Homeschooling is becoming increasingly popular in the United States and around the world. Many parents are opting to homeschool their kids themselves or to hire a homeschooling teacher or tutors. Many states have laws that regulate homeschooling, and they may include how to become a homeschool teacher. Instead of focusing on the laws about homeschooling, this article will provide practical tips on becoming a homeschool teacher.
In this article we will look at what a homeschool teacher does, what general skills and qualifications they need, salary expectations, and the pros and cons of being a homeschool teacher.
We’ll also look at ways to get a job as a homeschool teacher or tutor.
What Does a Homeschool Teacher Do?
Contrary to popular belief, not all homeschool teachers actually teach in a home environment or setting. There are actually many homeschool communities where teachers teach in different settings and even teach classes of children – particularly when it comes to specialized classes and sports.
And whereas homeschool teachers of the past typically taught their students face-to-face, with modern technology and disruptive events like pandemics, there’s been a rise in online education.
Online teaching is also particularly popular for people in remote areas who may not have easy access to traditional schools.
Whatever grade level you teach, as a homeschool teacher you’ll probably have to teach a wide variety of subjects. You also may need to comply with specialized and/or state curriculums.
Homeschool teachers should assess children regularly to check their learning levels and ensure that they are meeting minimum requirements. You then can adjust your teaching based on the assessments. Homeschool teachers also need to help identify learning difficulties and may even teach special needs education or gifted students.
It’s useful when thinking about how to become a homeschool teacher to be aware of the reasons why particular families opt for homeschooling over traditional schooling. Knowing this can help you tailor your teaching techniques and methods to suit their particular needs.
For example, a gifted child’s unique learning style may need to be taken into account so that they can take advanced level classes in their areas of interest. If you’re teaching a child with a learning disability, you’ll need to alter your teaching techniques to include the ways they learn best.
Differences Between a Homeschool and Traditional Teacher
Obviously, there are some similarities between traditional teachers and homeschool teachers. However, there are also a lot of differences you’ll want to take into account if you are interested in becoming a homeschool teacher.
Compared with traditional teachers, homeschool teachers often have more freedom to adapt the curriculum to their students’ needs. They can also include immersive experiences like outings to museums, parks and theatres and other hands-on activities.
In this way, homeschool teachers have more flexibility in the way that they teach a curriculum and how they structure class schedules. Other ways that homeschool teaching can differ from traditional teaching include:
- Different school hours
- Customized educational activies
- Involvement in education evaluation and assessment
- Freedom to teach from a venue of your choice or remotely
Skills and Qualifications: How To Become a Homeschool Teacher
It’s important to research the legal requirements for home-based education where you are planning to teach. The requirements for homeschool teachers can vary from state to state. For instance, some states do not require homeschool educators to have an educational degree while others do.
Most homeschool parents want to know that the requirements for graduation are being met by their children. This means you or they (or both) need to check with the school district and the department of education about requirements and fill out any homeschool and legal documentation to ensure compliance with local, state and federal rules.
In terms of basic legal requirements to teach, you may need a state teaching licence and you may need to have a criminal background check. If you will be taking children on outings, then parents may also require a valid and clean driving licence. Some parents may also request your immunization records.
Just because you may not legally be required to have any teaching qualifications or degrees, doesn’t mean that parents won’t be looking for specific skills or qualifications. Parents will often ask for copies of your school diploma, teaching certificate or homeschool diploma, college credits, and any professional development education courses you may taken to check your credentials. They may ask if you have any experience in public education or non-public education, colleges, home-based study teaching, and catering to special needs.
With that in mind, it may be a good idea to see what other homeschool teachers in your area have as qualifications – which may include a bachelors or master’s degree in education or a specialized field like art.
Many homeschooling parents like to hire tutors to teach subjects which they may not have expert knowledge of – like math, science, music, foreign languages, art or extracurricular activities. Highlightin skills and qualifications in specific subject areas and your level of education may help you to get a job as a homeschool teacher or tutor.
During your interview, parents may ask questions about your experience and skills. This may include information about your experience in supporting special needs, how you plan to develop individual learning plans and lessons, and how you will assess and evaluate their children’s progress.
Salary Expectations for Homeschool Teachers
If you’re considering becoming a homeschool teacher, then you’re probably also wondering what the average salary is and what your prospects are of increasing what you make.
In general, homeschool teachers may be better paid if they teach through a homeschool co-op or community where several children are taught together – compared to working for just one family.
Salaries vary from state to state, and places with high costs of living, like New York, pay the highest salaries. On average, salaries range from about $35,000 to $50,000.
If you teach children on an hourly basis as a tutor, and you have various families that you work for, then you could likely charge between $20 and $65 an hour, depending on your qualifications and where you live.
You should also consider homeschool expenses that may come up, like art materials, outing costs and resources like whiteboards or computers that you may need to be able to teach the homeschool curriculum. Private and public school students typically receive access to school facilities and resources at no extra cost, but unless you discuss these types of costs with the parents, you may end up absorbing some of them yourself.
Pros and Cons of Being a Homeschool Teacher
There are pros and cons of being a Homeschool teacher. While public school educators are required to strictly follow set lesson plans, homeschool teachers have a lot more freedom to develop and design their own curriculums. Additionally, homeschool teachers usually teach one or two children at a time which allows them to adapt their curriculum to the individual needs of the student.
Here are some of the many benefits and drawbacks of being a homeschool teacher:
- Usually teach fewer kids, so there is more time to provide individual attention and cater to special learning needs
- You can adapt lesson plans and curriculum to suit the interests and needs of students
- No school meetings or reporting to the school
- Work hours may be more flexible
- Salaries may be lower than at a public school, and may not be guaranteed for an entire school year (if you are on a monthly or terly basis)
- Pay raises not guaranteed
- May not receive benefits like sick leave, paid vacation days, or medical coverage
- You need to create all lessons plans yourself- no support or resources from a school
Getting a Job as a Homeschool Teacher
If you want to become a homeschool teacher or tutor, you’ll need to think about how you’ll be able to find a job. You may need to contact HR agencies about submitting your CV to their talent pool as well as actively looking online for homeschool teaching job openings.
You can also sign up to receive email job alerts and news about job openings related to teaching the grade levels of your choice.
On your resume, you should highlight any courses of study you have completed that could make you stand out from other candidates. You can also emphasize your educational philosophy as that may resonate with many prospective employers.
Finally, be sure to include whether or not you could be an online homeschool teacher or not as parents may have a particular online program in mind that they are using.
Another consideration to keep in mind is whether or not you want to teach online as there are many remote work opportunities for online teachers. This could open up your employment possibilities to areas farther away, and even across the globe!
Hopefully now you know more about how to become a homeschool teacher and what the pros and cons of the job involve.
Essentially, the legal requirements for being a homeschool teacher vary from state to state, so you’ll need to do some research to make sure you meet all of them. There are also legal requirements for homeschooling curriculum and documentation in each state that you’ll need to follow.
Curriculum development is a core aspect of any homeschool program. If you’re looking for additional support for your homeschool curriculum, be sure to check out mastergenius.com for help with reading and math!