Homeschooling is legal throughout Australia, though regulations vary between states. Some parents prefer not to register with the state authorities and so exact figures on the number of homeschooling children are unavailable.
The 2001 census indicated close to 30 000 children could be homeschooling in Australia. Most commentators agree that this is a conservative estimate and that considerable growth in numbers has occurred since.
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Homeschool registration is a legal requirement from each State and Territory in Australia. You may be asked to demonstrate how you plan on following the Australian National Curriculum but dont panic, using the Australian National Curriculum in your homeschool is not difficult it just requires some thought.
To be registered to homeschool you must apply to the State or Territory in which you are a resident. You cannot register to homeschool in Australia if you are living overseas, or have no fixed address. The parent who plans to homeschool registers each individual child.
Legally children in Australia between the ages of 6 to 17 (Tasmania 5—16 years) must be in school or registered to homeschool. Children under the age of 17 who want to leave school must apply to homeschool , or meet certain workforce or vocational education requirements.
For each State and Territory you need to contact the relevant government body that handles homeschool registration. Here is a list of government bodies.
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Aussie Homeschool is a free online community for all homeschooling families in Australia (current, past, enquiring or potential).The purpose and vision of Aussie Homeschool is to connect Australian homeschoolers from every town and state!There is opportunity to buy and sell resources, to give and receive encouragement, to share, to laugh, and to learn with other like-minded people.We aim to provide you with an informative, insightful, stimulating and encouraging platform for all your interests and needs.Together, we can make this community an enriching and helpful Australian network.
The Rockpool began life as a forum that created, not long after the site owner began homeschooling. She was inspired by the community feeling of the Sonlight forums (based in the US) and wanted to create something similar to support homeschoolers in Australia and New Zealand. Now Rockpool has about 500 members and we are visited daily from all over the globe! Although they have a strong Australia and Kiwi focus, they love connecting with homeschoolers everywhere.
The Home Education Association Inc. (HEA) has been formed to support, promote and encourage the practice of home education.The HEA has no affiliation with state education authorities and all members should note that privacy is an Association priority.The broader objects of the HEA are as follows:To uphold the principle that parents are primarily responsible for the education of their children. To promote a broader awareness of Home Education and its benefits throughout Australia. To promote and encourage the development of Home Education Networks in Australia. To provide services and resources to Home Education Networks and individual home educators. To endeavour to procure any rights, privileges, concessions or benefits relating to home education for home educators and their families. To maintain a respect for the diversity of philosophies and methods used by Home Educators.
The Home Education Network Inc (HEN) is the largest, most vocal alternative education support group in Victoria..HEN has its origins in the Alternative Education Resource Group (AERG) which was formed in 1980 by a small group of concerned parents wanting alternatives to mainstream education for their children. Initially the group was very involved in community schools but gradually the main focus moved to home education and the name of the group was changed to the Home Education Network. Most of our members today are actively home-educating their children. HEN promotes local groups of home educators who organise group activities and classes as well as providing support to members.
Hencast The Home Education Network of Canberra and the Southern Tablelands (Inc) is a network of home educating families from Canberra, Queanbeyan, Bungendore and surrounding areas. We have members (registered and not) from all walks of life with varying beliefs who are home educating their children in a variety of ways.
Hunter Home Educators aims to connect Hunter Home Educators in the Hunter Region of NSW. It encompasses Lake Macquarie- Newcastle –Maitland—Nelson Bay and even up as far as the Singleton.
This is run by Jennie Domanski and her family. They run a homeschool camp each year and a have chatrooms for homeschoolers. This year they combined with Beverly Paine to organise an online homeschool conference.
About 10 years ago the majority of homeschooling parents were homeschooling because of Christian convictions. These days, Christian homeschoolers are estimated to make up only around one third of the total of the homeschooling community. This is because many parents have seen the benefits of this alternative style of education. "Years ago, before homeschooling became as mainstream as it is today, and before bullying became paramount for many parents, I would say that it was much higher than one-third but I think more pressing issues these days have outweighed the religious ones," says Lox ton.
Whatever the true numbers, homeschooling certainly seems to be catching on. The NSW Board of Studies reports that 250 students were homeschooling in the 1990-91 financial year and 1478 in 2001-02, a rise of almost 500 per cent. In Queensland, 907 children were homeschooling in 1996 and 1384 in 2002.
One example is in the Hunter Region of NSW. The number of children being homeschooling has increased by 300% since 2006. The board of studies said there were 77 registered homeschoolers in 2006 in the Hunter. Now there are over 300 (this includes 120 homeschooling students who are using distance education.These students used to be registered with the board of studies but are now under distance education banner.) This statistic does not include homeschooling students who have not registered with the board of studies.
This is a fear for many parents and not really the issue many people worry about. There are many pathways to university and parents can focus on these pathways as their child approaches the age of university entrance. University entry for homeschooling students is a far more proactive approach with the student and parent focusing on a particular university and course rather than just waiting for the results from their HSC.
According to Jay Wile a key note speaker at a the Big Picture conference in 2005, 62% of students who entered university in Australia gained entrance without a UAI/TER.
Various universities have special entry programs for entry without an UAI. For example the University of Newcastle has a New Step program for students 17-21 who have not completed their HSC for some reason or performed poorly. Completion of this one year program allows students to apply for other University courses.
NSW University allows“Equivalent” of year 12 plus a SAT1.
Special University Admissions Tests (STATS) are used by some universities to gain entry.
TAFE, OTEN and Open Foundation are used by many homeschool students to gain a UAI
Portfolio's and auditions can also be used as part of the admissions process.
The Wonderland of Nature Science and Nature living book
Our Sunburnt Country An illustrated history of Australia
A Bush Calendar 12 month nature diary set in the Australian bush
Australian Book Traveller whisks you around Australia with picture books.
Crowns of Fire a bushfire story set in Australia
Australian Flag Lapbook is a fun lesson for children about The Australia Flag
Australia Map Journal This artistic map is a eye catching educational tool..
You can also use these resources