Anxiety of Year 12 Students Wholly Unjustified. An ATAR is NOT Necessary for Tertiary Studies.

The Victorian Premier, Mr Andrews, whose eldest son is in Year 12, said the Victorian Government was committed to ensuring all students were able to get an Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR).

“It is my aim,” he said. “If they can get an ATAR, if not within this calendar year, then very soon thereafter. We’ve got six or eight weeks at the end of the year that we can catch up.”

Victorian Premier Mr Andrews

This is where the ignorance of our politicians and education leadership about what education can look like is failing Australian teenagers today causing wholly unnecessary stress and anxiety.

Students do not need an ATAR to start university

With only an average of 25% of all university admissions utilising the ATAR system, clearly 75% of successful applications to university studies demonstrates that there are other ways for year 12 students of 2020, to enter university without the school ATAR system.

Ed Consult has published a comprehensive list of alternative pathways. If you are looking for information on university access, then start right here

Whether you have had your year 12 studies interrupted, or are simply home educated, there are many alternative pathways to start your tertiary education studies. There is no need to repeat year 12 as suggested by the well meaning but ill informed Victoria Premier, Mr Andrews.

Further invaluable information for alternative pathways to tertiary studies in Australia.

Ed Consult. Supporting Home Educators Across Australia.

What Have We Learnt with Ed Consult this February 2020?

There is so much to learn about home education in Australia. In February 2020, there was a focus on HSIE – Geography and History as well as a Tertiary Education Mini Series and some helpful blogs on satellite internet, dealing with prejudice and the home educated child’s edge, time. Here is a list so you can stay informed and up to date.

Tertiary Education Special

A Focus on Geography / History and the NSW HSIE KLA

Technical and Personal Support Blogs for the Home Educator in Australia

And the Latest Videos from the Ed Consult YouTube Channel

Remember to hit the subscribe button to stay up to date with the latest video release.

If you would like to enquire about a consult, just email and we can help you find your feet

Ed Consult. Supporting Home Educators Across Australia.

University of Victoria Launches a New Way to Study Full Time. The Block Method.

There has been an interesting change at how courses are to be delivered at the University of Victoria by 2022. They call it the block model and in reality it would likely give better outcomes for the student. It has already been successfully trialled overseas and is now coming to Australia.

Usually a full time student would be taking 4 different subjects over a whole semester each with their own assessments and exams due around the same time causing a lot of pressure on the learner.

Vice-Chancellor Professor Peter Dawkins said The VU Way is a new way of doing university.

“It is a future blueprint for universities that offer a combination of vocational and higher education learning. The Block Mode is a truly student-centric, student-success–led model.

“It offers a unique and empowering learning experience to ensure our students are given every chance to succeed on their own terms, during and after study. In this way, the Block Mode fulfils our vision of creating opportunity and success for any student from any background.”

The block method, compresses a semester’s worth of study of a single subject into a 4 week block with all assessments and exams completed within that period before moving on to the next 4 weeks with the next subject. The block method means you will only ever be studying a single subject at any one time.

That sounds pretty good. A worthy question would be is it possible to do the block method part time? If so, you could organise your life around doing a single subject with 4 weeks of intense study followed by 4 or 8 or even more time off until you tackle the next subject. That would make for an interesting work/study/family/life balance.

For more information on how the Block Method will work click here. To watch a video embedded in Facebook from Victoria University click here.

Ed Consult. Supporting Home Educators Across Australia.

Feeling Overwhelmed? How to get your head straight as a home educator.

What if phonics is the way to go? This program says it is easy to teach but it is so expensive. But I am sure I don’t know what I am talking about. What if my 6 year old won’t be able to write an essay? What is unschooling anyway?  The dishes are not done, and the washing is getting smelly. The garden is overgrown. “Garden? I have a garden?”. 

Feeling overwhelmed about your choice to home educate your child? Let’s break that anxiety down and help put your issues back into perspective.

Here are a list of common issues that home educators in Australia face. Each area will be featured in future blogs and videos by Ed Consult:

  • Not knowing much about what a curriculum is, let alone how to implement the learning.
  • Confusion as to whether you need to follow a set of lesson plans at all
  • How will my child go to university without sitting the year 12 exams of all the other 17-18 years old around Australia?
  • How will my child socialise without school?
  • How can I teach my child if I have no experience as a teacher in a school?
  • My therapist for my child’s condition is questioning if I can provide a full educational experience.
  • Commentary from family or friends that you will ruin your child’s future by not including your child in an institutional school setting.

Be in the moment.

Too often as home educators and parents we exist in the future, planning and pressuring ourselves for the next contact with the state or territory education department or the future university graduation day with honours of our child, when they are just 6 years old. Bring your mind to the immediate present and stop drowning yourself in unnecessary future uncertainty. 

Bringing your attention to the moment everyday, even for just a minute can have profound changes on your concentration, resilience and stress levels. Put the baby in the bouncy, lock the dog in the other room, sit and close your eyes for one minute. 

Priorities, priorities.

Keep in mind you are not on display. You are in your home without an audience. You are in charge of your day, your child and a home education is a marathon with lots of rest breaks; not a sprint race.

Your priority is to help your child to be healthy, happy, life long learners, entering the world as creative problem solvers. Solving problems is the key to a happy life. How you get to that point requires many, many years. It is a skill that comes through experience and not a completed paid curriculum. 

