Find out about homeschooling WA – Western Australia
- part-time homeschooling WA
- how to remove your children from school
- can I get a Western Australian Certificate of Education (WACE) when I homeschool ?
- homeschooling WA registration requirements
- Tips for writing your homeschool registration documents.
WA is the second most regulated state when it comes to homeschooling in Australia. Queensland comes a close third.
The Department of Education Western Australia states it is a legal requirement to register to homeschool from ages 5.5 to 17 – if your child is not enrolled in distance education, or at a school. Having said that some homeschoolers do not register as they feel it is a parent’s right to educate their children.
Many people investigating homeschooling WA can feel a little daunted when they look at the requirements put out by the WA Department of Education. It’s really not as scary as many think.
Disclaimer: This is not legal advice but information from my own research and experience.
Part Time Homeschooling WA
Whilst I do know that you can homeschool in some other states part-time, in WA, this is not an option. However if you wish to do the WACE part-time this may be an option. You will need to negotiate this with individual schools.
Distance Education and Homeschooling WA
Distance education and School of the Air are different types of homeschooling. When you use a distance education provider you are enrolled in those schools and they provide the work for you.
If this is something you are interested in you can find more info here:
When Can I Remove My Kids from School
You can remove your child as soon as you decide to home educate but you are supposed to register your child to homeschool within 14 days of removing your child from school.
Many schools can be quite supportive of homeschooling and will leave the door open for you to return if homeschooling doesn’t work out. However some parents report having problems with the school administration (particularly public schools – they lose funding, possibly a teacher when you leave).
Many parents remove their child before their homeschool registration has been officially approved.
You need to know that schools don’t have any power to stop you from homeschooling (it’s a legal right). If you anticipate having problems can I suggest you mention as little as possible to the school and get your registration application in ASAP. If you move don’t leave a forwarding address with the school. Some parents get a doctor’s certificate for stress leave for their children until registration is approved.
Can I Get A Western Australian Certificate of Education When I Homeschool?
When you choose to homeschool you can’t get a WACE, however your children can study for a WACE alternative.
Here are some alternative paths to university.
Register To Homeschool in WA
- You can register to homeschool/home educate in WA before you begin or within 14 days of removing your child from school.
- Contact your nearest regional education office and ask to speak to a home education moderator.
- You will be sent a form which you will need to lodge with them. Each office has its own individualised form. It’s just asking for basic details. You don’t need to give any educational plan at this stage.
- You are then issued a Certificate of Home Education. This certificate does not expire unless you put your children back in school.
- While you are registered you are required to have visits from a home education moderator. Your first visit is within 3 months of registration then each year after that.
The Home Education Moderator Visit
The home education moderator (approved person from the WA Department of Education who will come to your home) usually contacts you to make an appointment within three weeks but definitely before three months. This is usually done in your home but it can be at a mutually arranged place.
Their role is to:
- assess your homeschooling plan and see that you are complying with the WA curriculum.
- make sure your child is making progress
- offer support and make suggestions
Do I Have to Follow the Western Australian Curriculum?
According to the Western Australian Education Act 1999 – Section 53: 2(a) p.34 homeschoolers are required to follow the WA curriculum. This curriculum is based on the Australian Curriculum and they can be used interchangeably. They are not strict about this but they do require you to teach in all the key learning areas.
“The Western Australian syllabuses remain broadly consistent with the Australian curriculum but have been contextualised to make them more suitable for Western Australian students and teachers.” Policy statement by the WA Department of Education.
Our guides can help you with understanding the Australian Curriculum.
These guides will help you familiarise yourself with the Australian Curriculum.
Preparing Your Documents For WA Homeschooling Registration
Documentation can be a little daunting and some new homeschoolers go completely overboard when making their first homeschool plan. Unfortunately I can’t do your paperwork for you but I have written this guide to help you write your own.
You are required to plan your curriculum using the Key Learning Areas (KLAs).
- Science and Technology
- Humanities and Social Science (Includes history, geography and civics)
- Arts (Includes dancing and music)
- Health and Physical Education
You will need to have made some decisions on what curriculum you want to use and you will have to have some of it to show the moderator. Please only buy a few things for now. You do not need to show them everything you have on the visit just enough to show you have started.
If you are using set curriculum like ACE with lots of American content the main thing you need to remember is that you need Australian content in your curriculum. It will still be helpful for you to know the syllabus because you will be asked questions about it from the AP.
To help you get organised I suggest you make your own homeschool planner.
- Write out your plan referring to each subject (KLA). It can be as simple as what textbook you might be using. The plan only needs to be for one year. You do not need to follow your worked out plan exactly. It is your starting point. You will find as you homeschool it will change as you work out the needs of your homeschool students. You just need something to show the moderator. It doesn’t matter if it’s not perfect. You can perfect it as you work out what works for your child after registration. Sample Subject Planning Pages
- Make a term planner at the beginning of each term. It shows what we are hoping to achieve for each child that term. I write in how many pages of the maths textbook I want to cover, what read alouds we will be doing, what copywork and dictation I hope to achieve. I do this for each subject. It is only a brief note but quite specific. I type this up as a table on Microsoft Word and save it so that I can review my work at the end of term and use this document as the basis for my end of term report. See Term Planning Records
- Make a schedule, don’t make a timetable. Record the basic pattern of your week and what you hope to achieve. I do not ever record specific school hours. Instead I work from a basic routine. We run on a four term schedule like schools, as this works well us. At times we do vary when certain situations arise. Home education is a lifestyle and it happens far beyond the boundaries of 9-3. You will need to shift the way you look at learning and see what your children are naturally learning. Record what you achieved and don’t get sucked into hours of schooling just for the sake of it. You will find you can achieve much more in a shorter space of time than schools. Don’t feel guilty about that–enjoy it! Student Term Schedule Sample
You will need to show a record of learning and I believe the best way to do this is using a portfolio and a term report. I have never kept a diary in my 14 years of registered homeschooling.
If this is your first time homeschooling then you can tell your moderator of your intention to use a portfolio to record your child’s learning. Portfolios are an excellent keepsake and a helpful documentation tool.
In your portfolio you can put:
- work samples from each KLA.
- certificates obtained
Make a Term Report And Forget About Daily Diaries
I do this at the end of each term. The electronic version of the Term Planner that was commenced at the beginning of the term is resurrected and filled in with what has actually been achieved. Page numbers, chapters, specific book narrations, field trips and unit studies are added. Also I put in the extra learning things that I can remember for the term such as specific DVDs watched and other projects usually associated with their hobbies.
I have never kept a daily diary and although some moderators suggest it you do not need to do it. Some of my friends have started one but they quickly abandon them and use checklists or date work. You will find that it becomes a tedious strain on your homeschool day. It really is good enough to keep a term report going. If you think that you will forget events attended then write that into a calendar and refer to it when you are writing up a term report.
After documenting what we have achieved I make sure I give an assessment of how I think each child is progressing. I also mention what they are struggling with and what their interests and strengths are and what subjects may need attention. This is very important for the registration process as the assessors usually want to see that you are assessing their progress. It is also helpful if you decide to enrol your child in school at a later date.
See my sample of Sample Term Report
Need More Info
The go to site for connecting to the Australian Homeschool Community is the HBLA – Home Education Based Network. You will find more details and ways to connect to the WA Homeschool Community.paths to university.