A set curriculum is not necessary for successful homeschooling but, whether you choose a full packaged curriculum, or draw from multiple sources, there are some amazing resources out there! There is no need to spend a lot of money; see Home Education on a Budget before you buy.
This section is only a starting point. You can help keep it current by contacting us with any updates. Don’t forget to check what your library has, second-hand bookstores and of course, the internet. There are also Buy/Swap/Sell facebook groups for home educators e.g.
Homeschool Buy, Sell, Swap – Australia and Homeschooling Supplies Buy Swap Sell Giveaway Australia
Teacher resources designed for Australian curriculum
Dominie Educational Supplies
General Educational supplier
Phone: (02) 9905 0201
Link Education Supplies
Educational Book Specialists
341 Waverley Road, Mt. Waverley 9807 5422
Home educators are able to join as a ‘school’ by using their homeschooling registration letter. Suppliers of school resources and also fiction and non-fiction for kids at club prices.
LEGO Educational Resources from prep to robotics
Run by Michelle Morrow a home educator of 16 years. Advice on planning and implementing your own individualised homeschool plan while navigating and understanding the Australian Curriculum. They have many resources and articles to help you homeschool.
Australian home ed supplies – includes Singapore Maths, Australian History and Science (Christian)
1300 134 211. Supplies schools, preschools and child care centres with variety of educational and play products (Sydney based). Online ordering.
The Educational Warehouse is an online supplier of educational supplies, including some which are difficult to get from overseas because of international postage costs.
- Multiple ages and subjects
28-30 Hydrive Close, Dandenong South. 1300 365 268. Supplies schools, preschools and childcare centres with a variety of educational and play products, including large variety of art materials and some montessori products. Online ordering (used to be able to go into the warehouse to select products, but suggest you check first).
- Multiple Ages
Melbourne based supplier of math and science educational products. Many toys and games, plus lab equipment. Keep an eye out on their annual clearance sale. Online or over phone ordering. Can collect from reception, and they normally have a small corner in their reception with discounted products. (03) 8736 6000. 52 Gilbert Park Drive, Knoxfield
- Multiple Ages
Supplier of specialty science and lab equipment and chemicals to schools, plus science related educational products. Online or phone ordering. Good site for specialty chemicals for high school science. (03) 9753 3896. 1/44 Rushdale Street, Knoxfield
- Postage varies (lowest is 20% with an order of US$500)
- Christian and secular resources
Major homeschooling supplier in the US, with huge range of products: curricula, books, novels, games, activities, art/craft supplies, toys etc – everything that a homeschooler might possibly wish for.
Christian Book Distributors (US based) – christianbook.com
- Postage varies (similar to Rainbow Resource, but based on weight rather than order amount)
Major supplier of Christian resources, including homeschooling curricula and materials.
- Secular and Faith Based
- Free and Paid
- All ages / all subject areas
A collective of homeschoolers who organise educational subscriptions available to schools. Subscriptions are generally available for a period of time, and are normally considerably discounted compared to individual prices. Some are only available in US (generally physical products), but most online products are available worldwide.
Educational games and resources on topics ranging from Adverbs to Gallipoli to Whole Numbers
A book search engine – searches local and overseas book stores to find best price including delivery, in AUS$. Using Booko to find a book in the online bookstore Booktopia will provide a code at the Booktopia website which provides free shipping.
Online bookshop with free postage worldwide and very competitive prices. Based in the UK.
Online bookshop, based in Australia. Great prices, and if using a link through Booko, you can get free postage (postage is usually a flat rate under $10).
Beverley Paine, Practical Homeschooling
Beverley has many resources available including the book Getting Started with Home Schooling: Practical Considerations along with many of the classic home education books.
