Homeschooling with Help

I want to homeschool my child, but I don’t want to/ can’t do the teaching myself. What are my options?

You have several different options available to you:

  • You may hire an approved tutor to teach your child. Some tutors come to your home, while others work from their home, an office, or a “learning center.” Some families hire a single tutor to teach all subjects to all students, while others hire multiple tutors for multiple ages or subjects. Prices vary significantly, depending on your location and needs.
  • Another option is to provide home instruction to your child using a correspondence school or distance learning program. The child works from home or your workplace, but is working directly with a teacher through that program. There are mail-, online-, and satellite-based correspondence school options.
  • Many parents “hire out” the teaching of specific subjects through classes, group activities, homeschool co-ops, team teaching, tutors, etc., while teaching the other subjects themselves. Homeschooling families and support groups can help you find these opportunities in your local community.
  • Some parents make arrangements to have another homeschooling family educate their child during the day while they are at work. The parent, rather than the home instruction provider, files the annual home instruction notice of intent and testing/evaluation paperwork required by law. While widely practiced across the state, this option is of questionable legality under Virginia law, unless the person providing the homeschooling happens to be a licensed teacher.

NOTE: To comply with the approved tutor provision of the Virginia compulsory attendance code, the tutor must have a valid Virginia teacher’s license.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I find a full-time tutor?

Possible resources for tutors in your community may include:

  • Your local homeschooling support group newsletter or discussion list
  • The local Yellow Pages directory (check under “Tutors”)
  • The AnyWho website (check under “Tutors”)
  • Local newspaper advertisements
  • Nearby colleges or universities
  • Your local public school system

Be cautious when hiring tutors, especially if they will be coming to your home and working with your children in your absence. We strongly recommend that you check references, background, certification, and employment history before hiring a tutor for this purpose.

Can I use a homeschool co-op to educate my child full-time while I’m at work?

Within the homeschooling community, there are co-ops where children come together to learn a particular subject or do a particular activity. Most co-ops only operate once or twice a week, either all day or half days. Some parents pay for the co-op with their time, while others pay with money. However, most co-ops are designed to supplement, rather than substitute for, the homeschooling experience. You can learn more about co-op opportunities in your local community through your local support group.

I heard about this place where I pay a teacher to “homeschool” my child and other children during the day. What about that?

There are some educational establishments in Virginia which have advertised that they will do just this. Most of them are actually innovative forms of private schooling, in which the children may attend the school for fewer hours than they would attend a conventional school. While these establishments may be innovative and helpful, The Organization of Virginia Homeschoolers does not consider these programs or schools to be “homeschooling,” per se.

Before enrolling your child in any nonpublic school or school-like program, we recommend you make sure that the school is in compliance with state and local regulations. You may also wish to inquire about health and safety standards, the accreditation of the school, and what diploma options they offer high school aged children.

I’d like to play a more active role in my child’s home instruction, but I’m a single parent and I work full time. How have other working parents handled this?

You can read more about how other working parents have balanced home instruction and full time employment in an article written by former board member Jeanne Faulconer: “I Can’t Homeschool – I Have to Work.” Your local support group may have additional ideas for you.

This information is provided as a courtesy of The Organization of Virginia Homeschoolers. It is not intended as legal advice. For legal advice, contact a licensed attorney.

VaHomeschoolers is a non-profit public charity with 501(c)(3) status; your donation is tax-deductible to the extent provided by law.