1. Hybrid model schooling mimics the model used by universities all over the world.
We give students two or three days in class for lectures, labs, and discussions, and two days away to do homework. For university students, this model teaches independent, critical thinking and engages curiosity, giving students space to explore.
But why are we waiting until our kids are in college to teach them these skills?
Research shows that middle school and high school-age students, if given the tools, are capable and able to complete research, and develop high-level thinking skills. The one indicator of success seems to be allowing them to do independent work during hours of the day when their brains are fresh (No…that does NOT include the 3 hours at night after an 8 hour day of lectures and 1.5 hours of sports or theater). We kid ourselves if we think we are doing our kids a service when we place them on this schedule day in and day out.
2. K5 students thrive.
Smaller children (grades K-5) seem to thrive whether they are educated by either a good teacher 5 days per week, an invested parent 5 days per week, or a combination of both if everyone is communicating well and invested.
The Pandemic blew Pandora’s Box wide open. Public school parents found out what their Kindergarteners and 3rd graders were being taught – yikes! Traditional private school families discovered that they had been paying thousands of dollars for a lot of wasted time in the classroom.
And thanks to people like Dennis Prager and the folks at Prager U, many parents ventured out to try this “homeschooling thing” that they would previously NEVER have considered. And what did we find out? Well, we found out that it may we hard to start schooling your kids on your own. BUT.. the veil has been removed! You can do it!
We all discovered during the Pandemic that WE have the ability to teach our children.
3. The “Socialization” Paradox
“But my kid needs to socialize and be with their peers every day!”
Hmmm, but do they really?? This is the age of social media bingeing, virtual and physical bullying, teen suicide, threats and human trafficking (in person and on social media), rampant drug usage, and guess what!
Kids need breaks from each other! Yep, during those brain-fresh hours of the day when they can string their thoughts together into a coherent worldview.
A competitive social environment in school can be a positive thing. It teaches our kids social cues, what is acceptable and what isn’t. Sometimes it helps them build their esteem. Sometimes. But in many cases, esteem can be crushed in the frenzied, peer pressure-filled spaces of a 5 day traditional environment simply because there is no downtime for them.
Large and small incidents happen at school. In order to process these situations, children need downtime. Not just time on the court or the field, but quiet time in the safety of their home to process alone and sometimes with a parent. This is the greatest tool a parent can give to a child. SPACE to process and a listening ear. How much engagement and quality time do most 5-day traditionally schooled kids who are in school until 3pm and then do sports and then have to eat dinner and cram in homework? Not much.
Ultimately, Wellmont Academy is working with families to produce well-rounded, secure kids who are protected from social and emotional burnout.
4. What about competitive sports?
“My student enjoys competitive sports. In order to stay competitive, they need to practice every day!”
We agree! That’s why Wellmont currently allows our students to enroll in our program 3 or 5 days per week and includes our intramural sports program. We also encourage participation in 5 day public and club sports.
And no, we don’t think this is hypocritical. Kids involved in sports are constantly active. Physical activity often produces healthy social engagement on the field and increased social engagement in the car on the way home with mom and dad. Tap this link to find out more about how Wellmont is working towards our goal of 5 days of sports on campus.
5. The hybrid model maximizes your high school student’s opportunity to enroll in dual enrollment courses.
Why is this important? In today’s society, incoming freshmen are competing against other freshmen who have multiple college credits. And when we say multiple, we are talking between 15 and 60 credits that are graded, weighted, and are also on their college transcript. That’s huge!
The average high school WEIGHTED GPA for incoming competitive college freshmen is 4.30. How is this possible? The addition of Honors, IB, and Dual Enrollment weighted credits are being added to most high school students who are motivated and working hard for scholarships. And there’s a big secret...
Do you know that AP courses do not produce weight on your student’s high school transcript? AP credits are PASS/FAIL credits. They are not graded, and no credit is received for these courses.
If you are interested in college scholarships for your child, you need to encourage them to increase their high school GPA while also building a decent college transcript, both of which are unspoken standard plumb lines for today’s college scholarships.
Some programs, like Liberty University, in Lynchburg, VA, consider transcripts with dual enrollment very seriously. If a student applies to Liberty and wants to be considered for their honors program, a score of 1560 is required on the SAT as well as at least a 3.5 high school GPA. However, If an incoming student has obtained a collegiate transcript, using dual enrollment courses in high school, and they have obtained a college GPA of 4.0 for at least 20 college credits, Liberty considers their collegiate GPA to be equivalent to a score of 1600 on the SAT or 36 on the ACT, and that student could be considered for the honors program and significant scholarships.
But AP credits are not even considered for this placement. What we are saying is that dual enrollment is a big deal, and you want a program that maximizes it for you. Wellmont Academy proudly serves our high school students with maximized dual enrollment opportunities.
6. We encourage engagement in external activities on lighter school days.
Our model opens up an assortment of opportunities for students. Parents, if your student can learn to pace themselves well - time blocking is a huge part of this and we teach it at Wellmont Academy - your student can have the time and ENERGY to enroll in hobbies that they ENJOY during the best parts of the day!
Right now, Wellmont students are engaging in the activities and hobbies below on in their afternoons (instead of being hammered with homework for hours after school) or on days that they homeschool:
- Horseback riding lessons
Pre-professional tennis training
- Competitive theater
Civil Air Patrol
Traveling, taking short day trips and completing homework according to their family's time schedule that day.
Additional dyslexia and academic tutoring if needed
- Families completing homework with one another in each other other's homes
7. Isn't your 5 day program the same as the traditional model of education?
No. Our 5 day program allows 7-12 students to have heavier corporate days of learning, where they listen to lectures and engage in discussions with their classmates, do hands on labs, etc (Tuesday, Thursday, Friday), and more flexibe days of learning in Assisted Learning Rooms or at home (Monday, Wednesday), where they are encouraged to find their own pace - work at their own speed, time block - but also have help from parents and teachers.
Assisted Learning Room days for K6 students look similar to corporate days of school, but again, they are a little bit more laid back, to allow for some quiet learning spaces, as well as continued corporate engagement with teachers and aides.
Our 5 day campus students may not have more time in their day than other 5-day traditional students, but they DO have more quality time in their day for rest, family, hobbies, sports, etc. Our students DO NOT EXPERIENCE BURNOUT as often as students in other 5-day traditional programs! Even though some of our students are on campus for 5 days, (see our Commonly Asked Questions to find out more), we still adhere to our hybrid model.