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From the mailbag: Can you homeschool me?

By January 23, 2012

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I received the cutest email obviously from a student in distress:

"I go to school, but do you think you can can homeschool me online by sending me email messages and I will send them back...please, please please, please, please."

My response:

"I wish I could homeschool you, but that's not how it works. Your parents do the homeschooling. You should talk to your parents if you'd like to be homeschooled. I don't know your situation, but one parent would have to be home and do the teaching.

If homeschooling doesn't work out, let me encourage you to do your best in school. I know it's hard to imagine now, but honestly, your life will be better later on if you do what you need to do now. Even if you have to stay in school, talk to your parents and share your concerns and frustrations with them. I'm sure they love you and would welcome the chance to help you do well.

Good luck to you. Let me know what happens."

I enjoy hearing from students. I really would homeschool this child if I could, but homeschooling other people's children falls under tutoring and not homeschooling and is a whole different ballgame legally. Each state has laws governing homeschooling and tutoring, so if you wanted to do something like this, you'd have to check the laws for your state.

Do you homeschool other people's children? What requirements do you have to fulfill to do so legally in your state? How does this work for you and for the students? Share your story.


January 12, 2010 at 5:43 pm
(1) Gary says:

Sometimes I think homeschooling via email might work with my oldest. He seems to send more and more time on the computer.

January 12, 2010 at 11:29 pm
(2) Jennifer Lavender says:

In Oklahoma it is pretty easy to have somebody else home school your child because the law just says you have to enroll in public school or provide alternate means of education. That includes having somebody other than a parent be a teacher.

I’ve only been in Utah for a short time, but my understanding is that a parent or guardian has to certify that they are providing the education. I’m not sure if that’s the way the law is written or just the way the form I filled out is worded.

January 15, 2010 at 12:38 am
(3) Jennifer says:

Well, in KY I am pretty sure they consider home school equivalent to a private school and you just have to keep track of attendance, transcripts and scholarship records, but nothing in the state legislature states that it has to be provided by a parent or legal guardian, but if anyone knows different let me know b/c I homeschool a nephew!!

January 25, 2011 at 7:31 am
(4) Mrs. Dani says:

In South Carolina a parent must provide at least 51% of the instruction. There are three legal ways to homeschool here from going through the district (something I NEVER suggest) to belonging to a group that sets its own standards. SC is one of the best states in the nation to homeschool in.

Regardless, a parent or legal guardian ( I have heard of grandparents who live in the home or on the property also providing instruction) must provide 51%…not really that hard to do.

January 25, 2011 at 1:58 pm
(5) Judy Steidl says:

Yes, I homeschool other children, but only for Language Arts in an online club setting. In the Weekly Writer Club, kids in Grades 2-8 meet online to practice their writing and have fun improving Language Arts skills. However, even though we have a great program, it doesn’t take the place of parent supervision. We stay family-focused by encouraging parents to login and write in their own forums. They can enjoy seeing what the kids are doing, yet stay “behind the scenes” to guide and encourage.

January 25, 2011 at 6:11 pm
(6) ange says:

Here in Australia we use a private distance ed provider but are still classed as home schooled the lessons are delivered on line and communication between us and the teachers are via e mail though we do have some text books to work from we work at our own pace on the topic we choose for the day from the ones available. They do international students as well so you could sign up for that. It is christian based but it nots overly religious and works well for us.

January 24, 2012 at 8:57 am
(7) Vikki says:

In the request, there seems to be a plea but for what exactly. Maybe the situation is with going to school and the need to stay home where it’s safer. I understand the legal parameters yet feel this is not a student really believing homeschooling is as simple as emailing questions.

January 24, 2012 at 8:24 pm
(8) Jennifer Altman says:

I wonder whats going on at school with this child not sure of the law here in HI, but in MD it has to be done by a parent or legal guardian. I Researched it for a friend who wanted to pay someone to home school her kids.

January 25, 2012 at 7:49 am
(9) Laryssa says:

In Missouri you may homeschool as many ‘related’ students as you wish, however, no more than four ‘related’ students without charging tuition. So I could homeschool four other children than my own as long as I didn’t receive payment for it. Missouri is pretty homeschool friendly. There are NO reporting requirements! We are simply required to keep a plan book, diary, or other record such as a daily log of hours. The hours required are 1000 per year, of which 600 hours must be in reading, math, language arts, social studies, and science, and 400 of those hours must be in the home/school area. I have been homeschooling for 6 years now and have never been required to show my planner or anything. My oldest homeschool graduate is now in college. =)

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