If your high schooler has ever started their day with an online chemistry class, studied math at the kitchen table until lunch, spent the afternoon in a homeschool cooperative taking English literature followed by band practice at the local public high school….then you might be a HYBRID HOMESCHOOLER. Hybrid homeschooling is a term that has come to mean a homeschooling style that incorporates multiple avenues and even locations of learning.
And in the 2010’s it’s becoming quite the norm for homeschooling families. As home education has become more and more mainstream, businesses and educational providers are realizing that homeschoolers are a growing commodity. Local art schools, music schools, and private tutors who used to have to confine their business to the hours after 3:00pm are now offering classes and instruction throughout the day to homeschoolers whose schedules are far more flexible. And a Google search of online educational options for homeschoolers seems to grow exponentially every day.
For high schoolers who want to customize an educational plan for themselves, the options are almost limitless. A student who is passionate about writing, for instance, doesn’t have to limit himself to a single creative writing course in high school. He can take a creative writing workshop through the local college, an online research paper course, read books about technical writing, and help edit a homeschool e-zine. Meanwhile, a high school equestrian can volunteer at a therapeutic riding school, study beginning veterinary care via a weekly live class on Skype, explore the history of horses on DVD, and participate in an equestrian 4-H club.
Long gone is the stereotype of a homeschooling family sitting around the dining room table while mom does sums on a whiteboard. Instead, a peek into a hybrid homeschool might often find the house, well…rather deserted. The growth of co-ops and targeted courses offered by everything from museums to zoos to churches means that HOME-school may soon become quite a misnomer. A popular bumper sticker displayed on the vehicles of families like these declares, “Why do they call it homeschooling if we’re never home?!”
The obvious advantage for a graduate of this homeschool model is that he or she has quite a well-rounded education. Rather than sitting in a classroom all day, a hybrid homeschooler experiences a range of educational options much more aligned with the working world, where duties are often varied throughout the day and flexibility is valued. Whether they want to follow a higher educational path or immediately follow their passions, hybrid homeschooling is possibly the best preparation high school graduates can have for the next stage of young adulthood.