Homeschooling has been on an upswing as the pandemic unearthed issues with schools that have previously gone unnoticed because people never questioned sending their children away from home every day to be taught by other people. Many parents also realized that they are not cut out to deal with the day-to-day education of their children, but still see the tremendous benefits of the personalized education of homeschooling. So, the question arises of whether it is possible to homeschool without the parents doing the schooling.
Since each U.S. state has its own homeschool regulations, you need to consult those laws that apply to where you live. Below, I will examine some of the options from the perspective of Maryland law. This article is not intended as legal advice, just as some possibilities to consider.
You are responsible for your child’s education.
No matter where you choose to educate your child, you are responsible for making that decision. If you send them to public or private school, you have made that single choice and then give up all other decision-making to the people at that school. However, if you choose to homeschool, you are responsible for all of the choices about curriculum, schedule, outside-the-home classes like co-ops, sports, music lessons, etc. When you homeschool, you cannot pass all of those decisions off on someone else. The buck stops with you!
You don’t have to teach anything.
If you are looking for the least possible involvement in educating your child without sending them to a school building every day, then you should look into virtual schools. That is going to take a bit more work than just registering at the local public school. You will have to invest time to research the school and what support you are getting for the money you will be paying them. The research you will need to do includes whether you want live or recorded classes, which classes your child will actually take, and, most of important of all, honest reviews of this school.
However, once you sign up, your part is pretty much done, unless you live in a state where you have to submit portfolios or testing to demonstrate that your homeschooled child is receiving an education. Registering with an online school does not pass that responsibility off to that school. You will still be responsible for providing that information to the school district. If that requires work samples, then you need to figure out how to extract samples from the online program to show at the reviews.
One thing to consider with virtual school is that, especially if you choose live classes, you are going to lose much of the flexibility homeschoolers usually enjoy. If your child is expected to be virtually present in class at a certain time, you can’t go on a field trip on a whim. Your child is also locked into the flow of the classes, no matter if they could progress faster or want additional time to dive into a topic.
You don’t have to teach everything.
If you are not willing to give full control of your child’s education to a virtual school, you still do not have to literally teach your child every subject. Instead, your role can be more that of a director who finds classes and lessons in the real-life community and online and then creates a schedule for your child that meets their educational needs. You can choose to teach some subjects and pass off others to experts. Just remember that whatever you do not want to spend your time on, you will have to spend money on.
Share the cost.
Pods became a thing in the last year! Several families get together to pay a teacher to supervise and assist with the online work the kids have been given from their school. Homeschooling has long had similar groupings, but with several important differences.
Homeschoolers are often part of co-ops or tutorials. In co-ops, groups of families get together for classes and/ or field trips. These groups do not meet more than a couple of times per week at most. They are called co-ops because they require the cooperation of all of the families, meaning parents are expected to be present during the meetings and actively contribute to the group by teaching, planning, cleaning, supervising, etc. That also keeps the costs relatively low. Tutorials are less parent-involved and kids can usually be dropped off. However, that increases the cost to the families because someone else has to do all the tasks that are otherwise shared in a co-op.
Can I just get a teacher to come to my house to do the homeschooling?
You probably could, since engaging a tutor to help with homeschooling is permitted. However, as already mentioned above, you are still going to be the person held accountable for your child’s education.
If you are thinking about going this governess-style route for your children, be realistic about teaching salary. If you want to hire someone to teach your children, you need to consider a fair wage to that teacher. Homeschooling does not necessarily take 8 hours a day, like school teaching does. For my 2nd grader, we can get all of her work done in about 3 hours. However, there is also at least an hour of planning per day that goes into making that magic happening.
A quick search on Zip Recruiter shows that the national average for teachers is $20 per hour. Schools run for 180 days a year. So, at a minimum, it would cost you $14,400 to hire a teacher for a year for 4 hours 5 days a week. That does not even factor in any curriculum purchases that may have to be made or field trip costs!
Keep in mind that specialized instructors like high school math tutors and music teachers often command $60 an hour for their services. So, getting someone for $20 an hour is actually quite a bargain!
Are you looking for more answers to questions about homeschooling?
- How do I start homeschooling in Maryland?
- Is “homeschool” just “school at home”?
- Co-ops, Umbrellas, Tutorials – Oh My!
- How much does it cost to homeschool?
- Are there tax credits for homeschooling?
- Is it better to use an accredited curriculum?
- How do you get a diploma in homeschooling?
- What about socialization?
- What happens at a homeschool review?
- How do I show regular, thorough instruction?
- How do we re-enroll in school?
- What is a school year in a homeschool?
- What is Secular Home Education?