Hybrid homeschooling can offer the best of both traditional schooling and homeschooling, but it can also have its challenges.
In a hybrid situation, your children go to school with other children two or three days a week and are at home the other days. In some cases, you may be asked to teach a class or volunteer in some capacity on the days your children are at school. In other cases, you may drop off your children, leaving you with time to focus on work or on other children at home.
Here are some things to consider when determining if hybrid homeschooling is right for you.
Your Children Will Get to Be with Other Children
Homeschoolers talk a lot about socialization. We argue that children don’t need to spend all day with their peers to be socialized, that a traditional school isn’t a real-world situation at all. After all, adults don’t spend their lives with people all the same age. All of this is true. Children certainly don’t need to be with other children the same age all day long to learn how to function in the world.
They do, however, need to have friends. Homeschoolers who take part in activities outside the home whether with other homeschoolers or in the larger world can have this need met. Hybrid homeschooling adds one more way to do this.
If you have an only child or an extroverted child in a family of introverts, they may need more socialization that you can offer. Hybrid homeschooling gives them a chance to interact with others, filling an emotional need.
If you have a child who really struggles with getting school done at home, being with other children may provide some positive peer pressure to get the work done. It can be easier to accomplish the work if a child sees others having to do it also.
There can certainly be downsides to having your child be with other children more. Homeschooled children are still children. There may be drama and disagreements. There may be times when your family’s rules are more strict or less strict than other families (I’ve always found the statement “every family makes the rules that are right for them” to be very helpful), but all of this is part of learning how to function with the wider world.
Someone Else is (Partly) Responsible for your Child’s Education
Whether you are in a traditional school, hybrid school, or homeschool, parents are ultimately responsible for their children’s education. However, it can be a great help to outsource some of it. If you truly believe your child is better served not being in a traditional school, but traditional homeschooling is too overwhelming, a hybrid homeschool can be a good compromise.
In many cases, the hybrid homeschool establishes what work is to be covered over the course of the week. Some of the work is covered in person while the rest is done as homework on the days at home. This can alleviate the need to worry about curriculum choices or figuring out how much needs to be accomplished in a week. It can also be helpful for challenging high school courses that you may not feel comfortable teaching.
On the downside, you may not have much say on what is taught. If you feel very strongly about what curriculum to use or what style of homeschooling you want to employ, hybrid homeschooling may not be for you.
It Provides Accountability
Homeschooling is all about flexibility. Part of the beauty is being able to set your own schedule and figure out what works for each individual child. Sometimes, however, it can be good to have someone to answer to. Children may be more cooperative if they know an outside teacher is expecting them to have their work done.
On the downside, this can make for some long days on the days when a child is home. With homeschooling, if a child is having a rough day or if a day is full of outside obligations, the parent can decide not to fight the battle and do the work another day. With hybrid homeschooling, the work has to get done when it is assigned.
It Can Improve Your Relationship with Your Children
Even with the best of intentions, parents and children can end up butting heads in homeschooling. It can be hard to be both parent and teacher especially when a child struggles with or resists learning. Hybrid homeschooling can remove some of the stress. With the child accountable to someone else, you can be more focused on the role of parent rather than teacher and work on nurturing the parent-child relationship.
You Have to Get Up in the Morning
One of the perks of homeschooling can be sleeping in, especially if you have a child who is a natural night owl. Hybrid homeschooling will force you and your children to get up and out of the house at least on some days. There will be backpacks and lunches to pack and clothes to get on. This can be a good training ground for adult life, or it may be a battle you don’t want to fight at this point.
It Can be a Good Intro to Traditional School
If your child has never been to a traditional school and is considering going for high school or college, hybrid homeschooling can be a good training ground. It offers many of the same structures as a traditional school but is usually a smaller setting and can have less pressure in terms of grades and performance. It can help you and your child see if traditional school might be a good fit or if it is better to explore other options.
Some hybrid homeschools also require tuition payments, much like a private school. This can be a way to determine if this can fit into your family’s budget.
Hybrid homeschooling can be a great blessing to many families, but it is not always the right choice. As with any aspect of homeschooling, it can be tried to see if it is a good fit. Hopefully, this list has offered you some food for thought if you are considering hybrid homeschooling.