Living, Mommin, On Motherhood

What the heck is hybrid homeschool and why we chose it for our family.

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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:

Is Hybrid Homeschool the Wave of the Future? -Forbes magazine

Hybrid Homeschools: A Movement of the Future?

What is Hybrid Homeschool Anyway? (List of types)

University Model School

Classical Conversations

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!

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  1. Tisha says:

    I loved hearing about this! They grow up so fast that it’s great you have this extra time with them. Best wishes in all your endeavors:)

  2. Jacee says:

    We have homeschooled our boys from the start and love it for the freedom and flexibility as well! A hybrid school sounds awesome, I think my kids would really enjoy “going to school” a bit. I have quite a few friends who use charter schools where they have the option of a school day. It’s through the public school system. This is the first I’ve heard of a Christian hybrid school. I may be looking into that…. I agree with you that it may be tough for me to give over the reigns to someone else since I’m a completely independent homeschooler. But, I bet maybe I could figure it out if it seemed like a good fit for my kiddos. Thanks for a great post, Erin!

  3. Pam Schroeder says:

    I wish they had this option when my boys were little. My third son wanted me to homeschool him, but I was scared of taking it all on myself. I’m glad you had a choice, sounds like an amazing opportunity for the family!!

  4. Whitney says:

    Thanks so much for answering these questions! Love your heart and sweet little family, and am very intrigued by the idea. I always want to homeschool, but don’t think I have the patience to teach all 5 of mine at home, ha! This seems like a great compromise.

  5. Carrie Pilblad says:

    Thanks for chatting about your experience! My aunt who lives in TN has done this since hers were little and I’ve always thought it was a neat idea! I personally was homeschooled and plan to do the same with my Littles, but would really like to find out if this would be an option for our family in our area! Loved reading this post! 💕

  6. Stephanie says:

    I have been a homeschool mom for 10 years and we love how it works for us. Blessings to you all for doing what is best for your family. Dont ever feel like you have to preface your explanation with a “we support public school too” attitude. We shouldn’t have to say that to be able to discuss our own personal al choices! Much love!

  7. Lessye says:

    Love the way you shared this information! We are a Classical Conversations fam, and are “pro school choice” whatever the choice for you and your family might be! 🙂
    Enjoy your last bit of summer!! Time with our littles is such a gift!

  8. Valerie says:

    So is the whole school using this model? Or do some kids attend school every day?

    I can definitely see advantages for parents who work odd schedules and know how to teach. Seems like a win/win for everyone.

  9. Teah says:

    I love it!! I homeschool my kids for most of those same reasons! My husband owns his own business so our schedule can be flexible too. We live in California and go through a charter school and they do offer classes 1 day a week but it’s only a few hours. Then they do an extra one a couple other times a month. I’d love the 2 days then 3 at home! This is my 6th year and we just take it one year at a time. Honestly I love that my kids are building real friendships bc they are together so much. And that we can teach and train them in the instruction of the Lord! Keep bring a light and remember you are tying heart strings so that bond is there as life hits them in the older years!

  10. Mary says:

    Thank you sharing all this information. My hubby & I have decided to homeschool our kiddos this year for the first time. I don’t know that a hybrid model like yours exists near us, but it sounds like the best if both worlds as you’ve described. Your reasons sound like so many of ours & it was so comforting to read your thoughts on the subject & your desires to have more time with our kids while they are little. Keep up the great work!!

  11. Joelle says:

    Loved reading this post, and appreciate your attitude and approach about this season and what is working now. We have toddlers now but planning to homeschool, and have tried to keep an open mind and heart to whatever the Lord leads in each season and that it may look different than our original ideas before having kids at all. Thank you so much for sharing! I’m happy this season has been sweet for your precious family. 💛

  12. Kimberly says:

    This is how most of my school life was, only back then it was just called homeschooled. I so wanted to be in public school at the time, but looking back I’m so glad my parents made the decision they did! Wish we had something like this where we are now, that wasn’t in conjunction with charter school!

  13. Hallie says:

    We have home schooled our kids and are going to the hybrid model this year, and I’m so excited to have them experience a classroom setting and still have some days at home.
    Thanks for sharing your story.

  14. Kristen says:

    Thank you so much for sharing. Our first kiddo is only one right now and we have definitely played with the idea of some type of homeschooling for his future. I, myself, am also a teacher and value the regular school experience but I think it’s also important to be fluid with what works for your family at the time. Your family is so beautiful and sweet. Keep up the good work!

  15. Hilary says:

    This was something I have been curious about as my oldest is just starting pre-k so we have some time to think on it but I like the idea a lot! Thanks for taking the time to share your experience and insight!!

  16. Michelle says:

    We just started something very similar to this. The only downfall is they don’t get the PE, Arts, lunchroom setting when they are at school. They actually go to a church classroom and it’s very small. It’s our first week doing it and I think I’ve cried every single day!

