Hybrid Homeschool

I’ve mentioned before that we do a hybrid homeschool/public school kinda thing.

And lots of you have asked what that means, and why we do it.

Basically, it’s a mix of homeschooling and regular school.

Henry goes to Kindergarten with a backpack and a lunch and teacher and all that other “regular school” jazz, twice a week on Tuesdays and Fridays.  (Why it’s not Tuesday/Thursday is beyond me…and annoys me to no end.  But it’s not really up to me.  Boo.)

On his school days he learns history, science, and art.

The three days he is home with me, we do math and language arts (reading and writing).  The teacher emails out an agenda of what she will be covering in class each week, and I typically try to supplement some of the history or science too.  (Either with You Tube videos, trips to the library, or experiments I stumble upon on Pinterest).

This half and half kind of schooling seems to be gaining popularity.  For us, it is a charter school offered through our local public school district.

I have friends who do it through a private school option.

We really like it because it’s kind of the best of both worlds.

Truth be told, I don’t know that I could be a full time homeschooler.  I love getting the one on one time with Henry, but judge all you want, I also like getting the break from him too.

I adore my kids, but sometimes I need to love them from afar.

It works for my homebody son who has already asked if I could homeschool him everyday.  (He isn’t socially anxious.  In fact, he’s super friendly and isn’t shy at all, but I think he’s just an introvert at heart.)

It works for me to have a chance to spend more individualized time with the others too on the days he goes to class.

This option allows me to take a really active role in my son’s learning, without bearing the burden of all of it on my own.

Now, some families set up special workboxes for their younger preschoolers to do while they homeschool their older ones.

I, however, am not that brave.

I told Andy that if this homeschooling gig was going to be successful for us, I had to have one on one time with Henry.  Okay, plus Owen, but he doesn’t really count.  Because see?  He’s chill.  Next year when he’s toddling around?  Well, we’ll cross that bridge when we get there…

So, on Henry’s homeschool days Lucy goes to preschool in the morning.  Jill is also off at preschool.  So that leaves us with the mornings…just the three of us.  To get work done.  Without corralling the others.  Focused time.  (Update: Homeschooling with a rambunctious toddler is HARD.  We do most of our work during nap times, and I’ve since hired a mother’s helper for a few hours a week to watch the baby and do some preschool type of work with Lucy.)

On the days Henry is at school, Lucy and I have time together.  Everyone kinda has different days to be home with mom.  And Mondays I have the whole clan which is nice too to still has some family time with everyone together.  (Homeschooling is ultra light on Mondays…we do more playing than learning.  But it’s Kindergarten…playing is part of the curriculum, right?)

I’m enjoying this divide and conquer approach.  It gives me a chance to invest in each child individually a little more which I think works well for all of our Type A personalities.

So far, it’s working out really well.

Henry is enjoying it, and I’m having fun playing teacher part time.

Then again, it’s pretty new, so the novelty may wear off in a few months’ time.  And most of the work is review at this point since he learned his letters, numbers, and sounds in preschool last year.  When it’s time to really teach new material, we may not love homeschool nearly as much.  We shall see.

The thing that’s great about the whole thing is that I have little/no expectations of this whole experiment.

I don’t have strong social/political/religious reasons for homeschool (part time or otherwise).  We are simply doing this because it sounds…FUN.  It seems like a good fit for our family.  It’s just kinda…neat.

I mean, I don’t have any big long manifesto to give you about why homeschooling is superb or about the evils of public school. This is a public school option anyway…and I don’t have any real misgivings about public school in general (although I do have strong opinions about the school district we are in specifically).  Both Andy and I are public school graduates.  It served us well.  It’s just that we like this version BETTER.  Like, I’ll eat cake…but I prefer a brownie.

It’s really that simple.

My point being that for now, it’s fun and seems to be a good fit.  My opinions may change by the end of the year.  Or, once it’s time for the girls’ to begin school, I may not be up for teaching 3 different ages/abilities all at once.  Or, Henry might decide he wants to go full time.  Or…I don’t know.  A whole host of other things might change.  So it’s nice to have the pressure of it succeeding off my shoulders.  I don’t believe that if we choose to do a different schooling next year that it means this year was a failure.  It just means we tried it and we want to do something else.  I like that approach.  It makes me happy.  And keeps me sane.

So, all of that to say that I’m a halfsies homeschooler.  And for now, I like it that way.

(And in case you are curious, we are doing the Singapore Mathcurriculum, Handwriting Without Tears, Explode the Code, Bob Books, and Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons.  So far, I like them all…although the 100 Lessons book is kinda boring albeit seems to be working so far.)

