A recent op-ed article in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution said that hybrid schools might just be the way of the future. But you may be wondering…
What is a hybrid school?
A hybrid school blends at-home learning with classroom learning at school. Not every hybrid school works the same, however, so we want to help you understand the differences among hybrid schools.
Unlike homeschool cooperatives (called co-ops for short), hybrid schools are not just one day a week for homeschoolers to gain enrichment in areas such as art, the sciences, or music. Instead, a hybrid homeschool usually operates two or three days a week at school, and the remaining days are spent learning at home.
At Learnwell North Georgia, for example, students come to school on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Then on the other days, they work at home under the instruction of a parent or tutor.
Some hybrid schools are closely tied to a church or religious institution. Others are independent — much like a startup business. There are also hybrid schools that operate under a national umbrella, like a consortium.
Which kind is Learnwell North Georgia?
Learnwell North Georgia students come from all backgrounds, cultures, and educational experiences. Some students were in a private school setting and were uprooted to North Georgia due to a family job change. Others were in public school but needed a change to suit their individual needs. Learnwell also serves students who were homeschooled or attended other hybrid schools previously. (We like to say that we have a little bit of everybody.)
Is Learnwell North Georgia a Christian school?
Learnwell is a faith-based school. This means that we are not a covenant school. We don’t ask parents or families to sign any statement of belief. But we do let families know that our teachers will be instructing from a foundation of Christian beliefs. The curriculum Learnwell uses is not a faith-based curriculum. We looked for the highest-quality educational curriculum, and our teachers teach from a Christian perspective.
What makes Learnwell North Georgia different from other hybrid schools?
A unique aspect of Learnwell that not all hybrid schools share is that there is a strong emphasis on the “what” of learning — not necessarily the “how.” Learnwell teachers create lesson plans to serve families on the North Georgia campus so that when students are at home, they are simply continuing the learning they started at school that week. But parents are given immense freedom in how they teach the concepts in each week’s lesson plan.
This provides families two very valuable assets:
1. The confidence that they CAN teach their children. Our highly specialized teachers know how to provide not just a lesson plan from a boxed curriculum, but a lesson plan that is unique, creative, multi-sensory, and engaging. Learnwell teachers are also available throughout the week to help parents as needed while they instruct their students at home.
Learnwell feels strongly that parents are not homework monitors on the students’ at-home learning days. They are co-instructors with Learnwell teachers, and we provide parents with the professional development they need to be equipped throughout the school year.
2. The flexibility they want as a family. When a student is struggling to learn a concept, teachers will come alongside parents to help engage a student in a variety of ways. Maybe your child loves to play outside and can learn spelling words by writing them in sidewalk chalk. Or perhaps your middle-school student prefers to talk about a book he is reading for literature rather than answer comprehension questions on notebook paper.
Freedom to choose HOW your child learns the material is one of our parents’ most beloved aspects of our model. The flexibility also means that your family can travel, attend family events, and not be tied to a schedule as much as if your students attended a different school.
What grades does Learnwell North Georgia serve?
While not every hybrid school operates through all grades, Learnwell does. Currently, our North Georgia campus begins in Kindergarten and goes through 7th grade. Starting in fall 2022, 8th grade will be added. Each year, a new grade is added until Learnwell is a fully operational K-12 hybrid school.
The unique high school model begins in fall 2023 as 9th grade gets underway. Many of our middle school families are excited to launch their children into Learnwell’s high school, knowing they will have the opportunity:
- To learn how they are uniquely wired
- To discover what their gifts and passions are
- To gain real-world experience with different career internships
- To become grounded in their faith
- To serve younger students and the local community
What are Learnwell North Georgia’s core values?
Most hybrid schools operate under a set of core values. Learnwell North Georgia’s core values are:
- Intentional Margin – We believe families who educate their children with margin are healthier. The benefit of a hybrid school is that your students will have more free time, not less. We think free time is a good thing.
- Deep Faith – Because our staff operates from a deep-seated belief in Christ, we serve families with integrity.
- Educational Excellence – Our teaching staff provides high-quality, excellent education and support for parent co-teachers to allow for individualization in learning wherever possible.
- Authentic Community – Learnwell nurtures authentic community by providing opportunities for families and students to connect, get to know, and support one another outside of school.
While hybrid schools aren’t the answer for every student, they can be especially helpful:
- For families who have had a tough experience with a different kind of school
- For families who need more flexibility in their lifestyle
- For families who just want their children to have more margin.
Are you considering a change in your child’s education?
We have an easy guide — “Time to Make a School Change?” — to help you discern what is best for your child and your family.
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