Hey guys! Okay, I get lots and lots and LOTS of questions whenever my kiddos appear on my Instagram stories during the school week and then are gone the next day, so I thought I’d compile your FAQ’s about hybrid homeschool to hopefully shed some light!
**HEAR ME: this is just what works for our family in this season. My husband and I both attended public school, we taught public school, our kids have attended two types of school…we are pro-school! 😉 This post is NOT a soapbox. Just a glimpse into what works for us right now. I’m not an expert at this…but we are trying it out and here’s what it’s like so far:
What is hybrid homeschool and how does it differ from the public/private/full-homeschool models?
Hybrid homeschool is a mix of homeschool and classroom time. There are many different models, but basically the kids will go to school a few days a week and then do school work at home the other days. (See end of this post for different types of hybrid homeschool) Our kids attend their school twice a week, and then they are home with either my husband or me (or both!) for the rest of the week’s school work.
Our hybrid homeschool is not in conjunction with public school. This is basically a private school + homeschool experience. Our kids were already attending a different private school, so not much changed w type of education, curriculum, etc. – we just swapped a few days at school for a few days at home instead through this new school!
How does it work? Who is in charge, the parent or the teacher?
So for our model, the school chooses things like curriculum and pacing, and then the kiddos are sent home with corresponding and pre-planned school work. WE LOVE THIS PART, and it’s what helped us take the leap and try out hybrid homeschool. When we were considering full-time homeschool, we had no background experience or mentors to help guide us, so we weren’t confident in being able to choose curriculum nor did we feel comfortable going in blind on things like pacing, timing, etc. We really like that the teachers and school administrators are experts in this area and can do the planning for us. We simply implement some of their schoolwork at home! The teachers and parents work hand in hand to teach the kids, and if there is ever something we don’t understand, they are quick to help and guide.
What’s a day in the life look like for a hybrid homeschool family?
SCHOOL DAYS: The kids attend school 2 days a week, and mom rejoices at a semi-quiet house! 😉 The girls have regular class time for instruction, projects, activities, and “specials” like art, music, PE and foreign language. They do all the regular school things: lunch room, assemblies, after school activities, library, group work, etc.
HOME DAYS: The kids are home 3 days a week, and (sometimes) mom wonders what she’s chosen for her life…?! 😂 No not really (but kinda). 😉 On home days, we sleep in a bit and have a slower morning. I try to get them started by 9am or so depending on what our day looks like, and it takes about 2-3 hours give or take to finish the day’s school work.
It took us a minute to get a rhythm down for teaching three different grade levels all at once, and of course the littlest wanted to feel included, too. Now we have a pretty good flow (oldest can self-start while I read directions to the pre-K daughter, and the 2nd grader begins her independent reading, etc.), although it does require patience and some tweaking as daily assignments shift and change throughout the year.
We usually finish school for the day around 11am-noon, and then we have the rest of the day to do whatever! Sometimes we’ll save school till the evening if we have a busy morning, or we might even combine Friday + the upcoming Monday’s work into one day so that we can give ourselves a three day weekend for travel. The flexibility is one of the biggest perks for our family!
Does it require tuition, and is it Christian based?
Yes and yes (at least for our school). The tuition is a much smaller amount than our local private school we used to attend (and loved, btw!), because they are only attending two days a week. The rates fluctuate between school models and states. Our model is Christian school based, and, like anything they learn in ANY school setting, it’s our job as Mom and Dad to guide their path along the way, never taking anything at simple face value.
Why did your family choose hybrid homeschooling?
This is going to sound pretty “precious,” but the truth is that we just wanted more time together. That’s the biggest reason. For this short season of life while they are young, we wanted a way to spend just a bit more time together (even though there are days that all this togetherness makes me want to SCREAM, ha!).
Another reason we felt The Nudge to give this type of school a try is that my husband and I were both teachers in another life and missed the challenge of educating! Did you know we taught at the same high school for awhile? Awwww. I know. Cute. 😍 We are certainly NOT experts at teaching the younger years and don’t claim to be, which is why we love the fact that the school/teacher helps guide us as we help guide our kiddos.
