One Mom’s Reflections on the Unique Benefits
of the Home & School Hybrid Program
If you’ve read our previous posts about the Home & School Hybrid Program, you’ll know its purpose, history, teachers, and current students pretty well. We’ve highlighted the parent-teacher collaboration that happens in the Hybrid Program, and shared the teachers’ love for parental involvement in their child’s education. In the process of writing this series, we interviewed a long-time Hybrid family to hear more about their experience in the program. Grand Rapids couple Harold and Beth S. have had at least 1 of their 6 children in the Hybrid Program every year since its beginning in 2008. Keep reading to hear Beth’s reflections on the benefits and uniqueness of the Hybrid Program, and how it has contributed to their children’s educational development and success.
NPC: What first attracted you to NorthPointe Christian? What about the Hybrid program specifically drew you to NPC?
Beth: I believe part of the reason God led us to our particular neighborhood is because he knew we would most likely try a nearby Christian school. We’re so thankful that NorthPointe was a natural local choice for us. The school has been a blessing in so many ways, and while we have been willing to “go the distance” for a possible better option, we still believe NorthPointe is the best Christian school experience for our family. The year the Hybrid launched, we signed up. At that time, our oldest was eight, and the combination of home and school appealed to us. Children grow up so quickly, and we desired to hold on to some extra time together but also benefit from the school’s direction and structure.
NPC: How was NPC a clear choice for your family? What are some of your favorite aspects of the Hybrid program?
Beth: NPC’s Hybrid Program cost may be higher than other homeschool partnership programs, but the benefits gained are definitely worth the cost. As the main teaching parent, I know I am a healthier, more patient parent because I know my children are learning from gifted, trained, godly teachers a few days each week. Plus, I get a break! Our children look forward to the fun parts of in-person school, such as building community, chapel, large group story time, games that enhance and review, and recess.
We all appreciate the structure of the week. Even though I am a more relaxed personality, my children still need to get schoolwork done, even the parts no one is crazy about, and the teacher plans and motivators make sure we all get work done!
NPC: What aspects of the curriculum and educational experience do you appreciate? Is there anything you would change about the curriculum?
Beth: NorthPointe chooses the curriculum, which allows the whole week to flow well, as home assignments mirror what is being taught in class. If I were independently homeschooling the main subjects, at times I would probably choose a different way to teach and assess a subject. However, I am so willing to follow the school’s curriculum direction because the program has proven to academically, spiritually, and emotionally build up my children.
I will admit that sometimes home days can be full, crazy days, particularly if more than two children are in the program. However, there’s always great satisfaction and big smiles when we finish the assignments!
NPC: How has the Hybrid program benefited your children?
Beth: NPC’s Hybrid Program has been a good fit for our different learners. All six of my children have participated in the program, and with strikingly different gifts and struggles, have all benefited. Those who memorize easily and love to learn have flourished, as they’ve been able to complete homework days relatively quickly, with time to devote to a particular area of interest. My children with learning and focus challenges have more time to complete their work on home days, along with an available tutor (i.e. mom). The school days provide trained teachers who are able to teach and reinforce concepts in various ways, helping all types of students learn.
NPC: How have you and your children’s teachers worked together to address your kids’ learning difficulties or challenge a more academically advanced child?
Beth: It has been such a pleasure to work with the Hybrid teachers as we strive to build up weaknesses and enhance strengths. Over the years, the teachers and/or director have kindly arranged extra help for some of my strugglers, in the form of small group instruction with a teacher, a tutor through our school district, parent helper, or even another student. For example, our current Hybrid sixth grader gets a personal math assistant in the form of an NPC senior and is able to receive tutoring after school, if desired. She also receives some valuable small group assistance in some other subjects because her class has two full-time teachers, all day! The Hybrid teachers have always taken the time to communicate with me, particularly if I need to reinforce a concept at home (and sometimes give ideas), if one of my kiddos had an “ah-ha!” moment at school, or to let me know how my son is handling school when his medical condition flares up and how the teacher assisted him during that time.
There are also opportunities to extend learning beyond the daily assignments. The classrooms always have plenty of books available, and the students are encouraged to take them home for leisure reading, and all my kids have taken advantage of that privilege. Also, the youngest grades are given personal reading assignments via a computer program, and they are allowed to go above and beyond the assigned readings and complete as many as they’d like. Some of the written assignments have always had a minimum requirement (such as writing one paragraph or adding 3 adjectives, etc.), but those who love to write (yes, I have one of those students!) are able to expand their writing beyond the requirements, if they so desire.
NPC: How have you witnessed your kids’ faith grow during the hybrid program?
Beth: The Hybrid Program includes Bible, and it has always been one of my kids’ favorite times, both at school and at home. As we read the passage and discuss it together, my kids are eager to share what they talked about at school. Each year, we are always required to memorize plenty of Bible verses, and I am beyond thrilled that all my kids and I have hidden so much of God’s Word in our hearts. Chapel is a highlight each week, and I always hear songs and snippets that let me know my kids are impacted by the weekly time of reflection and praise. I am thankful that the teachers also take time to open their students’ eyes to see all the ways God’s hand is evident in his creation, history, and much more, and I have the same opportunity at home. By God’s grace, my kids are saturated with God’s truths, and praise God, I see evidence that the Holy Spirit is working in their lives.
NPC: How has your family benefited from long-term relationships with teachers?
Beth: The Hybrid teachers (and directors) tend to stay in their roles for numerous years. Our family has appreciated them, all with different styles and personalities, but all so caring and willing to invest in us, not only when our kids are in their classrooms, but also for the long haul. They have kept up with our oldest girls through social media and through events, such as sports, concerts, or even graduation parties. One such beloved teacher even showed up for one of our daughter’s college track signing events. I thank God for all the ways He has used these special people to impact our children.
NPC: How did you evaluate whether or not to send a child full-time vs. Hybrid, and when did you know it was time to send a child full-time (even if Hybrid was available)?
Beth: Eventually, children get too old for the Hybrid Program, or a particular child is ready to move on to something new. Our family has always moved from the Hybrid Program to full-time school at NorthPointe. Our two oldest girls started full-time in 7th grade, while our third headed to full-time in 6th grade, mainly because we had a new baby / busier household, and she was happy to go to school everyday. Now that the Hybrid Program is available through 8th grade (yay!), our three current Hybrid students may or may not head to full time during their middle school years, depending on the child. Thanks to the school’s inclusive attitude cultivated during the Hybrid years, and the amazing teachers, the transitions went quite well, with only a few bumps here and there.
Curious about what teachers, parents, students, and program alumni have to say about the Hybrid program? Click the blog posts below to read more of our Home & School Hybrid Series.
Interested in a tour or more information about the Home & School Hybrid Program? Get in touch with NorthPointe’s Admissions Team at email@example.com. We would love to share more about this program with you!
Pictured above: NPC longtime Hybrid Family, Harold and Beth S. and six children: Leah (graduated 2018), Halle (graduated 2020), Noelle (2024), Elisa (2029), Ezra (2032), and Adalia (2035)