Australian Homeschooling Summit 2020 – 4th May to 15th May

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Here is the best opportunity, at the best price, to have your questions answered about home education in Australia live. The Australian Homeschooling Summit 2020.

Get your $25 ticket to 30 presentations by clicking here. $25 gives you unlimited access to the 30 presentations for years to come.

30 presentations covering how to begin, what to expect, what to teach, how to learn and where support is available to enhance your home education experience wherever or whenever you are in your journey.

Click here and make a small $25 investment in your future home education and help your children and yourself to thrive. (Afflink)

Come, listen and ask questions of some of the leading home educators in the country. This is your opportunity to get some insights into questions that you need answered. Ed Consult with Myfanwy Dibben presenting, will be there for the first time this year, talking on History and Geography Grades 1 – 12.

Ed Consult. Supporting Home Educators Across Australia.

Working with Health Professionals

Some home educators report not feeling supported with their decision to home educate their children when working with some health professionals. Some practitioners are overstepping their purview enforcing their negative opinion of home education uninvited, rather than giving unbiased professional advice on the condition that is presented by the child. There have been reports that some professionals forcefully advising the child or parents to enroll in a school.  It is worthwhile reminding professionals who hold this view that home education is a legal third choice in addition to government or independent schools when parents are deciding on the education for their child.

It is a reasonable premise that positive interaction and collaboration between families and practitioners is in the best interest of the child’s well being. It is important to ensure that all parties involved in children’s wellbeing understand the validity of home education, and respect a parent’s right and responsibility  to choose their child’s form of instruction.

Some parents have reported about how their home education environments have helped their children with special needs.

One mum said “My daughter has ASD, SPD, generalised anxiety and is learning delayed. Homeschool has allowed me to reduce sensory overload and sit with her one on one and learn her strengths and frustrations. I can tailor her learning just to her, using any resources that will fit, rather than trying to make certain resources fit her.”   

One experienced mother’s advice to other home educating parents working with professionals was to:

“Tell the [Health Professional] you home educate, that is a non negotiable thing that will not be changing, and can they help and advise you within that context…Only once did I encounter a person who said she could not work with my child unless we would put him in school, and … we knew not to go back [to them].”

There were also families that have enjoyed positive experiences with their therapists such as:

“We have been fortunate enough to find supportive medical and allied professionals who have acknowledged that home education is the best choice in our case. It has been worth seeking out the good ones.”

“My son’s therapists weren’t happy about me homeschooling but respected my decision nonetheless. Now, they praise it as they have seen the change in my boy..”

An online resource has emerged called “Home Ed Friendly professionals” to help families find services in every state and territory to help their children be the best they can be and still respecting home education as their choice for their children’s education. Make sure to add to this project any professionals who have contributed positively to your home education experience.

Another mother stated:

“I have dealt with a lot of health professionals and don’t mind at all explaining what home education is. However, I do mind having to defend those choices to professionals who overstep the mark.”

Ed Consult. Supporting Home Educators Across Australia.

NSW in Focus – How to Register for Home Education

Registering for home education in NSW is straight forward and easy. If you know how.

You will need to follow a few steps as listed below in order to successfully register for the maximum first registration period of 1 year. Upon re-registration in 12 months time, you can apply for a two year maximum registration period. NSW home educators register through NSW Education Standards Authority also known as NESA.

How to make the big bad government Authorised Person smile on your home visit. Only joking!

Step 1 – Alert the authorities that you are leaving the reservation

Go to the NESA homeschooling webpage and download Form 1 for initial registration. Fill one out for each child separately and then email them back signed. An AP (Authorised Person, usually a teacher) will then call you to make an appointment for the purposes of sighting your children and to read a written program for each child.

https://educationstandards.nsw.edu.au/…/home-schooling…

Step 2 – Write your plan

The program can be as simple as cutting and pasting the stage statements from each Key Learning Area (KLA), and then list any resources you intend to use to cover those skills sets in the stage statements.

I wouldn’t write any education philosophies down. Stay away from mentioning unschooling or natural learning and save yourself an unnecessary headache. Just list resources or activities that will tick what each stage statement will need.

