What is hybrid schooling? This is what I want to look at as I know that there is some confusion as to what exactly it is. In the homeschooling world it makes sense to us – it is where you are in class for 1-3 days a week and doing the rest at home. But in school settings it means something different. Let’s look at both.
HYBRID SCHOOL – IN PERSON AND ONLINE
For many, covid brought about a change in thinking about how classes could be taught and instruction goals met. It was rough for many families (and many children did not like this option). For public and private schools alike there was this hybrid approach of some face-to-face classroom teaching and online lessons. It was a combination of 2 or 3 days at school and the rest was “remote learning”. I think there was a collective sigh by parents and teachers alike when schools went back into full time classroom learning.
But it did show the possibilities of this hybrid approach, and it showed that some children did well with it.
Colleges and Universities have used this approach for years. It has allowed for flexibility for students and it has meant the students could be in more control of their own schedule. It also adapts better to learning styles.
Well, what does hybrid mean for homeschooling? Hybrid homeschool is a mix of homeschool and classroom time. While your children can join in with public school classes (did you know that many do offer part time enrollment?), many prefer not to and use a model whereby their children go to an established 1-3 day program and do the rest at home. Some families like one day at “school” for others 2-3 is better. It is honestly up to what works best for you.
For many, hybrid homeschool is “the best of both worlds”. Instruction is provided in classrooms, along with the other typical classroom activities, yet your children also get the extra time at home to cover the curriculum.
TYPES OF HYBRID HOMESCHOOL
There are a couple of different ways to hybrid homeschool.
They provide curriculum
You can choose a “school” or program that provides most of the core curriculum. Your child will go 1-2 days to class and will be given instruction in the different lessons. For the rest of the week your child will have the material to complete at home, often at their own pace (though they will be given suggestions as to how to manage their time) but with deadlines.
These programs will often focus on core subjects (Language Arts, Math, History/Social Studies, and Science), and parents are required to complete the extra subjects like foreign language. There are many options to add to the curriculum. Some programs/schools will do theater productions or other unit studies that relate to the core material to provide enriching experiences.
Testing and assessment is usually provided on the school days, so parents do not have to grade work.
You provide curriculum
The other way is to go to a hybrid homeschool 2-3 days where you need to provide the core curriculum to do during class time. These hybrid homeschools will provide other unit studies, group projects, and classroom experiences. They will have “guides” rather than teachers to assist your child in the classroom.
For many parents this is a healthy way for their children to be with others, have opportunities to work on collaborative projects, develop creativity and independent learning while still having more control over the curriculum your child is using. It is easier to change curriculum to suit your child’s changing needs.
WHAT IS BEST?
Every family has different needs. It can come down to cost, level of parental involvement, desire for more input with curriculum, and what the program offers the children. Does it meet your family’s educational goals? Does it allow your child to develop a lifelong desire to learn? Will it provide opportunities for creativity? Entrepreneurism? Collaboration?
This option is another way that hybrid schooling can serve and benefit your family. Your children can get classroom time, as well as additional time at home. This is a great way to serve families who want to homeschool but don’t feel they can do it full time.
It still provides flexibility when you do “school” on the at home days, and, if using the provided curriculum, you can choose when to get it done as long as it is. (This means you can do Thursday and Friday’s work on Thursday if you want to.) Honestly, hybrid schooling is a win win.