Homeschooling

GETTING ORIENTED

If you are contemplating this path, first get on and research, research and research.  It is overwhelming and there is so much information out there. The links below contain better content, for those just starting out, all the way to those seeking specific information. You just have to navigate the sites. 

Home Education Association: This group are volunteer home-schooling mums that support each other. You can email or call them and they were my greatest resource during registration. 

https://www.hea.edu.au/ (select link to get details for each state)

Fearless Homeschooling Starter Guide: This has great blog posts and some of the most useful information about what it is like to homeschool.  Also, lots of information about homeschooling and travel (not that anyone is doing that now!)

The Educating Parent: This lady is great, so much information, groups, articles and blog and I also joined her Facebook group.

http://www.theeducatingparent.com/?fbclid=IwAR0CTY3TfDcDjBeEBph084jtVtibXh3kIPRouhPmQnFtW1JLmx-P_5nHKAI  

Functional Education: 

https://www.functionaleducation.com/homeschool/homeschooling-in-australia/

My Homeschool: 

https://www.myhomeschool.com.au/homeschooling-in-australia/

Homeschooling Outside New South Wales

Victoria: https://www.vrqa.vic.gov.au/home/Pages/homeeducation.aspx

Queensland:  

https://education.qld.gov.au/schools-educators/other-education/home-education

Tasmania: https://oer.tas.gov.au/home-education/

South Australia: 

https://www.sa.gov.au/topics/education-and-learning/schools/alternative-schooling/home-education

Northern Territory: 

https://nt.gov.au/learning/primary-and-secondary-students/home-education

ACT: 

https://www.education.act.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0018/810135/Registration-of-Home-Education-in-the-ACT-Manual.pdf

Western Australia: http://det.wa.edu.au/homeeducation/detcms/portal/

UNSCHOOLING

My Homeschool: Unschooling is a concept I had never heard before until I started my research, there are a number of different methods and it doesn’t suit everyone, but worth a look. 

https://www.myhomeschool.com.au/unschooling-in-australia/ – 

Vox General Description:

https://www.vox.com/first-person/2020/7/17/21328316/covid-19-coronavirus-unschooling-homeschooling

HOMESCHOOLING IN THE UNITED STATES, GENERALLY

Abeka: https://www.abeka.com/ 

Calvert Education: https://www.calverteducation.com/ 

SOCIAL MEDIA RESOURCES

Facebook is a great resource. Look for other homeschoolers and build your network. 

Australian Highschool Homeschool: Useful for connecting with other high school kids.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/156917011157129/

Hunter Home Educators/Home Schoolers: This is my local area home school group, they are fantastic and coordinate regular activities and will post about resources you can use.  Most areas have one. 

https://www.facebook.com/groups/hunterhomeed/

Home school Buy, Sell, Swap – Australia: This Facebook groups is full of resources, can post if you are looking for something in particular.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/143988099090079/

PROS AND CONS OF HOMESCHOOLING

The reality is homeschooling is not for every parent and nor is it for every child.  My husband and I had a discussion with Oliver about the concept of home schooling and we agreed to give it a go for six months.  His concerns were that he was not going to see his friends which we reassured him that would not be the case and he sees all his friends weekly catching up at the local park, soccer training and going for bike rides.  We also got him involved in a few extra curriculum activities, he joined the local cadets and futsal which help broaden his social circle.  

Calvert Education Pros And Cons

Time4Learning Pros And Cons

https://www.time4learning.com/homeschooling-pros-and-cons/

Very Well Family Pros And Cons:

https://www.verywellfamily.com/the-pros-and-cons-of-homeschooling-5074888

NPR.org Pros And Cons:

https://www.npr.org/2013/08/06/209512313/parents-on-the-pros-and-cons-of-homeschooling

Family Education Pros And Cons:

https://www.familyeducation.com/school/homeschooling-support/homeschooling-pros-cons

REGISTRATION 

The process can seem daunting, but it is not actually that bad.  I registered in NSW and I don’t think it is too different for other states.  You send an initial registration form and once that is sent you start on your child’s education program which is based on curriculum.