The third reason we chose hybrid homeschooling is that our family already has pretty wonky schedule, and the flexibility of this type of school works for us! My husband works hospital shifts (which means he’s home on some week days), and my job is such that I can create my own hours. Thus, we alternate who is The Teacher every few days so the other can work…and we love it! It took awhile to find that rhythm like I mentioned, but once in it, we loved how this type of school fit our family’s schedule so well.
Will you do this into the girls’ older years?
To be honest, we don’t know! It works for our family right now, and we have peace that we made the right choice. But…would I have EVER thought I’d be interested in something like this five years ago? Heck no! Thus I can’t speak to what our lives will look like down the line, but we’re trusting in Him that we’ll have guidance when the time comes.
What do the girls think about it? Did you talk to them before switching to hybrid homeschool?
We definitely included the girls in our decision as much as one can with kiddos so young, and they were also def nervous to change schools last year, as you can imagine. We even readdressed the choice this summer to see what they would say and to hear their hearts on the matter.
Honestly…they love it.
They still get to do all the fun school things with their little friends and their sweet teachers PLUS they also get a few chill days at home each week with their sisters and parents. Because it really only takes a couple of hours to do the school work while at home, our fam has so much flexible free time now! We are able to travel, go explore new places, take the girls on adventures to the aquarium, the zoo, museums, and to visit grandma 😉 which we couldn’t have done if they were in a traditional model school setting. Sure, we have hard days and frustrating moments, but overall it has changed the vibe of our family SO MUCH over the past year.
If you could change something about this model of school, what would it be?
As a work-at-home mama, I wish it was 3 days at school and 2 days at home rather than the other way around. To be honest, I could really use a third day at home w only my youngest kiddo in order to get more accomplished, but for now, I’ve learned to scale back and be patient. 😉
Another item on my wish list: I wish it was more readily available around the country for parents who might want a “best of both worlds” solution as we call it for their kid’s schooling. The hybrid model is gaining in popularity though, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see more of this concept in the coming years.
Lastly, I think if I were a homeschool parent coming into a hybrid homeschool setting, I would want more control over the curriculum and pacing. It would be hard to go from autonomy in a sense to giving over the reins a bit, but for people like me who have ZERO homeschool experience and don’t really have the desire for autonomy, it’s a perfect combo!
Have you encountered negativity regarding this choice?
Oh yes. Like with any parenting choice, we can all get on the defensive if someone chooses a different path/option/opinion than we do. But honestly…it all comes down to what works best for your kids and family. In our heart of hearts, this is the right choice for us even though it might not be the choice others in our lives have made, and that’s cool! I literally could care less what others choose as long as the kiddos are healthy, happy and being well educated! Who am I to butt in and make judgement calls regarding a family that is not my own, you know? What do I really know about them or their needs/family structure? I can barely manage my own family’s cray without worrying about theirs, ha! 😉
What about extracurricular activities such as sports, other teams, etc?
Our school offers sports, theater, ballet and a host of other options, and even if they didn’t, there are so many other leagues, classes and team sports to participate in outside of the school setting. Again, a personal choice, but it wasn’t something that detracted from our decision to hybrid homeschool.
What does your family love the most about this type of schooling model?
Extra time together + flexibility of schedule! I love that my husband and I are able to approach this like team-teaching. The girls love being together to have sister time more often throughout the week. My husband loves that he gets to see the kids so much more than before. All this while they are getting a solid education both at home AND in a school setting. For now, it really is the best of both worlds for our family, and I’m so glad we decided to take the risk and try it out! We’ll see what the future holds, but for this season of life, we are right where we need to be.
Hope that answers your questions about hybrid homeschool, and to learn more about different models and school locations, click below:
Be sure to check out my pal Jenn from Life as a Rambling Redhead as she chats about their family’s experience with University Model Schooling, one of the options for hybrid homeschooling! I met Jenn over on Instagram in Home Decor Land, and I was so pleased to find a friend who also tried out this type of school – check her out to learn more!