Homeschooling is on the rise in the United States. In 2015, my family joined the ranks of the nearly 1.8 million families that homeschool their kids. We decided to homeschool because we want better experiences for our kids and we’re not sure that one teacher in one classroom should be responsible for it all.
Before we did anything, we decided to research our homeschooling options. What we found is that most folks are not homeschooling in the traditional sense. They, like us, are employing a homeschool hybrid option.
This is where you utilize a diverse team mixed with online and offline homeschooling tutors, homeschooling classes, community involvement, park and recreation centers, after school programs, online platforms and friends and family members to do the job that is normally done by one teacher in one classroom. In other words, our community is literally our classroom.
I get questions all the time about how we do it.
How much time does it take?
Do you do it all by yourself?
Who teaches your kids math?
The answer is short and sweet. It doesn’t take a lot of time; 3-4 hours a day to be exact. We have a very diverse team. And, someone else teaches our kids math – at least one of them.
Over the years, we’ve used math tutors we’ve found on Facebook, the local library’s free STEM activities, museums and science centers, and local learning centers as hubs for engaging our kids in learning experiences. Huntington Learning Center is one of those partners.
This past spring, we used Huntington for the first time to prepare for the SAT exam for our 11th grader. The experience was thorough and the teacher knew her stuff.
From the time we stepped into the classroom, Peg Holmes, of the North Hills Huntington Learning Center was engaged and knowledgeable.
She gave my oldest son, Jair, a very thorough explanation of why the PSATs are important. Until meeting Peg we had no idea that:
- Teens should start taking the PSATs in the 8th grade to build familiarity with the test.
- Instead of focusing on your weaknesses, Huntington employs a strategy of helping high schoolers raise their schools by perfecting their strengths.
- Unlike SAT scores, colleges cannot see your student’s PSAT scores, so they can take it as many times as they like.
After Jair finished his PSAT, she gave us insight into each subject and the specific types of math problems or literary issues we needed to address to raise his scores.
She also gave us some websites to use to find out what scores are needed for different colleges and told us all about the types of tutoring that Huntington offers.
We also learned about the many homeschooling options Huntington offers for families like ours. Homeschoolers can use Huntington as back-up support to the curriculum we use at home, or to do benchmarking in math, reading, writing and science. For homeschoolers with middle to high school students, pre-algebra, geometry and calculus tutors and teachers can be found at Huntington Learning Centers.
Huntington Learning Centers work one-on-one with each student and pace their curriculum based on excellence and mastery. If you have a homeschooling kid with a learning disability, Huntington also offers support in this area.
They support children who are struggling with ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder).
Homeschoolers in Pittsburgh and everywhere else are all about frontloading our kids with tons of enriching experiences, but that doesn’t mean we do the job by ourselves. We have tons of partners in this game.