Phone: (08) 8558 3212
VCAL online is now available at Box Hill Tafe at foundation, intermediate and senior levels. Courses are self paced and can be completed online or with a combination of online and face to face classes (Box Hill or Melbourne city campus). //www.boxhill.edu.au/our-courses/vce-vcal/
The Learning Federation
Educational Interactive Games in Maths, Science, English etc
Skwirk caters to different teaching and learning styles across the curriculum, with a variety of content including videos, animations, activities, worksheets and assessments
HEN Members receive a 50% discount
Complete Education Australia
Full curriculum available on a per term subscription basis
How Stuff Works
Explanations on everything from tooth whiteners to robots
Fun games and activities across the curriculum
Libraries – Most libraries have great resources that home educators can use.
Yarra Library branches have a dedicated Children’s and Youth Librarian available to assist families with resources and programs to enhance their home programs, and we also have robotics kits and other expensive resources for use in the library. Contact Kellie Henaghan for more information:
T (03) 9426 5621
Homeschooling registration forms and information can be downloaded from the VRQA website or obtained by telephoning them on (03) 9651 3293. See HENs legal section for full details on the law.
A booklet produced by the Victorian government, this is sent to all newly registered home educators upon registration with the VRQA.
Home educators in some states are required to adhere to the national curriculum. Victorians are not. Note that even if you are required to use it, you don’t necessarily have to produce a full curriculum in line with it – many Australian text books are written to fit it and advertise this on their covers.
The curriculum used in Victorian schools (P-10) is the Victorian Curriculum, which is very similar to the Australian Curriculum, with a few extras specifically for Victoria. The Victorian Curriculum website works through all topics giving examples of expectations for each year and sample units of work and examples of student work. Note: Victorian home educators are not obliged to use the Victorian Curriculum but may wish to draw on them.
The VCAA are responsible for creating and assessing curriculum in Victoria. The website is closely linked to the Victorian Curriculum website and provides several resources for utilising the curriculum effectively.
The eligibility criteria is restricted (basically distance or medical). For full criteria see the website.
Some 2015 DECV materials will be made available to home educators in Jan 2018.
Students who have been registered with the VRQA for home education for at least 12 months are permitted to enrol in Distance Education for year 10 or VCE even if they meet no other eligibility criteria. See contact details above.
Based in Adelaide, the Open Access College offers the following to DECD approved SA home schoolers:
- R-9, Language or music programme only
- Year 10, PLP only or a full Year 10 load in preparation for SACE studies
- Years 11 & 12, all senior secondary subjects
For Teachers For Students
The content published on this website is provided for use by Australian primary and middle-years teachers and their students. The Australian Copyright Act allows certain uses of content from the internet without the copyright owner’s permission. This includes use by educational institutions and by Commonwealth and State governments.
Studyladder is an online teacher resource site in line with Australian Curriculum.
iPads for Education
Includes advice and resources for using iPads for learning including classroom ideas, practitioner case studies; a list of reviewed education apps.
Generally the NAPLAN is not compulsory for home educated students but students in some stages may register for it – contact your moderator/inspector/authorised person for details. Registered Victorian home educators can contact their local government school to take part there.
Developed by DEECD, FUSE is for educators and is specifically designed to provide teaching, professional learning and policy resources.
Teacher resource site “Browse over 20,000 quality-assured digital learning resources aligned to the Australian Curriculum. Filter your search to uncover a wealth of relevant teaching and learning items.” Registered home educators can register to use Scootle. The process is to raise a ticket on the site – they will ask for evidence of your registration.
Website developed by DEECD which provides teaching and learning resources suitable for LOTE from prep to year 10. Online interactive tasks and worksheets for French, German, Indonesian and Italian. There is also a ‘game maker’ template to create interactive language games using your own text, voice recordings or images.
John Holt (1923-1985) wrote many books which are all considered classics in the home education world. As a fifth grade teacher, John was part of the progressive education movement in the 60s and initially wrote about the failings of school. Eventually, he gave up on reforming the school system and, instead, advocated home education. To his surprise, people started contacting him to say they were already doing just what he suggested. As a result, he began a home education magazine called Growing Without Schooling. All of his books are well worth a read.
- Teach your Own – The John Holt Book of Home Schooling is about how we can teach children, or rather allow them to learn outside of schools. It is John’s only book specifically about home education.
- John Holt – How Children Fail was John’s first book when he first began to realise that schools were hurting children who are entirely capable of teaching themselves.
