The Secret Trend of the Hybrid Homeschool
What is a Hybrid Homeschool?
A hybrid homeschool is a blend of homeschooling and a structured enrichment program, through a home school group or traditional day school. This academic customization provides a deeper level of educational coaching for long-term success.
In a hybrid scenario, parents decide how much homeschooling to do and when to use outside resources. This can be a great option for families who want the flexibility of homeschooling but also want their children to have some social interaction. It can also be good for children who need more structure than what homeschooling alone can provide.
Benefits of a Hybrid Homeschool
A hybrid homeschool is a combination of home education and public or private school instruction. The benefits of a hybrid homeschool are many.
- One such benefit is that students have the best of both worlds – the individualized attention and support of home education combined with the social and academic enrichment of traditional schooling.
- Another benefit is that hybrids can be tailored to fit each family’s needs, making it an ideal option for families with diverse educational philosophies and goals.
- Additionally, hybrids can be more affordable than traditional private schools, and sometimes even public schools.
- Finally, hybrid homeschools provide students with a unique opportunity to interact with children and industry professionals from different backgrounds, exposing them to new cultures and ideas. Even traditional school families will join a hybrid homeschool group if it fits within their schedule.
The Differences of a Hybrid Homeschool vs. Learning Pod
Keep in mind that a hybrid homeschool is one where the child attends an academic meeting for part of the day instead of a full day. Some will mistake this arrangement as a “learning pod”, which may or may not have goals, agendas, or oversight. The learning pod trend has evolved to be glorified babysitting groups or parent’s day-out programs. The distinction is in that hybrids have a clear intention to provide a pre-college or career program in an age-appropriate manner.
Hybrid homeschooling is becoming a more popular choice for families who want the benefits of homeschooling but also want their children to be regularly socialized with other children. While hybrid homeschooling can be a great option for some families, the alternative “learning pod” approach may not be ideal for everyone.
Here are five reasons why “learning pod” homeschooling may not be ideal for your family.
1. Challenge matching interests:
It can be difficult to find other families who are also homeschooling in a hybrid format. Many homeschool families like ultimate flexibility, and this means no obligation to follow anyone’s schedule. This can make it difficult to find routine socialization opportunities for your child.
2. Conflict in Curriculum:
The curriculum choices available in a hybrid format may be more limited than if you were homeschooling full time. Homeschoolers in a hybrid format are often limited to using the curriculum available if they want to take advantage of all the features of the program. For parents who use hybrid as an enrichment, this is not often a problem.
3. Coordinate Schedules:
It can be more difficult to coordinate schedules and lessons if you are also working or have other commitments. This can cause burnout for the parent and the student. It can be difficult to find resources that are appropriate and engaging for your child. This may mean that you have to buy more curriculum options than you would if you were homeschooling fully.
4. Chaotic Lesson Planning:
You may have to be more creative in your lesson planning. If you do not live near other homeschooling families or have younger children there are fewer alternatives. This option may not be a good fit;
- if you have many children,
- are outside of the mainstream classroom setting, or
- do not want to teach your child at home on a daily basis.
This is where academic enrichment programs like the ones offered by Saint Pierre Academy can be a great asset.
5. Community Collaboration:
It is usually more difficult to find mentors and traditional schools who are knowledgeable about hybrid homeschooling and are willing to work with you. Some public schools welcome hybrids, other school districts make it very difficult.
For example, if a hybrid homeschooler wanted to take an AP course or band class at their local high school, most laws provide for it. However, the decision to allow the student on campus for one class only can be seen as a distraction to other students and can be discouraged by the principal. The community does not always collaborate with learning pod homeschool families.
How to search for a hybrid homeschool that works for you
When you are homeschooling your children, there are a variety of different methods that you can use. You can choose to use a traditional homeschool approach, or you can set up a hybrid homeschool.
What is your preferred method?
A hybrid homeschool may combine aspects of both traditional and unschooling methods. This allows your child to have more control over their education, while still providing some structure and guidance.
Does it include college and career pathways?
Most college admissions prefer a hybrid homeschool type of 3rd party oversight. It demonstrates that there was accountability, enrichment, and socialization, attributes that separate the truly tenacious (likely to succeed) from the good test-takers (likely to drop out within the first year).
How do you know if children are learning?
Know the method of assessments and projects that demonstrate the depth of logical reasoning. Interactive skill-building is just as important as test-taking. The child’s ability to communicate is a good indication of being able to handle multiple learning assessments.
Consider These Factors for Your Hybrid Homeschool
1. Choose the curriculum that best suits your child’s needs.
There are many different curriculums available, so you should be able to find one that fits your child’s interests and learning style. (Need help understanding your child’s learning style? The parent support team at Saint Pierre Academy or parent coaches would be happy to coach you! )
2. Decide how much structure you want to provide.
Some parents like to have a lot of structure, while others prefer a more relaxed approach. Pick the method that works best for you and your family.
3. Create a schedule for your days (or weeks or months).
This does not have to be specific; an ideal schedule will work until you find your specific rhythm. If you want to include programs like the ones offered by Saint Pierre Academy, choose the days and format that works for you, then work other activities around scheduled meetings.
4. Decide how much time you want to spend on each subject.
This will depend on their age, interests, aptitude, and resources available.
