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What's your impression of this request of homeschoolers?


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This was on one of my state's homeschool page. What do you think of it?

"Looking for suggestions. We are looking for someone that can help me and my son. Would like someone to work one on one with my son and also help guide me in teaching him as well. Someone that has experience in teaching, can help me find his learning style, make it fun and help his confidence. He has fallen behind and we need help getting him caught up and back on track. Please message me. Can give more details etc.
Thanks so much!"

My impression is this is a person who wants someone else to homeschool her child for her. Am I just getting more cranky and cynical?  I worry some relatively new homeschooler will get sucked into hand holding for free when what she's really asking for is tutoring and consulting, which should be paid.  I get very irritated when people expect women to work for free. 
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I would probably respond to her (if there's a place for comments) that what she's looking for is a tutoring service and/or maybe a comprehensive homeschool program that will take the lead for her.     It also sounds like she might need a mentor to give suggestions.  🤷🏻‍♀️

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A lot of learning issues in my area are blamed on differences in Learning Styles here. I pretty much see that phrase as code for "We don't acknowledge that our kid is a hot mess and needs evaluations." That's a big reason around here kids fall behind; there is a strong "anti-label" vibe. **ETA: This is what it might mean locally, but I wouldn't assume it of someone from another area.

(At the same time, we have state scholarships for IEP services, so there is also a population of people who pull their kids who were struggling in school to get private services. A few people are stuck in districts that make getting an IEP really difficult, and they can't/won't pay for services, so they don't want to get a label if they can't get the IEP.)

Other options: Mom is overwhelmed, but she really wants to learn--maybe followed bad advice or just got in over her head but could correct. Possibly a discipline issue--mom is a pushover and/or the kid has conduct issues. There are a lot of people who unparent but don't mean to unparent or who sort of realize something is off, but aren't sure what to do about it. 

That mom wants a free tutor is not my impression. Free help as a mentor? Quite possibly, but it could be earnest, and she could be someone that would implement good advice. 

 

Edited by kbutton
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22 minutes ago, Jean in Newcastle said:

Reply saying “how much are you offering for this service?”  

This is how I replied when I saw it on my newsfeed:
 “If you're looking for tutoring and consulting, you should give people an idea of what rate you're willing to pay for it.”

There was one reply to mine:
“If people are tutors or consultants they should reach out and see if it’s a good fit and then offer their rate. Not the other way around.”

There haven't been any other responses.

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I took it to mean she's likely new to homeschooling, brought on by the pandemic, and looking for someone (presumably for pay) to help her out as she has no idea how to be in charge of her child's learning. 

If I were replying, I'd message/reply saying I can help with xyz, my rate for private one-on-one tutoring is abc/hr, and that I'd be happy to work out a schedule where I mentored her through the beginning and taught her how to teach her child (at the above rate), weaning her off of me in the process, reducing the one-on-one hours week by week so that we end up with me out of the picture or once/week or whatever. 

I don't automatically interpret it to mean she's wanting someone to do this for free (although, admittedly, I did have a scenario like that happen, where someone asked for dyslexia tutoring, asked my rate, agreed to a meeting, and then really wanted me to do it for free instead/didn't have time to work with me/the kid; still, that didn't go beyond the one meeting). 

Since she said PM/DM me, you may not be seeing all the replies, and after an exchange in the comments like you mentioned, other posters may be staying away from it on purpose (and behind the scenes she may be getting messages, etc.)

Oh, and it is common where I live for it to be the tutor who lists the rate, not the person hiring, who may have no clue (but would then find the rate reasonable when it's given). 

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I don't know- she could be wanting someone to give her more personalized advice on curriculum based on her kids needs- which i would give for free.  If she wants tutoring, that i would want paid for.  She mentions her son being a bit behind- I'm going to admit my first thought is undiagnosed LD.  It can be so frustrating when your kid learns differently and you can't find services!  

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I did not get the impression that she was looking for free help; I read it as a job advertisement. I wouldn't necessarily expect someone looking for a tutor or consultant to have any idea of how much they should offer. I think the second poster pegged it more accurately; I do both, and I have set rates - I don't look to potential clients to make me offers. 

She definitely could be angling for free services, but I would not call this an obvious example of that at all. 

