If you want to start a tutoring business there are many places from which you could look to recruit your first students; one such arena is that of the homeschooled student. As you start a tutoring business, in the early hungry days you will probably need to look for customers anywhere you can, but as you grow or want to specialize from the outset, consider the growing market of homeschooled students.
We have found it hard to pinpoint the exact number of homeschooled students in the USA at this time, mainly because some students are not reported, and stats have to be estimated through census data. A2Z Homeschooling put together a detailed analysis by state over the last few years and currently estimates that there are between 1.5 and 1.6 million children being homeschooled.
The reasons that parents choose to homeschool are myriad and adapting your resume, marketing and tutoring to the reasoning behind the parental decisions will be key when you come to cut your slice of this pie.
A 2001 Study by the US Census Bureau (additional information on conservapedia) discovered that the single largest reason to homeschool was providing a better education at home than within a traditional school; referred to as a ‘brick & mortar’ school. This apparent dissatisfaction with the public school system can only have grown in the time since this study as more and more parents lament the ‘teaching to the test’ environment and the narrowing of the school syllabus. Add to this the growing ‘anti-vaccine’ movement and religious or moral instruction and homeschooling is a growing market.
Parents, no matter how qualified, will be unable to instruct their children in every subject to the desired level and this is where many teachers, themselves dissatisfied with the way public education is shaping up, have decided to start a tutoring business to step in and cover the topics the parents feel unable or unqualified to tackle themselves. In fact in 2006 The New York Times ran a story featuring parents who chose to homeschool and not act as instructor at all, hiring tutors to cover the entire curriculum in what they closely hinted as being a return to elitist Victorian Education. In Virginia, the state has a website setup to answer a multitude of questions and supply resources to parents who are considering homeschooling.
But taking a 180 turn away from any form of elitism is the student who works for a living, or is in training for a particular sport or endeavor. Film studios, television companies all hire tutors to instruct students who are unable, due to their current or future career, to attend a traditional school.
In some communities families choose to group together to teach or attend workshops and field trips. Use the internet to research the home schooling requirements in your state and local school district and find all the points of contact for local home schoolers, then start the legwork. But remember, be the best, as that is what these parents want for their children and they are, for whatever reason, in a position to ensure it happens.
And of course, software to manage your tutoring business should be in place before your first customer comes through the door. Oases Online is the complete tutoring management package. Check out the Features & Benefits of Oases Online.
Here are some other resources to get you started:
If you have experience tutoring home schoolers or wish to share ideas on how to start a tutoring business, please use the comments section below.