Choose something, from somewhere and start. It doesn’t matter if the schedule you wrote with all the hopes of a new home educator, lay ignored on the floor. It doesn’t matter if the curriculum your bought is not being used (well it is an annoying waste of money, but you can always resell it). You have had your thinking time. What matters now is just choosing something to do and then doing it.

This learning activity may be a quick grammar lesson, a read aloud book, an art project, a movie session, a maths problem or a cuddle on the couch with a discussion on butterflies. Stop and be in the moment and your kids will begin to respond and peace will have a chance to descend upon your home. You will feel calmer, and more capable of thinking through where your child will go and how they are going to get there.

Start with the Australian Curriculum

If you want to have an idea of what is being taught in schools to help you frame the education that your child would have received in school, simply go to the Australian Curriculum and select the year level your child would have been assigned and read it. Go to this blog post to learn more about where to find the curriculum for your region.

In general, focus on reading, writing and arithmetic for the primary education years, and then in secondary levels focus on their interests and special skills to help them develop those skills. English is a focus for the whole of the child’s education, with maths, geography/history, and science as the core subjects. The other subject areas are at the child and educators’ discretion within the rules of your education region.

“Relax. Getting organised with homeschooling is not as important as you think it is. Relaxing, on the other hand, is more important than you know.”

Beverley Paine –

What about access to tertiary education for home educated kids?

Projecting forward to tertiary education while the child is 6 years old is a real concern for home educators and friends or family members who are not so sure about your choice to home educate. There will be extensive information supplied on this blog and through videos and extra page resources to put this concern to bed once and for all. Home educated kids have just as much access to tertiary education as a schooled child has. Subscribe to this blog to be fully informed.

What about socialisation?

Again do not concern yourself about socialisation. It is a myth that the only way to truly socialise a child is by placing them in a school 8.30 to 3.30, 5 days a week organised horizontally by age, religion, socio-economic status, or sex for 7-13 years with the same kids is the only way to successfully socialise a child. Home educated kids socialise in a vertical way with all ages, and with a broad spectrum of community members and of course their families in a far deeper and enduring way than their horizontally socialised cousins. Sign up to this blog to learn more about vertical socialisation.

Do I need to be a teacher to home educate in Australia?

You do not need to be a qualified teacher to home educate in Australia. The majority of subjects taught to budding teachers involve classroom management, cultural diversity, and education policy. What is useful is learning theory, and learning practices, which all home educators will observe over time and become proficient in developing for their own children. There is no point in wasting $20,000 on a degree for teaching our own children, however interestingly, there are many teachers who also home educate as shown in the survey by HEN in 2019. Click here for more information.

Managing doubt with family and professionals.

It can be really disheartening when you hear negative opinions from people you trust; you will be ruining your child’s future if you don’t send them to an institutional school, or that you are failing them in the management of their medical therapies if they are not left in the classroom settings.

These “well meaning” comments only come from ignorance, as those people only know the school route. They simply have no experience of just how valuable growing up as a home educated child can be. There has been fantastic research started by Susan Wight of the Home Education Network (HEN) called the Home Educated Alumni Project which follows the journeys of home educated kids into adulthood, tertiary study and professional careers in Australia. Again these topics will be discussed in future blog posts and videos, so do subscribe.

However ineffective you feel you are for your child’s education right now, it is worth a reminder that the 1 to 1 engagement that you can provide everyday is 20 to 30 times more than your child can reasonably expect to receive at school in the classroom. A little bit of attention goes a really long way. Now relax.

Ed Consult. Supporting Home Educators Across Australia.

4. Alternative Pathways to Tertiary Education

This is the fourth and final blog in this special series on alternative pathways for entry into Tertiary education. To get the full story, click on this link here.

Many universities offer alternative pathways courses, allowing a student to begin studying at the University of their choice, while gaining admission to their chosen degree through enrolling in single subjects first.

For some degree courses with higher ATAR entry requirements such as medicine of Vet science, it is possible to transfer from a different degree. By choosing appropriate courses in the first semester, and achieving good results, transferring is not difficult. Contacting the institution for advice is recommended.

Since January 2020, both RMIT and UNE have make a policy preventing students under 16 years of age from applying for courses. This change is new and without any justification provided. Subscribe to Ed Consult to keep up to date with changes such as these.

A good investigation into which university to choose should also include a look into feedback from student experience, graduate employment, Graduate Satisfaction and Employer Satisfaction. Some students will just have to use the local university, but if you can choose, than choose with confidence through Quality Indicators for Learning and Teaching. Simply type in the course and institution and see what others have to say.

When applying, do also include evidence of any paid or unpaid work experience that is related to the field of study the student is applying for. This could be a letter of reference from the employer or evidence of a period of working in a particular industry through payslips.

Photo by Nick Demou on

Apprenticeships are another pathway, combining TAFE study with paid practical work in order to complete the qualification. Apply directly for an apprenticeship through 1300 Apprenticeship online or apply through an employer such as a local hairdresser or electrician for example. Any certificate IV course is considered as the same level as the final year of high school and is a clear pathway to study at university.

Also, remember to apply for any scholarships or fee reduction opportunities. These are often found on the website of the institution. There are so many opportunities out there, however you may need to ask a lot of questions in order to find out about them.

Home educated students can begin in their early teens to explore careers, and pathways to further education to help them to fulfill their personal talents and aspirations. Non-year 12 certified students can access a wide variety of pathways to enter tertiary education, and to gain qualifications towards any career they choose, and anyone who suggests otherwise is simply wrong.

Ed Consult. Supporting Home Educators and Parents Across Australia.