 

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I get why it made you cranky, its vague enough that I feel like she's done almost zero research herself. Is she even homeschooling? You trip over a dozen *fun!!!* *learning styles!!!* blogs/yt channels when you google how to homeschool...

Maybe drop a link to delectable education consulting, or to WTM on amazon.

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I answered a very similar job advertisement myself.  It was "part-time".  Her idea of part-time was what would be full-time teaching in a school.  And she wanted to pay a pittance.  Which I can sort of understand but she lives in some of the most expensive housing around in a very expensive area.  She's had no takers.  But when I first answered the ad she had absolutely no idea of what she actually wanted.  It took me a good fifteen minutes of asking questions to figure out what she even wanted taught etc. because she didn't know.  (Actually I think she really just wanted her kid to be out of her hair and to get a "good education" as a bonus.) 

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I do some of this work. I charge $6k per class per year for 9th and 10th grade, and $10k/year for 11th and 12th grade.  I have 2 students over the years that I have helped with 3 classes in a year, so $18-30k/year and an additional $3k/year for monitoring other classes that I don't teach.  This is for kids who attend school and have teachers and a program to follow. I'm not sure how much you would charge to create and run an entire program for a homeschooled kid.  Private education with a 1 to 1 ratio. I'm worth a lot!

Edited by lewelma
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11 hours ago, cougarmom4 said:

As I read it, I assumed they were looking to hire someone to do this. Maybe you could message and find out how much they are paying. 😉

This was my reaction also.

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15 hours ago, Homeschool Mom in AZ said:

work for free. 

I'm with the others that I wouldn't assume she meant free. I've hired workers to work with my ds. Her request is pretty normal and the pay with vary with the qualifications. If someone has little qualification, they might only get $15-20 an hour around here. But if someone comes in with a masters, intervention experience, etc. they're going to pull $50-100 an hour doing that. $50-65 would be *very common* here for the right qualifications. And those people ARE around and there are people willing to pay what that costs. Our state has a scholarship system to help, but people will also just pay it to get that 1:1. I've had high qualified people apply, including people with master's in education. I had a doctoral student in OT who had done substitute teaching and was RBT trained. 

You might write her and suggest she try Care.com if she doesn't find anyone. It can take a while, but sometimes someone will pop up. Unfortunately, right now tele would be more common, which is not really ideal for someone with learning challenges. But as things improve, that would be a place to make a listing. Sometimes I won't get a reply back for a month or two and then boom.

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9 hours ago, Jean in Newcastle said:

Her idea of part-time was what would be full-time teaching in a school.  And she wanted to pay a pittance.  Which I can sort of understand but she lives in some of the most expensive housing around in a very expensive area. 

Hahaha, I know! I had someone approach me once, and basically they thought a mom doing that work should be less than the local private school. I'm like no baby, 1:1 costs $$$. Sometimes they're looking for convenience, to rid themselves of guilt, whatever. Right now, I'm guessing people want to be rid of the insane tele school thing and want more interaction. But it's not reasonable to pay an unfair wage. 

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12 hours ago, LMD said:

I get why it made you cranky, its vague enough that I feel like she's done almost zero research herself. Is she even homeschooling? You trip over a dozen *fun!!!* *learning styles!!!* blogs/yt channels when you google how to homeschool...

Maybe drop a link to delectable education consulting, or to WTM on amazon.

Well fwiw, I assumed it was sort of an iceberg situation and that she's actually got some problems going on. It takes time for people to move from "learning styles" to "psych evals and DSM diagnoses".

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I've seen posts like that too.  I highly doubt most families could afford or would want to pay that would actually cost.  I always think if you aren't reading and researching extensively about homeschooling on your own, no one is going to spoon feed it to you and it's probably not for you. 

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17 minutes ago, PeterPan said:

Hahaha, I know! I had someone approach me once, and basically they thought a mom doing that work should be less than the local private school. I'm like no baby, 1:1 costs $$$. Sometimes they're looking for convenience, to rid themselves of guilt, whatever. Right now, I'm guessing people want to be rid of the insane tele school thing and want more interaction. But it's not reasonable to pay an unfair wage. 

