A Change of Federal Government - What does this mean for Home Educators?
© Beverley Paine, 25 Nov 07
What always amazes me in recent years with Federal Elections is that the result is usually 'called' before the Western Australian polling booths are closed. When I was a teen it would be close on midnight before the election could be 'called', but now it's around 8pm. Nothing is conceded until later in the evening but I'd be frustrated as a WA voter knowing that my vote isn't going to make a difference as to which party wins government...
There is no doubt that there is a general lack of understanding and knowledge about how our parliamentary system works among all ages. As a home educator I'm proud of the interest and understanding my offspring show in elections and politics. We never 'studied' the subject in the way that schooled children would (should) have: what our children know derives from general discussions and from their parents taking a close interest during elections. I think it helps that I've lobbied for better recognition of home education, sat on legislative review panels, and written letters to politicians on various issues. Most of what they know about how parliament works is from watching the coverage on the television on election night. Robin and I are kept busy answering questions. It's always been like that, and last night was no exception.
I spent a couple of hours yesterday finally coming to grips with how the preferences are counted, thanks to a clear article by Anthony Green. The internet makes learning so much easier!
Home educators wondering about what an election win for the Labor Party means for home education can take heart that the promised rebates for school costs also extend to homeschool families. The following response to an inquiry about Labor Policy on Home Education by the Home Education Association of Australia:
There are many points made that deserve closer attention and no doubt home educators will be writing to the new Minister for Education for clarification or to voice their opinions. The establishment of a National Curriculum and the requirement for home educators to 'utilise' it, will be of concern for many families who have established successful unschooling and learning naturally approaches to home education.
Get Up has kept a record of all the promises made by political parties running up to the election:
With tools like this at our disposal it is going to be breeze to stay informed. Home educators across Australia need to consider what actions they can personally take to ensure that they can continue to home educate in the manner that suits their families best.
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Together with the support of my family, my aim is to help parents educate their children in stress-free, nurturing environments. In addition to building and maintaing this website, I continue to create and manage local and national home educating networks, help to organise conferences and camps, as well as write for, edit and produce newsletters, resource directories and magazines. I am an active support of national, state, regional and local home education groups.
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We began educating our children in 1985, when our eldest was five. In truth, we had helped them learn what they need to learn since they were born. I am a passionate advocate of allowing children to learn unhindered by unnecessary stress and competition, meeting developmental needs in ways that suit their individual learning styles and preferences. Ours was a homeschooling, unschooling and natural learning family! There are hundreds of articles on this site to help you build confidence as a home educating family. We hope that your home educating adventure is as satisfying as ours was! Beverley Paine
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