  17. Brittany says:

    Thank you so much for sharing! I’m just starting to investigate schooling options (my oldest is almost 4) and I love this method for all the reasons you shared. It helps to see a “real life” example and encourages me that maybe I could go this route too!

  18. Lori W. says:

    Oh my gosh, Erin! I love this. I so wish that this was an option when my kids were little. It would have been a wonderful solution for us. I knew I could not homeschool my two since it was just me, and I had to work full time, but this would have worked perfectly. I will certainly pass this along as a option to anyone and everyone who asks (and, of course, those who don’t).

  19. Tammy says:

    I love the idea of this. We go to a private classical school. I’m curious, do all the kids at your school do the hybrid? Or are there students at school the days your girls are home?

  20. Chelsey Bremseth says:

    Hey! I read your blog post on hybrid homeschooling.. I live in Bixby and my oldest attends Mingo Valley Christian. We love it there and don’t want to leave but I recently spoke with the Superintedent about her doing hybrid and it’s just not something they’re setup for (totally understand)
    I thought I heard you live in Owasso.. I wanted to ask where your daughters are going for hybrid? CEA? Or is it a co-op?
    My hearts desire is to have my kids home with me… and it hits me every year, end of the year.. middle of the year.. in the mornings.. lol and so on.

    Other than Regent and CEA, I wasn’t aware of a hybrid school. Would love to look into it if you know of a different one.

    Hope you see this in your mounds of messages ☺️ thank you!!

  21. Jess says:

    Thank you for sharing! We have a Christian school here that does this, only they call it the University Model. I am very intrigued by it and want to start looking into enrolling my littles. They are currently in traditional public school (kinder and 2nd). I am so concerned with how they will feel if we switch and they don’t like it. However, we are like you guys and love being together and we’re homebodies. We also love traveling but feel so stifled by the traditional school calendar (I am a HS teacher). I really loved reading this post as I don’t know of anyone who has tried this! Thank you Erin.

  22. Bob says:

    You should call it “hybrid private schooling” since you tell us “…. the school chooses things like curriculum and pacing …” Homeschooling, by definition for over 35 years, has been parent-led/directed, home-based, and private (not tax funded, not funded by or controlled by the government). In your case, the noun is “private schooling” and the adjective is “hybrid.” See http://www.homeschooolingbackgrounder.org for a clear and historical definition of homeschooling. Further, for those children who attend brick-and-mortar school 2 or 3 days per week and are at home the other time, it is “hybrid public school” or “public school at home” — it is not “hybrid homeschool” and it is not homeschooling.

  23. Ariana says:

    I love your home 😊

  24. Chelsea says:

    I love Vt his idea. As far as I know, my state doesn’t have any official hybrid homeschool institutions. Even if we don’t, can I approach the local public or charter school and see if they will Work with me to create a hybrid option for my kids? Is that what you did? I could’ve missed it in your post but I didn’t catch how you initiated this method for your kids(do you have a local school that does it or did you just randomly ask the school if they would work with you and allow your kids to do 2 days at school, 3 days at home). Thanks in advance. I would really love to provide hybrid homeschool for my kids.

  25. Natasha says:

    Thank you so much for your post. We are considering to homeschool our daughter. I was wondering, can I choose any school I want for they hybrid program?

  26. Lauren Morris says:

    Thank you for this information as we are seeking to make a choice for our 5 year old. Would you choose homeschool if you did not have a hybrid option? We do not have this option and are struggling. Thank you!

  27. sara says:

    I just started my blog, HomeWorkin Mama where I will share my experiences as a WFH Mom, first time mom, etc. I am also going to homeschool my daughter and share information I learn and use for that! Please check it out! http://homeworkinmama.com

  28. […] you’re interested in reading more about this topic please check out my friend’s blog post where she shares her perspective on a similar type of schooling! Erin (@Cottonstem) and I met […]

  29. Terri says:

    I’m an elementary school teacher and what you are doing with your girls is healthy. We are concerned about parents who are thinking that school needs to be all day. Kids don’t need the structure that comes with a regular school day – there aren’t 25 of them all together! 😂 Plus, most teachers know that kids need to be up and moving frequently. Even during a teacher led lesson, kids do best when they take little ‘brain breaks’. It’s nice to let kids help structure their day, …..and they may not all do it the same way. Good luck! You’re doing awesome!

  30. That’s an interesting idea to have a school where the kids only go a few days a week, and then you homeschool them the rest of the time. I feel like that would be a good way to get the benefits of both types of school. I should consider looking for a private school that could do that for my kids when they get old enough to go to school.

  31. victoria avery says:


  32. Lindsey says:

    I know your in the Utah area. I am too. I am curious of the school your kids attend to look into it.

  33. shesingshispraises says:

    what curriculum does your hybrid homeschool use?

  34. S R R says:

    My kids (5th and 2nd graders) both attended a hybrid school. They go onsite 2 days and have homeschool 2 days. I really love the flexibility since their dad and I both work from home. They love being able to see their friends and having more time at home too. We feel very fortunate to have this program where we live.

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