HSIE has been an area of confusion for home educators in NSW when writing learning plans for their students in years 7-10 in the History Society and Its Environment subject area.
Home educated students enjoy the most freedom of choice when choosing what they will study, when compared to their schooled peers who are required to study History and Geography for all of stages 4-5.
NESA has acknowledged that their Guidelines for Homeschooling document is misleading, suggesting that it must be History or Geography however they are in the process of updating this document to express the true requirements rather than simply what state schools generally do.
Home Educated students must choose to study at least one of the following subjects during stages 4-5 but can change what that subject is throughout the period of study:
A student may study History and Geography as an integrated subject. It is rather difficult to teach History without Geography given the events all happened in a place somewhere.
The nice thing to remember is that as a home educated student, you can choose to study Commerce for four years rather than History or Geography and can exercise more choice in their study plans than their schooled peers. Yet another reason to choose to home educate.
Ed Consult. Supporting Home Educators Across Australia.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
Ed Consult. Supporting Home Educators Across Australia.