Types of curriculums for a hybrid homeschool:
There are three types of curriculums for a hybrid homeschool: eclectic, classical, and unschooling. While there are other options available, these three encompass the most popular approaches to homeschooling. Each has its own strengths and weaknesses, so it is important to understand the differences before making a decision.
Eclectic homeschooling is a mix of different methods and philosophies.
Parents who choose this approach can select different curricula for different subjects or they can create their own curriculum by pulling from a variety of resources. This allows for a great deal of flexibility, but also requires more work on the part of the parents.
Classical homeschooling follows a traditional educational model.
The focus is on teaching students the skills they need to be successful in college and beyond. This approach is very structured and can be difficult for parents who want more flexibility.
Blended learning encourages results-based learning over rote memory.
Homeschool parents can choose to follow a curriculum or blend different options. They generally do not teach all of the subjects themselves. When this happens, parents employ immersion-based learning.
The focus of immersion learning is blending sound knowledge with practical discoveries. Parents of younger scholars often adopt the Charlotte Mason or Montessori Methods. Older scholars who have identified their talent often develop their own roadmap. They collaborate with their parents and professional coach to employ a system of proven techniques for college and career.
How to find the right resources for your hybrid homeschool:
Finding the right resources for your homeschool can seem daunting, but with a little bit of research, it can be easy to find what you need. There are many different types of homeschooling, from unschooling to Charlotte Mason methods, so finding the right resources depends on what type of homeschooler you are.
If you are looking for a more traditional school experience, you will want to look for resources that align with your state’s standards. If you want more flexibility in your curriculum, there are many online resources and books that can help you create a custom curriculum for your child. The most important thing is to find resources that fit both your child’s needs and your family’s lifestyle.
The benefit of Saint Pierre’s Community is that scholars and parents receive resources and coaching. Whether you are new to hybrid home school, transitioning, or upgrading your approaches, we are here to help. Instead of trying to sort out by trial-and-error, many parents find our customized support services very advantageous to parent and scholar success.
The benefits of blended learning in a hybrid home school:
The Blended-learning approach eschews traditional schooling in favor of allowing children to learn through their natural curiosity and interests. Proponents of blended learning argue that it allows for more personalized education, leads to better retention of information, and develops self-reliance in children.
A hybrid form of blended learning for homeschooling has emerged in recent years which combines elements of both academic immersion and traditional schooling. This approach allows for the best of both worlds – the individualized education of student-led learning with the structure and accountability of traditional schooling.
Debates Regarding Hybrid Schools:
A hybrid school is a blending of different educational models, such as traditional schools, Montessori schools, and Waldorf schools. Advocates of hybrid schools say that this type of school can provide the best of all worlds for students.
Critics say that this type of school can be confusing for students and parents and that it is not clear what benefits these schools offer. It is important to note that while the debate over hybrid schools continues, the overall trend is toward greater integration of models and blended education. Well-planned homeschool immersion programs like those offered at Saint Pierre Academy contribute to higher test scores and better college experiences.
For example, public school systems in the United States already have a great deal of interaction with public charter schools that provide such services, but the loopholes in school regulation often impose curriculum and grade-based limits that lead parents back to full-time homeschool.
The Disadvantages of Hybrid Models in a Public or Traditional Setting
Age-Based Academic Limits
The biggest drawback of hybrid models under a public school system is that parents are limited to an age-based grade structure for academics. This means that the scholar does not often get promoted or move on when ready. Advanced and gifted children will often have challenges in a setting that forces limits on their intellectual growth due to their age.
Burnout from Repetition
Burnout often ensues. Ultimately, a gifted child has to mask their intelligence to fit in socially with their age-based peers.
In full-time homeschool families who incorporate hybrid homeschool, parents retain control over when their children move to the next grade level in each subject or interest matter. A parent can provide a safe space for accelerated academic growth in a socially appropriate setting. This is one way to avoid burnout from academic repetition.
For example, let’s say that a 10-year-old hybrid homeschool student scores in the top quartile on an 8th grade-level test. In addition, they complete a series of projects to demonstrate the depth of learning. A traditional school will place the scholar on the honor roll or dean’s list. They may also respond with a placement in higher-level classes with peers 3-4 years older. Neither is academically safe or socially appropriate.
Limited Academic Promotion
Since the 2020 pandemic, traditional schools (public and private) have adopted the hybrid models to attract students back into their system. While the attempts are admirable, current deficiencies remain regarding timely recognition of achievements. If a scholar demonstrates proficiency in subject matter, they have to wait for a time certain to receive their recognition.
In a hybrid homeschool scenario, the scholars don’t just get a badge of ‘distinction’, ‘honors’, or ‘advanced’ as in a traditional school. They literally advance to the next grade level subject matter, being rewarded with an immediate promotion. This leads to enhanced engagement, intellectual stimulation, and mentor-led learning opportunities.
This is why many hybrid homeschool scholars begin early college or have an associate’s degree before they turn 16!
Hybrid homeschooling is a great alternative for parents who want to maintain control over their child’s education, but also want the benefit of a third-party program. It allows parents to customize their child’s education while still providing them with the support and resources of a larger organization.
If you’re considering homeschooling as an option for your family, but worry about socialization and accountability, hybrid homeschooling may be a good choice to consider.