I got so stressed about developing the education program, I kept thinking that what I plan I am committing to, you’re not.  The education plan is a very fluid document and you can change it up at any time to suit the needs or interests of your child. 

Guidelines for Registration

https://educationstandards.nsw.edu.au/wps/wcm/connect/e52d5b7c-5b80-4f19-bc2f-896818a26641/guidelines-for-home-schooling-in-nsw-2018.pdf?MOD=AJPERES&CVID=

Initial Registration Form NSW 

https://educationstandards.nsw.edu.au/wps/wcm/connect/5fbb9e97-4715-4f65-af7d-b203ea2ae96b/form-1-app-for-initial-rego.pdf?MOD=AJPERES&CVID=

PUTTING IT INTO ACTION

It was at this stage I started researching about resources, the best information on resources is found in the many Facebook groups, simply ask questions and get recommendations. 

Managing Curriculum

When you are developing your education plan, you plan for 12 months. You create a plan for each subject and the first thing you do is look at the Stage Statements and Outcomes for the appropriate year (link below). I copied each of the stage statements into my education plan and under each of the statements I discussed what I was going to do in each subject, what books they might read, what areas of math they will cover, what topics they will cover in science and history. To help me with this I did purchase the Excel Study Guides.

I use an online program that is in line with the NSW curriculum for Maths, English, Science (it cost me about $300 for a year) and for history, Oliver (my son) and I discussed what he would like to learn about and I based it around his interests. His other two subjects are Food Technology which is completely practical and we shop and cook together and teach him how to budget, measure and cook different recipes. Finally, for PDHPE which we try different sports and activities each week depending on what freedoms are available due to covid.

The National Education Standards Authority (NESA) is who you register with in NSW.  I have put links to other states’ home schooling registration at the bottom of this post.

https://educationstandards.nsw.edu.au/wps/portal/nesa/regulation/home-schooling/home-schooling-registration

They have sample education plans on their website and if you contact your state’s home school association, they will be able to give you samples too.  Don’t forget to ask on the Facebook pages as well, they are always happy to help. 

Preparing For Outcomes

All schooling is geared toward outcomes and measuring a child’s progress. Here is a guide to how that is understood and managed. Do not be too concerned about any one of these steps as the approach is fluid and you are now in charge of your child’s education.

Stage Statements & Outcomes 

https://educationstandards.nsw.edu.au/wps/wcm/connect/fde0a566-f483-454d-b239-10e2cb2caaef/stage-statements-and-outcomes-programming-tool-k-10.pdf?MOD=AJPERES&CVID=

LEGAL RESOURCES (SEE ALSO OUR LEGAL DOCUMENT DOWNLOAD PAGE)

Home Schooling Legal Defense Fund: https://hslda.org/post/australia/ 

Benefits of Homeschooling

Family Education: 

https://www.familyeducation.com/school/benefits-homeschooling/why-do-people-homeschool

Family Education: 

https://www.familyeducation.com/coronavirus-resource-center/8-reasons-why-i-plan-to-homeschool-even-after-the-pandemic

Fee.org: https://fee.org/articles/100-reasons-to-homeschool-your-kids/

RESEARCH ON HOMESCHOOL OUTCOMES

HuffingtonPost

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/homeschooled-students-wel_n_1562425

National Home Education Research Institute

FINAL WORDS

Once you submit your education plan you will get a call from your local home school coordinator and normally, they will come out and see that you have a study space for your child (The dining table is acceptable, nothing fancy) and have a chat with you and your children.  Due to COVID they just have a chat with me over the phone, it is an informal process. It seemed to me that they just want to hear that you are okay with everything and if you have any questions, you can ask them. 

Within a week or so I had my certificate of registration. 

I hope this is a help to anyone wanting to give it a go, I am happy to answer any questions you have if you email me on mumsforinformedconsent@gmail.com

Good Luck!

Donna

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