A List of the School Subjects
by Beverley Paine
Although most of our home educating life was spent unschooling I saw myself as an educator, on par with school teachers even though I didn't have a piece of paper that pronounced my qualifications bestowed upon me by an educational institution. In our first year of home educating I wrote out our own curriculum - a learning plan which included a statement of our beliefs about education and was a rough map of how our long and short term educational aims would be met. I've written about how I went about that process elswhere, most notably in my book Getting Started with Home School Practical Considerations.
Our home educating curriculum covered the eight nationally recognised school subjects. As an unschooler I'd review these areas mentally, making sure that our live included opportunities for learning to occur across these subject areas. My children didn't study these subjects - they simply got on with living, learning as they worked, played, laughed, explored and investigated and responded to their world.
Understanding how each of the main subject areas could be broken down into different areas helped me feel confident as a home educator. I've shared my list here - perhaps it will help you too. Some have changed names since we home educated our children. Although all of the states and territories have agreed to implement the national Australian Curriculum, some states have decided to incorporate it into the state syllabus. You can adapt this list to reflect what your state prefers you to use.
- Creating and Responding to texts
- Strategies for language use
- Language structure and conventions
- Library skills
- Styles of communicating
Society & Environment
- History - knowing and understanding the past; how people and things change over time
- Features of places; geography, mapping skills; people and places
- Understanding interactions between human society and natural and built environments
- Cultural Diversity; multiculturalism, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders cultures
- Resources - use of resources
- Employment; people
- and work; management of people and other resources
- Information as a resource, Media
- Natural systems
- Political and legal systems
- Economic systems
- Community systems
- Living Things; biodiversity, interdependence; inheritance (genetics & evolution), Biology, Botany, etc
- Energy and Matter; Chemical and Physical properties, structure and reactions and change, chemical interactions, uses of matter, resources, transferring energy, senders and receivers
- Changing Earth; processes of change, erosion, Geology, land form, water systems, features, natural catastrophe
- Atmosphere; water cycle, structure, catastrophe
- Space; astronomy, solar system, time cycles
- Planning and conducting investigations, processing data, evaluating findings, using science
- Scientists - history of scientific discovery
- Designing, Making and Appraising
- Using tools
- Instructions and information
- Simple and complex machines
- Systems, types and applications
- Electronics, etc
Language Other Than English
- (Inter-Cultural Studies)
- Acquire communication skill in another language - listening, speaking, reading and writing, calculating and measuring
- Understanding of role of language and culture in everyday life, cultural diversity
- Learn about other cultures, in Australia and overseas
- Develop respect and tolerance for diversity
- Working mathematically - using mathematical language; investigating; hypothesizing; problem solving; applying and verifying; working in context.
- Space - spatial ideas; visualising; analysing; representing
- Number - count and order; number patterns; relationships; application; mental computation; written computation; calculators
- Algebra - expressing generalities; functions; relationship and inequalities
- Measurement; choosing units; estimating; time; measuring, using relationships
- Chance and Data - collecting, organising, displaying and summarising data, interpreting data; probability
- Creating and presenting the Arts
- Living with and appreciating the Arts
- Media Studies
- Music & Singing
- Creative movement and dance
Health & Personal Development
- Human relations - self and others
- Human health - individuals and populations
- Healthy lifestyles, work and recreation
- Safety and Protection
- People and food
- Physical activity
- Human development, growth and behaviour
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Beverley Paine with her children, and their home educated children, relaxing at home.
Together with the support of my family, my aim is to help parents educate their children in stress-free, nurturing environments. In addition to building and maintaing this website, I continue to create and manage local and national home educating networks, help to organise conferences and camps, as well as write for, edit and produce newsletters, resource directories and magazines. I am an active supporter of national, state, regional and local home education groups.
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We began educating our children in 1985, when our eldest was five. In truth, we had helped them learn what they need to learn since they were born. I am a passionate advocate of allowing children to learn unhindered by unnecessary stress and competition, meeting developmental needs in ways that suit their individual learning styles and preferences. Ours was a homeschooling, unschooling and natural learning family! There are hundreds of articles on this site to help you build confidence as a home educating family. We hope that your home educating adventure is as satisfying as ours was! Beverley Paine
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