View Full Version : s/o - unusual request - would YOU?

12-20-2011, 12:18 PM
So, if someone asked you to homeschool their kid(s), would you even consider it?

I have to say I would consider it if it was a child(ren) my kids got along with, relatively close to their age, whose parents I trusted. And if I was getting paid on top of materials costs. There's no law about it at all in my jurisdiction, so I have no idea about the legal issues.

But I'm not sure. And no one's ever asked. Anyone else?

12-20-2011, 12:22 PM
I wouldn't do it, even if it were legal in my state (which I'm pretty sure it isn't). Wrangling my own two, especially my son, is a full-time and often exhausting job.

12-20-2011, 12:38 PM
I would SO want to. Trusting the parents implicitly (and having them trust you and your judgement) I think *the* key factor. Far more so than scheduling or discipline or anything else.

12-20-2011, 01:12 PM
One of my son's friends was having a tough time in public school and wanted to be homeschooled. The idea of us doing it was discussed, but our state wouldn't allow it (unless we did it as a coop with her parents, I suppose), and in the end, she stayed in public school. I would consider it if legal, and I knew the older (middle or high school age) child well, the child was mature, reasonably self directed, and had no particular special needs (I don't feel qualified to address special needs, and don't want to screw up someone else's kid's education). And, of course, the other child would have to get along well with my kids-I've got enough stress without kids fighting all the time.

I would want any associated costs for materials and curriculum borne by the other parents, but I wouldn't want or accept payment for my services.

12-20-2011, 01:44 PM
while i would consider it, the circumstances would have to be singular enough to decisively override my knee-jerk "no" reaction. i'm really not into other people's kids, and even in the case of my closest parent-friends whose children i've known from birth, i'd have to weigh the situation very carefully.

christina in lawrenceville

12-20-2011, 01:49 PM
I'm kinda with lafemme. I cant imagine a kid i'd like well enough to do it who would actually want me to. I mean, i can, maybe, but i havent met them. i'm pretty antisocail and never, ever wanted to be a teacher. I like the connection with my kids as far as trying to figure out what they will be WILLING to learn, but its such a struggle and so draining for me, i wont say definitely no, but it would have to be a really unusual situation. Oh, and the liklihood that dh wouldnt absolutely veto it . . pretty much zero.

12-20-2011, 02:09 PM
I was asked to homeschool a neighbor's child years ago. Dea was the only one I was really working with, since it was our first year. I considered it, and likely would have done it, but then they had to move. It's also a possibility with my nieces. They have both expressed interest in having me homeschool them & their mom knows I'd be happy to do it, especially since they've both been having problems with the local district. Now that I've got both my kids to work with, though, and the multiple issues that go along with them, I don't think I would homeschool anyone else, unless it was family.

12-20-2011, 02:11 PM
While I love my kids and can usually deal with most other kids in limited doses, I really don't like the thought of having to teach those other kids. I don't think I'd have the patience required to split myself in all those directions.

12-20-2011, 02:26 PM
While I love my kids and can usually deal with most other kids in limited doses, I really don't like the thought of having to teach those other kids. I don't think I'd have the patience required to split myself in all those directions.

I have learned that I have much less patience for kids who are not related to me. That's part of why I wouldn't homeschool other kids. I'm big on helping family, though, so I'd be more likely to homeschool a child in my family who needed to get out of the district.

12-20-2011, 02:39 PM
It is illegal in my state. If it weren't and someone asked me to (and they have), I would, but they would not be able to afford my services. I would charge a premium. (think private school tuition) I have made many great sacrifices to HS my kids. They were absolutely worth it, but if someone wants on my coattails, they can pay me. I probably sound like a selfish bastid....oh well. I have sounded like one before....

12-20-2011, 02:49 PM
I feel like I have so much more patience with other people's kids! I guess I put my 'professional face' on.

12-20-2011, 03:22 PM
Oh, I can look like I have patience with other kids, and I've learned to handle special needs kids (autism, etc.) differently and I hope compassionately, but internally it would fry me over time.

