Thursday, November 20, 2008

Outsourcing homeschooling

As I think more about the topic of core competencies, I'm continually amazed by the variety of things we can outsource. For instance, homeschooling.

I have a column in USA Today this morning called "Tailoring school to the child" that discusses the experience of families -- often with working moms -- who have managed to make homeschooling work. Well-to-do families can hire tutors or governesses; the rest of us can use online courses or even part-time schools. Many jobs these days allow a parent to be home and available during school hours. About 35 million corporate employees telecommute on occasion and the number of non-employer businesses (i.e. self-employment) is up 35% in 10 years. Mom or Dad can get junior started on his online math class, then go to the home office to make phone calls. You check in after a bit, and have lunch together. This allows parents to focus on their core competencies of carefully chosen work and nurturing their kids. Teaching need not be one of those core competencies to homeschool. Given all the educational benefits of homeschooling, it's a good thing that it's becoming available to people who don't want to or can't teach.

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