hybrid homeschool program

13 Pros and Cons of a Hybrid Homeschool Education

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Last Updated on January 31, 2024 by Sarah McCubbin

A hybrid homeschool program is simply a “combination of school and homeschooling.” Hybrid schools are half private school and half homeschool which makes them very appealing for a variety of reasons. 

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Generally, students will do some kind of program a couple of days a week (similar to education offered at private schools) and then homeschool the other days. Hybrid homeschools will choose the curriculum and assign the work students do at home the rest of the week when they are at home.

Many years ago, my oldest attended a hybrid homeschool program. As a new homeschoolers, I was finding it difficult to balance all the core subjects like language arts and math with taking care of my younger children. Through the grapevine, I heard about this hybrid home school program where kids attended two full days a week and were home the rest of the days.

The benefits of this were MANY….accountability, friends, lesson plans, flexible schedule, live instruction, classical education and more. It was the best of traditional brick and morter and homeschooling combined. 

They chose the homeschool curriculum we used. He was taught by professional teachers a couple of days a week and then he was home with us on other days which make it possible for us to do our homeschool co-op, go on field trips, do extracurricular activities and spend time together. Since it only met two days a week, it was like paying private school tuition…but for only two days instead of five which made it much more affordable. It had the best aspects of homeschooling and a private Christian school. 

pros and cons of a hybrid homeschool co-op

What is a Hybrid Schooling Program?

Hybrid schooling is simply a combination of schooling types. Often it is a blend of regular school in a classroom with homeschooling. Families follow the laws of their state to meet the requirements for homeschooling, but allow their students to be taught by others a couple of days a week. 

Hybrid schooling is not a legal term but represents and blending of different learning options. It has become increasingly popular as school choice options are becoming more diverse.

Hybrid schooling is different from micro schools which are small registered schools that meet usually 5 days a week. Hybrid programs meet only 2 or 3 days so they do not have to register as schools and homeschool parents retain the full responsibility for their child’s education.

How Does the Hybrid School Work?

Hybrid homeschool programs combine the best of school and homeschooling to provide an experience that is both academically challenging with accountability and all the flexibility of homeschooling. Students will go to the “school” portion one, two or three days a week and then do their work at home the other days. 

How Can I Find a Hybrid Homeschool Program?

If you simply Google “Hybrid homeschool program near me”, you are not likely to find much. I did and the results had nothing to do with homeschooling. That may change over time, but for now, programs are developed under “school,” “co-op” or “program” titles. Because hybrids vary greatly and the language describing them isn’t universal yet, I have found that your best source for finding hybrid programs near you is going to be Facebook groups. In my area, we have several that cover the county we live in. If you go on those groups and describe what you are looking for, you will get the most up to date information. Many of them maintain lists of groups as well. 

In addition to that, there are a couple of nationwide programs that might be considered hybrid. They have links on their sites to local groups. Here are those options:

University Model Hybrid Homeschooling -The University School Model usually offers classes in person 3 days a week and students work at home 2 days a week. 

Classical Conversations Method Homeschooling -Classical Conversations meets 1 day a week for a Classical education program. 

homeschool hybrid program
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Are homeschool co-ops the same as hybrid homeschool programs?

Traditionally, homeschool co-ops are run by volunteers and meet one day a week. They usually require parents to volunteer. However, homeschool co-ops vary as much as hybrid homeschool programs. They can be extra curricular or academic. Many co-ops do both. They offer academic classroom experiences part of the day and elective classes the rest of the day. Some co-ops will allow you to pay an extra fee so you can drop your students off and not volunteer. Some co-ops only use paid teachers. 

For a co-op to be a hybrid homeschooling experience, they would need to offer academic classes. Homeschool students would follow the hybrid curriculum and then complete the work at home on other days. Often hybrid programs are 2 days a week but it is certainly not a requirement.

Should you do a hybrid homeschool program

7 benefits of a Hybrid Homeschool Program?

