If you’re a new homeschooling parent, the reality of organizing, managing, and having the time to be the actual teacher for your school, can seem like a daunting and overwhelming task.
Since the pandemic of 2020 and 2021, homeschool registrations have exploded, and many more parents have taken the plunge into educating their own children. But what if you’re a parent whose life is too busy to allow your involvement in the teaching aspect of a home school? Be assured, it is possible to provide your kids with a well-rounded home school education, or supplement that education, even if you are too busy to be involved.
The solution? Hire a tutor or private homeschool teacher to come to your house to either fill in educational gaps you’re not qualified to fill or to be your child’s full-time teacher. Or tap into community resources to find supplemental opportunities that will add quality to your child’s education and give you some leeway to live your life. Of course, as with any other great idea, there are issues and limitations that you’ll have to deal with before taking the leap.
In the past, a child’s education was often “outsourced” to a nanny, governess, or teacher. Today, private homeschool teachers and tutors are the “addition to the family” in a homeschool environment.
WHAT IS OUTSOURCING?
An author who writes under the name Pam, writing for Your Morning Basket (The Pros and Cons Of Outsourcing In Your Homeschool (pambarnhill.com) defines outsourcing as:
“This is a very broad definition. Outsourcing in your homeschool is when you, the parent are not the primary teacher of your child. I’m not talking about outsourcing everything. In my definition, outsourcing is simply handing off some of the subjects in your homeschool to another teacher.”
There are many reasons you might want to seek a little extra assistance with your homeschooling tasks. Perhaps you work fulltime and can’t fulfill the role of teacher to your children. Perhaps you need a helping hand with certain subjects you don’t feel adequately trained to handle. Or perhaps you want to get your child involved with other children in a few “co-op” classes taught by someone else.
Some great reasons for outsourcing homeschool teaching include:
- Provide your child with learning exposure to other educated adults,
- Add outside expertise in subject areas you are not trained to teach,
- Create a collaborative learning experience with other children,
- Provide your child the opportunity to work with experts in their niche interest area,
- Give yourself a break and learn something new from an outside expert.
IS IT LEGAL TO HIRE ANOTHER PERSON TO HOMESCHOOL MY KIDS?
In most states, you can hire someone to homeschool your children. The legal definitions of “tutor” and “teacher” differ from state to state, so you’ll have to check your own state’s regulations about what you’re allowed to outsource or to whom you can outsource teaching responsibilities.
In some states, all teachers that come to your home are labelled as “tutors.” When you hire a tutor in these states, you will still be held responsible for overseeing your child’s education even though someone else is actually doing some of the teaching.
Darren Jones, writing for The Federalist on July 14, 2020, points out that some states are more restrictive in terms of “tutor/teacher” requirements. States with more regulations in this area may still insist that it is the parent’s obligation to handle all the related paperwork necessary in that state for forming and running a homeschool. In some states, such as New York, there are no laws or regulations that would restrict a person from hiring someone else to do all the teaching in a homeschool.
HOW TO OUTSOURCE
The great news is that resources exist to meet the needs and wishes of homeschoolers. Homeschooling parents can choose to outsource all, most, or just a little of their kids’ education.
Hire a Private Tutor – There are numerous websites dedicated to helping you find top-rated teachers that specialize in core and specialized courses. You can hire math, English, science, social studies, and other tutors across all grade levels from kindergarten to college.
When hiring a private tutor, remember that not all states permit certified tutors to homeschool children. Check with your state’s Department of Education to be sure you understand what is required. Some states do permit hiring of certified tutors. In this case, the tutor would be employed by the parent to tutor their children. Some states directly require parents to retain full responsibility for homeschooling their children. In this case, the parents are often legally allowed to hire tutors, but the parent must continue to retain all responsibility for their own child’s education.
It’s important to check your state’s regulations because many states forbid non-parents (and guardians) from teaching children at home unless they are teachers.
Hire a Certified, Licensed Teacher – A state-certified teacher is basically a more qualified version of a tutor. A teacher can help ensure that your homeschool student is keeping “on task” and keeping up with their virtual homeschool curriculum.
(VISIT: www.GlobalStudentNetwork.com for a broad array of homeschool curriculum choices.)
A teacher will also check to be sure your student is understanding the subject matter and is qualified to answer any questions the student might have. If your child is attending public school part time or is engaged in curriculum packages that include an online teacher or teachers, any teacher you might hire can interface with those entities to see where your child might need academic improvement.
Remember – a private teacher is there to provide the “personal touch” that most kids need to thrive academically.
Join a Homeschool Co-op – Jeanne Faulconer, writing for The Homeschool Mom website, defines a co-op as “a group of families who meet together and work cooperatively to achieve common goals. Co-ops can be organized around academics, social time, the arts, activities, crafts, service work, or projects – or some combination of these.”
Enroll in a library program for kids – Your community library most likely has a calendar of events that includes numerous learning opportunities for K to 12 age children. These classes are generally run by experts in their field or current/former teachers.
Opportunities in Your Local Community – Search for educational or “apprentice” or “intern” opportunities offered by a business, museum, park, or community association in your local area.
Community College Classes – Check with your school district for regulations related to “dual enrollment” for homeschooled high schoolers. You might be able to arrange for your high school student to enroll in community college classes while homeschooling.
The right outsourcing opportunity for your homeschooled children should be affordable to your family and meet all homeschool requirements and regulations for your state and local school district. If you conduct an Internet search, you’ll quickly discover that many more creative and affordable ways to outsource or supplement a homeschool education are available in addition to the ideas offered in this article. One of the best things about homeschooling is that, because of the flexible nature of the model, almost any creative opportunity can be incorporated into your child’s curriculum.
Be creative. Don’t panic. You don’t have to shoulder the entire instructional load for your homeschool. Careful research and planning will yield numerous opportunities to enhance your child’s education while giving you the freedom you need to live your own life.