‘Hybrid’ homeschooling is growing

16 Aug

Moi wrote about homeschools in Homeschooling is becoming more mainstream:

Parents and others often think of school choice in terms of public school or private school. There is another option and that is homeschooling. Homeschooling is one option in the school choice menu. There are fewer children being homeschooled than there are in private schools. There are fewer children in private education, which includes homeschools than in public education. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the vast majority of students attend public schools. Complete statistics can be found at Fast Education Facts

The question, which will be discussed at the end of this comment, is: What is so scary about school choice? After all, the vast majority of children are enrolled in public school and school choice is not going to change that.

What is Homeschooling?

Family Education defines homeschooling. 

Homeschooling means learning outside of the public or private school environment. The word “home” is not really accurate, and neither is “school.” For most families, their “schooling” involves being out and about each day, learning from the rich resources available in their community, environment, and through interactions with other families who homeschool.

Essentially, homeschooling involves a commitment by a parent or guardian to oversees their child or teen’s educational development. There are almost two million homeschoolers in this country.

There is no one federal law, which governs homeschooling. Each state regulates homeschooling, so state law must be consulted. The Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) has a summary of each state’s laws. State Homeschool Laws The American Homeschool Association (AHA) has resources such as FAQ and the history of homeschooling at AHA                      https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/05/22/homeschooling-is-becoming-more-mainstream/

There are a variety of homeschool types. IQ Academy lists the most popular homeschool types in Homeschooling Approaches:

The following are the most popular homeschooling approaches:


School-at-home is the style most often portrayed in the media because it is so easy to understand and can be accompanied by a photo of children studying around the kitchen table. This is also the most expensive method and the style with the highest burnout rate. Most families who follow the school-at-home approach purchase a boxed curriculum that comes with textbooks, study schedules, grades, and record keeping.

Unit Studies

Unit studies use your child’s interest and then ties that interest into subject areas like math, reading, spelling, science, art and history. For example, if you have a child who is interested in ancient Egypt, you would learn the history of Egypt, read books about Egypt, write stories about Egypt, do art projects about pyramids, and learn about Egyptian artifacts or mapping skills to map out a catacomb.


Unschooling is also known as natural, interest-led, and child-led learning. Unschoolers learn from everyday life experiences and do not use school schedules or formal lessons. Instead, unschooled children follow their interests and learn in much the same way as adults do—by pursuing an interest or curiosity. Unschooled children learn their math, science, reading and history in the same way that children learn to walk and talk.

“Relaxed” or “Eclectic” Homeschooling

“Relaxed” or “Eclectic” homeschooling is the method used most often by homeschoolers. Basically, eclectic homeschoolers use a little of this and a little of that such as workbooks for math, reading, and spelling, and taking an unschooling approach for the other subjects.

Classical Homeschooling

The “classical” method began in the Middle Ages and was the approach used by some of the greatest minds in history. The goal of the classical approach is to teach people how to learn for themselves. The five tools of learning, known as the Trivium, are reason, record, research, relate, and rhetoric. Younger children begin with the preparing stage, where they learn basic reading, writing, and arithmetic. The grammar stage is next, which emphasizes compositions and collections, and then the dialectic stage, where serious reading, study, and research take place. All the tools come together in the rhetoric stage, where communication is the primary focus.

The Charlotte Mason Method

The Charlotte Mason method has at its core the belief that children deserve respect and that they learn best from real-life situations. According to Charlotte Mason, children should be given time to play, create, and be involved in real-life situations from which they can learn. Students of the Charlotte Mason method take nature walks, visit art museums, and learn geography, history, and literature from “living books,” books that make these subjects come alive. Students also show what they know, not by taking tests, but via narration and discussion.

The Waldorf Method

The Waldorf method is also used by some homeschoolers. Waldorf education is based on the work of Rudolf Steiner and stresses the importance of educating the whole child—body, mind, and spirit. In the early grades, there is an emphasis on arts and crafts, music and movement, and nature. Older children are taught to develop self-awareness and how to reason things out for themselves. Children in a Waldorf homeschool do not use standard textbooks; instead, the children create their own books.


Montessori materials are also popular in some households. The Montessori method emphasizes “errorless learning,” where the children learn at their own pace and in that way develop their full potential. The Montessori homeschool emphasizes beauty and avoids things that are confusing or cluttered. Wooden tools are preferred over plastic tools, and learning materials are kept well-organized and ready to use. Most homeschoolers use the Montessori method for younger children.

