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Homeschooling has been going on for many years and has arguably become more commonplace following the pandemic.

In 2022, studies noted a 63% increase in school-age children being educated at home during the 2020-2021 school year, attributing the change to the growth in homeschooling during national lockdowns.

Parents might choose to educate their children at home entirely alone, or they can bring specialist homeschool teachers into their homes to teach some or all subjects. The rise in home education means that homeschool teachers and tutors are becoming more sought-after, making this a viable career choice for more people. If you’re interested in this, keep reading for our complete guide to being a homeschool teacher.

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What does homeschooling mean?

Homeschooling means that a school-age child is educated at home rather than in a school. Parents’ requirements to follow to do this depend on their state. For parents homeschooling their kids, covering every subject in enough detail might be tough. They may also need to balance their homeschooling responsibilities with work and caring for other children or family members.

For this reason, homeschool teachers can help ensure that kids get the education they need and that parents can manage their commitments. They also come with valuable knowledge and experience that can enhance a homeschool education.

Typical responsibilities for a homeschool teacher

Homeschool teachers work with individual children or small groups to provide education and support in their homes. These teachers might focus on a particular subject or provide education more generally, similarly to primary school teachers. Depending on the needs of the people you’re working with, some childcare responsibilities might also be part of the job. These teachers spend a lot of time working directly with their students but, like other teachers, also have other responsibilities.

Some of the key responsibilities of homeschool teachers are:

  • Teaching individuals or small groups of students
  • Developing a curriculum and learning plan, usually in consultation with parents
  • Planning lessons and activities
  • Marking classwork
  • Creating reports on learning outcomes
  • Organizing and leading educational trips
  • Giving personalized advice and support to students
  • Staying up-to-date with teaching-related news and developments
  • Staying up-to-date with new educational tools and technologies

Important qualities for homeschool teachers

Some qualities are particularly important to have if you’re a homeschool tutor. These qualities help you to perform your job well and teach effectively. Some of the personal qualities that are important for homeschool teachers are:

  • A passion for education and working with children and young people
  • Strong time management skills
  • Strong communication skills
  • Strong problem-solving skills
  • Good organization skills
  • Tactful and empathetic
  • Leadership skills
  • Ability to multitask
  • Patience
  • Flexibility
  • Confidence

Finding work as a homeschool teacher

When you start as a homeschool educator, online platforms can be a great way of connecting you with parents. There are a variety of platforms that can help you find work. Social media groups for homeschooling might also help you to find students. You could also advertise your services in your local area. As you gain more experience, parents you’ve worked with might mention you to others, which can help you find more work. Throughout your career, it’s important to keep connecting with homeschooling parents and promoting your services.

Working as a homeschool teacher

If you’re interested in a career as a homeschooling teacher, it’s helpful to understand what working in this job is really like. This can help you decide if it’s your right career path. Knowing about the educational requirements, salary expectations, and opportunities you might have for progression can help you decide.

Requirements

Requirements for homeschooling vary depending on your state. Research has shown that the education level of a homeschooled parent has little effect on learning outcomes. In many states, there are no educational requirements for homeschool teachers. However, having qualifications in education at either the undergraduate or postgraduate level is likely to increase your work opportunities.

Many parents are likely to request a background check from you. This is to confirm that you have no criminal convictions and can work around children safely.

Salary

The average salary for a homeschool teacher in the USA is $54,015 per year. This is slightly lower than the average salary for a teacher in a conventional school, which comes in at $54,073.

Career progression

You might find it more difficult to progress as a homeschooling teacher than working in a traditional school. This is because you work independently, and there’s no formal structure. This means that it’s impossible to progress into a leadership or headteacher role as you would have if you worked in a school. As you gain more experience and develop your reputation as a home teacher, you’re likely to get more work opportunities. This can increase your salary, and you might be able to charge higher fees for your services.

If you have relevant educational qualifications, you might be able to move into teaching in a school, including moving into more senior positions. It’s important to remember that you must be a qualified teacher to work as a teacher in a school. If you want to progress your career this way, gaining a relevant qualification is essential.

The advantages and disadvantages of being a homeschool teacher

As with any career, working as a homeschool teacher has both advantages and disadvantages. Understanding these points can also help you decide whether it’s a suitable career. Working as a teacher is generally considered very rewarding, and you can feel these same benefits working as a homeschool tutor.

Some of the main advantages of this job are:

  • Opportunities to develop relationships with students and see the impact of your teaching
  • More opportunities to work one-to-one with students
  • Fewer students mean less time on administrative work
  • More relaxed and flexible work environment
  • Usually, no dress code while you’re at work
  • There are opportunities for all levels of teaching experience

Some of the main disadvantages are:

  • Typically a lower salary compared to other types of teaching roles
  • Positions might be short-term
  • You may not get the usual holidays that teachers in schools do
  • Lack of benefits like paid time off or pensions
  • You’re likely to have to do work like lesson planning at home and on your own time
  • Less support compared to teachers working in schools

Professional development

Professional development is important for many careers, including homeschooling teachers. Continuing your professional development improves your ability to do your job and can help you to access new employment opportunities. You might increase your knowledge and skills through training courses and your education. You can take part in relevant short courses, including those you study remotely. Many professional development courses aimed at teachers in schools will still be relevant for teachers who specialize in homeschooling. Alternatively, you might get a postgraduate degree in education or a specialist field.

While there are professional associations for teachers and educators, these are often aimed more at teachers working in schools or institutions. Homeschool teachers make up a small proportion of teaching staff overall. If you struggle to find the right support from professional associations, forums and organizations intended to support parents, who can help you to get the right support?

Begin a career as a homeschool teacher

Working as a homeschool teacher is quite a different experience compared to teaching in a school. As homeschooling grows in popularity, these professionals are increasingly in-demand, making this an attractive career option for many educators. While this job has challenges, it can also be a rewarding career with plenty of positive qualities. If you’re passionate about teaching but prefer to work outside a traditional classroom environment, being a homeschool tutor could be the right career for you.