Tag Archives: homeschooling help
As a homeschool mentor in our local homeschool group, I have been asked a few times “Can someone else homeschool my child?”. This question stems from a variety of scenarios and comes from aunts, or grandparents having custody of their family members, foster or adoptive parents, or from parents who may have to work outside the home full time and has someone else willing to educate them while the parent is at work. The answer is dependent on where one lives. Some states allow it, some do not.
One thing to consider in regards to homeschooling another person’s child is that homeschooling ultimately is the parent’s responsibility. That being said there are cases when a parent cannot step into that role full time. Sometimes a grandparent, aunt, or friend can come in and help the child. However, the parent is still responsible for the education of that child.
For example, if mom works outside the home 3 days a week, and grandma watches the children and makes sure school is done on those days, she is filling in for mom. However, mom leaves the assignments, mom makes sure the work is complete, and mom grades the papers. Mom is still in charge of the child’s education.
Another scenario may be that your child is having a hard time mastering geometry. You hire a college student from your church to come in one day a week and tutor your child. This is not someone else homeschooling your child. This is asking and receiving help. The parent is still in charge of their child’s education.
In the case where the parent is not in the picture, and an aunt or grandparent steps in, I highly recommend seeking legal counsel. Maybe a temporary custody agreement should be met, or a contract set up. The education of someone else’s children is one that should not be taken on lightly.
Can I homeschool another person’s child? Here is the answer from HSLDA:
It depends on the homeschool law for your state (find your state’s law here). Please read it carefully to determine whether you may homeschool a child who is not yours. Even if homeschooling someone else’s child is legal in your state, HSLDA will not defend your right to teach a child other than your own. This is because our mission is to defend and advance the constitutional right of parents to direct the upbringing and education of their own children.
In regards to foster and adopted children the answer from HSLDA is:
Parents may homeschool their adopted children. However, if you are a foster parent, the option of homeschooling is determined by your caseworker.
If you are considering homeschooling another person’s child, please check out the laws for your state. If you are wondering if someone else can homeschool your child, remember that as a parent, you are the one solely responsible for your child’s education. Seeking help is one thing, but the education of your child rests on you. You can read the laws about parental responsibility and homeschooling for your state here.
Misty Bailey is a wife to Roger and a homeschool mom to three beautiful blessings. She resides with her family in Southern Ohio. She loves helping new homeschoolers and has a Homeschool 101 eBook for those getting started. She shares her struggles with time management, becoming unglued and finding joy in the everyday moments on her blog Joy in the Journey.
My favorite nuggets of advice when we began the homeschooling journey were:
“You know your weaknesses, so pray.”
“If you’re not having fun, you’re doing it wrong.”
I’ve relied on those treasures of wisdom for thirteen years now! There were a few years where I modified the second one to “If I’m not having fun, we’re doing something wrong.” Your home may be different than ours, but our reality has been that sometimes the kids do not look at homeschooling as anything more than drudgery. I still believe the love of learning that often launches we parents into homeschooling will be ‘caught’ by our children—but there are definitely days they will not have that love!
This week, as we struggled through two very difficult courses high school courses, (read that, ‘difficult for me’) the laughter in the midst of perseverance reminded me how very right this has been!! I was the Valedictorian of my class; a nerd who felt bad if I did not have an “A” in every subject. Even then I knew that there was merit to lesser grades and fuller lives, yet I could not quite grasp that concept for myself. Praise God, my husband, children and our home education journey have taught me better. Lest you think we do not take grades seriously, we do. The children demonstrate a competitiveness in grades and a desire to excel that I appreciate. Yet we have learned together that the deepest lessons of home education transform our character. My heart rejoices that laughter sweetened our hard work. I want that to be a lesson the children apply the rest of their lives. Balancing a chemical equation and efficiently utilizing a compass for angle re-creation are beneficial; a right attitude in hard times is priceless.
This is a truth we have lived for several years. Math struggles faced by my son taught him more about perseverance—and his capabilities—than soaring through his Bible lessons. The college-level Counseling program my daughter is taking (in her sophomore year of high school) instructed her in the value of talking through confusing topics to deepen understanding. For most of our years, academics have not been a struggle from the ‘parent’ perspective. I must admit, though, some of our high school courses reveal how much I did not really learn in my own years of education. While those times are weaknesses, they are not failures. In fact, those things which I know well are sometimes the most difficult for me to teach. I cannot give a process when it is something I just ‘do.’ Beyond that, I do not expect my children to learn things I am unable to learn. Therefore, my weaknesses allow me to set the example and persevere with them. I suspect that the subjects we work harder at will be the content they remember best. I know the attitude we approach our difficulties with will be part of the legacy of our homeschool.