12-20-2011, 03:22 PM
I would be flattered if asked, but no. I have enough to handle with my own two high needs kids. As a temporary arrangement, maybe. I've offered to take in my nephew for ten days while his parents go to Ethiopia and hsing would be a part of that. But, I'm not looking forward to it. partly because this kid has no set mealtimes or bedtimes, and his parents are fundy Christians. If my kids were older, and more self-sufficient, I'd welcome the idea more. Right now, no.

12-20-2011, 03:23 PM
If it was family, and I could figure out decent logistics for it, then yes. Other (unrelated) people's children: doubtful. I can think of too many ways that could turn into an ugly scenario to even think about attempting it.

As I said in the other thread, though, I no longer WANT to homeschool children other than my own. When I gave it a whirl, the things I loved the most (alone time with each child, delight in their learning, ability to see exactly where they are struggling when, and my own patience) went out the window.

12-20-2011, 03:34 PM
A friend of mine and I were discussing homeschooling our kids together. Her oldest is the same age as my son (within weeks) and her youngest slightly younger than my dd. I would have done the school for the two olders while she would have taken care of the two youngers, at least in the beginning. This is another one of those plans that went away with the new house plans since right now I barely have room for a decent set-up with just my two. There's definitely no room to add additional kids. Plus, she ended up deciding to keep her kids in public school.

I would only consider it if I knew the person well enough to be comfortable setting out exactly how it would be handled, guidelines for purchases and able to discuss any problems. I would want the kid to be close in age and ability to at least one of my kids so that things could be combined.

I do have a teaching degree as well as a science degree (I also considered teaching homeschool science courses to groups of kids) but I find the Ed degree doesn't help much with homeschooling.

Edited to add: I don't know if it's legal here or not but I would think it probably is. Homeschool is under the "equivalent education" standard that affects private schools.

12-20-2011, 03:39 PM
Depends on the kid and the situation.

Probably yes (regardless of pay) for a godchild if the situation seemed to require it (at the moment I have no godchildren).

Probably yes with pay (for providing childcare, as well as for any food, materials, or activities they attended with my kids) for a family who provided a curriculum that their child was able and willing to work on with a high level of independence, and as long as they had a realistic idea of what our homeschool days look like (eg. my children are currently running around like screaming hellions, not sitting quietly around the dinnertable cooperatively doing their math).

Probably yes for a temporary situation. For example, a family who finds they need to pull their child *NOW* but can't quit work immediately, or a currently homeschooling family dealing with a medical crisis. Pay would depend on the exact situation.

Probably yes if it were a matter of working cooperatively and I felt we were compatible (ie. I homeschool her kids while she works and vice versa).

Probably no for a kid who has been pulled from school due to serious behavioral issues, learning disabilities, or something else that's likely to eat up a lot of my time and energy and greatly interfere with my ability to work with my own kids. Probably not if they want me to provide the curriculum, unless they pay enough that I can get a boxed curriculum or something. Probably not for a situation like in the original post, where the family asking doesn't seem to have much clue what they're asking.

(This is, of course, assuming it is legal in my state. I have no clue whether it is or not, but suspect it is alegal.)

12-20-2011, 05:01 PM
No, one of the many reasons we homeschool is the freedom to do and go where and whenever we want. Being responsible for someone else's kid is akin to babysitting them as well as schooling them, the parent would expect me to be available 5 days a week for x number of hours a day at one location for their convenience. I can't do that, we take off for a couple of days to go see something we just heard about (here in Europe we Americans are ignorant of a lot that is available here so when we learn the whereabouts of something of interest to just go see/do it), with someone else in tow we would have to plan and schedule it instead of just doing it right then and there. Wouldn't work for us at all, at least not now and not here.

12-20-2011, 05:09 PM
I would, but only if asked by my best friend or siblings. It is legal here in Vermont, but you're only allowed one other family.

