitely times we want to throw in the towel on homeschooling and totally call it quits. These are usually the times when we’re stressed out or fall behind because of what homeschooling entails At the same time, we can’t shake off all the reasons we wanted to homeschool in the first place. Is there a “middle of the road” solution to this?
What is a Hybrid Homeschool?
Born out of parents’ desires to both homeschool and send their children to a physical school, hybrid homeschoolers operate as “part-time homeschoolers.” Basically, it’s when you send your child to school two days a week and teach at home the other three days. Or, you may send them three days and teach at home for two days. There are also hybrid homeschoolers whose students attend the physical school for part of the day and learn at home the rest of the day. The options are really endless and just depend on what works best for your family.
What Are the Benefits and Drawbacks?
As with any homeschooling option, there are benefits and drawbacks to the hybrid option. One of the biggest benefits to hybrid homeschooling is that parents aren’t 100% in charge of their child’s education. There is real, live help available in the form of teachers, administrators, and others who run the hybrid school. For many parents – especially new homeschoolers – this help comes as a relief! Furthermore, if your students “mess up,”you don’t feel as though you’re the only one at fault or as if all eyes are on you and only you.
Another benefit to hybrid homeschools is the social aspect. Homeschoolers are frequently asked about their plans to socialize their students. With the hybrid homeschool option, students are able to socialize with peers on a regular basis. If socialization is something that concerns you, this could be a good fit for your family.
As for the actual coursework, hybrid schools usually offer students the ability to choose subjects individually. This means students can take courses at various grade levels if needed. Most hybrid schools hire certified teachers to teach the coursework which means you don’t have to worry about covering a subject you may find difficult to tackle. In addition, many hybrid schools provide access to extracurricular classes and field trips.for students.
Of course, there are drawbacks to this method of schooling. As is the case for any schooling option outside the home, you may have little to no control over the curriculum the school uses. Also, schools are often bound by government standards and must adhere to those standards (usually this is so the school can receive funds from the government). That said, the hybrid school may require your student to take standardized tests each year and it may require you to log days, hours, etc. for the days your student does school at home.
Another downside to the hybrid option is that you’re locked into leaving the house at a certain time each day. Essentially, you have to revolve your schedule around the school’s schedule. This can be especially inconvenient if you have younger children who need to nap at a certain time. Since most (if not all) hybrid schools operate as private schools, you’ll be the only one providing transportation for your student, so that’s going to mean bringing all the children with you, regardless of the time of day.
Is a Hybrid Homeschool for You?
While there are definitely pros and cons to the hybrid homeschool option, it remains a viable choice for some families. How can you figure out if this style of homeschooling is right for your family? It may help to do a little self-reflection and answer the following questions:
- Why does this method of homeschooling appeal to you? For some, it’s the fact that they’re not 100% responsible for their student’s education. For others, the socialization aspect is important. Whatever your reason, really try to reflect on what it is that draws you to this style in the first place.
- What are the alternatives? Depending on what it is about hybrid homeschooling that appeals to you, there may or may not be an alternative solution.
- How do you feel about the disadvantages? For some things, the benefits heavily outweigh the drawbacks and we’re able to push them aside. At other times, the cons are too overwhelming to ignore. Only you can gauge whether the positives aspects carry more weight than the negative ones.
As a homeschooler, there may be times you question whether you can handle everything by yourself for several years. Yet, you don’t want to send your students to school, either. Hybrid homeschools can offer you the best of both worlds!
Tasha is a homeschooling mom to 5 and has been homeschooling for 14 years. Currently, her children's ages span from toddler to young adult. Tasha has a Bachelor's of Science degree in Social Sciences from Florida State University and is working on her MBA through SNHU/Berklee School of Music.