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The Differences Between Hybrid Learning and Homeschooling

The digitalisation of education is taking place as we speak. However, self-paced education or personalised learning are not concepts we invented at Spark. Homeschooling, for example, has been a well-known educational model that allows for flexible learning and personalised learning paths that are tailored to each student. So, how is it any different from hybrid learning? Let’s explore the key differences between hybrid learning and homeschooling to identify which one would fit your family’s needs best.

So you’ve decided that traditional schooling is not for you or your family – congratulations! Now, the next step is to discover which type of educational model best matches your needs and interests. 


Depending on each family’s unique needs, there are different alternatives to traditional schooling in education. Among the most popular alternative options, we can list homeschooling, unschooling, distance learning, hybrid learning, or experimental learning. In this blog post, we’ll delve into 2 of these types of education – hybrid learning and homeschooling. 


Understanding Hybrid Learning


Hybrid learning, also known as blended learning, is an educational model that blends online learning with conventional face-to-face classroom techniques. This learning model is neither entirely virtual nor completely in-person – it combines the best of both worlds. It necessitates both the presence of the teacher and the student while also allowing the student some control over their pace of learning, learning times, etc.


Some of the main benefits of hybrid education include:


  • Freedom to travel and experience the globe without being tied to a physical location 
  • The ability to make your own schedule 
  • Interactions with colleagues from all across the world 
  • The opportunity to tailor your education to your interests 
  • Ability to combine schooling and passion 
  • Personalised learning strategy suited to your requirements 
  • More emphasis on you as a person as opposed to just one of many pupils in a classroom


The Pros and Cons of Hybrid Learning


Hybrid learning offers a dynamic blend of advantages and disadvantages. 


On the positive side, it allows for lots of flexibility that can be advantageous to students who are athletes, professionals in a particular field, or have unusual schedules overall. Another advantage of hybrid learning is the possibility to study at your own pace. Students don’t have to keep up with the class speed. They can advance faster or slower through the course material while also being able to schedule live tutorials with their teachers.


Apart from that, the ability to create personalized learning paths is one of the most appreciated benefits here at Spark. Students can choose what subjects they need and want to help them achieve their career goals, and the school guides them through the process.  


However, as we mentioned, hybrid learning comes with its challenges. Balancing face-to-face and online learning schedules can be complex, posing difficulties for students and instructors. Moreover, effective participation in hybrid learning relies on access to smart devices and reliable internet connections, potentially presenting a barrier for some students. 


Homeschooling: A Closer Look


Homeschooling is an alternative type of schooling that involves parents or at-home teachers educating children in their own homes or a variety of places other than a school. Through homeschooling, families can have a strong sense of control over what their children learn and how they learn, and they can better tailor lessons to meet their needs & interests. 


Homeschooling can also happen through different processes depending on each family’s needs. Some families may be required to do some unschooling with their children if they find it necessary before beginning home-taught lessons. Others may choose to enrol their children part-time in specific courses or schools to learn subjects that the parent is not qualified to teach. Either way, homeschooling is a valid & successful educational model if followed correctly, and homeschooling statistics prove that.


Benefits of Homeschooling:


  • Undivided attention in 1o1 lessons
  • Flexibility in creating a learning plan & schedule  
  • No unnecessary competition among students
  • Control over curriculum & teaching methods
  • Shorter lesson times due to undivided attention & fewer distractions
  • Bonding opportunities for students and their parent/guardian/at-home teacher
  • Safe learning environment
  • Lessons and activities tailored to the student’s interests and needs


The Pros and Cons of Homeschooling


Homeschooling offers a range of distinct advantages. Firstly, the one-on-one teaching approach allows for tailored instruction, catering to the child’s unique learning style. This personalized method significantly enhances the effectiveness of learning. 


Additionally, homeschooling means not having to deal with common discipline issues found in traditional classrooms, enabling a more efficient study time. This translates to more available time for extracurricular activities, socialization, rest, and hobbies. Moreover, homeschooling provides the flexibility to address special considerations, such as learning disabilities, physical challenges, or conditions like ADHD, ensuring a customized learning experience.


However, homeschooling comes with its own set of challenges. One thing for families to consider is the financial aspect. While there are many free resources available, the decision to homeschool may necessitate one parent not working outside the home or working remotely. 


Additionally, transitioning to homeschooling from a traditional school setting requires a period of adjustment for the child. They need time to adapt to the newfound flexibility, constant parental presence, and the idea that they are the only students in the classroom. It’s essential for parents to facilitate social interactions outside of learning hours to foster friendships and develop social and interpersonal skills. 


Main Differences Between Hybrid Learning and Homeschooling


To sum up, many things can help us differentiate homeschooling from hybrid learning. 


For starters, we need to understand the fact that Hybrid Learning happens in a school environment, while Homeschooling happens – you guessed it, at home. But, remember here that home can mean anything from in the kitchen to museum visits, nature learning, life skills, etc., depending on the curriculum or teaching method the family chooses to adopt.


Hybrid learning usually happens with a tutor and colleagues involved. At the same time, in homeschooling settings, one of the parents or guardians of the child (or in some cases, at-home teachers) takes up the role of a teacher, and the socialising part comes from extracurricular activities, clubs, etc. 


One of the key differences between hybrid learning and homeschooling is that while hybrid learning can be accredited – as is the case at Spark, a Cambridge-accredited institution – homeschooling is not an accredited type of education and requires students to take additional steps if they want to, later on, enrol in a university. Homeschooling families can follow a curriculum or program from an accredited homeschool provider for a more straightforward admission process. 


Choosing the Right Option


To determine what type of educational model would be best for your family, you must think about your needs first. 


Are you a parent who wants to spare their kid from the bullying happening in physical schools? The next step is to evaluate whether you want to take up the role of a teacher and create a school at home for your kids, or navigate the option of hybrid learning instead. The choice could depend on many factors, including your availability, financial situation, your child’s needs & interests, and so on. 


Are you a student feeling that traditional school is not meeting your needs anymore? This is another opportunity to discuss different educational options to enhance your learning experience.


Sit down with yourself, repeat the same thing with your family, and put all the needs on the table. It might seem like a hard decision, but once all the facts are out, the choice can become easier. 


Next Steps


If you have your doubts about hybrid learning or you have unanswered questions that none of our blog posts could answer, we would be happy to talk. Our Admissions team is equipped with knowledge and resources to help you navigate the hybrid learning option. 


Ultimately, the right choice lies in understanding your family’s specific needs, considering your child’s individual learning style, and weighing the pros and cons of each approach. Whether you opt for the structured yet adaptable nature of hybrid learning or the deeply personalized homeschooling journey, know that you’re taking a significant step towards shaping a vibrant educational future.