Why is Wellmont's Hybrid Model the Best Model of Education?

We know the hybrid education model is different, but why is it the best?
Explore the top 7 reasons:

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. Smaller children (grades K-6) thrive.

Smaller children (grades K-6) seem to thrive whether they are educated by a good teacher (notice we said “good”.. many teachers are not “good” teachers) 5 days per week, an invested parent 5 days per week, or a combination of both.

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’s hard to school your kids on your own. BUT.. for those who found a good system and stuck with it, the veil was removed!

We discovered that WE TOO had the ability to teach our children.

The beauty of the hybrid model is that WE BELIEVE IN YOUR ABILITY TO TEACH YOUR CHILDREN. We also think having a qualified teacher to guide you will probably bring you great relief, and we’re pretty sure that having a solid, accredited curriculum will help you too.

3. The “Socialization” Paradox

“But my kid needs to socialize and be with their peers every day!”

Hmmm, maybe that was the case in the 90’s when homeschooling consisted of completely encased education within the home and hybrid schooling had not yet developed. But now? 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 up their esteem. Sometimes. More often than not though, esteem is crushed in the frenzied, peer pressure-filled spaces of a 5 day traditional environment. And who usually finds out about these stress-filled social exchanges? Fights, arguments, bullying in the bathroom, drug offers, invitations to illicit parties… Not mom and dad certainly.

If the time between the large and small incidents that happen at school and the time when a kids gets home from school spans greater than 1 minute, you can bet that in most cases, mom and dad will not find out about it.

The information simply gets dumped into the popular after-school parent-student exchange. “How was your day at school, honey?” “Good.” “That’s good.” “Anything exciting happen today?” At this point, the student’s answer depends on two things…

      1. Do they have the mental fortitude to process their highly stressful situation with a person who knows nothing about it, at a time in the day when they are already wiped? Usually not.

     2. Do they know that they might have an opportunity in the morning when student and parent are both fresh to talk about it in a safe space? In the hybrid model, as long as mom and dad allow them space to talk, they DO! They can go home, decompress, sleep on it, and wake up in the morning ready to talk. That’s assuming you have built or are building a trustworthy space for your kids.

We aren't saying that all of these situations are common at Wellmont - in fact we have developed a soul-safe campus that safeguards students and staff - however, we do not live in a perfect world. Sometimes the world gets into our space and we have to make a choice about what we will do with the information we have been given. At Wellmont, we are proactive.

Ultimately, we produce more well-balanced and secure kids if we create space and time for listening to them and if we protect them from social 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 days per week, including our intramural sports program 7th period, while encouraging simultaneous participation in 5 day public school and club sports.

It is ultimately why we are working towards becoming an FHSAA school with competitive sports 5 days per week!

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 freshman are competing against other freshman 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 freshman is a 4.30. How is this possible? The addition of Honors, IB, and Dual Enrollment weight given to high school credits is giving these students an edge. And there’s a big secret.

Do you know that AP courses do not weight your student’s high school transcript?

If your student attends a high school that boasts AP courses, do not be so easily impressed. AP credits ARE NOT SCORED. They are not weighted, and they will not help increase a student's high school or collegiate GPA, both of which are standard plumb lines on today’s college entrance applications.

Some Honors level programs, like Liberty University, in Lynchburg, VA, consider a Dual Enrollment transcript coming from an incoming new student for consideration in their Honors program. If an incoming student has obtained a collegiate (Dual Enrollment) GPA of 4.0 for 20+ college credits, the college considers this GPA to be equivalent to a 1600 on the SAT or a 36 on the ACT.

This equivalency can bump an incoming 4.0 freshman with 20+ college credits into the running for their very competitive collegiate Honors program if the student chooses to apply. 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.

Time spent on Dual Enrollment courses = collegiate scholarships = money!!

6. We encourage engagement in external activities on lighter school days.

Although the hybrid model does take some getting used to at first (honestly, some people take a few months to acclimate to our alternative schedule if they are used to the 7am-1pm or 8am-2pm daily traditional model), our model opens an assortment of opportunities with new benefits. Parents, if you can learn to pace yourself well (we can help you with that), your student can have the time and ENERGY to enroll in hobbies that they ENJOY during the best parts of the day!

Homeschool students have long enjoyed the benefits of hobby involvement during traditional school hours, and hybrid students have these same opportunities. Yes, they still have to complete their homework for the next day, but their time is not limited to 50 minute periods of lecture time in a brick-and-mortar building on those days.

Right now, Wellmont students are engaging in the activities below on their flexible days:

 

    1. Horseback riding lessons
    2. ScubaNauts
    3. Rowing team
    4. Pre-professional tennis training
    5. Competitive theater
    6. Civil Air Patrol
    7. Traveling, taking short day trips and completing homework according to their family's time schedule that day.
    8. Additional dyslexia and academic tutoring if needed
    9. 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. No, it is not. Our 5 day program allows students to have heavier days of corporate learning (Tuesday, Thursday, Friday 8-4), and lighter days in Assisted Learning Rooms.

On our Assisted Learning Room days (Monday, Wednesday 9-2), K5 grades are still taught corporately, and grades 6-12 engage in independent and group learning, while all other students are homeschooled.

Even our 5 day campus students have more time to spend with their families, on hobbies, in tutoring, or in their sport because these days are shorter, so we find that 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 5 days, (see our Commonly Asked Questions to find out more), we still adhere to our hybrid model.