Advice for Home Educators

Developing Writing Skills

By Kirsty James Learning to write is a broad theme, covering such diverse topics as forming letters, learning correct grammar and syntax, and essay writing. This article is just a starting point, and illustrates not only some of the ways in which different families have approached these tasks, but also the variety of possibilities.  In general, home educated students do less physical writing than

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Structure and Home Education

There are many reasons to incorporate structure in your home education life. Common reasons include: Children who need a framework in order to feel less anxious Parents new to home ed who need reassurance and an element of familiarity Children who need help with executive functioning skills Many people might think home ed structure would replicate school; timetables, set lesson times, scheduled breaks, but

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Advice for Home Educators

Challenging Stereotypes

Kirsty James We like to laugh about the stereotypical home educated kid: those poor unsocialised darlings who will never get a job, make friends, or learn how to line up. However, I think the more dangerous stereotypes are the ones against which we measure ourselves.  When you read HE blogs or articles, it is easy to feel that everyone else is doing a better

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Advice for New Home Educators

Annie Regan Choosing to home educate can be a daunting decision. Whether you are doing it for philosophical or lifestyle reasons, or as a result of the school environment not working out, it is a choice that is outside the norm. You may have lots of home educating contacts already, or you may not know anyone who does it. Either way, you will be

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Advice for Home Educators

Starting Home Ed During the Pandemic

Welcome to all of those new families considering home education, or who have joined the community during the pandemic and have had little chance to see home education at its best. Normally when we join a new community, we have time to observe from the sidelines. It’s a chance to work out the dynamics and behavior expectations of the group. Many of you have

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Advice for Home Educators

Working Together

Catherine Durrant I recently watched a segment on The Project about Unschooling. Overall, it was very positive towards home education and the families in the segment were very articulate and inspiring.  However, towards the end an education expert, Adam Voigt, commented that home education is ‘missing the opportunity to learn cooperatively with other people, that in the future people need to work out significant

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Advice for Home Educators

I Will Never Homeschool

Mairi Girgis. I was never going to “homeschool” my kids myself. I didn’t research home education before I started. When I started I had a lot of misconceptions, I didn’t think I’d have the patience to teach my children, and I was looking forward to having all my children in school and going back to study and work.  I distinctly remember attending a school-parent

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Advice for Home Educators

Reviews

2021 has seen a surge in Victorian registrations for home education, alongside significant challenges that have curtailed many of our activities and opportunities. As a result, it’s likely that some of those who receive a notice of review from the VRQA will be concerned about whether you will have enough content to pass a review. A few review facts: 10% of registered homeschoolers are

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Advice for Home Educators

A Safe Place to Land

Pavlina McMaster A little over a year ago, we moved out of our community of 20 years. I was excited to find a mould-free rental with a back yard, but at the time, there were so many unknowns. How was I going to find friends for my kids? How was I going to find the same support level? Was I going to find adults

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Advice for Home Educators

Socialisation – JBP

John Barratt-Peacock “But what about socialisation?” is the second most asked question of home educators. Why? If you want a technical definition of socialisation Berger and Luckmann will tell you that it is about relating to others, learning to fit into your allocated place in society and that school attendance is vital for accomplishing it. For over fifty years home educators have been demonstrating that the

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Advice for Home Educators

Home education for the child in crisis

Content warning: this article talks about children in severe states of mental distress and issues related to that. People choose home education for many different reasons. For some, home education is the only option when a child is in crisis, and where continuing in the school setting poses a grave risk to that child. If this applies to you, and your child is struggling

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When your friends and family are unsupportive

You may have come to home education happily and willingly, or it may be that home ed is your last resort after persevering with mainstream school before realising it just won’t work for your child. Regardless of the reasons why you are home educating, you would hope that your friends and family support your decision and encourage you. Or, at the very least, if

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A Home Education Vocabulary image
Advice for Home Educators

A Home Education Vocabulary

  “What’s the difference between homeschooling and unschooling?” and “What is deschooling?’ are among the most commonly asked questions in Facebook groups. Homeschooling is generally used to mean home education. HEN (and many individuals) prefer this latter term as it is a more accurate description of what families do: educate their children at home. However, the VRQA uses the term homeschooling, as do most

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Advice for Home Educators

Should I use an All-in-One Curriculum Bundle?

Kirsty James Grade based curriculum packages offer a level of security which feels reassuring, but they have some significant drawbacks.The majority of these products are either books designed for schools, or programs for home educators which follow the Australian Curriculum. In some states, HE (home education) families have to follow this curriculum, and as HE numbers have grown, companies have seen a market opportunity.

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Advice for Home Educators

Record keeping for home education

By Kirsty James   One common concern for new home educators in Victoria is how to keep records. This tends to stem from the question how will learning outcomes be recorded on the VRQA paperwork when applying for home ed registration, and it’s common for people to list multiple methods of record keeping there. The main purpose of records is to provide a framework

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Advice for Home Educators

What should I use this year?

By Kirsty James At the start of each year, many families are thinking about how to support new interests, help their child with areas where they struggle, or looking for groups/connections. The HE community is supportive, and usually happy to provide advice. However, over the last few years I’ve seen a change in the kind of products and services which are available, and it

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Planning and organisation in home ed
Advice for Home Educators

Planning and organisation in home education

Kirsty James We all know that home educating parents are so organised. It’s right up there with patience as the quality most mentioned when I tell people my kids don’t go to school: ‘oh you must be sooo …’. I’m sure there are some paragons out there, but the image of the perfect home educator is as damaging as the idea of the perfect

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Home educating teenagers and entering the workforce
Advice for Home Educators

Home ed teens and entering the workforce

HEN regularly answers questions about how home educated teens will access tertiary education, but some students will be more interested in joining the workforce, in either a part time or full time capacity. Sample CVs seem to focus on school achievements, so what does a teen who is not in school put on their CV? Work experience is extremely worthwhile. Not only does it

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Advice for Home Educators

From Little Things

I’m a HEN volunteer, so I have the chance to speak to lots of new home educators, and see a variety of learning plans. So many parents doubt their abilities, worry that they will not ‘cover everything’, that they are ‘not doing enough’ or that they won’t pass a review. I’m a worrier too, so I know where they are coming from, but I’m

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Advice for Home Educators

Unconventional Learning

Kathleen Humble   We’re a geeky kind of family. With me being a mathematician and my husband an engineer, it would be hard to not be geeky. We’re also not going to score high on the ‘doing things conventionally’ test, if one of those existed. But sometimes, just sometimes, the paths my kids take to learn are so unconventional that they leave me with

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