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Useful Tips for Organising Homeschooling or Unschooling Group Activities
by April Jermey, 2016
Want to organise something for your local home educators, but unsure of how to go about it, and what you need to be aware of?
The easiest excursions are ones that are already in place for schools. Businesses and organisations already have programs in place, with educators and insurance, and you are able to just make a booking for your home ed group. The educators are then responsible for the delivery of the program, and the organisation is then liable, and covered by their in surance should anything go wrong.
Camps at designated campgrounds and caravan parks, where facilities exist already, insurance and liability is covered by camp fees, etc.
Playgrounds, aquatic parks, beaches, etc, where councils have the liability responsibility, and each attending parent has personal responsibility for their own children.
If you want to offer your services in a professional manner, either paid or for free, you will need to source a venue, organise liability insurance, make sure you're qualified (police and working with children checks done), etc. Often it is easier to work something out with an existing venue that caters for the activity, although you may have trouble with liability, for example running a gym class in an existing gym that you aren't an employee of. It is worth asking your local council if they have grants available to assist in setting up these sorts of activities.
These are just a few examples of things you need to consider. It's worth looking into HEA membership for advice on how to get these things started, as well as contacts for your local area. http://www.hea.edu.au/
It's also really important as the parent of a child attending an organised event to be aware of who is organising the event, who is responsible in the event of a crisis, who is liable in the event of an injury, and how much responsibility you as the parent have for your child during the event. For example, at a playground meet up, you have 100% responsibility for supervising your child at all times, but at an organisation, there may be times where your child is being looked after by an educator, and you are able to step out of the picture.
Another example that is often a difficulty for home educators is where the child would like to participate in work experience, and a lot of work places are reluctant to take on that responsibility. Again, the HEA can help in these circumstances.
Most importantly, make sure your children are aware of how to be safe when interacting within the community. Below are a couple of handy links with regards to keeping kids safe.
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Beverley Paine with her children, and their home educated children, relaxing at home.
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 supporter 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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