Oh, and for the record, I never, in a MILLION TRILLION BAJILLION years thought I would ever homeschool in any form.  Who knew?!

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jeannett
I'm a mom to four. A wife to one. I believe in story. I love telling you about mine and would love to hear yours. There's really no sense in wasting our suffering and not sharing in each other's joy. We're all in this together...even if it doesn't always feel like it.
jeannett
jeannett

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Comments

  1. 1

    This sounds like such a fantastic idea. Sometimes I wish we had something like this. I am currently homeschooling my 2 oldest girls (1st grade and K), and while I LOVE it, I wish we could afford classes elsewhere too, just for diversity. Oh well, maybe someday soon a charter will land near us.

    I don’t know if you’re open to new curriculum, but I stumbled across the most fantastic math at the homeschool book fair this year. It’s called RightStart. I intentionally purchased it for my younger daughter (kindergarten), because she has a completely different learning style from her sister and I knew she wouldn’t be happy sitting and doing a zillion worksheets. But once we got to using it I ended up ordering the books for my older daughter as well. I can’t say enough good things about it. I’ve researched SO many math curriculum because I always had trouble in math and didn’t want my kids to follow suit. It paves such a fantastic foundation, and the things my girls are learning just amazes me each day. It’s super fun, hands on, lots of games, and very little worksheets. I couldn’t possibly do it justice to describe it, so maybe check it out online sometime. Just thought I’d throw it out there. :-)

  2. 2

    love HWT!!!
    laurie´s last blog post ..neuro visit

  3. 3

    I like your game plan and it sounds like it works for your family.

    I, on the other hand, have been shipping my kid off to daycare since I went back to work 9 months after she was born. If PPD taught me anything, it wa take care of me. Work does that. I ship her off to daycare on my Friday off, too, because it allows me to get my chores done alone, which means they get done FASTER. I have zero guilt because she craves routine and I like to spare my family the nut monster I turn into when I don’t get alone time. There’s a charter school not far from where we live that I’m hoping to get her into when she starts kindergarten, but that’s 2 years out….

    Good ideas for starting my girl off on school basics though, what you’ve shared is helpful (as always).

    Best,
    Caryl

  4. 4

    We are doing the same — two days in Kindergarten {HomeLink through the public school system} and the rest at home. I love how it provides us with a bit of independent time and still plenty of together time. It’s a perfect mix. Our program continues through 8th grade — so thankful we have this option. :)
    Laura´s last blog post ..{food} favorite pear crisp

  5. 5

    The 100 easy lessons book IS boring, but it DOES work, and honestly? We didn’t have to go through all the lessons. I think the way the 100 EL is structured, once the kid learns that they can read simple stuff, they start doing more on their own. Then if they get stuck on a type of word (like -ght endings or ph- as an f sound, or whatever) you can find that lesson in the book and go over it.

  6. 6

    I am jealous! I keep telling my husband he needs to start a charter/homeschool hybrid. I would love to have my girls home more, but they also love going to school.

  7. 7

    I too never thought I would homeschool. We homeschool completely at home a local christian school does offer art and PE lessons for homeschoolers and even science for the older grades but it would be a long drive for us and the times were not convenient. We also take it year by year because I have learned over the years to “never say never” because “you just never know”.
    Victoria@Snailpactransformations´s last blog post ..Less Words Wednesday: Whose First?

  8. 8

    Can I just say how much I love your blog? I do!

    I really like how you said ” It just means we tried it and we want to do something else.” This is SO true with all things parenting related. Ya know? You research the heck out of something, try it on for your family, reassess after some time passes and then think “ok this is working well,” or “ok, maybe we need to do something else.” And by trying and then making a new decision it surely doesn’t mean we failed as parents.

    Have a great school year! :)
    Brittnie´s last blog post ..Clara 4 months

  9. 9

    I love your attitude about it. I think homeschooling sounds fun, kinda. Especially the colored pencils and setting up a school area part. Except the sending them away sounds fun too. I never did think I had the patience or wherewithal to home-school. We’ve done the public school thing – we’ve been in some good public school systems. Unfortunately I’ve felt judged by some who feel very strongly about anything opposite of public. Maybe I was just being sensitive when people tsk, tsked. But, whatevs. You do what you can do. Hybrid sounds like the best of both. I know a family who did the hybrid thing with a regular public school. They just arranged it with the school to do it. No special charter or choice school or anything. But Minnesota is very home-school friendly, so it might not be so easy elsewhere. (PS. Owen is very chill.)
    Anne @ anne b. good´s last blog post ..The Truth is, I Believed a Lie: The Story of When I Found Out That God Gives Me More Than I Can Handle

    • 10

      Do you know which schools in Minnesota are open to this option? Thank you so much for any info you can share!