- How Children Learn details John’s thoughtful observation and investigation of the actual learning he witnessed amongst his students.
- Other titles: Learning All the Time, Freedom and Beyond, Instead of Education: Ways to Help People do Things Better, Escape from Childhood, What do I do Monday? Never Too Late.
John Taylor Gatto has written some excellent books, and has also published some audio tapes and videos. John has seen that between schooling and television, our children have precious little time to learn for themselves about the community they live in, or the lives they might lead. Instead, they are schooled to merely obey orders and become smoothly functioning cogs in the industrial machine.
- Dumbing Us Down: The Hidden Curriculum of Compulsory Schooling
- The Exhausted School: Bending the Bars of Traditional Education
- A Different Kind of Teacher: Solving the Crisis of American Schooling
- Underground History of American Education is the result of a lifetime of teaching and research. This is the definitive book about the origins and effect of our education system.
- There are also some great essays by John sprinkled around the internet.
Teenage Liberation Handbook by Grace Llewellyn. This is an excellent read for teens thinking of leaving school and recommended reading for any parent of teenagers.
The Why and How of Australian Home Education by Dr John Barratt-Peacock, 1997. This a PhD thesis which was hailed as the most authoritative text on home education in Australia. The author approached his research with twenty-seven years’ experience in home education. He views education as essentially a process of acquisition of culture. He conducted initial interviews with 186 families across Australia, thirteen families were interviewed a second time and six families (deliberately chosen to represent a wide range of home educating practice) were interviewed a third time and observed for a full day each. Both formal and informal learning was noted, with a recognition not only of the immediate activity a child was engaged in, but what was going on around the child – a conversation overheard from the next room for example – or the child’s awareness of the activity of other members of the family. He summed up the Australian home educating family as “a community of learning practice.” Home educating families in this study had more children than the average Australian family and it was predominantly mothers who had the primary responsibility of educating children. The PDF is for sale in our shop and available free in the members’ area.
- The Unschooling Handbook: Subtitled How to Use the Whole World As Your Child’s Classroom is a great resource, not only for unschoolers, but for any home educator as it gets you thinking about all the resources at your fingertips.
- The Homeschoolong Handbook is also a valuable resource as is anything by this author.
In Their Own Way by Thomas Armstrong. Children learn in multiple ways, and educator Thomas Armstrong shows how to locate those unique areas in each of our children where learning and creativity seem to flow with special vigor. Armstrong delineates how to discover your child’s particular areas of strength. The book shatters the conventional wisdom that brands our students as “underachievers,” “unmotivated,” or as suffering from “learning disabilities,” “attention deficit hyperactivity disorder,” or other “learning diseases.” Armstrong explains how these flawed labels often overlook students who are in possession of a distinctive combination of multiple intelligences, and demonstrates how to help them acquire knowledge and skills according to their sometimes extraordinary aptitudes. Filled with resources for the home and classroom, In Their Own Way offers inspiration for every learning situation.
Right-Brained Children in a Left-Brained World by Jeffrey Freed and Laurie Parsons. This book explains why some people fit into school, and some do not. This book advocates effective method for helping children with Attention Deficit Disorder excel in a classroom setting and many of them can easily be applied at home where you and your child are more in control of the environment.
The Fundamentals of Home Schooling by Anne Lahrson-Fisher. An extensive exploration of how children learn naturally in families through play, conversation, family togetherness, and the process of growing up. This book is a refreshing look at the how-to and why-to of home education, including academic, social, learning style, and family life issues, plus a bonus of many practical resources and tips.
Educating Your Child at Home by Dr Alan Thomas, 1998. Alan’s interest in individualised learning led him to examine home education in Australia and the U.K. He points out that although ‘catering for individual needs’ is touted as the ultimate pedagogy, it is actually impossible to achieve in a classroom. “In fact, in spite of nearly a century of interest in individualised teaching, practically nothing is actually known about it in practice, certainly not with regard to children of school age, simply because it cannot be studied to any significant extent in school. The only way to find out more is to turn to children who are educated at home.” This book is an inspiring home-ed resource, especially for those looking for reassurance on natural learning.
