There are homeschools, there are public charter schools, and then there is The Learning Choice Academy (TLC), a public hybrid homeschool in and around San Diego. The novel K-12 school serves about 1,000 students across three campuses.
First approved in 2004 by the San Diego Unified School District, TLC offers families support through a full homeschooling option or a mixed option with two or three days of in-person school per week and two or three days at home. The mission, TLC says, is to meet the myriad and evolving needs of homeschooling families.
“Over time, we found a need to supplement that homeschooling with on-site instruction, both for community-building for students and parents but primarily for academics,” said Kacie Desmond, a special projects officer at TLC.
TLC takes particular pride in supporting students who have not been successful in other environments. A parent survey found that 96 percent of families believe their child’s progress improved once they enrolled at TLC. The school has a 99% attendance rate and a 0% suspension rate.
Families say they choose TLC for access to a broader curriculum and for a range of field trips and electives.
One of the electives offered at the TLC in La Mesa involved building a tiny home as a way of learning about California’s affordable housing crisis. Over the course of the school year, students designed and constructed the tiny home.
“Learning to use tools and things that most women don’t get a chance to use sometimes… but now that I’m able to use those, I definitely want to construct a tiny home later in life,” said Isabelle Hinojosa, a student at TLC La Mesa.