You only need to register for primary or secondary school. You do not need to list a grade level. This gives you the freedom to alter the skills levels for each KLA to suit where your child is upto. If they are more advanced in Mathematics you may select the stage statement for stage 3 instead of stage 2. This is your opportunity to truly tailor your child’s education.
Click here for all the stage statements in a single document for Early Stage 1 to Stage 5. Stage 6 is separated due to the volume of subjects and different requirements in the Curriculum.
https://educationstandards.nsw.edu.au/…/stage…

If you are using work books, your list of resources under the stage statements for English and Maths KLAs may look something like this:

  • Mathematics stage 2 – Targeting Maths grade 3, Life of Fred, online multiplication games.
  • English – All About Spelling level 4 – 5, First Language Lessons, Writing with Ease, The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings for literature, readers from the library, Audio books, speech at home school group.

If you are using a child led approach or unschooling, you will still need to write something down and that may look like this:

  • English – Public speaking at the home school meet-up, writing a journal, creating a recipe book, creating an ad for selling a bike on Gumtree, memorising poetry from a nursery rhyme book, writing some short stories, doing some copy work, keeping a word index book of words learnt with meanings, reading list appropriate for their interest and age.
  • Mathematics – focusing on using measuring equipment especially in cooking, online maths games, chalk and cement for practice problems, building with lego, sorting colours and quantities and following instructions, shopping adding up the purchases, planning a family trip with public transport, playing math based card games like Gin Rummy, playing board games like Ticket to Ride or Rummikub, singing along with the times table song disc.

It really isn’t very hard. Do the simplest paperwork such as listing of resources above is all you need to write. Be polite to the Authorised Person and then get the government out your front door. What you do in your home is your business. The longest registration period you will get for the initial registration is 12 months. Some home educators have really great APs and they are a welcome resource during home visits, but some have reported APs who expect school at home setups and can be highly rigid in interpreting their jobs. Do let Ed Consult know if you have had an experience such as this at contact@edconsult.com.au

Step 3 Get re-registered for your next home education adventure together

In 12 month’s time you print off the second form on the above mentioned NESA webpage and then have some work samples for each KLA, a photo album, diary entries or some form of record keeping of their learning and the new plan for the next two years. You are not required to compare your registered plan with what work was actually reported on. The AP is simply noting that you have a plan that is consistent with the NSW Curriculum. If you do nothing that you planned to do, that doesn’t matter at all. Just report what was done. Not hard really.

What if I don’t register?

Under the Education Act (see my other blog on this topic) in NSW you are required to register with NESA to home educate. If you are not registered, the only thing that will happen is that you will be asked to register with NESA. If you persist to fail to comply with the above steps, then the end worst case scenario is that you could be charged with “educational neglect”. This is very very rare and reserved for those who repeatedly refuse to register under the act.

If you are reported, simply register your children. Children who have never attended any schools are not on any lists. Children who unenroll from a school will be on the list of the school or a home school liaison officer and you can expect a phone call enquiring why your children are skipping school without a note.

Just say what the government wants to hear.

  • Yes we use the NSW Curriculum
  • Yes we keep records of the learning
  • Yes I considered my child’s learning needs and interests
  • Yes we have resources and space available to facilitate the learning of my child.

Job done.

Ed Consult. Supporting Home Educators Across Australia.

HEN – Home Education Survey Across Australia

The latest survey run by Susan Wight of the Home Education Network also known as HEN, a national association for the promotion and support of home education in Australia.

This year’s survey saw the highest participation rates from outside of Victoria with a total of 592 respondents from every state and territory across Australia. It is an anonymous survey as no identifying information was collected. Click here to see the results yourself.

Some of the questions covered included:

  • categorising their reason for home educating. 45% stating it was a matter of philosophy and 55% as a response to school experiences.
  • The section of the survey for rating the main factor for home educating initially was for “a tailored education” 
  • whereas the main factor for continuing to home educate was “happier kids” with 223 respondents.

When looking at the different styles of education being provided at home, “Unschooling” is most popular in Victoria and Queensland, and “Project-based learning” is most popular in NSW and Queensland.

The socio-economic status of respondents showed a fairly even spread through low to high household financial status.

The occupation of respondents with the most frequency of 8% was “teacher”.

The registration status of the respondents was around 92% nationally however Queensland had the fewest registered home educators of 74% of respondents. 

More survey participants are needed to give a broader view of the actual registration status of home educators in Australia, registered and unregistered. As Susan Wight from HEN said “If we could hit 10% across the country, that would really help home educators in each state make solid arguments when advocating. Without our own stats, the government owns the narrative.”

So stay tuned for the next call for nationwide participation in this important voluntary project to support home education in Australia by the Home Education Network. Subscribe to my blog Ed Consult and this youtube channel to keep informed by clicking on the subscribe button or clicking on the links in the information below this video.