Multiple Intelligences

“Multiple intelligences” is an idea developed by Howard Gardner and Harvard University’s “project zero.” The belief is that everyone is intelligent in his or her own way and that learning is easiest and most effective when it uses a person’s strengths instead of their weakness. For example, most schools use a linguistic and logical-mathematical approach when teaching, but not everyone learns that way. Some students, the bodily kinesthetic learners for example, learn best by touching and not by listening or reading. Most successful homeschoolers naturally emphasize their children’s strengths and automatically tailor their teaching to match their child’s learning style. Successful homeschoolers also adjust their learning environment and schedule so that it brings out their child’s’ best. The goal for the homeschooling parents is to identify how, when, and what their child learns best and to adapt their teaching style to their child.

Hybrid Homeschooling (part-time)

Hybrid homeschoolers work in the middle ground between a traditional type of schooling, and homeschooling. Many hybrid homeschoolers work with their public school system or utilize co-op classes, tutors, and even private school programs. While hybrids work with a more traditional type of schooling, they only do this a few days per week. Homeschoolers find this method more appealing as children get older, because it provides a more structured environment for the child, and can take a lot of weight off of the parents shoulders as well as free up a good deal of your time. One program that offers a hybrid option is iQ Academy.

Internet Homeschooling

The Internet Homeschooling method has become a widespread phenomenon that allows homeschoolers to harness the power of the Internet by accessing virtual tutors, virtual schools, online curriculum, and quality websites. Parents are turning to this method because they can set their own schedule, learn online wherever there is internet access, talk to teachers one on one whenever their child needs help, and can study subjects that interest their child. Also, schools like iQ Academy, let you work at your own pace, and even provide students with a laptop*. http://www.homeschool.com/articles/iqacademy3/default.asp

The “hybrid “approach is growing in popularity.

Sarah D. Sparks is reporting in the Education Week article, ‘Hybrid’ Home Schools Gaining Traction:

Education policymakers and researchers have largely ignored the tremendous growth in home schooling, particularly among these sorts of “hybrid” home-schoolers willing to blur the pedagogical and legal lines of public and private education, said Joseph Murphy, an associate dean at Peabody College of Education at Vanderbilt University and the author of Home Schooling in America: Capturing and Assessing the Movement. The book, an analysis of research on the topic, is being published this month by Corwin of Thousand Oaks, Calif.

“Historically home school was home school, and school was school,” Mr. Murphy said. “Now … it’s this rich portfolio of options for kids.”

Menu of Choices

Baywood Learning Center in Oakland, Calif., a private school for gifted students, has offered hybrid home-schooling programs for the past three years. The school 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.

State Laws

States vary widely in monitoring home schooling. Some states require parents of home-schooled children to notify public school officials and then provide test scores or other professional evaluations of their children’s academic progress; others require no parent notification at all.

 “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.”

Similarly, more home-schooling parents are developing formal co-ops, like 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. Ms. Longino said some parents also take their children to courses at the local college and science museum, but would never consider forming a charter school….

Diversifying Population

With the modern schoolhouse only in place since the late 1800s, home schooling is hardly a new idea. But the number of home-schoolers has more than doubled since 1999, to more than 2 million as of 2010, representing nearly 4 percent of all K-12 students, according to Mr. Murphy’s book. More than 90 percent of the families are two-parent, one-salary homes, and the mother continues to be the most likely parent to stay home.

While conservative religious parents, predominately Protestants, still comprise the majority of home-schoolers, there has been an increase in the number of moderate and liberal families choosing to teach at home, and concerns about the social environment of schools, including 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, according to Mr. Murphy.

“Pioneer home-schoolers a decade ago had to be rather strong in their personalities and commitments to do this, and had to really go against the culture,” said Brian D. Ray, the president of the National Home Education Research Institute in Salem, Ore. “Now, what I’ve seen is an increasing portion want to be more like conventional schooling—which is what the first 30 years of the modern home-schooling movement had not wanted to be.” http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2012/08/08/37homeschool_ep.h31.html?tkn=WLSFXmK3c1a1fCtOWld87kLRnVA80O4oF9%2Fs&cmp=clp-edweek

Many of our children are “unschooled” and a far greater number are “uneducated.” One can be “unschooled” or “uneducated” no matter the setting. As a society, we should be focused on making sure that each child receives a good basic education. There are many ways to reach that goal. There is nothing scary about the fact that some parents make the choice to homeschool. The focus should not be on the particular setting or institution type. The focus should be on proper assessment of each child to ensure that child is receiving a good basic education and the foundation for later success in life. See, Homeschooled kids make the grade for college      https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/07/02/homeschooled-kids-make-the-grade-for-college/  

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

5 Responses to “‘Hybrid’ homeschooling is growing”


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