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Getting Ready to Home Educate
Before you worry about how to legally register as a homeschooling family there are a few things you need to consider...
Do you really want to homeschool? Are you cut out to be a homeschooling parent? Although the benefits are many, committment is important. Getting approval isn't the hurdle it used to be but it does require some thinking and work. Consider your reasons for home educating your children. Are your children happy with the idea? Spend some time sitting around the table talking about what it will mean for your family, what learning at home will and can look like, think of possible disadvantages and how you can overcome them. There is a lot to consider and your discussions will form the foundation of your home educating philosophy and lifestyle.
Homeschool is not school. School is classroom oriented, homeschool is family/community oriented. The world is your classroom! Your children know the difference between parenting and teaching. You'll save yourself time, money and energy to spend a few moments thinking about what kind of education you want for your children. It isn't about how many hours of instruction per day - quantity - it is about being able to offer quality individualised learning programs tailored to your children's unique learning needs!
Preparing the learning environment doesn't have to mean turning one room into a classroom. Usually families provide each child with a desk although most learning will occur in the main living areas of the home - where you are! There are plenty of ways you can enhance learning though by tweaking the learning environment.
You will need to design your own curriculum. Home educators are 'on their own' - it is not distance or correspondence school, though there are a few some distance schools that will enrol homeschooling families and offer some support and resources. Writing your own learning programs isn't difficult once you've determined what the children need to learn. I recommend you being by developing your own personal philosophy or mission statement about education. You can also incorporate any of the different homeschooling approaches and methods. Finding appropriate resources to help your children learn is the next exciting step!
Home educators use a wide variety of approaches and methods. It will take time to find the 'right' way for you and your family. The first couple of years will include experimenting with different methods and materials - all homeschoolers go through this 'settling in' stage. All methods work to balance children's natural ability to learn with organised learning activities that challenge and promote growth and development. The homeschool curriculum aims to be holistic. It should also be responsive to the learning needs and styles of the individual learner. The information on Homeschool Australia has been accumulated over two decades of homeschooling experience as well as from Beverley's ongoing interest in how children learn and how parents and teachers can continue to aid that process.
Homeschooling is legal. Find out what you have to do to legally home educate in your state or territory.
There are dozens of articles on this site about getting started... Use the search function or browse the heading in our sitemap - especially under Getting Started with Homeschooling. My book Getting Started with Homeschooling is a home educator's manual on how to write your own learning programs tailored to your child's learning needs and preferences, as well as reflecting your family values and lifestyle. It has in-depth chapters on how to plan and evaluate learning programs as well as checklists for different subject areas.
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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.
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
The information on this website is of a general nature only and is not intended as personal or professional advice. This site merges and incorporates 'Homeschool Australia' and 'Unschool Australia'.
The Educating Parent acknowledges the Traditional Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Owners, the Custodians of Australia, and pay our respects to Elders past and present and extend that respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people viewing this website.
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Beverley Paine, The Educating Parent
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