View Full Version : Unusual Request

12-19-2011, 07:33 PM
Tonight a friend of the girls came over. Another little girl, I think she is 11 or so years old.

She had an unusual request. She has asked if I will homeschool her.

I am not sure that is legal first of all.

I am very nervous about the whole idea. I am already homeschooling a 5 and 9 yr old.

And we are very loose about this with just the three of us. It's easy with my kids. They are used to my strangeness. And they don't really cause too many problems or actively resist doing their work.

She is really smart, and very nice, but I know she has some learning issues.

I am thinking it's a bad idea. But being isolated as I am out here in the boonies, I don't know if this is a common request or if it is often done or what have you?

I told her and her mother I would be happy to tutor her in reading and math to see if we couldn't get her caught up in school.

I am still sort of in shock.

So any observations, experiences or anecdotes would be very much welcome.

12-19-2011, 07:41 PM
It's specifically legal in many states (there are regulations about how many kids you can homeschool in addition to your own in some states, for example). In others, you can be a tutor and the parents can homeschool. In some, it may be illegal. So check. HSLDA (evil as they are) will probably have the info on their site.

I know of a couple of cases of this, so I know it happens. Beyond that, I don't have any advice except to say that I think it would take a huge amount of trust on the part of the parents and that everyone would need to be up front about that need for trust. Of course, if you did it, you'd do your best, but there are no promises or magic bullets. It's a risk. The other parents would have to understand that.

12-19-2011, 07:53 PM
I have a friend who homeschools her two children along with one other full time, all subjects. She also tutors another in the basics. She is exhausted and is thinking of putting her kids in school next year. This is a preacher's wife who appears to have the patience of a saint! I would be very careful in what you decide. Just having others in my house all the time would drive me crazy! I think it is a huge compliment that she would ask you! Good luck in your decision.

12-19-2011, 08:08 PM
Right now this person is behind in her math and reading. And she hates her school. She just changed to a new one and it appears that this school may be more advanced than her last school. There has been a death in the family and much upheaval so my heart goes out to her and her family.

I know that I have no issues tutoring i. I have done that before many times in high school and college. I think that doing that would give her an opportunity to give her new school a chance and for me to see where the troubles lie with her math and reading.

I talked to her mother about K-12. Oklahoma offers that program free to any family that wishes to homeschool. And it is good program. But I think that part of it is her mom will be working [and has to *to support the family].

I am a big softie about these sorts of things and I don't want to say no. But I am afraid to say yes. As indicated earlier, a lot of trust.

If I do this, and she decides not to complete her work, no one will really hold her accountable. It will be me, that looks like an ass. That is really scary. I don't want to be one of those people who makes a bad name for homeschoolers or for my self or family. And I certainly would not want to have a hand in a child being poorly or unprepared for life as an adult. That is a mortal sin in my world.

The Preacher's wife sounds like a saint.

12-19-2011, 08:37 PM
I have toyed with homeschooling my neice and nephew. So one week we had them for the entire week, and I gave it a dry run.

The short answer: it sucked.

My dd cried every day because she hated sharing me with her cousin, even though she and her cousin are very close. She didn't feel like I could listen to her as well, and the intensely one-on-one relationship we have built with our homeschool flew out the window.

Keeping the other two busy (both are younger than mine) was difficult when I was schooling my own two, and I finally understood the concept of busy work in ps. On the flip side, my neice would be camping out on a math sheet, and my dd was ready to move on... I had tried to combine some subjects so that was fine... but frustrating as well.

Now my neice and nephew are only 5 and 6, so with an 11yo, it would be a completely different animal. As eclectic as we are, though, some things could be harder or easier with that age (finding materials, for example, and making up lessons)

I don't know how laws work in other places... but when I looked into my own, I was left with the impression that the parents would be 'outsourcing' the subjects to me. They would still be responsible for teacher reviews or yearly tests, and would be the ones to file the paperwork.

(I would still homeschool my neice and nephew if asked, but I'm no longer eager about it, and I would need to figure out a specific time slot so that my school for my two doesn't suffer.)

Stella M
12-19-2011, 08:53 PM
I know people who have done this, but more as a temporary thing.

I wouldn't do it, unless it was the child of my best friend or my nephew and the child's health was at stake and there was no other option. I'd harden my heart and say no.

There just seems so much potential for things to go wrong.

However...you are not me...I'll be interested to hear what you decide and how it goes..

12-19-2011, 09:00 PM
I am in the middle of the hiring process, looking for someone who can help me homeschool ds I am in discussions with someone who has homeschooled her 5, with one of them still at home, who's 13. I have wondered how well it would work, and am somewhat on the fence about how to make it work.

My question to you is, are you looking for a job? Because, I think it's a large commitment, one I would weigh heavily and I would charge for it.

