Home schools go ‘hybrid’

Home schooling is going “hybrid,” reports Education Week. Parents mix and match their own lessons, online courses, community college classes, private classes, tutoring and even part-time studies at the local public school.

Baywood Learning Center in Oakland, Calif., a private school for gifted students . . . has a la carte classes on individual subjects once a week, as well as a multiage class that meets on Tuesdays and Thursdays to cover core academics. Director Grace Neufeld said demand for the latter has grown 50 percent in the last year, to about 40 students ages 4 to 17.

. . . “Parents usually design a patchwork quilt of different classes and activities for their children,” she said. “What I see is they sign up for various classes being held in various locations like science centers or museums or different places. They also add things like music lessons, art lessons, sports, or martial arts.”

Parents join together in co-ops to share teaching, such as the Inman Hybrid Home School program in Inman, Ga.

Founder Holly Longino, a former health teacher at Carver Middle School in Inman, left public teaching to home-school her four children, but last year started the group classes a few times a week with five students and a handful of retired public school teachers. The teachers provide video lectures for students to use as well as in-class projects.

More than 2 million students were homeschooled in 2010, nearly 4 percent of  K-12 students, according to Homeschooling in America by Joseph Murphy, a Vanderbilt education professor.  While most homeschoolers are conservative and religious, a growing number of moderate and liberal families are choosing to teach their own children, Murphy found. “Bullying and teaching practices, have now edged out religious values (31.2 percent to 29.8 percent) as the top reason parents teach their children at home.”


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  1. dangermom says:

    Many homeschoolers have always done this; maybe it’s only hitting the news now because there are enough homeschoolers that more opportunities are opening up. People tend to assume that homeschoolers must do everything at home, but I would say that the guiding principle is more that the family is ultimately in charge of the child’s education and making the choices, rather than an institution.

    I guess to a homeschooler this isn’t news, but it’s nice to see others starting to understand a bit more.

    • Stacy in NJ says:

      Yep. It was like this when I began homeschooling 9 year ago. Last year was my last year as both my children will be attending high school in the fall.

      Opportunities do seem to be multiplying, though. Homeschooling presents some service providers with business opportunities – more outside art, sports, and music classes. Retired teachers offering science courses in their homes. An unlimited variety of online courses offered by individuals, small groups, and public universities. Many state parks, museums, community orchestras, theatres, recreation departments offer classes specifically to homeschoolers.

      The old stereotype of the isolated homeschooler just doesn’t fit anymore

  2. Katie Jones says:

    This is interesting. I didn’t realize the amount of kids that are homeschooled nowadays.

  3. palisadesk says:

    Must have been a slow news day — I have friends and family members who have been homeschooling from the mid-’80’s on, and they were doing all these things back then, and since. My local neighborhood has a very active homeschoolers co-op; I’ve been involved in their science fairs.

    However, online resources and networking have exponentially facilitated communication, learning opportunities and availability of resources, so it’s not surprising the movement is growing.

  4. Many of the teachers at our co-op are former teachers or had other jobs related to their subject, and we choose 1-7 classes/semester, as they meet our kids needs. I choose mostly enrichment, since I”m not really an art/game/little kid project person, and others are happy to pay for me to teach science to their high schoolers. There are 3 different co-ops meeting on different days at our church (the congregation) likes for their building to be used during the week) with different philosophies and set-ups. There are also classes at the zoo, etc, and homeschoolers often take advantage of ‘school days’ with demonstrations at local attractions/fairs.