Over 9 million Americans have gone through homeschooling at least once, and that number continues to rise as more parents realize the benefits homeschool teaching can offer. However, several factors can make or break the homeschool experience for your child, including the homeschool teacher.
There are many ways to homeschool your child. For some parents, a homeschool teacher is the best option, especially if they have limited time to dedicate to the homeschool curriculum. So, how do you find the right homeschool teacher for your child?
Here are thirteen tips for hiring a teacher for your homeschool curriculum.
1. Consider Your Family's Needs
Before you begin to search and interact with potential homeschool teachers, it is essential to consider your homeschool criteria. It can help you narrow down your search from the beginning, helping you find the perfect teacher fast.
It is also important to talk with your children about hiring a tutor. They may have comments to add, which can be added to your criteria list and help with ensuring a smooth introduction with the chosen homeschool teacher.
2. Check Qualifications
When hiring a teacher, asking about their educational background is important. You might not have a preference for whether they have teaching qualifications as a homeschool teacher. However, they should be able to provide evidence of their commitment to homeschool teaching and why they have chosen this career.
Qualifications can also help indicate what homeschool curriculum they are willing to teach, such as an elementary homeschool curriculum. For example, they may have been trained through Montessori or have switched to homeschool teaching due to recognizing the benefits it offers students.
3. Verify Credentials
When inviting a tutor into your home, checking credentials is important. Do not be afraid to ask for a background check and any other evidence you require. It will protect your children and ensure the individual is the right teacher for your family.
4. Ask About Experience
Does the homeschool teacher have experience? An experienced homeschool teacher is more likely to be able to adapt to the homeschool curriculum fast. However, they may also have been homeschooled, have their own children, or even have taught Montessori homeschool previously.
You can specify what type of experience you want from the beginning, such as a specialized homeschool kindergarten teacher or an elementary teacher. If you have children of multiple ages, check they are happy to teach them together with a suitable curriculum such as Montessori.
5. Show Them the Homeschool Curriculum
Hiring a teacher is not just about experience and training. They must also be willing to teach your ideal homeschool curriculum. For example, are they familiar with Montessori homeschooling and would be willing to teach this curriculum?
Some teachers may have their own curriculums they like to teach, or they may expect you to provide a curriculum. Determine the curriculum you want to teach in advance, so you can discuss it with the potential teacher and see if they are open to collaboration.
Also, the Montessori homeschool curriculum is customizable. This offers your child the ability to excel even more than if they were at a Montessori School. You can take advantage of sensitive periods and ensure your child thrives.
Your homeschool teacher should be open to working in this way and be either familiar with the Montessori curriculum or show a genuine interest in teaching in this way.
6. Reputation Is Important
When hiring a teacher, it is important to check their reputation. You can start by asking for recommendations from loved ones, colleagues, or others who follow a similar homeschool curriculum to what you want for your children. If you use the Montessori homeschool curriculum, you also have access to a group of parents using it, who may also have recommendations for a reputable tutor.
You can also ask for testimonials from the potential homeschool teacher and references you can verify. Taking the time to check reputation will ensure you pick the right tutor the first time, who is reliable and experienced, which allows your children to thrive.
7. Homeschool Teacher Skills and Values
When interacting with the homeschool teacher, begin to observe what skills they naturally have. Some essential skills for a Montessori homeschool teacher include:
- Active listening skills
- A child-centered approach
- Knowledge of Montessori principles
- Problem-solving skills
- Inspires learning
There are many qualities that make a good teacher. When you know the homeschool curriculum you are using, it can also help you focus on specific qualities, such as knowledge of Montessori principles. You want to check the homeschool teacher's character and values align with the principles.
For example, will they offer your children a hands-on, experimental learning approach? Will they honor a child's sensitive periods and adapt to them accordingly?
8. Specialist Subjects
The Montessori homeschool curriculum includes Art, Geography, Language Arts, Practical Life, Science, and Sensorial units. The curriculum can help guide a parent or homeschool tutor, and there is also the Open-and-Go Curriculum. Or you can focus on a specific curriculum, such as the Language Arts curriculum.
There is also the option for customizable unit studies based on individual child interests and sensitive periods. While using a curriculum can help set a standard and general focus, asking potential tutors about their interests can be useful.
If they have specialist interests, such as playing particular instruments, being interested in woodwork, foraging, or other skills, it can also support your child's studies. Sometimes a teacher may have a diverse range of interests, which can be helpful in supporting your child's changing interests as they grow.
9. Working Hours
When deciding on the right homeschool tutor for your child, you need to consider working hours. Is the homeschool tutor flexible, or do they have a set schedule? You want their working hours to align with the curriculum you want to follow.
For example, with the Montessori homeschool curriculum, you want them to be able to put in around 2-5 hours or more of prep work each week, especially to prepare the environment. You also want their hours to align with the Montessori home learning style and curriculum requirements.
10. Material Use
Some homeschool teachers may have preferences about the types of materials they use for teaching. There are two main factors to check when it comes to teaching materials:
- Do they provide their own teaching materials?
- Do their preferences align with the curriculum?
For example, you do not need many materials with the Montessori home curriculum. You need to check whether the teacher will provide them or whether you will have to make this purchase. If a teacher is providing their own materials, check that they align with Montessori principles, such as avoiding tablet use.
Some examples of supplies for the Montessori home curriculum include:
- Printer paper
- Laminator and laminator sheets
- Scotch tape
- Stapler and staples
Discussing details such as teaching materials clarifies whether you are on the same page from the beginning. A teacher who does not agree with these materials will probably not be open to the values and principles of Montessori. Other materials in the space can also be child-sized and appeal to all their senses.
11. Your Budget
When hiring a teacher, do not neglect to work out your budget. You do not want to run into problems later in the year when your children have formed a relationship with the tutor.
Clarify the costs and check there are no additional fees. Agree on a written contract before beginning.
If you are unsure about budgeting and are choosing a teacher because you are unsure if you can teach, check out the Montessori home curriculum. It is designed for parents and carers to be able to teach their children with ease.
12. Level of Support
How does the homeschool teacher approach collaboration with parents? Will you schedule regular meetings to discuss your child's learning journey?
Some curriculums, such as the Montessori home curriculum, include support groups. Find a homeschool teacher who works collaboratively with parents and will be happy to discuss any questions.
13. Schedule a Meeting With Your Children
Once you find a potential teacher, it is time to arrange a meeting with your children. Schedule a trial class or general meeting so you can observe the interaction and ask your children for their opinion.
If you want to align with the Montessori approach, it is important that the teacher can embody the principles with children. Montessori is about improving child development by teachers guiding the children, not taking control or disciplining them in the form of punishment. Many studies support the success of Montessori for child development, so observe how well a teacher can step back and let your child take the reigns.
Find a Montessori Homeschool Teacher
Follow these tips to find the right homeschool teacher for your family. Investing the time to find the ideal teacher can ensure your child thrives in the homeschool learning environment.
The Montessori home school curriculum aims to make the Montessori approach more accessible for all. You can also be your children's homeschool teacher with our curriculum. Get a free sample of our curriculum today to learn more, and do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions.