It is not uncommon for homeschool parents to outsource some of their children’s classes. Sometimes parents post questions online asking others where to find a local teacher for a certain course or to recommend resources. When I read these posts, I often wonder about the backstory. What led up to this decision? Why is this person looking to outsource this class? What is the parent’s real motivation?
Personally, I don’t feel there is anything wrong with outsourcing classes. There are benefits to learning in varied environments. However, determining your motivation for seeking outside sources should come first and this requires honest self-reflection. There are four common motivations; fear, pride, feasibility, and interest.
You may not want to admit that you are choosing not to do something out of fear. Secretly, you are afraid to teach a certain subject and feel inadequate, so you assume someone else will do a better job. You even make up excuses as to why a class must be outsourced. Someone else is always the expert or better qualified. Of course, this is not true. If it was, you would not be homeschooling at all. If you do realize that fear has become a motivation, meditate on 2 Timothy 1:7, “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”
Admitting that you are doing something out of pride can be extremely difficult and humbling. Are you enrolling your child in that class because he really wants to take it or because you really want him to take it? Why do you want him to take it? Is it because you are secretly competing with another parent? Do you want your child to be like another child? Are you afraid someone else will get ahead? Do you want to be able to brag about what your child has done? I’m sorry to tell you this, but these are all prideful motivations. Be honest with yourself. Is pride factoring into your decision making? If so, repent.
Sometimes, it is just not feasible to teach a particular topic. Your child wants to learn piano and you don’t own one. Or, your older child needs to learn chemistry and you are caring for a newborn. Outsourcing classes can really help with physical and time constraints.
Lastly, a parent may have little interest in teaching a particular subject. Outsourcing can be a great solution. My son wants to learn computer programming this year. Does that mean, as a homeschool mom, I have to study computer programming so I can teach it to him? No. There are tons of resources available and I can choose one for him to use. This makes the most sense for our homeschool.
When I first started homeschooling, I thought that I had to do it all myself. Now, I realize that outsourcing some classes can be beneficial to our family as long as I honestly contemplate my motivations beforehand.