A hybrid homeschool program has many benefits. Our family has participated in a couple different ones and here are the top reasons why. A hybrid homeschool program: 

  • Breaks up the week at home with classroom experience and time with peers.
  • It gives parents a break from their kids (seriously…is this the biggest benefit? Maybe!) Most of these programs are drop off programs where the parents do not volunteer or help.
  • It lets kids have another teacher…and some kids really do try harder for someone who isn’t mom!
  • These programs usually have teachers qualified to teach some harder subjects! 
  • It is far less expensive than private school but has a lot of the same benefits.
  • Someone else is planning the curriculum and parents only need to help their kids do their homework. There is no prepping and planning to implement this. 
  • Because kids are home several week days, there is plenty of time to do family things that work better midweek…field trips, museums, visiting family etc. 

6 Potential Problems of a Hybrid Homeschool Program?

As with any educational option, it is important that the program line up with your family’s big goals and values. So the potential problems aren’t really problems but might be conflicts of interest instead. Here are some problems I have seen. 

  • Because the parent is not picking the curriculum, they may not like the curriculum the hybrid program uses…especially if it is not parent-friendly. The hybrid program we used needed a teacher’s guide for some things…and we didn’t have the teacher’s guide!
  • Some hybrid programs still rely on parent participation so they don’t offer a break at all…but you are paying higher tuition.
  • If a program does not line up with your preferred homeschool style, it can cause a lot of stress. Our son attended a Classical hybrid program. We found that we liked some parts but we couldn’t opt out of the parts we didn’t like!
  • It can be difficult doing the homework during the “home” days since the parent didn’t hear/teach the lesson.
  • Some of these programs are academically rigorous which can make them stressful too. 
  • While they are less expensive than private school, they are still quite expensive compared to regular homeschooling which make them less appealing to some. 
pros and cons of homeschool hybrid programs

Are Hybrid Homeschooling Models The Future of Education?

As someone who was homeschooled myself 40 years ago…and who has also homeschooled my own children over the past 16 years, I personally believe that hybrid homeschool programs will become more and more popular in the future. They solve many problems for homeschoolers and they offer parents flexibility and a way to get a break part of the week. 

Whether parents use the hybrid offerings to obtain more social interaction for their students or help their high schoolers get more academic classes, this homeschool option provides a way for families to build a strong foundation that supports their values while also meeting the unique needs that each of their children have. As school choice becomes more diverse and creative, the variety of school options, both in person and through online classes will likely grow. And honestly I’m thankful for all the choices. 

Familes have different seasons of learning with each child and its wonderful to have better options that serve families from elementary school to high school. 

Use Hybrid Homeschool Programs to fill gaps in Your Homeschool Journey

Every homeschool journey is different. Every family has different needs and different resources. One of our sons LOVES science and our homeschool and co-op could only provide a certain amount of science classes. However, we also have a hybrid program locally that offers all-day science classes once a week. So for that son, we enrolled him so he could really learn deeply about subjects that he enjoys. It was about $900 for the year for 24 all-day classes. I did not have to volunteer. He was taught by experts. It was a win-win for our family. It was a bit pricey for our budget BUT they offered a monthly payment plan and we didn’t pay this for each of our kids…only for the ones who needed this extra challenge. 

Learn more about our homeschool & school journey here!

That is only one example. I think the most common reason I’m seeing people using hybrids is that it lifts a burden off the homeschool parent and gives them a day or two a week where they can focus on something other than homeschooling. 

Whatever your reason for considering a hybrid homeschool program, I highly recommend doing research, talking to families who have used the program, and making sure it offers something that will take the burden off you!

Are you considering starting a hybrid model co-op? Would you like me to help you structure or create your program, contact me to set up a consultation! 

Are you considering starting a hybrid model co-op? Would you like me to help you structure or create your program, contact me to set up a consultation!

Sarah McCubbin, founder of Ten Minute Momentum, is dedicated to helping parents confidently parent their kids by teaching life skills, social skills and leadership skills. As a child she was the kid that never quite fit in and is on a mission to help others understand the building blocks we all need to be successful adults. She lives in Ohio with her husband Mike, and 9 kids ranging in age from 5 to 21 where they use homeschool, private school and public schools for their kids education!

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