If you’ve been thinking for a while now about homeschooling your child, this is the right place to be. Maybe your child is heading into school next year, or the school curriculum isn’t meeting your child’s needs. After all, there is no one size fits all guide when it comes to education. However, there are expectations and curriculums that do need to be met when it comes to schooling, even home school. We break all of this down and more so you can make the right decision for your child regarding their educational needs.
What Is Homeschooling?
The definition of home schooling is a simple one; ‘the education of children at home by their parents.’ As parents, we teach our children many things, regardless of their educational institution. However, taking another step to be even further actively involved in their children’s education is a step many parents are taking. With an estimated 10,000 children across Australia in homeschool, the popularity of this choice is growing among modern parents. But why?
Benefits of Homeschooling
The ‘whys’ of homeschoolers vary, from lack of choices within schools, dissatisfaction with a particular school, bullying, religious reasons, and many more. The benefits are aplenty, whatever the reason to homeschool is. After finishing homeschooling, 67% of individuals were in work and 62% were in a form of study such as TAFE. The study also found almost ALL of those who finished home schooling were doing something – whether that be an apprenticeship, working part time or full time, in university or home duties. This is a huge percent of students that found what they were passionate about and found a great direction in their life, with homeschool being a contributing factor to this. With the highest percent of homeschoolers beginning at age 9, many parents are finding that the regular school system doesn’t work or benefit their child or families. So what can you do to homeschool your child?
Homeschooling across Australia
Legally, children between the ages of 6-17 must be in an educational institute (or in an accredited workplace program or meeting sufficient study or work requirements.) You must register your child as being home-schooled to avoid legal issues, and each child must be registered. Having said that however, the law varies widely from state to state. We have outlined the requirements set from each state below;
Victoria Homeschooling Regulations
Victoria provides parents a lot more flexibility and simple guidelines to registration compared to the rest of the country. To register your child from home school in Victoria, you must fill out a form and notify DEA (Department of Education) of your intent to home-school. You must also provide a home-schooling education plan that covers the ‘eight key learning areas’ as outlined by the state curriculum. However, it should be noted that children cannot obtain their VCE through homeschooling in Victoria.
New South Wales Homeschooling Regulations
There is quite a large of documentation and steps to go through for homeschooling in NSW, but that doesn’t make it any less worthwhile. In NSW you will need to submit a few documents and forms,
and included in this will be your education plan. Your plan must include the 6 ‘key learning areas’ outlined in the NSW curriculum. This changes from primary school to high school. A person from NESA (NSW Education Standards Authority) will be sent out to your home and will chat to you about your plan and all the intricacies of homeschooling, and making sure all your bases are covered. In NSW, students are unable to obtain their HSC through homeschooling.
Queensland Homeschooling Regulations
When applying for home-schooling in Queensland, like NSW, there is a lot of documentation that will need to be covered. You will eventually have to submit your learning plan, which will entail how you plan to provide a ‘high quality education’ to your child. However, you do not need to be following the national or state curriculum when homeschooling in Queensland. Home-schooled students are unable to receive a QCE.
Tasmania Homeschooling Regulations
To apply to homeschool in Tasmania, you will need to fill out an initial registration form, and then followed by a Home Education Summary and Program (HESP). You must complete a HESP for every child you intend on homeschooling. This HESP must include standards and guidelines of your education and learning plan for each child. If the child has also previously been in traditional school, a school attendance record must be submitted too.
Northern Territory Homeschooling Regulations
Applying in Northern Territory is relatively fuss-free, with a registration needed by filling out the corresponding forms and submitting a learning plan. This learning plan does not need to follow the state or national curriculum.
ACT Homeschooling Regulations
In the ACT you must fill out a form for each child you intend on homeschooling. A learning plan must be made; however, this learning plan doesn’t need to be in line with the ACT or national curriculum.
Western Australia Homeschooling Regulations
Registering home schooling in Western Australia involves sending through a registration form, which will show your learning plan that is based around the Western Australian learning curriculum. You will then be visited by someone from the WA Department of Education before being fully registered.
South Australia Homeschooling Regulations
Registration in South Australia follows a similar pattern from Western Australia. You will need to supply a learning plan that is based around the national curriculum, and you will also receive a visit from their state education board.
There are lots of benefits to home schooling, and also a lot of information to take in. It is important for families to know that the option is always there for them and their children, and it is a wonderful avenue to go down if chosen.