In home education groups online, there is often confusion over what the difference between Distance Education and Home Education entails.
Distant Education is still school, but done in the home environment. A school is still responsible for delivering the subjects covered with the students sometimes expected to be online at certain periods of the day or on the phone to the teachers at specific times. The parent acts like a teacher’s aide responsible for the supervision of the educational materials emailed to the students or delivered on an online learning platform.
For this kind of education, you generally need to be home 5 days a week (or at least within internet access) during school hours of the distance education provider, so if you are interstate, you will need to keep the time change in mind.
The benefit of distance education is that the parent is absolved of developing any learning plans and registering those plans and work samples with the state education departments.
The downside to distance education is that you lose the right to choose how you spend your days. Without the freedom to go to home education meet ups, valuable social opportunities are lost. The learning opportunities provided are also still a one size fits all with minimal modifications for the individual learning needs of the student.
Distance Education really can work well for some kids, but not so great for others. It is a real choice, however in order to gain access to the state run distance education as a public student, you would need to have a medical reason or a geographical reason for not attending the local public school near you. The only other way to access distance education is through registered private providers that can be interstate and expensive. But if that is a good option for you then explore it. There will be further blogs in the future on some funding that is provided to eligible distance education students so subscribe to Ed Consult blog to learn more.
Home education on the other hand is all delivered, and developed by the parent or guardian of the student and the requirement is for that home educator to register for home education or in South Australia’s case, to apply for an exemption from schooling after enrolling in their local state school.
The benefits of home education over enrolling in a distance education provider is that your days are you own to do with as you please. You can also tailor a personal learning plan for your child rather than a one size fits all.
Home education is a particularly good option if you are travelling with kids. You can tailor the learning to be relevant with where you are on your journey to really help make the learning stick.
The number of family trips around Australia that I have heard being ruined by the need to be near a good internet signal to connect with their teacher, is rather high. Home education is definitely the way to go for that year long family journey around Australia. If you would like any support in developing your registration plan for your big family holiday, don’t hesitate to email firstname.lastname@example.org to explore your options together.
Ed Consult. Supporting Home Educators Across Australia.