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Old 13.04.2011, 13:58
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Re: Working as an independent tutor? (EU B Permit)

6 children is, perhaps coincidentally, the legal limit you can teach in Vaud and still call it "homeschooling". More than that and you are considered a private school, fall under different regulations and have to work more closely with the canton. Maybe the parents know all this already, or maybe they just happen to have six kids between them. Don't know. Anyway, I would not get involved without making very sure that all parties have done their legal homework.

Also, somebody (you? the parents?) has to send the authorities a list of students at the beginning of every year; the authorities have the right to visit/give exams/etc. in order to satisfy themselves that education equivalent to that in the local public schools is being given. So somebody's got to coordinate with them on that.

My point is, aside from number of contact hours - aside from the difficulty of teaching to several different ages simultaneously (and don't underestimate this!) - the administrative side will also be more work than you or the parents think.

Homeschooling is brilliant. It's not for everyone though, and what happens if it doesn't work for some of these kids? Are you going to be responsible for determining whether to continue or not? Are the parents? Presumably the point of having a teacher involved is that if something is going wrong, he or she will spot the deficiency quicker (partly due to training and partly due to experience with hundreds of other X-year-olds and how they learn.) That only works if the parents are willing to defer to your professional judgment. Will they? They're apparently not willing to defer to a public school teacher for whatever reason so why do you expect they will be more receptive to you?

Do you know their motivations for homeschooling? Do you agree? If they are "true believers" in some particular philosophy of education, you need to be one too. Just being happy to go along with it is not enough.

What is their attitude toward the educational establishment? You are a representative of that establishment and can expect to come in for your own helping of the same attitude sooner or later (read: as soon as you insist on doing something differently than they would have done it.)

Look, I'm not knocking the potential here. When it works, homeschooling's brilliant. Best thing my parents ever did for me. It's not for every situation though, and what you are describing (school at home, with non-related kids and a teacher who is not related to any of them) is definitely one of the harder ways to make it work. Not saying it can't be done, but it will be very hard work for you (much too hard for whatever salary they will agree to) and you will be lucky if you are not piggy-in-the-middle on a regular basis.

To be blunt, unless you are passionate about this educational method and these kids, I would think twice, and more than twice.
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