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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