Education options in NSW – Home schooling

Home education, home schooling, “unschooling”, natural learning, home-based learning — however you describe it, home schooling essentially means education by parents.

In recent years there has been a marked rise in parents choosing this path. The reasons parents choose home schooling for their children vary greatly.

Some parents may prefer to tailor education programs to the needs, abilities and learning style of their child or to pass on their family’s ethical or religious values through day-to-day education. Some parents may wish to avoid the potential challenges of schoolbased education, such as bullying and learning in large classes.

Many parents of students who are particularly gifted in a certain area will also choose to home educate. Learning difficulties have also emerged as strong grounds for the decision to home educate.

Home education allows students to be educated gently and appropriately by those who have their best interests at heart: their parents.

This can also be a temporary option leading to reintegration back into school at a later date.

Resources and Information

Home schooling is officially legal in Australia although legislation on home education differs for each state.

In NSW, parents must register with the Board of Studies as the educator of their child. Children between the ages of six and 17 who receive a home education must also be registered for their specific year of schooling.

Implementation of the Education Amendment Act 2009, which changed the school leaving age from 15 to 17 years, means children must receive some form of education, training or paid employment (or a combination of these) until they are 17 years old.

Home-educated children may study courses prescribed in the Higher School Certificate; however, homeschooled students are not eligible for the award of the HSC. There are numerous ways a home education can be delivered.

Many at-home students use a combination of curricula, while some follow one and some use their own system.

Parents may teach sections of a curriculum and outsource other sections to private teachers or private colleges and even request part-time attendance for their child at school (at the principal’s discretion). New technology platforms have also opened a world of resources for homeschooling parents, such as access to online tutorials, social networking with other homeschooling families and video conferencing with tutors and families in Australia and around the world. Curricula are available from the Board of Studies as well as several independent organisations, such as Steiner and Montessori.

Home Education Association Inc

This association offers information, networks, resources and education guidelines at The Home Education Association Courses for Parents in Home Schooling cover how people learn, brain functionality, child development, program writing, resources, research in home schooling, approaches to home schooling, registration and legalities.

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