She still wants her son to be doing online school with the district but for me to be there to answer any and all questions and to keep him on task and to provide instant enrichment that would riff off what the public school teacher is doing.  And she wanted me to provide help for meals and for recess.  All for under $20 an hour.  Oh and she just opened it to other kids in the neighborhood and is calling it a "pod".  And she didn't once mention any sort of accommodation for staying safe from Covid. 

I thought long and hard about it because I could hear the panic in her voice and it does tug at my heartstrings.  But I don't have the stamina to do that every single day for six hours.  I did talk it over with a couple of teacher friends - we even discussed breaking it up where we each did a couple of days - but we all came to the same conclusion that this had way too many red flags and not enough in it for us. 

Oh - and she casually commented that next year she plans to "homeschool" her kid.  (She did not ask my opinion on that and I didn't give it but I wanted to scream at that.) 

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I did homeschool a neighbor’s child for years. It was good for all of us. But he got folded into my homeschool at my house using the curriculum I picked out. The person in the ad seems to be looking for something very different. 
 

My first thought was, “I bet her son is having behavioral issues.” They might come from mom’s inexperience homeschooling. There might be an underlying issue, but their probably won’t be any quick fixes for this family. 
 

 

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On 1/12/2021 at 11:31 PM, lewelma said:

I do some of this work. I charge $6k per class per year for 9th and 10th grade, and $10k/year for 11th and 12th grade.  I have 2 students over the years that I have helped with 3 classes in a year, so $18-30k/year and an additional $3k/year for monitoring other classes that I don't teach.  This is for kids who attend school and have teachers and a program to follow. I'm not sure how much you would charge to create and run an entire program for a homeschooled kid.  Private education with a 1 to 1 ratio. I'm worth a lot!

This! 

I have taught bonus homeschooled students high school math over the years and have offered the friends and family discount.  If I were to do it for a living, I would charge a minimum of $200 per week, which works out to $7200 for a 36 week year (this would be for a math class that followed an established program with tweaks for individual learners; for a completely individualized program, I'd charge more).  Note that my friends and family discount meant that I made far, far less than that.  

For an entire individualized program...minimum $150,000 per year.  

Edited by EKS
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49 minutes ago, Jean in Newcastle said:

Oh and she just opened it to other kids in the neighborhood and is calling it a "pod".

Oh my. Well I guess good luck to her. Someone may do it. But after taxes, that's not enough pay for the risk/hassle, not if you have more experience. That's the type of service a para or lower pay person provides. I just attended a webinar on how to be a better para with online courses, because my ds does things online that need support. There's actually a lot of skill to it, because the goal is to have the student connecting and interacting with the virtual community, not just the para. So the mom is viewing this like glorified babysitting with recess but there's actually more that could be done. Oh well, not my monkey, not my circus.

51 minutes ago, Jean in Newcastle said:

I thought long and hard about it because I could hear the panic in her voice and it does tug at my heartstrings. 

Well if she actually has a PROBLEM with her dc being able to access his education, that's what the IEP/504 process is for. They're providing paras who help with this and there's training available. I think the webinar I watched was through Brookes Publishing. I don't know if it's still available for free or if it's paid. Now they're doing a longer paid training.

Fwiw I was really surprised, because I *thought* what I was looking for was ways to give sensory, poke my ds, deal with this or that, and basically cattle prod him along. And they were telling paras ways to support that helped kids engage with the virtual community better and set them up. So she'd be way better off getting the help through the school if they're actually providing it.

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1 hour ago, PeterPan said:

Oh my. Well I guess good luck to her. Someone may do it. But after taxes, that's not enough pay for the risk/hassle, not if you have more experience. That's the type of service a para or lower pay person provides. I just attended a webinar on how to be a better para with online courses, because my ds does things online that need support. There's actually a lot of skill to it, because the goal is to have the student connecting and interacting with the virtual community, not just the para. So the mom is viewing this like glorified babysitting with recess but there's actually more that could be done. Oh well, not my monkey, not my circus.

Well if she actually has a PROBLEM with her dc being able to access his education, that's what the IEP/504 process is for. They're providing paras who help with this and there's training available. I think the webinar I watched was through Brookes Publishing. I don't know if it's still available for free or if it's paid. Now they're doing a longer paid training.

