Can I pay my friend to homeschool my kids?
by Beverley Paine, 2021
Does anyone know if you can pay someone else who already homeschools their kids to home school yours too?
This has come up as a question many times over the years I've been managing online homeschool groups.
I was even asked by a friend to home educate her child, who was best friends with mine at the time.
Taking on the responsibility of fully home educating another person's child, especially a friend's, is a huge commitment.
One thing I have noticed over the years is the tension and conflict over home education between both parents of the home educating child, even when they live in the same house and have a relatively happy relationship. Sometimes parents within the same household are not on the same page when it comes to how, when, where, what and why the children are taught.
Knowing and understanding the educational goals, values and beliefs of my friend (not just their child) and working to meet their needs (again, not just the child) is a huge commitment. Even though I was told it would be okay to educate that child the same way I would my own, the dynamics of educating that child would be different.
As a tutor offering a class or covering one subject, that would be manageable and okay.
But home education is not like tutoring or teaching a class.
Home education is parenting. We parent our kids and along with that they get an education. We don't do school between the hours of 9 and 3, we homeschool 24/7.
And for that reason I don't think homeschooling another person's child for a few hours each day five days a week will offer the same benefits that are possible from home education.
As home educating parents we experience the long process of slowly getting to know your child's learning preferences and individual needs, learning how to meet them in a way that supports that child's development and growth. This is what I see as the BEST aspect of home education and why we see so much success in families that home educate long-term.
This only happens when there is continuity of care for a child, where the ability to form strong attachments can occur over time, where stability of those attachments is important and nurtured.
If you read surveys and research that talk about the benefits of home education overwhelmingly long-term home educators will talk glowingly about the close relationships within the family, the quality of friendships, the trust, awareness and acceptance of diversity, etc. Along with a sense of empowerment by the adults as they confidence in themselves as educating parents.
For me this is the essence of home education, what sets it apart from ANY other approach to education.
Paying a friend to home educate our children changes the nature of our friendship with that person. They go from being a friend to being a service provider.
I advise home educating parents considering getting paid to educate other people's children to seriously consider their legal and professional responsibilities as an educational service provider. Casual arrangements are great until relationships become frayed due to miscommunication, and where home education is involved you can't remove the parenting aspect. Different people have vastly different ideas, values and beliefs about parenting.
Homeschool co-ops offer an avenue to explore shared homeschooling, but generally don't involve the exchange of money, except to cover material costs or rent for use of community buildings.
We are already seeing small schools established to meet the growing needs of parents looking for alternative educational solutions - democratic schools, forest schools, etc. Starting a small school involves meeting legislative requirements and regulations. It is worth considering that parents engaging with casual arrangements probably do not enjoy the same protections that enrolment with a registered school would.
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Beverley Paine with her children, and their home educated children, relaxing at home.
Together with the support of my family, my aim is to help parents educate their children in stress-free, nurturing environments. In addition to building and maintaing this website, I continue to create and manage local and national home educating networks, help to organise conferences and camps, as well as write for, edit and produce newsletters, resource directories and magazines. I am an active supporter of national, state, regional and local home education groups.
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