Useful ideas and links to help with your homeschool journey.
When people start Homeschooling they often feel they have to start in the “right way, straight away”. But it normally takes time to discover what the “right way” is for your family.
If you are taking your child out of school then notify the school that you will be homeschooling, ideally in writing. You can then take your child out of school. You don’t have to begin homeschooling that day.
Whatever the age of your kids, whether they have been to school or not, you can start your new adventures by following the 3 simple phases below.
- Spend time as a family, really getting to know one another. Hang out and chat about what you love, your values and what’s important to you, this applies to both adults and kids.
- Question what learning and education mean for you.
- Read on down this page about different homeschool styles and registration. Explore the supports page and events near you and try to meet up with some other homeschooling families. Join some of the Australia wide and local facebook groups and use their guides and experience for ideas. (Map of these further down the page) Home Education Qld is great as is The Educating Parents Homeschooling and Unschooling, and the Home Education Network which exists in many areas of the country.
- Create a plan so that everyone in the family can follow their interests and build their skills. Every child and every family is unique, you will be able to use whatever resources you need, to support a way of living and learning that suits you all.
Action and Review Phase
- Keep living and learning, keep records of your experiences and your thoughts about it. Be as structured or unstructured, mainstream or radical, as you like.
- Remember you are aiming for progress, not perfection.
- Review and amend your plan whenever you need.
There are so many different ways to facilitate your child’s learning.
The Stuff – Homeschoolers use a myriad of learning resources; paper based written texts, workbooks, online resources, videos, podcasts, formal curriculums, local classes, online classes, tutors, libraries. Consider the huge range of resources that already exist in a normal home and in your local community.
The People – Families also use the knowledge of other families by joining co-operative groups, and finding local skilled people happy to share their learnings.
There is a huge number of resources, available for free or paid, the skill lies in co-creating with your child to see their gifts and what inspires them. Resources and curriculums are often based on different underlying philosophies, e.g. Charlotte Mason, Christian, Montessori, Steiner, Waldorf, Nature based.
Simplified, there are 4 main ways that homeschooling families approach their journey, and people often flow between them as circumstances change.
- Follow your child’s interests and enable them to access experiences and resources to foster their passions and spark their curiosity.
- Obtain a variety of structured resources that cover aspects of the curriculum. This is often combined with lots of natural learning.
- Purchase a full set of lesson plans that cover the Australian Curriculum, these vary in how much involvement you as a parent are required to make.
- Purchase a full set of lessons with teacher support, this can be online or paper based. Registration and reporting is done via the education provider. There are private and public providers.
It is always worth looking for free resources before you commit to too many subscriptions as there are very high quality materials available free online. Try to enquire if there is a student discount for homeschoolers before you purchase too.
Search our support and resource page for help and ideas
The added bonus of the phases above, is that you will be well on your way to meeting the registration requirements for homeschoolers.
It is a legal requirement in Australia that your child is registered with their home state as homeschooling (unless they do Distance Education). There are estimates that 50% of homeschoolers are unregistered, partly as it is not clear how travelling families with no fixed abode should register.
States vary, but in summary you will fill out a registration form and create a plan, then you may need to meet someone, or submit a document, to describe what you are aiming for that year. Then at some point later in the year you may need to submit a written doc, or meet someone, to say what actually happened and what you plan to do next year.
You will need to get familiar with the Australian Curriculum, to say how you may look at different aspects of it. But remember that you do not need to ‘’teach’’ this all yourself, you are enabling your child to experience it, and a host of other skills, in ways that may or may not look like standard education. For example you may find your child prefers to delve into one skill or topic at a time, or flit between many. You do not have to teach 30 children and you don’t have to pass them on to another teacher at the end of the year, so trust that this will, and can, look different to what you experienced, every child and every family is unique.
Search our supports page if you would like help with registration and reporting.
Here are links to State education units:
Currently there is no single payment to support homeschoolers, however there are a number of funds that you may be able to access.
The NDIS funds reasonable and necessary supports and services that relate to a person’s disability to help them achieve their goals. To get the most support from NDIS try to keep your goals open ended, broad and attainable and think outside the box, then there are many ways to use your funding to support the journey to gain knowledge and life skills.
A group of payments for parents and carers of children who can’t go to a local state school. This could be because of geographical isolation, disability or special needs. The Assistance for Isolated Children Scheme (AIC) is an extra government payment of around $4000 per year for home education.
This is a two part payment that helps with the cost of raising children.
The main income support payment while you’re a young child’s main carer. This payment is also for job seekers who are main carers of young children.
Financial help if you’re between 22 and Age Pension age and looking for work. It’s also for when you’re sick or injured and can’t do your usual work or study for a short time. If you are a home educator you may be eligible to receive this payment and be exempted from the job seeking component. Exemptions from mutual obligation requirements for principal carers – Services Australia (Click Here)