Skip to main content

Is it legal to homeschool someone else's child?

Due to schedule constraints, teaching preferences, or other reasons, parents may ask: "Is it legal for a person to homeschool someone else's child?"

Liza is finding it hard to pay attention in class. She gets distracted easily by other classmates and can't sit still for long periods of time. Restlessness can overcome her easily. It may be time to try an alternative choice, such as a homeschool setting. There distractions can be minimized, alternative instructional methods can be utilized, and the schoolwork can be done at Liza's pace, rather than rushed. Her parents want to try homeschool, but know they cannot teach her, as they both need to continue working to make ends meet.

Is it legal to homeschool someone else's child?When making the decisions involved in the homeschool choice, some will wonder what teaching options are available. One possible question is whether another adult, besides the parents, can legally homeschool a child. Perhaps a parent would like their child to receive the one-on-one learning experience that homeschool can provide. Maybe the child, like Liza, would benefit from a customized learning plan. For whatever reason, the parents have made the decision that homeschool may be the answer, but they cannot do it themselves, due to work or other circumstances.

The answer to the legalities behind homeschooling someone else's child does not come with a simple yes or no. The answers are varied, depending on state laws and regulations. Each state has its own set of requirements and regulations surrounding homeschool. At the time this text was composed by the author, it is the author's understanding, based on research of educational laws, that everything herein is true and accurate. Laws can change and also can be interpreted differently by individuals. Thus, the information herein is not legal advice and is intended only for informational purposes. Multiple resources should be used when researching legal matters.

In some states, it is only legal for a certified teacher to homeschool a child. In these cases, a certified parent or tutor both could possibly be the home educator. Still, in yet other states, certification is not required for the parent, but restrictions may apply as to who can be the homeschool teacher. In such states, a parent may not need certification, but another person who would teach the child would need certification because that person is not the legal guardian of that child. In such cases, that would not actually be homeschooling by the definition of the law, but would be considered to be private school education.

In some states, such as Florida and Texas (under the author's understanding of the current law), anyone can be the homeschool teacher with or without certification. In these states, as well as some others, homeschool is considered to be a private school. For the most up to date information concerning homeschool laws and how they pertain to your individual concerns, visit the Homeschool Legal Defense Association, or HSLDA, as well as study the entire educational law for your state of residence. The educational law can be obtained from the board of education in each state.

-- Accompanied photo taken by author


  • Anna Sanclement-Ft Lauderdale Science News Examine 5 years ago

    Good to know! Thanks for the information on this.

  • Beverly Bright - Green Country Budget Events 5 years ago

    I could see where this could get complicated. The information is interesting.

  • Victoria Miller Philadelphia Childrens TV Examiner 5 years ago

    Interesting article- I always wondered about this.

  • Bobbi Leder - Houston Dogs Examiner 5 years ago

    Very interesting information.

  • Lisa Carey-Houston Family Examiner 5 years ago


  • Emylou Lewis 5 years ago

    Thanks for the info!

    Third culture kids examiner
    Seattle stay-at-home moms examiner

  • Vincent Summers - Norfolk Kitchen Science Examiner 5 years ago

    I was so relieved to see you mention that it depends upon the state. I should have KNOWN you would say that! Yes, it does indeed. We did a bit of homeschooling - for some time - but eventually had to admit our children into the public school system. It was a good headstart. And that was our reason for homeschooling - to provide a good headstart. Although I am a very religious person, we did not introduce our children to homeschooling for that reason. There is no indication in the scriptures that one has to homeschool. One has to oversee their family, yes. And if children are in the school system, the parents should make sure the children are able to deal with any situation that arises. That requires, sometimes, that we draw up "deep waters."

  • Amanda - Indianapolis Healthy Living Examiner 5 years ago

    My parents homeschooled my brother's children for a bit. I don't think any of us thought about if it was legal or not at the time.

  • bmalone, Indianapolis Homeschool Examiner 5 years ago

    I think grandparents homeschooling is one thing, but to homeschool a child who is not related to family, I think that's a huge responsibility to undertake and I would not be willing to do that. I do teach at a homeschool co-op..but to me that's completely different than being completely responsbile for a child's education

  • Kyla Matton - Mtl Parenting & Ed Examiner 5 years ago

    Good article, as always! Nice to see so many familiar names in the comments too :)