Homeschooling is on the rise in Australia, with an estimated 20,000 students across the country educated at home.
In NSW, 4,700 students were homeschooled in 2017, up from 3,300 in 2013. This increase is consistent in every state and territory in the country.
Why families choose homeschooling
While reasons can vary, many families cite religious or philosophical motives for choosing to educate their children out of the classroom.
Some reports credit the rise in homeschooling to playground bullying or the increase in anxiety and depression amongst Australian teenagers.
A number of parents also take the homeschooling route when their children are diagnosed with special needs, such as dyslexia, ADHD, or Autism Spectrum Disorder, which can make it difficult to learn effectively in a mainstream classroom.
There are the families who opt to homeschool their children because they're geographically isolated or they want to spend time as a family, possibly travelling or maybe just learning together in the family home.
These families see education as an integrated part of their children's lives and often put a great deal of emphasis on inquiry-based learning.
Dr. Selina Samuels, Chief Learning Officer at Cluey Learning.
How do you get started homeschooling?
Homeschooling is legal in every state and territory in Australia.
Parents or guardians must register as a homeschooling provider with their state authority and demonstrate an ability to:
- Plan and implement their child's educational program in line with the national curriculum (and its state-specific variations)
- Provide their child with a suitable learning environment
- Provide the necessary resources to support their learning
- Monitor and assess their child's educational progress
- Submit an annual report demonstrating the educational progress of their child
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Seeking homeschooling help
Many homeschooling parents find that, while they're comfortable with creative subjects like Art, Music, and Design & Technology, they struggle with more technical subjects like Maths and English.
To fill these gaps, they find teachers who can help their children in those academic areas while fitting into their home learning environment and their schedule.
Finding the right content can also be challenging for many parents.
Creating a lesson plan and teaching from material that is not only up to date, but relevant to the Australian curriculum requires a lot of planning and preparation.
Additional tutors can also ensure your child is making appropriate progress in their learning.
Tutors, like those at Cluey Learning, are vital partners for homeschool parents. They will ensure that a child's learning program is fully aligned with the relevant curriculum.
They also see that students are making appropriate progress in their learning and provide feedback and reporting that may be relevant for parents to meet the standard conditions of homeschooling registration.
Dr. Selina Samuels is the Chief Learning Officer at Cluey Learning.