Parenting comes with thousands of decisions. Some of the biggest decisions a parent faces revolve around education. What school district is the best? Which school is most inclusive? What school has the best education/teachers/athletic program/standards/test scores? Private school or public school or homeschool? Do we really agree with what they are teaching? Could we actually teach our children at home?
My husband and I scoffed at the idea of homeschooling until we actually had children old enough to attend school. We thought all of the stereotypes were true. (They aren’t by the way). We could not fathom the idea of teaching our own children. We did not want our children to miss out on a school environment. However, decision time came quicker than we expected. Our discussion went round and round. Public vs private. Public vs private. Public vs private. Neither of these options seemed to fit our family. Homeschooling had not even been on our radar, yet suddenly, we were seriously considering it. After months of debating, we pulled the trigger. We were now homeschoolers.
Omaha is a wonderful place for a homeschooling family. I was astounded by the amount of other homeschoolers in the metro as well as activities/classes/clubs/etc. for homeschooling students. Yet, there was something missing. My husband and I wanted more classroom time than we were able to give. We wanted to remain primary educators for our children, but expand their learning to include formal schooling as well. Enter hybrid schooling.
Hybrid schooling is not a homeschool co-op. Hybrid schooling is a combination of traditional classroom instruction with a teacher and homeschooling with a parent. Parents remain the primary educators. Many times, hybrid schooling involves the student enrolling in public school classes on a part-time basis, spending the remainder of their school day completing individualized lesson plans at home or online. While this is a great option, Omaha provides even more. Omaha has several private hybrid school systems independent of any school district. Each of these locations offers a true classical education combining a formal Socratic classroom environment and traditional homeschooling. Modern education within public schools focuses on teaching subjects and facts. Classical education focuses on teaching students how to learn. Classical education aims to teach students to master the art of learning so as to cultivate a lifelong love of learning.
According to the Trinity Classical Academy website, the true difference between traditional homeschooling and formal hybrid schooling is:
“In homeschooling, parents bear responsibility for the entire educational process: choosing curriculum, planning lessons, teaching, grading, record-keeping, etc. In a university-style school, the curriculum, lesson-planning, teaching, and grading are handled by the school, leaving parents free to participate in the most enjoyable part of education: co-teaching. Students receive a top-quality classical education using the best curriculum and practices, and parents get the joy of facilitating learning without having to manage the entire educational process.”
Options for Parents
Regina Caeli Academy (RCA) is an accredited “independent university model hybrid education center (combining homeschooling three days a week with a structured two day a week academy) operating in the Catholic tradition.” RCA Omaha is currently one of 17 RCA campuses across the country. Students in grades PreK-12th grade meet two full days a week. All students, nationwide, follow the same curriculum throughout the week at school and home. RCA assists parents in testing and lesson planning as well as provides the student with an accredited high school diploma at the end of their education. Students participate in school programs, field trips, and other extracurricular activities during the school year. The RCA Omaha campus is located at Saint Peter School on 709 South 28th Street, Omaha , NE 68105.
Veritas Classical School is a Christian based hybrid educational facility providing homeschool students in grades K-12th grade with a classical classroom educational environment. Students may enroll in one class, several classes, or two full days of classroom experience. Veritas students meet up to two days a week on campus and are educated at home the other days of the week. Core classes as well as electives are offered within the school day. Veritas Classical School’s campus is located at 4501 South 23rd Street Omaha, NE 68107.
Trinity Classical Academy (TCA) is a hybrid educational facility with a classical, Christian, and collaborative model. Currently, the school enrolls grades PreK-5th grade. However, the long-term goal for the academy is to become a PreK-12th grade institution. Students are provided classical classroom education two days a week and are educated at home three days a week. TCA assists parents with testing, lesson planning, and grading so parents can focus on education. Trinity Classical Academy is located at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church on 133rd & Millard Avenue.
Chesterton Academy is a Catholic based hybrid high school focusing on three pillars – intellect, character, and spirituality. Students at Chesterton Academy may enroll in as few as one class or enroll in a full five day classroom schedule. Students are provided with a classical, Socratic education as well as extracurricular activities such as sports, clubs, and pilgrimages. Chesterton Academy provides students with college counseling services as preparation prior to graduation. Chesterton Academy Omaha is located at 3921 Davenport St, Omaha, NE 68131.
We have always felt blessed to live in Omaha. We love the small town feel with the big city amenities. As a new homeschooling family, we were welcomed and assisted on our journey. Omaha is an amazing place to home-school your children, and with the addition of hybrid school options, it cannot get any better.