12-20-2011, 05:24 PM
If I had to stay in place every day, Mommykicksbutt, I wouldn't even consider it. But my car holds 4 kids. The thing that would make it hard is that sometimes, you just pick up and go out of town. That's different than, hey, let's go to the park all day.

Stella M
12-20-2011, 05:40 PM
I might home school my nephew, if asked. But then again, probably not. Ds would be high school age by that time and I would be wanting to work more than I am now. I don't think my sister would have the $$ to pay me.

Otherwise no. I'm not interested in teaching per se, I'm only interested in educating my own children.

12-20-2011, 06:41 PM
The idea is so intriguing. But probably the answer would end up being no. We homeschool at 2 or 3 different times during the day, so the rest of the time would be - babysitting? The kids would have to get along pretty well - for an hour or two at a time, for days and weeks in a row - dicey. The parents would have to pretty much be OK with my curriculum choices. I'm open to new ideas, but in the end I'm the one teaching. I think the deal-breaker, though, is just the potential for negative endings. Presumably this would be a family we like, and get a long with and that would all be on the line.

I could more easily see putting together a very small, focused co-op. I'll do math, you do - no, wait, just typing that I realize that I don't really want to turn over any subjects! Maybe we would just do math, history, art, science, LA together? Who would give up their independence just to be tied to another family.

I guess I can't see a scenario where it would work. What I would like would be to find a family we were close enough to (academically, socially, whatever) to even consider it. :D

12-20-2011, 07:21 PM
When DH's family learned that we were planning on homeschooling, his sister asked me to hs her son who is a year or two older than my DS. The child makes me want to strangle him on a constant basis whenever I have to spend more than 10mins with him at a time. So....that was a no. I find I don't really like other people's younger children. I handle teenagers very well though and went to school to teach high school English. So if someone asked me to hs their teenager, I'd probably say yes. I don't really know if it's legal in my state and currently don't have the energy required to do a search and find out.

Off topic a tiny bit...DH's family handled the whole hsing thing far better than did DH and his dad corners me every time he sees me and asks if I need to make copies of any of his history channel, discovery channel or national geographic special dvd's. He also has volunteered to help with any history lessons, or teaching them wood shop (he's a master carpenter). Today he sent me home with a stack of at least 20 dvd's.

12-20-2011, 10:53 PM
I would do it on a temporary basis, if someone needed help for a few weeks or so, but not long term. This may sound like a strange reason, but I wouldn't be able to handle another parent questioning me about what they're learning, or possibly suggesting that what I'm doing is wrong or not sufficient, etc. It's enough pressure that I worry whether or not my kids are learning enough and I couldn't take the burden of responsibility of another person's child.

12-20-2011, 11:21 PM
Maybe for family but not for other people. There's just too much at stake and I guess I've experienced how bad people will treat and blame the caregivers of their children both as a classroom teacher and as a day care provider. I think that the chances of things going bad is much much higher than the chances of a situation like that working out happily ever after.

12-21-2011, 03:20 AM
I have been homeschooling other people's kids for several years. An acquaintance's son was very unhappy at school. She had unschooled him herself for one year, but was back at work out of financial necessity. We met, discussed hours, times, expectations, what my household is like, my style of homeschooling, and determined that our kids got along pretty well. She paid me the going rate for full-time childcare, and I provided receipts so she could claim it as a tax deduction.

For the most part, it worked. Stuff that was difficult:
-not knowing when to push the child, and when to lay off. I mostly backed off, but I think he could have used more pushing.
-not being able to do read-alouds during the evening and weekends. We could only do them when the student was here.
-at certain times, my dd decided she didn't like the student. I think it was just too much day-in-and-day-out with the same person. Mostly everyone got along, but dd sometimes wished it could be "just us."
-I felt like I had to keep school tasks separate from household tasks. When the student was with us, I didn't feel like it was right to go grocery shopping on my way home from a field trip, or to take the morning off to make my kids clean their rooms. Now that he's not with us, I can integrate school & life much more fluidly.
-competition between the kids was sometimes a problem. In some cases, this can be turned into a positive, but it's also a source of friction. This child was allowed to watch a lot of movies and tv shows that my kids were not, so he had to learn to avoid that entire topic of conversation. He was better at math than my dd, which drove her nuts. He played more with ds, which was good and bad, depending on the day.
-It was a little tricky when it came to outside activities, like piano & gymnastics, etc. I tried to find activities that all the kids could do together, and I had to turn down some activities that perhaps my daughter would have enjoyed, because I didn't feel right dragging the other student along to sit and wait for her special lesson or activity to end.

