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.