Thursday, May 28, 2015

Hybrid Homeschooling - What it Is and Why We're Doing It Next Year

Linking up with Auntie Leila today!

(There are three different giveaways going on right now for the book, Rosaries Aren't {Just} for Teething. We're giving away a copy of the book in the format of your choice, Ana is giving away a copy of the e-book on her site, and Nell is giving one away, too!)

I promised you that I would share our schooling plan for next year, once I got it all figured out. We settled on our plans last week, and  I'm happy to tell you that we're going to be...hybrid homeschooling. What is hybrid homeschooling, you ask?


{pretty}

Our first date in forever was a rousing success! You can't go wrong with an ordination Mass.




I met Amy at a blogging conference and her method of homeschooling inspired me. She told me that this year, her oldest daughter was enrolled part time in a Catholic school. Basically, she went to a Catholic school for her special classes (music, gym, religion, etc.) and for some socialization. The bulk of her academics happened at home.

Earlier in the year, another friend of mine told me that one of the schools in our school district offered part time Kindergarten. She was considering it, and it sounded like it could be the best of both worlds.

But finally, a third friend told me that they were planning on using a homeschool curriculum (the same we're using next year!) and also sending their oldest to PreK for a few days a week at the Catholic school by their home.

Prior to that, I had been looking at various co-ops, and none really seemed to click. Then, just out of curiostity, I decided to look into our parish school (which a part of a larger academy).

It was actually affordable. And flexible. And play based.

{happy}

It was so fun to have Andrew's parents visit us for Memorial Day weekend...and not just because of the free babysitting. :-)




So, once I realized that this lovely little Catholic school that's only one block away from our house was affordable, I talked it over with Andrew and decided to schedule a visit.

We decided on some non-negotiables. It had to be very Catholic. (Check.) It had to be flexible, because we didn't want to send her for more than two mornings a week. (Check.) It had to be play-based. (Check.)

We took it to prayer (lots of serious prayer) and...enrolled her. So she'll now be attending the PreK at our parish school for two mornings a week. 

{funny}

She needed to pick out a new Sunday dress. Want to take a wild guess as to which one she choose?



But here's the thing - we're still very much drawn to homeschooling! I think the academic experience that we want for her is classical education at home. However, the social experience we want for her is...being in a classroom. We want her to get to know other kids, some of which will come from similar backgrounds and some from backgrounds different from hers. We want her to be able to make school friends (she's super social and already has tons of friends...but you can never have too many). We want her to experience a Catholic school, because we both had wonderful experiences in Catholic schools. And we want her to learn the discipline of a classroom - how to follow the rules in the classroom, how to be considerate and respectful, etc. Finally, we want her to know the joy of belonging to an environment that is well-run, and well-organized.

To finally realize that this choice didn't have to be either/or but could be both/and was very freeing. Prior to this, I think that I felt drawn to homeschooling, but something didn't quite seem like it would click with our family. Andrew felt the same. Now we're on the same page. Of course we'll re-evaluate every year, but this type of a balance (part time school, part time homeschool) is one that really resonates with us. It's the best of both worlds!

Did I mention that she's going to get to wear a uniform? ;-)


{real}

When she has to say good-bye to one of her sets of grandparents, this little girl gets so, so sad. If I'm being honest...we do, too. It's hard to live so far from our families!


As for our homeschooling bit, since we finished both a preschool curriculum and a PreK curriculum, we'll actually be moving on to Kindergarten at home. She is so ready, and so eager to learn! We've decided to go with the Mother of Divine Grace Kindergarten curriculum. It's classical, it's accredited, and it uses materials that we like. As an added bonus, if we continue homeschooling past Kindergarten, MODG has curricula that will lead us all the way through high school. Granted, I can't imagine having her at home all day every day at the high school level (we will definitely not be doing that- she is way too social and would be so unhappy), but we may end up striking this same sort of balance. Time will tell. We are by no means opposed to sending her to school full-time at some point, if we feel so called in that direction. Having experienced both public school and Catholic school while I was growing up, I very much feel that there is value in that experience. I also think that while there is a value to some sheltering of small children (i.e. making sure they aren't exposed to things that are graphic, scary,  explicit, etc.) I don't think sheltering needs to mean keeping them at home full time. I think that investing in a school you can believe in can be a real gift to your family, and that your family can be a gift to that school.

However, in addition to really loving the academic experience we can give our daughters through homeschooling, we also like the idea of having a more flexible, relaxed schedule. Especially being an academic family, and not knowing where we'll end up in the years to come, it's good to know that the core of our academic experience can remain the same.

After discerning all of this, I poked around and found the label "hybrid homeschoolers" and I realized that that's the category we fit in. Traditional classroom experiences combined with homeschooling. I'm not sure if it'll be our plan long term, but we think it will be a perfect balance for our oldest girl next year. 

Are any of you hybrid homeschoolers?


3 comments:

  1. Good post An interesting discussion is worth a comment as in this age group children learn quickly and as they grow older they start exploring Kindergarten school.

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  2. Not yet, but we plan on being hybrid homechoolers. Like you, I like the idea of having a bit of both worlds. My twins are 4 (just turned 4), so have one more year until Kindergarten. Currently, I work full-time and they are in daycare full-time. They'll be in the pre-K class starting in August this year. Next summer, the plan is for us to make the switch to me being home (possibly with a new career, something I can do part-time and from home) and the kids home with me and doing the hybrid homeschooling thing. Looking forward to following your journey!

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  3. Hybrid Homeschooling is really a good issue for discussing. And the cute girl looks so funny. I appreciate this Hybrid Homeschooling for my child. Thanks for this allocation and hope will come in this site for reading something new.

    ReplyDelete

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