This year, that student is at school and I am now homeschooling my niece. This is easier because she's family, so I don't care if she shows up in the morning before I'm dressed. She is older and doesn't need supervision, so I can book whatever activities I want for my other kids, or fit in whatever grocery shopping or errands that I want to. What is harder is finding work for her to do that is at her level, since I don't know much about 14-year-olds yet. It's also difficult because I really do have three kids at three completely different levels this year, so I'm not able to combine activities the way I used to.

This year, I'm also doing a weekly "science class" and I've invited one other child to join us. It's rather informal, meant to be fun and interesting, and the mom thinks I'm doing her a huge favour. For me, it's just the motivation I need to actually do some science, but in a way, it is homeschooling another kid once a week.

In general, I think your homeschooling philosophy really has to mesh well with the other parents'. I was lucky in that the other moms have been willing to leave it all up to me, and their expectations had more to do with the kids being happy, healthy, and engaged in learning rather than completing a certain number of pages of math or writing. It is also CRUCIAL that the kids all get along, since they will be spending A LOT of time together. I made my kids' bedrooms off-limits, so they would always have a place to go if they wanted to be alone, and where they could keep any special toys or books that they just didn't want to have to share.

12-22-2011, 01:38 AM
Only if we were unschooling. ... but seriously no.. I hate other people's kids. They frown at getting yelled at by a crazy lady..

12-22-2011, 10:25 AM
I would definitely consider it. I'm proud of what we do and how we handle our schooling, so would charge a fee. I've had parents and grandparents ask but the children were not the right fit for our family. I like 95% of all kids and have a good bit of patience, except during PMS! If the right circumstances presented itself, I would give it a shot. Our girls have already mentioned an interest if the fit was right.

12-22-2011, 10:28 AM
My twin sisters in law are 2 years older than my daughter, and they asked me if I could homeschool them about a year ago. That was closer to when we first started, but the answer would still be no, even if they would get their parents on board. I told them it's illegal in this state (at least I think it is) but it was a great way to get the conversation dropped. I tried to tutor the one girl over the summer and that wasn't going so great, I had the hardest time keeping her focused and motivated. I definitely couldn't do it all the time and with two other kids on top of it.

12-22-2011, 02:17 PM
I told them it's illegal in this state (at least I think it is) but it was a great way to get the conversation dropped.

As I understand it, in MD the parent/guardian has to be the primary instructor, which leaves open the possibility for things like co-ops and such, and also allows us to bring our boys to my parents one day a week for instruction. But for you to do the majority of the HSing of someone else's kids, yes, I'm pretty sure that's verboten in our state.

12-22-2011, 04:52 PM
I definitely know of people in MD homeschooling other people's kids, on at least a part time basis.

12-22-2011, 07:24 PM
I definitely know of people in MD homeschooling other people's kids, on at least a part time basis.

I think there are situations where it's allowed, but in looking through all the laws I can find online, there are no specific references to homeschooling others' children. The statutes all say "parent/guardian" choosing to homeschool must blahblahblah, or else they have to enroll in a state-approved umbrella school. I know that we're okay with the one-day-a-week with the grandparents thing, but for some reason I seem to remember DW saying that at the last review when the topic was brought up as a possibility for this year, the reviewer said that we were still required to provide the majority of the education. Now, maybe she was full of it, I don't know.

