All too often public schooling doesn’t cater to the needs of our children and for many, home education offers a real solution by offering a choice that matches our family lifestyle and values. The best teachers are often the child’s own parents who are naturally placed to continue educating their children beyond the start of compulsory schooling. Parents everywhere are educating their children at home with outstanding results – it’s not always easy or straightforward but then neither is parenting!
How families begin homeschooling is very often very different to what they are doing a year or two down the track as the emerging needs and styles of your child begin to shine through. Home education is a legal and viable “third” option however the regulations and laws governing home education differ in each state and territory.
The Home Education Association (HEA) www.hea.edu.au is full of information for new starters and interested parents who wish to find the most up to date details on home education. From a “Getting Started” Pack, information on support groups, legal requirements, program examples, articles, ideas and explanations, the HEA acts as an umbrella over the homeschooling community.
Become a member and enjoy the benefits of their seasonal magazine Stepping Stones, exclusive discounts and information or just check out the site for useful Getting Started hints.
You can also phone HEA for support and advice 1300 729991
A visit to the NSW Board of Studies is also in order to download information and a Registration for Homeschooling form.
You can also contact the Board of Studies by phone and request an information pack be mailed out to you. (02 9367 8149)
These information packs will give you the necessary guidelines regarding the KLA’s or Key Learning Areas you and your child need to cover for registration. Shortly after returning your completed paperwork to the Board of Studies you will be contacted by an Authorised Person who will make an appointment convenient to you to meet with you and your child(ren).
Look to your AP as a guide on your journey, not a stand over person giving you permission to homeschool! She is there to advise, support and help you along your journey and can be an advocate of homeschooling, understanding that mainstream school very often is not suited to your child.
Consider also joining one of our Local Groups – giving and receiving support, for both you and your children, can be the difference between walking and flying! Some meet for study, others for excursions and others for fun. Your children will find friends and you will meet like minded parents with whom you can share information and support.
The best advice, from long time home educators, is to relax. Don’t try to emulate the classroom or build a timetable or structure in the first week(s)! Homeschooling can be anything you need it to be and different every day! Don’t pressure yourself with hard and fast rules. Flow with your child and see where this new river of learning takes you. Of course you may bump against some rocks along the way but you will always be moving, learning, relaxing, enjoying and basking in the joy your new world, your new classroom, is giving both you and your child.
BMHEN welcomes you 🙂