How Children Learn at Home by Alan Thomas and Harriet Pattison. From the moment you read the preface you’ll know that Alan Thomas and Harriet Pattison understand the world of home education in general and natural learning in particular. Here they discuss the what and how of informal learning by school-age children, the world that surrounds these children and how they engage with it. Three types of learning are identified – incidental and implicit learning which both occur with little awareness from the child and self-directed learning in which children more deliberately find out about something that has captured their interest. Overall the book is both reassuring and empowering for natural learning families. It confirms through research what our own experience continues to tell us and yet we sometimes fear to believe – that natural learning is an effective way to learn.
Homeschooling the Teen Years by Cafi Cohen. This contains a lot of useful information whether you are actively home educating teenagers or just considering your options. Using real-life stories from dozens of families, this book reveals the secrets of making homeschooling work for you and your teen. Cafi Cohen also has useful books for home educated young people moving onto university (although some of the information is specific to American college applications.)
Finding Home by Erik Peacock. Erik, son of home ed pioneer John Peacock, talks about his home education, growing up as an English migrant in Tasmania, making sense of the world and finding a place in it. He details his journeys of activism, faith and relationships. His interesting blend of Christianity and environmentalism means half of the book should appeal to the bulk of the home ed community – just not the same half to the whole community! Perhaps Erik sums it up well himself when he says, “Life had moved me over the years from the evangelical right to the wishy washy left. I never meant to end up there, but having been broken I now knew when to bend. While I could understand and respect most points of view I realised that I would never fit snugly in any camp. Life is too complicated and people’s stories too interesting to get overly hung up on categories and my identity is not tied up with belonging in one.”
Tales out of School by Dr John Barratt Peacock and Susan Wight. A book for existing home educators and those enquiring into home education as an option for their families. It contains 40 home education stories from the coalface of home education. The world of home education is a hugely diverse one. Within these pages, as in home education itself, you will meet families whose stories will immediately resonate with you and you will also meet families who you will regard as more than a little odd. Whether you have a casual interest in home education, are starting out or a seasoned veteran, this book has something for you. Available in the HEN shop, free to members.
Cosmos for Schools
Many of you will be familiar with the independent Cosmos science magazine which has been around since 2004. This digital platform expands on the magazine with many more resources aimed at the education sector.
You can subscribe through Stile
The subscription includes the following :
• Unrestricted access to lesson archive
• Unrestricted access to Cosmos digital magazine.
• Unrestricted access to the Cosmos podcast.
• Unrestricted access to 10 years’ worth of Cosmos Magazine PDF archives
• 25+ new science lessons each year
Our family were particularly interested in the ‘live lessons’ which offered an interactive and self-guided teaching resource for all aspects of science aimed at year levels 7 to 10. The lesson packages are organised so parents can log in as the ‘teacher’ and manage lesson content and also mark completed lessons etc. These lessons are ‘interactive’ and require students to read material or watch videos and then respond to various questions about the subject content. Once completed, the lessons can then be submitted for ‘marking’ and ‘feedback’ by the ‘teacher’.
We currently have two children completing lessons at the year 7 and year 9 level. Our older child is able to complete the lessons in a self-guided manner while our son who is doing the year 7 level lessons requires more assistance getting used to the digital platform and also understanding many of the new concepts being introduced. Both are finding the content stimulating and relevant and are becoming more and more self-motivated to explore the material on offer.
The team at Cosmos regularly release new live lessons which is advertised in a broadcast email to all subscribers. We are still exploring the extent of the teaching resources and feel we have really only scratched the surface of what is available and look forward to using more and more.
Along with some other families we had some minor problems with initial log-in to the lessons but this was sorted out by changing internet browsers (e.g. firefox, Chrome etc). The ‘Cosmos for Schools’ administration team have been very responsive to our requests for assistance and we can usually sort out any issues within a day or so.