Fwiw I was really surprised, because I *thought* what I was looking for was ways to give sensory, poke my ds, deal with this or that, and basically cattle prod him along. And they were telling paras ways to support that helped kids engage with the virtual community better and set them up. So she'd be way better off getting the help through the school if they're actually providing it.

I don't think that the child is actually having difficulty with his studies.  If anything, it's too easy for him and he's bored.  But they are in one of the better local school districts (which I used to teach for).  I just looked up the district guidelines for remote learning (which they differentiate from online learning) and if you aren't specifically in special ed. it doesn't look like there are additional resources provided.  Anyway. . .   I'm kind of hijacking this thread, which was not my intent.  It's been an interesting rabbit trail looking up the district resources and policies. 

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19 minutes ago, Jean in Newcastle said:

I don't think that the child is actually having difficulty with his studies.  If anything, it's too easy for him and he's bored.  But they are in one of the better local school districts (which I used to teach for).  I just looked up the district guidelines for remote learning (which they differentiate from online learning) and if you aren't specifically in special ed. it doesn't look like there are additional resources provided.  Anyway. . .   I'm kind of hijacking this thread, which was not my intent.  It's been an interesting rabbit trail looking up the district resources and policies. 

When my kids were virtual last SPring, yes they didn't provide much for kids who were ahead. I contacted the teacher and got resources for teaching cursive and we read Diary of Anne Frank together and did some mom-made assignments based on that.  I thought it was a good time to show them how much worse lockdown COULD be *wry*  (And yes they got to watch more videos than necessary since I was still working.)

Edited by vonfirmath
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19 hours ago, Homeschool Mom in AZ said:
This was on one of my state's homeschool page. What do you think of it?

"Looking for suggestions. We are looking for someone that can help me and my son. Would like someone to work one on one with my son and also help guide me in teaching him as well. Someone that has experience in teaching, can help me find his learning style, make it fun and help his confidence. He has fallen behind and we need help getting him caught up and back on track. Please message me. Can give more details etc.
Thanks so much!"

My impression is this is a person who wants someone else to homeschool her child for her. Am I just getting more cranky and cynical?  I worry some relatively new homeschooler will get sucked into hand holding for free when what she's really asking for is tutoring and consulting, which should be paid.  I get very irritated when people expect women to work for free. 

Not how I took it. The Covid schoolers are far more abrupt in what they ask for - no addition of, “help guide me as well.”

 

Nope, I think this is a mom sincerely seeking counsel and experience of a bonafide homeschooling mama. 😊 

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Reading this I assumed it would be a paid position.  While it can be easy to find a tutor for a student, she's really looking for a tutor for both of them.  It can be hard to find someone who will help a homeschooling mom get her footing.  Lots of educational consultants/tutors are really pushing a pro public school agenda.  

I have paid both tutors and homeschooling coaches over the course of our homeschool - and we are "real" and "invested" homeschoolers.  🤷‍♀️

 

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15 hours ago, lewelma said:

I do some of this work. I charge $6k per class per year for 9th and 10th grade, and $10k/year for 11th and 12th grade.  I have 2 students over the years that I have helped with 3 classes in a year, so $18-30k/year and an additional $3k/year for monitoring other classes that I don't teach.  This is for kids who attend school and have teachers and a program to follow. I'm not sure how much you would charge to create and run an entire program for a homeschooled kid.  Private education with a 1 to 1 ratio. I'm worth a lot!

DH recently retired as a full professor in finance.  A university called and asked him to serve as an adjunct because they need to reduce class sizes because of COVID.  He would be teaching a junior/senior level major course with at least 30 students for a semester, plus there was a writing intensive component to the class, meaning he would have to grade written work in addition to the course material.  There are other time-consuming requirements like going through a course on using their LMS.  The pay was $3000--perhaps $3250 if they could convince the administration to consider his 30+ years experience at a different school.  He said "No, thanks."  He could make more than that per hour tutoring...

And my provost is wondering why there aren't a lot of people with PhDs willing to come to campus (in the middle of a pandemic) to teach one class in the middle of the day...

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6 hours ago, PeterPan said:

Hahaha, I know! I had someone approach me once, and basically they thought a mom doing that work should be less than the local private school. 

My quick answer to shut down that conversation is, Private school is cheaper. And they move on, lol. 

