What is a homeschool hybrid, you ask? I define a homeschool hybrid to be homeschooling alongside traditional schooling options.
With the ever-increasing costs of living and the demands for two-income households and long work hours, it is not easy for some families to homeschool full time. Many families have no choice other than to rely on the public or private school systems either part-time (for early education) or full-time.
Choosing Traditional School Doesn’t Mean You Have Failed
For most families that have homeschooled or are currently homeschooling, transitioning to a different educational method for their children can be a very trying and painful choice. Doubt sets in and many questions arise: Did we do enough to prepare our children? Did we study enough Scripture? Will the public schools hold them back or honor their strengths? Are they going to become delinquents? Will they be bullied? Can they handle the sudden change? Have we failed our family?
As one who’s previously experienced these feelings and questions, I encourage you, “This too shall pass.”
How to Stay Connected with Your Child’s Education
Whatever your reasons for needing to embrace public or private school for your family, there are ways that you can stay plugged-in with your child’s education. Here are a few suggestions:
Acknowledge what is being taught and show your student what God says in His Word about the subject.
Find specific examples in the Bible or in your personal life that relate to the topic at hand, and discuss how God’s provision was present in the situation to promote a positive outcome (or discuss what choices were made by the individual to prompt a negative outcome).
Ask your student about their day at school, and don’t be superficial about this question. Be sure you can take the time to sit and make eye contact with them. Discuss whatever comes up and pray about it together (out loud) if need be. You’d be surprised how encouraged your child will feel to hear you pray out loud over their situation.
You will face many times when your child may say they are “asking for a friend” or that the person affected was a “classmate” when in reality it is your child asking for information—address the issue in the way they bring it up even if you feel certain it is your own child involved (for example, advise your child to encourage their “classmate” to do such and such). Remember that your response and reaction to the questions asked by your child will determine if they will trust you with other issues or more pressing matters. Also note that sometimes, they really are asking for a friend or classmate.
Encourage your child as often as you can. Again, not superficially (i.e. “have a great day slugger!”). Remind them who they are in Christ and encourage them in light of the current struggle they are facing. Quote Scripture to them as they leave the house. Not in a “church-y” kind of way either. Be natural about it!
Encouraging Your Child with Scripture
Here are a few Scriptures that might be appropriate:
“Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid, do not be discouraged for the Lord Your God will be with you wherever you go.” –Joshua 1:8-9
“I praise [God] because you are fearfully and wonderfully made.”—Psalm 139:14
“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”—2 Timothy 1:7
“Those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary; they will walk and not be faint.”—Isaiah 40:31
Our Mission as Parents
Remember that our task as parents is to “Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old, he will not depart from it” (Proverbs 22:6). Most times we tend to forget that God is in control and that He has already mapped out the lives of our most treasured gifts, our children. Our task as stewards of our children’s lives is not to control them in every respect, but to point them in the right direction, and remind them who they are in Christ.
When they fail, we are not to accuse them or guilt them by pointing out their shortcomings, but to lovingly help them to pick up the pieces and start again. In doing so, we reflect our relationship with God and how He lovingly picks us up and gives us new mercies every morning. This will inevitably strengthen your child’s trust and relationship with you, as it does in our own relationship with Our Creator.
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