Glen ( Skul ) Rodgers,
Rosetta Stone (HEN member discount)
Rosetta Stone is an online language program that teaches language as it is taught to small children, as well as can be achieved via computer! It presents a photo, written word and spoken language (audio), for each word or sentence. You do not need any prior knowledge of the language and vocabulary is built gradually. After you hear a word spoken, you repeat it back, trying to say it exactly as you hear it on the audio. You need to have a microphone and headphones on your computer. When learning new vocabulary you are asked to select a picture of the word. For learning sentences, different responses are required. You may be asked to match different combinations of written text, audio and pictures. You are not given the English translation. In Japanese, you have the option to change text into the pronunciation using English letters, or into written Japanese at anytime. ‘Milestones’ at the end of each unit, tests you on speaking, using a series of pictures to create an everyday situation. It is a very good programme for learning basic vocabulary and common sentences for everyday life. Words are repeated frequently to ensure you remember them. But you are not taught how to construct your own new sentences or the mechanics of grammar. You get good at hearing and understanding the language. It got me to year 9 standard vocabulary in Japanese. I used it just about every day for about six months. I now have a tutor who said that my knowledge was like ‘Survival Japanese’ and I have been able to go on to year 10 level this year. I highly recommend this program for homeschooled kids who don’t have access to languages classes.
Quilby Nelson, 16 years
Rosetta Stone is a web based language learning program that differs from a lot of other programs in the way that it never shows you a translation. Instead it links the foreign words to pictures, and your own brain makes the translation from picture to your primary language, which is the very same way that you learn you primary language as a baby. It also has voice recognition protocols that listen to how you pronounce the words of your chosen language and shows you what you need to improve on.
I have been learning German on Rosetta Stone since last year and am approximately 4/5 of the way through. Each language has five levels with each level containing four units. In each unit are the individual lessons. Once inside a unit, you will start with a core lesson, which will associate pictures to basic words and premises. A core lesson usually takes about 30 minutes to go through. After the core lesson, there are separate lessons that build on the premises learnt in the core lesson, such as vocabulary, speaking, pronunciation, writing and grammar, each of these generally take about five minutes. Interspersed through each unit are review exercises to jog your memory on previous units. At the end of each unit, there is a final ‘test’ called the milestone, which place you in the position of a person in a scenario where you have to talk to various other ‘people’ in the chosen language.
You can expect an entire course to take a year at minimum, depending on how much time you can spend on it.
I find learning a language on Rosetta Stone an enjoyable experience because of its very organised and incremental structure (like me :D) and the simple method it uses to associate words and phrases from a foreign language to things you already are familiar with.
Overall, I recommend Rosetta Stone if you want to learn a new language in an efficient and effective way.
Ben Wagner, 15 years
My ten year old daughter says it’s good – she learns Portuguese, however she wished she could learn more of greetings & introduction, i.e. my name is… i live in… etc. My daughter is only taught word by word, which is mostly subjective objects. Also, most of the time when she is asked to linguistically say a word, although she says it correctly, the program rejects it. She often gets tired and just messes around with any sound. When the system accepts odd errors, it doesn’t help her learn the language correctly.
Inge Scott, HEN member
As you get into the upper levels of high school you may need to consider future pathways, whether that be VCE, VCE alternatives, tertiary education, employment or other possibilities.
Below (right column) we share links to several tertiary and similar courses available, some which are accredited and some which are not. You can also extend into university study through Open Universities Australia (most first year units have no prerequisites and there are also bridging units available if needed).
Note: Not all courses are nationally accredited so ask before you sign up. Nationally accredited courses are a qualification in themselves and can be used to gain entry to other courses. eg. a Cert IV may qualify you for entry to a Diploma or an undergraduate degree and a Diploma may qualify you to enter a degree at second year level. It all depends on the particular course you are trying to get into and the qualifications you already have.
We have a page on the website dedicated to VCE and Alternative routes to university which you may find helpful to read through.
Home ed kids can undertake work experience – in Victoria you or your parent just need to approach an employer and set it up with them. More information can be found here.
It may also be helpful to read through HENs own Alumni Handbook which shares how life has turned out for those who were once home educated.
