What are you required to teach your child?
© Beverley Paine
You are free to teach your children in whatever way you want. Educational authorities require that your homeschool learning program will generally cover the same or similar material as that offered by the state school system: in some jurisdictions this is mandated and in others the curriculum guidelines are simply that - guidelines. Some now ascribe 'year levels' to home educating students, but they all recognise that learning is a continuum and that a child may be at one year level for a particular subject and another level in others. Flexibility in interpreting and implementing the curriculum guidelines is common practice in schools and homeschools.
The way home educating families start teaching their children at home often changes - many times! We learn on the job, adapting different approaches and teaching techniques to suit our children's learning styles and needs. See Homeschooling Approaches and Methods or you purchase my handy, inexpensive Practical Homeschooling Series booklet, Choosing Homeschool Curriculum.
The eight nationally recognised curriculum subjects are (some may be worded differently depending on where you live):
You will find copies of your state or territory curriculum on the internet. These don't have to followed 'to the letter', so don't be intimidated. Talk to local homeschooling families and find out what is expected.
Below I've set out a simply way to wrrite your own learning program. For more comprehensive information see my book Getting Started with Homeschooling. Chapters 5, 6 & 7 of offers many tips and ideas for how to plan, write and
Divide a page into three columns.
It is best to do this activity with each of your children - they can tell you what they want to learn, what interests them, offer ideas about how, etc.
Remember, what you teach your child and what she will learn will depend on her developmental understanding and abilities. Learning activities and lessons must build on what she already knows and can do to be successful. Think about 'developmental stage' rather than 'age appropriate' learning activities. Goals and objectives need to be realistic and achievable by the learner.
Most children leaving school need remedial work or revision in some areas they may have not thoroughly understood. This is okay - take your time and pay attention to detail. Some children will race ahead enthusiastically, enjoying being able to use accelerated learning techniques at home.
What you teach will also depend on how you structure your day and your activities and will mostly likely be a blend of one-on-one sessions with individual children, or group learning situations with siblings or homeschooling friends.
There is no requirement for a set timetable, but if it helps create one that suits your family. You are not limited to six hours a day of instruction time: you have all day and all weekend, 52 weeks of every year! Homeschooling is a relaxed and rewarding education for the home family.
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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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Welcome to the
We began educating our three children in 1985, when our eldest was aged five years. In truth, we had helped them learn what they need to learn as they grew and explored and discovered this amazing world since the moment 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. I hope that your home educating adventure is as satisfying as ours was!
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Beverley Paine, The Educating Parent
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