August 31, 2021

Dear Indrani – Part 3

John Barratt-Peacock In our last issue Indrani confessed to struggling with home education. A low point such as this can be a valuable to reassess our reasons for home education and progress. It was honest and brave of her to share her thoughts at such a low point but, as you saw in the last article, a quiet summer has given Indrani time to […]
May 30, 2021

The Value of Volunteers

This week is National Volunteer Week. Without volunteers from our community working together to oppose overreaching regulation on two occasions, home education would look very different in Victoria. Without volunteers, few groups or excursions would be available. Without volunteers there would be no websites or Facebook pages to help us network and answer our questions. As home educators we are immersed in the volunteer culture, with […]
August 5, 2020

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 […]
June 15, 2020

Why am I Home Educating?

Amy Conley   It comes to my mind often these days. The demands of the little ones, the unpainted bedrooms, the list of to do’s longer than both my arms; and so the thoughts of whether to continue to home educate, or send my children to school, come to mind. They come with all the many questions. Am I spending enough time with my […]
June 2, 2020

All You Need is Love

Indrani Perera   Beverly Paine’s article, Do you really need that resource?, in the November 2014 issue of Otherways really got me thinking and doing. As a result of reading her article, I have spent the last couple of months de-cluttering and organising our house and it feels like a much better place to spend time. Which is a good thing as we spend […]
May 29, 2020

Learning to Read

By Annie Regan When I was a primary school teacher, one of my main philosophies was about helping all students learn to read. I still believe in the importance of reading, however, I now see it as a lifelong skill and not something that needs to be learnt by age six, and not a skill that needs to be actively taught. My three children […]
March 14, 2020

Should you home educate for COVID-19?

The Coronavirus has many families assessing the safety of school attendance at present, and HEN has been contacted by families considering home education for this reason. For most people who wish their child to return to school as soon as they consider it safe, registering for home education is not necessary. School absence doesn’t have to mean home education If COVID-19 is your only […]
November 26, 2019

Ladder of Doubt

By Marnie Black We withdrew our eldest two sons, Anthony and Mitchell, from school back in 2000. What a leap of faith that was! We had to get out of the system after the havoc it had wreaked on our boys. Even our pre-schooler, Jeff, had been negatively affected as most of his life had been lived in a family under stress. We agonised […]
October 29, 2019

No Guarantee

So, you haven’t yet taken the home ed plunge. It would be nice to have a guarantee, right? The thing is life doesn’t come with guarantees. It would be really nice to be able to examine a home education prospectus and see pretty graphs and tables detailing the success rate but that isn’t possible. The best you can do is observe home educating families […]
September 24, 2019

‘You home educate your kids? Now, that’s a big job!’

By Cynthia McStephen Excuse me, I just have to crawl into a hole for a while before I can tackle this subject. I’m sure you won’t mind. It’s the weight, you see. It’s the sheer effort of dragging around the huge expectations the world has of me as a home educating parent: ‘You must be so organised’, ‘I don’t know how you do it […]
July 8, 2019

Confessions of an Unschooling Cheerleader

By Marshall C When my wife Brooke and I first met she was raising her four children as a solo Mum and had been homeschooling for the better part of a decade. My first impression of Brooke’s children was of confident, well spoken kids (on their best behaviour to be sure after Mum made it clear that this one was a “keeper”).  As I […]
May 7, 2019

The Resilience of Home Educating Parents

By Lyn Saint The following statement may be depressing for parents of small energetic children – life is an emotional and exhausting roller-coaster ride for parents of teenagers and young adults. Small children are easy in comparison. We just have to pick them up and bandage their knees and show them how to do the million practical things they have to learn in life – […]
March 19, 2019

Supporting friends and family who home educate

So, a loved one has told you they’re going to home educate their children. DON’T PANIC! It’s really okay. You will be fine! These parents have thought long and hard about their decision. There’s a load of information and research out there on home education and chances are they’ve done their homework behind the scenes and come to decide that home education will be […]
July 3, 2018

Home Education Beyond Week Two

By Sue Wight Rachel Brady gave up on home education after two weeks and sent her children back to school. Her home education experience is not representational. Around 20,000 Australian kids are currently being home educated, thousands more already have been. For some families, home education provides a valuable short-term solution to an immediate problem, but many educate for a substantial time. The average […]
May 28, 2018

Home educating your teenager – you can do it!

Can it be done? Yes! Parents often feel pressure from those around them to put their children into school for the high school years. ‘What about university?’ is one of the most frequently asked questions of home educators. ‘What about VCE?’ is another. Home educating your teenager isn’t as big and scary an undertaking as some may have you believe. While it is understandable […]
March 20, 2018

But what about Friends? What about Socialisation?

By Pavlina McMaster Whenever we tell people that we home educate our children, they almost invariably ask, “But what about socialisation?”. What they usually mean to ask is, “But how will they learn to be social?”. There is a difference, and home educated children are well-placed to be both, in a considered, thoughtful way. What is Socialisation? Socialisation is the process whereby children and […]
November 6, 2017

Unschooling is not Unparenting

By Sue Wight Something odd is happening in the world of unschooling. Sarah has heard that if her children want chocolate biscuits for breakfast, they will eat a balanced diet over time without well-meaning interference from her. Meanwhile, she’s struggling to buy enough chocolate biscuits to keep up with them and is torn between her concerns about nutrition and a reluctance to impose restrictions […]
December 12, 2016

Missing the Milestones

By Susan Wight Towards the end of the year, I often catch up with old friends. Getting together always emphasises just how different our lives now are. They talk of meetings, workloads, changing policies, best-practice and so on.  Their end-of-year display of cards and gifts from appreciative clients or students always takes me by surprise. Jealous? No, I’m happy with my life and don’t […]
July 14, 2016

Are you qualified?

By Susan Wight Somehow this question puts us on the back foot and we find ourselves mumbling, “Umm, well no I’m not a teacher…” Why? Why do we give in to the assumption that we need some kind of certificate to ‘teach’ our own children? I don’t believe we should, but somehow many parents suddenly feel unable to defend home education when this question […]
June 10, 2016

What gives home education the edge?

School people often nod along with so many of the things we home educators talk about – catering to individual interests, child-led learning, play-based learning, experiential learning. They actually agree that all these things are desirable and are beginning to adopt some of our language as buzz words. At some stage in the conversation they say, ‘But of course we’re doing a lot of […]