Can Someone Else

Homeschool My Children?


by Barbara Edtl Shelton





This question inevitably arises, especially from working Moms or from stay-at-home Moms who like the idea of homeschooling but are convinced they are incapable of doing it.  Often the working Mom does not want to quit working ~ because she enjoys the break or thinks their family can't live without the extra income.




As far as the law goes, they may or may not be covered, if that matters to you.  And it's important to note that it's okay for it to not matter to you ~ as long as it is an honestly-held conviction and not merely a blatant disregard toward the law. As our culture becomes increasingly godless, this is an issue that all homeschooling families will eventually have to grapple with; you may as well get your views and convictions established early on.


In some states, having someone else homeschool your children would be considered a "private school."  And there are laws governing how that may be operated. 


In Washington State (since that's where I live) the wording of the law is "I intend to cause my child(ren) to receive home-based instruction..."  This doesn't specify who will actually be doing the teaching, but there may be a more specific qualification to that elsewhere in the law.  (It doesn't seem to in the homeschool part of it, but it may in the private school part, with which I am not familiar.) However, MY TAKE on it is that you are legally covered in having someone else homeschool your child ~ because it says:  "I intend to CAUSE my child(ren) to RECEIVE HOME-BASED INSTRUCTION.  It does not say WHO ~ or that YOU ~ will be doing the actual educating or "school."  You are simply "causing" the education to take place ... by *someone.*  But please do not stop here!!!!!!!  Read on...  


Again, whether you are concerned about what the law states regarding this personal area of your life is a matter of personal conviction.  I am not giving this information because I think you should follow the law in matters of education.  I only think you need to seriously and prayerfully consider this and make your decision regarding conviction only after much thought and consideration, and not merely base it on a half-formed opinion or a superficial understanding of the Scriptures.   


For more on all this, please read my article "Obeying the Law, Testing, and Qualifying to Homeschool."  This will give you much food for thought as you proceed through this process and formulate your own convictions.  (I believe it will eventually be non-optional for Christians to have well-formed convictions.)


So that covers what I know about the "legal" aspect; now I must present, much more importantly, what I believe about the idea of having someone else homeschool your children... 


I would suggest to a parent considering such an arrangement that they should not consider themselves to be "homeschooling"; they would be having their children tutored by a tutor or a (homeschooling) mom. This may or may not matter to them.  But if it does, and they really think they are "homeschooling" or even "having their children homeschooled," they are lacking an understanding of what true education is. It has to do with the complete lifestyle of the family, not just academics. 


I do not believe "God's best" is for families to be divided, or for anyone but the parent to be the ones to raise them when at all possible. In many (some?) cases, it is true that both parents really and truly must work, but I believe that more often than not, it is more for the purpose of being able to raise and maintain a higher standard of living.  This is really only from a materialistic perspective because "standard of living" involves much more than the neighborhood you live in, the car you drive, and how much money you have.  Sadly many people in our country have a very high "standard of living" from a financial viewpoint, but but their homes and hearts and relationships are void of depth and true value.    


Conversely, the quality of "standard of loving and learning" are typically greatly sacrificed and lowered. There is always a price to pay; what you value most will determine which price you pay.




What we think education is always ends up being at the heart of any problem we have with our children and relationships with them.  I have written two articles on this matter of what true education is, one of which is called "Refreshing and Re-Focusing the Heart of the Homeschooler"; the other of which is called "Wisdom's 7 Pillars for True Education"  Another one by Marilyn Howshall called "The Heart of True Education" will be invaluable to you as you process all that you are beginning to consider for perhaps the first time!  (You might even want to go ahead and read these articles, and then come back here to finish.)


If you are a mom who thinks you can't afford to not work (or the husband who thinks the same), please read this article called "The Cost of Homeschooling" by Donna Heck. It will help you see things in a different light ~ assuming you want to see things in a different light.  


True education is based on the relationship of the parents with their children, and on parents discipling their children within the context of their whole, complete and real life; not merely hiring a tutor or dropping them off somewhere for someone else to give them "book learning."  I cannot overemphasize that academics do NOT equal education!!!  Book learning is nothing more than that ~ mere book learning!


It may be that God is leading you to do this in a particular situation, but this should not be viewed as the ultimate best for your children, but merely as a temporary means of getting on to what God really wants for you ultimately, once you have overcome the obstacles that are preventing you from entering into that now.  And the biggest obstacle is probably in your thinking ~ about what education really is.






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I'm sorry, but I have lost the source of the beautiful red rose "topper" background!

I know I obtained it "righteously" (as in I did not steal it), but I lost the name of the artist who made it! 

If you know who it is, please let me know, and I'll add the credit immediately!




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