12-22-2011, 07:39 PM
This is interesting. I have been asked by three families to homeschool their children and I am at odds about the whole thing. Since income was given up for me to stay home, I don't get an honest answer from the man around here. He says if they pay me to take it, lol. Although, he supports my reasons for being reluctant. Also, these children are YOUNG...Which really means I am babysitting the bulk of the day. I mean, my 5yo schools ALL DAY but that's because I read a story here..drawing some there..grammar for a few minutes after lunch, etc...but the bulk of the day, he plays.
Plus, I feel like another poster--as if someone is riding off of my coattails. One even expects that I give (or resale for way less than I prefer) my materials to her for her little one because I won't need them anymore. Others comment that I can do it easily since I've already done it. NO ONE understands that children are different. My son is three years behind my daughter and I do not use any of the same materials for him. They just wouldn't work. One family in particular I am considering..she is 2yo right now and the mother wants me to consider it...but it is my feelings for the mother that force me to at least consider. We will see, luckily she is so small right now, I don't have to flat out say NO.
The irony is that before I homeschooled, my daughter and another friend came here every day and I reviewed homework for them both, along with school studies, etc..once I started homeschooling they don't let their daughter come over anymore---like we're the plague. We (daughter and myself) miss the after school kids in the neighborhood and I'd considering watching some of them during that 3-5 window for the 6-11 yo ages only....possibly offer to tutor (for extra).

12-24-2011, 03:03 PM
I don't think it's legal here either. Not for sure on that though. I don't think I would. I have a lot of trouble with my own, I couldn't realistically handle someones kid long term.

12-24-2011, 10:48 PM
Hmmm. If it were legal in my state and the other child was a girl of about dd's age, and the two girls got along well together, I would consider it. The reason is that I think it would actually encourage her to work a little more on her self-control, so my reasons are actually completely selfish. Dd does better when other people are watching, so it might be good practice for her at doing work without quitting just because it's hard, having a meltdown because she made a mistake, etc. That's probably not a good reason, but there it is.

That would possibly be a good reason for Tornado, too, although I'm still not considering it. :)

12-25-2011, 12:31 AM
It's been joked about by family members who toy with the idea of hsing, but I wouldn't want to. Not a chance.

12-25-2011, 02:42 AM
At this point I'm struggling to keep up with my three kids, so I couldn't see doing it unless the other was much older and self-motivated and doing a bit of watching my kids for an hour or two a day in exchange.

But, I am not totally against the idea of doing it at some point in the future, when my kids are older and more independant or when one or more is out of home. Maybe. Depending on what I'm doing at the time, how our finances are, and whether the other parent(s) trust me.

12-26-2011, 12:13 PM
If I had to stay in place every day, Mommykicksbutt, I wouldn't even consider it. But my car holds 4 kids. The thing that would make it hard is that sometimes, you just pick up and go out of town. That's different than, hey, let's go to the park all day.

That's exactly what I mean, sometimes we'll be gone for more than a week at a time but usually it's just a night or two

12-26-2011, 07:00 PM
In MD there are ways around it. I have my boyo in a co-op one day a week, plus he meets with another family for science and writing (I teach writing, she teaches science) On days I have to work or if Boyo is in need of more socialization time, I just pack him up with his books and he schools at their house. I choose all his materials and the other family's boys are his best friends. I think it works well, but I would never make it a full time deal, I wouldnt want to miss out of seeing him learn.

12-26-2011, 07:18 PM
So far the family never got back to me about the tutoring. I don't think that is a good sign all the way around.

I am okay just doing this with my kids. If my sister had kids I would do that, if they weren't insane or something [more so than us]. Other than that---I am not really interested in it, even with pay. I am not that organized, I just happen to have very smart kids who like to learn.

12-27-2011, 04:12 AM
I wouldn't seriously consider it. It has been half jokingly suggested to me by a couple of parents who like what we're doing and aren't that thrilled with the system. But we're on our own path and it's working - and I have enough stress questioning whether I am doing right by my DD without taking on that responsibility for anyone else's offspring.

Also we like our space, so having a semi-permanent extra in the house would pall very quickly. We're having enough trouble with interstate cousins staying over the Christmas break.