      • 11

        I really don’t know since I was never interested in pursuing that option myself. I believe that my friends just asked the school they were at (in Rochester) if they would be willing to do a hybrid. They were already familiar with the home school requirements. I’d recommend doing a search for home school groups in your area. They might be knowledgeable of that area’s schools and if any are willing to do a hybrid, or what you would need to know to approach your school to ask. Sorry I couldn’t be of more help.
        Anne @ anne b. good´s last blog post ..my week in review: 8/2-8//2013

  10. 12

    I think you have a great attitude about the whole thing! My brother and his wife homeschooled all 3 of their girls (ages 7 to 12) and just started the charter school in AG last year. They love it! I don’t know how my sis-in-law has handled homeschooling this long, but it seems to work for them. I personally know that our Adam learns much better from other people – and that works for us (not without judgement from lots of homeschooling moms, but whatever). I honestly think it depends on the mom and the kid…you just have to do what works for you and screw what everyone else thinks about it :) Looks like you guys have a good routine down and I like that the kids get alone time with you! Best of luck mama!
    Kirsten´s last blog post ..Yoooohooooo….

  11. 13

    I am working in Kindergarten and first grade this year. We love explode the code! It sounds like Henry is doing great. What I wouldn’t give for more Kindergarteners who knew all their letters, sounds, and numbers already…

  12. 14

    There is a similar program offered through Orcutt school district, but they go to school 3 half days a week, rather than 2 full days. My oldest goes in the afternoons this year, I like not having to get up early. :)

  13. 15

    We did a similar program in a little private facility here. My kids went 2-3 days a week for a while, then in high school they took some classes on both Tuesdays and Thursdays at another program. My son also did some dual enrollment classes at a local university and so was able to enter college with quite a few college credits already. It was wonderful and a nice mix of traditional school and homeschool.
    Pam´s last blog post ..Around My House–Final Week

  14. 16

    Love that hybrid homeschool/public school its actually the best of both worlds. My kids are home buddy as well but I still want them to go to school maybe I’ll have to think about having them this type of education. As parents we can also take time to monitor them during their homeschool days.

  15. 17

    We do this, too! As hard as it is to explain homeschooling as a choice, you know how hard it is to explain “hybrid homeschooling” (love that term!) to anyone!

    The BOE in our previous town would have no part in this arrangement, but our current district is willing to work with us to have our son participate in as much (or as little) of the day, as possible, and we are exploring all options.

    I feel very re-affirmed after seeing your blog (and I still proudly call us “homeschoolers” just like we were last year).

    Be blessed!
    Kim´s last blog post ..God Reveals Himself Through Jesus

  16. 18

    Both of my kids are home school graduates now, (and my son just graduated from college-yay!) We did something similar when they were young. They attended classes with other homeschoolers 2 days a week, with enrichment classes available on a third day. I loved it, because it was creative, fun learning, and they were in classes with kids. They were also accountable to someone other than me sometimes. Plus, when my daughter’s friend in one of the classes was reading chapter books in first grade, my daughter decided she wanted to do that too, so she learned to read at an incredible pace. I’m not sure I would have wanted to lose the flexibility of our lives by having them be in public school part-time though, depending upon how that is monitored by the school, etc (Ours was a privately run program.) For example, if their attendance on those two days were mandatory and governed by the school, I wouldn’t like it. But, I believe you should do what works for you, and it’s great that options exist.
    Pam´s last blog post ..Changing Spaces with the Seasons

  17. 19

    I looooooooooooove this idea! How did you even get started with this?? Thanks for your info! Please tell me more!!!

  18. 20

    i would like to live 6 months in US and 6 months in Brazil, can you tell me if is legal/possible that my 6 years old daughter do regular school in US just 6 months and what is left to be done home schooling? what would i need to do this?

    Thank You very much.

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  1. [...] 2. Hybrid Homeschool: I have been hearing more and more people talk about hybrid homeschool programs but never knew what they were. Thanks to Life Rearranged I am now informed. [...]

  2. [...] 2. Hybrid Homeschool: I have been hearing more and more people talk about hybrid homeschool programs but never knew what they were. Thanks to Life Rearranged I am now informed. [...]

  3. […] to put the baby down for his nap and keep my 4 year old occupied while I did my part in the hybrid homeschooling program my son attends. […]

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