The term resources covers a variety of options: people, materials, websites, games, excursions, classes, and activities as well as curriculum. HEN has a number of boards on Pinterest covering many topics, with resources from hands on activities to books, games and more. More boards are added weekly. If you have a Pinterest account you can follow HEN, however you can still view Pinterest boards in a browser without an account.
Excellent sources of information are available for:
Goodreads has ratings, reviews and lists by topics. The HEN Victoria Group Facebook group also has a weekly Book Corner. Libraries, eBay and Facebook boards can help keep costs down. Search engine Booko finds the best price including delivery,and provides a free shipping code for Booktopia.
Activities and inspiration
Pinterest is a great place to look for activity suggestions, if you are looking for an Egyptian themed art activity, directions for making a rain gauge, or experiments you can do with plants, this is the place to look. You may also find inspiration in the 10 Things posts on our Facebook page.
Excursions and classes
Camps and activities are advertised on the HEN calendar, Facebook page and in local groups. HEN has pamphlets listing excursions, and showing how they link to KLAs. HE specific classes are also listed on the website, and after-school activities are also popular.
Games are a great way to learn. Members can view our Gameschooling talk and there are dedicated websites and Facebook groups. Boardgamegeek is a comprehensive review site, Many commercial games are expensive, but there are free and low-cost options. TeachersPayTeachers offers teacher created resources, and sites like Ellen McHenry’s Basement Workshop have great free games, and again Pinterest is your friend!
Supplies are available from teacher websites like MTA but this can be expensive. Similar items can usually be sourced from independent/specialist suppliers, or on eBay. Specialist suppliers you may find useful for activity supplies that are not available locally include Cleverpatch, Riot, Zart (art and craft supplies) Jaycar (electronics), Mad about Science, Haines and SSA (science), Moore Ed/brick (Lego).
Curriculum products created specifically for home educators are often superior to school-based options. They don’t assume prior knowledge by the parent, are usually created by passionate individuals rather than a committee, and often present subjects in greater depth and with integral variety. Have a look at our resources section, which list items by key learning area as well as in cross curricular categories.
Victorian home educators are not expected to follow the Victorian (or any) curriculum. But for those who wish to, there are plenty of resources available. Following the Victorian curriculum does not mean you have to replicate school at home and the amount of time required will be far less than at school. You can focus on areas of interest and difficulty, skip topics you know are already understood, and add in natural learning opportunities.
For example, you could use a Victorian Curriculum English book and Mathletics and support this learning using hands-on, practical literacy and numeracy activities. Learning outcomes only need to be touched upon, and not studied in depth (unless a student is excited by the topic).
It’s fine to cover science and humanities in your own way using unit studies, library books, videos or topic based curricula. Remember that schools don’t necessarily cover every subject area each year, for example some might cover geography one year and history the next.
Areas such as languages, health and PE, ICTDT (Technologies) and the arts can easily be based on the child’s interests and existing activities, as provision in these areas varies significantly from school to school, and the outcomes are very broad. A good way to get a feel for the Victorian curriculum is to download the 2015 DECV materials free from the HEN shop.
Overall, it’s best to borrow, buy second hand, or manage with the resources you have to hand when starting out. Every home educator has a shelf of unused items that looked appealing online or in the shop, so learn from our mistakes!
You can buy popular items second hand from Homeschool Buy, Sell, Swap Australia and Homeschooling Supplies Buy Swap Sell Giveaway Australia. It’s also worth checking out the HEN discount section (for HEN members) before shopping to avoid spending more than necessary.