- High School
Free and useful website with videos on High School Maths, Chemistry, Physics and Biology, History, Economics. The presenter uses a video format with virtual blackboard and a casual approach. Also has android and apple apps, as well as apps on other devices such as roku.
- High School
- Secular? (maybe mixed)
- Multiple year levels
TED is a nonprofit devoted to spreading ideas, usually in the form of short, powerful talks. The TED-Ed branch is devoted to learning and uses short videos, including animations, as lessons.
- Secular, Religious, Everything
- All Ages
YouTube is a website for sharing videos about everything and anything. Not just for music videos and funny cats, educators and students can find a lot of useful videos in a vast range of subjects. Every single KLA, and perhaps every topic/subject within each KLA will have at least one good video about it on YouTube.
The Money Smart is a FREE resource and has a ‘Rookie’ section with some great info for teens including buying a car, credit and debt, studying, moving out, first job, mobile phone deals and online transactions. Other useful pages for teens are the budget planner and scams info. There are also teaching resources.
Key Money Concepts
Key Money Concepts is a paid alternative to Money Smart and offers videos, all available online, covering topics from renting a flat, car loans, HELP loans, investing and other real world issues.
- Paid and Free
- LGBTIQA+ resource
- Multiple Ages
Film study (need to buy the film) with free resources. Gayby Baby is a documentary film which traces the experiences and stories of six young people from a range of different family units. It is a useful film for opening up discussions about diversity, inclusion, same sex families, parenting, stereotypes in the media and popular culture and personal identity. It can be used as tool for assisting with meeting a range of learning outcomes for primary and secondary aged children, particularly in English, Health and PE and Personal Development areas. There are free download materials available online – one for primary age and one for secondary age.
- Free and Paid
- Upper high school, pre-tertiary
Free and paid courses in various subjects and topics, including Chemistry, and senior maths, touch typing, Microsoft programmes and much more
- Free and paid
- Upper High School, Pre-Tertiary, Tertiary
Coursera offers courses in numerous subjects, which are created by leading universities and organisations. Access to the lectures and non-graded course materials is free, but to get graded and earn certificates it does cost money per course.
- Free and paid
- Pre-tertiary and Tertiary
Udacity offers course in numerous subjects, which are created by leading organisations and universities. Access to the course materials is free, but to access the projects and earn nano-degrees it will cost money.
- Global (Us based)
The US university Stanford offers free courses of various subjects online to people all around the world. Not all of their course are available through this service, but there are some wonderful courses available.
- Global (US based)
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology is a leading tech university in the US, via this website they offer nearly all of their course for free. Many of the course revolve around technology, however they offer a range of courses in various subjects even the fine arts!
- Free and Paid
Open2Study is a website providing access to free courses from various universities and institutions, in a variety of subjects and topics. While the courses are generally free, to get accreditation it will be necessary to pay.
- Multiple year levels, including tertiary
Open Culture is a website offering free courses, audio books, movies, textbooks and ebooks in a variety of subjects and topics.
- Tertiary, pre-tertiary
Open Colleges provides TAFE course online, these are paid courses but easier to access especially for those who don’t have ready access to TAFE.
- Mathletics$37 per child through our shop*
- Spellodrome $16 per child through our shop. *
- Skwirk 50% discount. Instructions under member menu
- Maths Online – 60% discount. Instructions under member menu
- Reading Eggs 40% discount. Sign up for a free trial through Reading Eggs then phone them (02) 8585 4020 with your HEN membership number and pay for your subscription by Visa or Mastercard.
- Math Seeds 33% discount. Sign up as for Reading Eggs.
- Rosetta Stone $60 per subscription through our shop.*
- Literacy Planet We put out a registration link each term – unconfirmed for 2018 but watch the HEN emails.
- Future School 35% off monthly subscriptions and 50% off annual subscriptions. Instructions under member menu
- Phonics Hero 80% off annual subscriptions. Instructions under member menu
- Artventure 50% Instructions under member menu
*Available under Resources in the Shop but only visible to logged in members.