Consider joining the Home Education Network to further support the research and support projects for home educators across Australia. HEN costs only $25 per year for membership with a magazine and tonnes of online support. Click here for more information.

Find out why people home educate, and much more. Jan 2020

Ed Consult. Supporting Home Educators Across Australia.

Federal Government Funding Initiatives 2020 Blog Series #5

This is the fifth blog on Federal Government Funding Initiatives for 2020.

Here are the next excerpts from the Australian Government Department for Infrastructure, Transport, Cities and Regional Development for 2020.

Online Teaching and Learning Courses—support mathematics and phonics

The Australian Government will provide $9.5 million over four years from 2019-20 to strengthen the capacity of teachers across Australia to teach mathematics and phonics through freely available, nationally coordinated, high quality professional learning and resources. This initiative will deliver:

  • Mathematics Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) for teachers of Foundation to Year 10 students, provide supporting face-to-face professional learning and a repository of teaching and learning resources through an online Mathematics Hub. It aims to inspire Australian school students to learn mathematics and equip them to become our future mathematical and technological innovators.
  • Online learning and teaching resources to support phonics education for the early years of school. This initiative will provide teachers with ready access to teaching and formative assessment resources to ensure the students who need the most support to learn to read get the help they need.

The online courses and resources will be freely available to all Australian teachers and students, with resources being readily accessible to those living in rural and remote locations, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. The mathematics and phonics online resources are designed to support teachers and provide professional learning opportunities.

Ed Consult has written to the Federal Minister for Education Hon Dan Tehan, to enquire where these resources can be found and if home educators are able to utilise these opportunities too. Stay tuned to find out more when a reply is received. This may take many months though.

See a list of other blogs in this series as they are published:

Follow this blog to find out about other initiatives that are being rolled out by the Federal Government in 2020. Perhaps it is time to start asking for a piece of the pie?

Ed Consult. Supporting Home Educators Across Australia.

Supporting Home Educators Across Australia

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

The journey begins at home

There has never been more access to information about home education or curriculum or methodologies. But this also means there is a huge onus on us to be able to sift through the vast stores of information in order to make sense of the world and what is available to us and to help our children grow up to be the best people they can be.

Collective Intelligence (CI) is the capacity of human collectives to engage in intellectual cooperation in order to create, innovate and invent.

Pierre Levy

Ed Consult is there to help you learn all you need to know about Home Education across Australia. Follow the Ed Consult blog and Youtube Channel here in order to become fully informed about what home education is, what part governments play, when there are benefits to home educators and their families, and when you should be informed of challenges facing our diverse community.

In truth, it has never been easier to home educate your child than today. With access to reliable internet, a library card, some energy and enthusiasm, you have the power to create, innovate and invent the most exclusive and individually tailored education, better than the most expensive and exclusive private schools in Australia.

The blog and video series will clarify your rights, your understanding and help give you the tools and language to deal with:

  • Managing doubt from your families, the community or even yourself about your own home education journey.
  • Registration issues,
  • Home visits in states and territories that have them,
  • Helping students transition to tertiary education pathways 
  • Explore alternative education to the mainstream institutional classroom learning.

The blog and videos will also explain:

  •  Financial assistance that is available to some families depending on their circumstances,
  • Any benefits such as discounts for museums and galleries, remote and regional internet access, group online subscriptions not available to individuals, and discounts at some stores in Australia,
  • Insurances: for home educators organising events, and for students’ work experience needs,

But more importantly

To keep the Australian community up to date on issues affecting lobbying efforts with governments at all levels that affect you, the home educator or parent or guardian of young people.  And to help educate the Australian community as a whole; Clearing up any misunderstandings or confusion as to what alternative education pathways look like for our children.

Ed Consult has the support of some of the most respected home educators across Australia. They have been there and done that, and who have generously provided support and fact checking to help make this resource accurate and reliable to help you make critical decisions with confidence on your child’s journey from Primary to tertiary education, and beyond to the work force and a happy and fulfilled future adulthood.

You can play a part

You can contribute in the comments section with questions you need answered, or you can utilise the blogs and soon to come, letter writing section of this website to support you in your interactions with greater Australia in relation to your right to home educate your child. We all need support from time to time, and Ed Consult is here for you.

“An informed parent or caregiver becomes empowered, and empowerment can lead to the best care for our children.’

Charisse Montgomery

Ed Consult. Supporting Home Educators Across Australia.