Home schooling

Hybrid homeschooling and the advantages of a decentralized training system

Posted on October 11, 2022


By Kerry McDonald.

Last week I made a presentation at a conference organized by Harvard Kennedy School on new school models. I spoke about the growth and diversification of the movement microschooling and to home schooling hybrid that was already under way before 2020 and has since accelerated.

Today, more families are recognizing the great value of these hybrid homeschooling programs and similar micro-school models. They are asking for them more and more, while entrepreneurial parents and educators are responding to this growing demand by creating more of these offerings.

of The Rainbow Room of Las Vegas, Nevada, is an example of one of these hybrid homeschooling models. Founded three years ago by Emily Grégoire, mother of four The Rainbow Room offers a twice-weekly program for homeschooled children. The rest of the week, the children are at home with their families or participating in other activities in their community. This program is part of a thriving ecosystem of non-traditional learning models and school alternatives in the greater Las Vegas area, as well as across the United States.

Grégoire and I discussed the evolution of his hybrid homeschooling offering and education venture in general on the latest episode of the LiberatED podcast.

The growing popularity of hybrid homeschooling programs like Grégoire’s was the topic of the Harvard panel I spoke on. After my remarks and those of the other panelists, we took questions from the audience. One person expressed concern about the expansion of the homeschooling movement into micro-schools and hybrids, saying it could create an even more polarized and atomized culture, while arguing that public school brings people together.

I was the first to answer. I explained that public schooling is actually one of the main drivers of our current cultural polarization and discontent. By design, public school creates winners and losers as parents compete for political power at local school board meetings and in their communities. It is a battle of wills, where one side will necessarily prevail and the preferred educational vision in the district will be accepted, while others will be defeated. Neal McCluskey of the Cato Institute does an excellent job of highlighting these conflicts in his Map the battle for public schooling. His new book, Broken schoolit goes even further.

A free market in educational options, on the other hand, is based on association and voluntary exchange. Characterized by consent, not compulsion. By making it easier for families to choose their children’s education, the cultural temperature will drop. A greater variety of learning options means parents will be able to choose a learning environment for their children that matches their educational needs and preferences. There will be no need to fight anyone for power, because that power will be in the hands of every consumer, just as it is in every other area of ​​our lives.

Think about it: If local grocery store boards determined what we were allowed to eat and where we were allowed to shop, there would be similar polarization and resentment, not unity. Fortunately, we don’t have mandatory grocery items assigned based on our zip code, paid for by mandatory taxes. We have the choice. We shop where we want and eat foods that reflect our individual preferences.

Rather than exacerbating cultural conflicts, decentralizing education and encouraging the spread of educational entrepreneurship and more diverse learning models will lead to much more peaceful learning.

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