If you’re new to homeschooling due to COVID-19, chances are you might not have heard about hybrid homeschooling. This approach combines a more traditional classroom environment with the flexibility of homeschooling. Typically, a student’s time is evenly split between home and school—maybe two days in the classroom and three at home, or a portion of each weekday in class and a portion at home.
Hybrid homeschools come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes. They might be located in a church, use existing school buildings, or even locate in a more creative option like a renovated warehouse. They might be religious or non-religious. They might have a unique curricular focus—for example, taking a classical Christian approach to education—or have a more generalized curriculum.
For many, hybrid homeschooling combines the best of both worlds when it comes to education. And we can clearly see why! In this blog post, we’ll explore a few of the perks of the hybrid approach. Read on!
Benefit #1: Hybrid homeschooling could better prepare your student for a traditional classroom setting in college
Many homeschool families choose this lifestyle in part because it offers a more flexible, casual approach to education. This has many benefits, of course, but the downside is that adapting to a traditional college classroom may present a steep learning curve.
Hybrid homeschooling helps to overcome this by presenting the trappings of a regular classroom. This is also a perk of homeschool co-ops, which are an alternative to a hybrid approach where parents assign out specific subjects to teachers.
Benefit #2: A hybrid approach takes the guesswork out of choosing the right curriculum
Choosing a homeschool curriculum can be overwhelming and expensive. And cobbling together your own learning materials can pose even more challenges. (For more on “curriculum confusion,” listen to our recent podcast.) A hybrid homeschool removes all the stress and guesswork by offering a standard approach and curriculum. Is it the best for homeschool families with a strong do-it-yourself bent? Definitely not. But if you want a simpler, less stressful approach to curriculum selection, a hybrid has many benefits.
Benefit #3: A hybrid approach still puts the emphasis on “home”
Most hybrid homeschooling institutions are careful to avoid being called “schools,” both for regulatory reasons and out of the principle that parents should still be the primary drivers of their children’s education. Each student is still officially considered homeschooled, and parents are responsible for registering their homeschool with the state (if applicable) and arranging for annual standardized testing.
The bottom line: You as the homeschool parent are still ultimately in charge. But instead of going it alone, you have teachers and additional resources at the hybrid school to help out.
Benefit #4: Tuition is more affordable than a private school
Tuition for hybrid homeschools varies, but it rarely goes above $6,000 for the entire year. And a better estimate of average tuition would be in the $2,500 to $3,500 range. That compares quite favorably with the average private school tuition of $11,000 for the 2020-2021 school year.
Benefit #5: Hybrid homeschooling allows a parent to more easily work part- or full-time
We’ve already explored how you can homeschool and still work, plus how homeschooling and a side business from home can go hand-in-hand as well. But let’s face it: Ultimately, homeschooling full-time plus work outside the home can put a huge burden on your and your family’s schedules. Hybrid homeschooling helps with this by freeing up some of your weekly responsibilities. It gives you a window of time each day to more easily pursue work.
Benefit #6: Hybrid homeschooling can be a great way to ease into homeschooling after public or private school
Millions of parents have become de facto homeschoolers during the COVID-19 pandemic. And the evidence is in that many of these parents are now choosing home education as a lifestyle moving forward. If your children have been enrolled in a public or private school up until this point, hybrid homeschooling is an ideal way to transition to full-on home education one day. Or you might find this balanced approach the perfect fit for your family indefinitely!
Benefit #7: It offers structured opportunities for social interactions
We’ve debunked the myth that homeschool students aren’t socialized. Anyone who has home-educated for any length of time knows the many opportunities available to mix with others, beginning with your local homeschool group and extending to homeschool sports, co-ops, and numerous other avenues. That said, a homeschool hybrid does offer a “baked-in” chance for weekly socialization for your student. Many parents (and students) may prefer this.
Benefit #8: Hybrid homeschool is in line with the changing face of education in a COVID-19 pandemic world
Unfortunately, the coronavirus will most likely be with us for the foreseeable future. There has been a huge inflow to online learning, home education, learning pods, and to traditional schools that offer more freedom and flexibility (such as charter and private schools). Hybrid homeschooling will only grow in the coming years as parents continue to demand options.
Parting word: Is hybrid homeschooling really homeschooling?
The purest form of homeschooling is when the parent is directing all of a student’s learning: teaching most of the subjects, choosing the curriculum, deciding on the schedule, and perhaps out-sourcing some select classes for help. This is why using a co-op is a “purer” form of homeschooling than a hybrid approach. That being said, it’s all about what works best for your family. As we’ve explored in this blog post, hybrid homeschooling is definitely worth considering!