12-19-2011, 09:24 PM
Could she do K12 at your house, and you could still "tutor" or help her, but she'd be accountable to her teacher, not you? You'd just be there if she needed any help. Just a thought, but yeah, its a huge commitment and if I really wanted to consider it, I'd definitely charge for it.

12-19-2011, 11:47 PM
I have fantasies of gathering all the little children around to me and giving them a stellar education at home. In my mind it would be like a modern little one room school house.

Then reality sets in.

The problem, as I see it, is that it is too informal. And if you make it MORE formal, that may interfere with what you've got going on with your own kids. Discipline issues may arise. How will you handle them? Will the mother agree with how you handle them? Will they be a distraction with your own kids? What do you do when the mother starts reading about educational approaches and wants you to do something THIS way, when you are perfectly happy doing it THAT way? Or starts hindering the child's learning time in some way or messes up the schedule? Or you want to do a class or something away from the house with your kids, but the other child can't participate?

I think in your shoes, I would want to do it. I'd really, really, really want to do it. But I don't think I could. Too many variables.

But I mean, maybe you can have your little one room school house! Maybe it will be really great. Who am I to say?

12-20-2011, 02:11 AM
All good stuff....

get paid, will change how you do it now, may be a normal request but would be so much extra work, and besides, my kids know I am whack-o, but inviting someone else around, and having to be nice..... alll day. that would be so hard.

12-20-2011, 09:41 AM
You all make excellent points. Payment would be nice, but I know that the parent cannot afford to do that. The mother and I are not best friends or relatives or anything like that. I think that they are desperately searching for something. I am not sure if homeschooling is really the answer they are looking for. I am happy to tutor her for free a couple hours a week on math and reading. That I consider a civic thing.

In an ideal world, I could visit her school and meet her new teachers and see just what the hell has gone wrong. But I doubt that will happen. I think that a lot of her upheavals come from the death in their family. And so I worry about other emotional issues that are just around the corner for all of them.

I think that for me emotionally I relate to her. She comes from a poor family with a rough life. So I know what that is like, being the *smart one in that bunch. And the kid is very bright.

So I will help her. But tutoring it is for now. I have to see a lot more before I make up my mind about the other. The kids are interested in helping her with her math and reading too.

Thank you all so much for your thoughtful replies.

12-20-2011, 10:21 AM
It is really hard to have another child in your home all day long. I use to do day care but the toll it was taking on my kids and my sanity made it not worth it, and I was getting paid.

I think you are very kind and sensitive to consider it but it's a big commitment to take on the education of your own children. There are a ton of things that could go wrong that you would be held responsible for with the education of someone elses child. She probably romanticizes what you do at home, maybe she thinks it would be easier or less work. And honestly you shouldn't do it without pay, even on a small scale, because it will require extra work and supplies for you as well as additional planning and cleaning and organizing and storing. I think that taking even a little money moves it from a friendly gesture to a business relationship and that's how it should be with another family, they need to take it as seriously as you would, a private education in a super small environment is worth something, you know? Don't sell yourself out.

12-20-2011, 10:56 AM
My son's best friend asked me the same thing. (also comes from a very low-income family)
He's one grade level above my son. Just yesterday I sat down with both of them to do some math together. The boy is way behind.
I would consider it if they were at the same place, but I don't think I can do two separate versions of each subject (unless I was getting paid, which I wouldn't be).
But I guess that's what anyone with more than one child has to do, so maybe I'm just chicken, or selfish.

On the one hand, I'd like to have another kid around for my son, and I'd love to improve my son's best friend's education (ps here is SO bad).
But on the other, I don't want to change our routine because it works so well for us.

12-20-2011, 01:34 PM
She probably romanticizes what you do at home, maybe she thinks it would be easier or less work. And honestly you shouldn't do it without pay, even on a small scale, because it will require extra work and supplies for you as well as additional planning and cleaning and organizing and storing.
Agreed. She may not realize that putting together a curriculum generally takes large amounts of time, money, or both.

If I really really wanted to be helpful, I'd do it if she provided a curriculum that her daughter could work on relatively independently, as well as food and any other supplies that were needed. Or maybe if she was willing to go with a very relaxed, unschooly approach (basically, tagging along with whatever I was doing with my own kids, so no extra planning or curriculum required) and willing to cover the costs of any necessary materials/activities.

I might consider doing it for free for a close family member or a friend who was already homeschooling. For a family who isn't already homeschooling, I think it's only fair to everyone for you to be clear on what exactly they're asking from you in terms of a time and money investment, so that you don't feel taken advantage of and so they don't have unrealistic expectations. I know I'd be horrified if I asked what I thought was a little favor of someone, and later found out that it had been a huge burden for them and they hadn't told me.