Can you be homeschooled without a parent? Can kids work on homeschooling themselves? Can you teach your children while working? Although home school is legal in all 50 states, there are different homeschooling requirements by state, including who can teach home schooling for you. Get answers to common homeschooling questions about hiring homeschool teachers or tutors to come to your home or if you can pay someone to school your child.
Can you be homeschooled without a parent?
In many households with school-age children, the adults have jobs. Starting homeschooling can mean an interruption in your ability to work, or you may have to continue your job while also homeschooling.
Parents who work and are starting to think about homeschooling sometimes wonder if a parent has to be present for homeschooling.
Or, they may ask, “Do parents have to teach homeschool?” or “Can someone else homeschool my child?”
In some cases, you might have a less-than-ideal situation if you had to start homeschooling in a hurry due to public school bullying issues or other miserable school-related problems.
This means you start off finding childcare for homeschoolers (like friends or family) before your homeschool schedule is set.
Naturally, some parents wonder if a friend or family member can “homeschool” for them before your homeschool schedule is set.
These are all valid questions!
First, let’s tackle do you need a parent at home to be homeschooled?
As a high schooler, can I homeschool myself?
Can you homeschool yourself at 16? Homeschooling laws are different for every state, so you will need to check the regulations for homeschooling as a teenager or high schooler for the state where you live or how it falls under how parents to teach their own children.
Can I pay someone to homeschool my child?
In most states, it is required that a child’s parent or guardian oversee homeschooling, which includes providing an equivalent education for their own child. However, homeschoolers often take classes outside of the home and pay those teacher’s for that portion of homeschooling. Check your specific state laws and regulations on if you can hire a homeschool teacher or tutor for your child.
Can a non parent homeschool a child?
You may be wondering can someone else homeschool your kids? In most cases, the child’s parent or guardian is responsible and must oversee the bulk of the child’s home education. However, homeschoolers are allowed to take courses by non parents. Check your specific state laws on who can homeschool your kids.
As you can see, homeschooling without a parent is not a simple concept because there are many factors to consider.
You can have someone give your child an education that happens to take place in a home, but under a strict definition of homeschooling you can’t have someone else “homeschool” your child: Homeschooling is education, at home, by the child’s parents.
HOWEVER, homeschool parents frequently have their child take classes outside the home (so it’s not like you can’t have another person do some of the teaching), but the primary party (you, the parent) oversees the work in homeschooling.
Also, there is unschooling, which allows the child to lead in his or her learning. And, sometimes unschooling can look like children homeschooling themselves. Although unschooling is led by the child, it is also overseen by the parent. So, it’s a valid from of homeschooling.
Homeschooling requirements for parents vary by state and country, so you need to check those laws before homeschooling. The answer to can someone else homeschool my child in Michigan will be different from homeschooling my child in Illinois, which will also vary from California and South Carolina.
So, no matter where you live, check your home school laws!
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So, does a parent have to be present for homeschooling?
The short answer:
The longer answer:
Yes, and let’s talk about what “present” really means (or doesn’t mean).
Present doesn’t mean “present in front of a chalkboard,” lecturing, the way you might remember from your own public school days.
Instead, present means that you’re there, acting to teach your children or helping to direct their learning. (SEE: Unschooling, again.) Older children don’t need as much interaction from a teacher, but they still need a teacher around somewhere.
Present means that preferably, most of the time, you or another adult teacher are in the same room (or very, very nearby) while your child studies or you’re available to teach your children.
Present means you’re planning a course of study each day/week/month/year (or helping your child in that if they unschool).
Present means you’re emotionally, mentally, and physically invested in being responsible for your child’s education.
Homeschool Laws And Leaving Your Child Alone
Some kids may even wonder, “Is it legal to homeschool yourself?”
There are laws that state:
- When a child is old enough to be left alone.
- How long a child can be left alone.
For most situations, you can’t leave a child alone long enough to go to your job until the child is at least 13. Even then, laws vary and it might not be OK in your situation.
If you are planning on leaving your minor child alone, make sure you are familiar with laws (along with homeschool requirements) in your area, and follow them.
You need to be aware of homeschooling & educational neglect.
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Can A Child Be Homeschooled Without A Parent? Other Things To Consider
Homeschooling is a Job. Are You Ready for (at least) Two Jobs?
Homeschooling parents work very hard at our homeschooling jobs.
If we also have another job (besides raising kids and homeschooling), we’ve got another job (homeschooling) added to the list.
Are you ready to take that on, as well as your jobs for homeschooling moms (or dads)?
If you’re looking to home educate your child but also need to work and homeschool, you need to give that some serious consideration.
What if You Can’t Teach Your Children But You Need an Alternative to Public School?
You’re in luck! There are so many more educational options now than there used to be.
There are also virtual public school online options available, which technically do not fit the definition of homeschooling, but it is schooling done from home and might fit into your schedule and situation.
For me, these virtual public school options have most of the drawbacks of public school and no advantages over traditional homeschool, but many people choose them as a good option for their situation.
WANT TO UNDERSTAND MORE? CHECK THIS OUT:
About Working and Homeschooling
If you need to work and homeschool, realize that it might be a long-term goal to teach your children, but understand that it might not happen right away.
I decided to homeschool very suddenly due to my oldest child’s issues at public school.
Before that, for many years I had been working towards a lifestyle where I could work from home.
We felt very blessed that at the very moment when we realized I would need to homeschool, I also had the ability to do so.
Homeschooling might not be something you can start today (and that’s OK!).
What changes can you make today that will make homeschool possible in three months? In six months? In one year? In five years?
You can teach your children and work.
Homeschooling is a flexible option for working parents, but you will need to plan and juggle.
Can You Be Homeschooled Without A Parent?
Yes, but only in the sense that:
- Your child may lead their own learning like with unschooling.
- Your child may attend outside the home classes where others are “teaching” and parents may not be present in that class.
- Childcare may play a portion of part of your homeschool day.
No matter what, it is your responsible (as the parent or guardian) to oversee your child’s homeschool learning—whether you work and homeschool or have your child participate in virtual online school.
Remember, before doing anything else you need to check your state homeschool laws on the requirements for homeschooling in your area!
Contributor Lisa Yankey is a homeschooling mom and the author of The Homeschool Path to Foreign Language.