3 hours ago, EKS said:

I should mention that you could not pay me enough to babysit someone else's kid through an online program.

You could pay me enough, but it would sure be a lot. 

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Requests like that have been all over one state homeschool group I read. They've been people looking for paid tutors. Given the pandemic (schools are all still closed around here and have not opened since last March) I can't find it in me to judge. I also don't think people are responsible for advertising an offered amount for their services. I also would assume that the tutor/teacher sets the rate for the most part and people looking for someone to provide that service need to decide if they can pay it or negotiate based on that. If someone wants to do it the other way, that's fine. But since it's more commonly done the other way for tutoring, I wouldn't assume that's something people must do.

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On 1/12/2021 at 8:13 PM, Homeschool Mom in AZ said:

This is how I replied when I saw it on my newsfeed:
 “If you're looking for tutoring and consulting, you should give people an idea of what rate you're willing to pay for it.”

There was one reply to mine:
“If people are tutors or consultants they should reach out and see if it’s a good fit and then offer their rate. Not the other way around.”

There haven't been any other responses.

 

That reply to you was just rigid thinking.  There are many ways to approach exchange of services.

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On 1/12/2021 at 7:43 PM, Homeschool Mom in AZ said:
This was on one of my state's homeschool page. What do you think of it?

"Looking for suggestions. We are looking for someone that can help me and my son. Would like someone to work one on one with my son and also help guide me in teaching him as well. Someone that has experience in teaching, can help me find his learning style, make it fun and help his confidence. He has fallen behind and we need help getting him caught up and back on track. Please message me. Can give more details etc.
Thanks so much!"

My impression is this is a person who wants someone else to homeschool her child for her. Am I just getting more cranky and cynical?  I worry some relatively new homeschooler will get sucked into hand holding for free when what she's really asking for is tutoring and consulting, which should be paid.  I get very irritated when people expect women to work for free. 

I feel exactly the same way you do: she wants someone else to homeschool her child, also known as a tutor. Homeschoolers apparently don't know what a tutor is.

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10 hours ago, Ellie said:

I feel exactly the same way you do: she wants someone else to homeschool her child, also known as a tutor.

There is a difference in my mind between tutoring and one-to-one teaching.  A tutor comes in behind the teacher (or resource) and fills in gaps.  Their goal is to help the student succeed in someone else's program.  It is usually done on the fly, so no prep involved.  You just look at the student's homework or whatever and and then use your vast expertise to help them.

Actually teaching a course from scratch that has been designed especially for the student is a very different beast.  You spend an enormous amount of time researching and preparing for one student.  It's like the first time a teacher teaches a class without the benefit of knowing that the second time will be easier or that your efforts are helping 20+ students.  And since it's individualized, if something's not working midyear, it's back to the drawing board.

I actually hate tutoring (as I've defined it here) and love teaching.  But the all consuming nature of teaching (with its constant need for research, prep, thought, etc) is the reason for the high prices I listed in a previous post.  In other words, the time put into tutoring is just about all contained in the time actually in contact with the student.  With teaching, I've found it is a minimum of an hour of prep for every hour with the student, and sometimes way more depending on what you're trying to do.

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17 hours ago, EKS said:

With teaching, I've found it is a minimum of an hour of prep for every hour with the student, and sometimes way more depending on what you're trying to do.

I charge a flat fee of 30% loading for my noncontact hours to adapt the program to the student.  So for 10 hours in person for a 10 week term, I charge 3 hours noncontact to plan. I charge an extra 30% for every class I teach even if the in person hours don't change. So if I'm teaching Physics and Algebra, I charge 6 hours noncontact for 10 in person hours. I can charge 30% rather than 100% as EKS stated because we have a national curriculum that I work with and because I teach multiple kids at the same level, so the work I do for one I can often use for another.  

Edited by lewelma
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I just got a text asking if I'd be interested in homeschooling an 8th grader who has ADHD and is not doing well with virtual school. I'm already homeschooling my advanced 8th grader and my senior who I'm working with directly on several subjects due to some goals he's trying to achieve. I'm tempted to tell her that I doubt they'd be willing to pay me what I'd want for private schooling someone else's kid. The person who asked me has already graduated several homeschooled kids and is homeschooling her own middle schoolers, so I guess she's already turned it down. 

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