Welcome to the World of Home Education and Learning Without School!
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!
Getting Started with Homeschooling in NSW
Congratulations on your decision to teach your children at home!
My name is Beverley Paine and I began home educating in 1985, which means my three children are now all adults. They are all happy they had the opportunity to learn at home and in the community rather than at school.
First of all I'd like to reassure you that home educating is a legal alternative to school based education for children in New South Wales. Secondly, you aren't alone in your decision to home educate! There are hundreds of families registered with the Board of Studies.
There are several homeschooling and unschooling support groups in NSW and these offer companionship and support for parents and children, as well as educational opportunities, excursions, activities and camps. Home educators seek the best education possible for their children and make use of the whole community, learning from many sources and in many different environments, as well as the home.
A good place to start homeschooling is by reading as much as you can about home education. It will be daunting at first because there is SO much information! There are hundreds of free articles on this website to get you started! Click on articles index to be taken to our sitemap and then select the category and you'll be taken to a list of articles on that topic.
There is a small but growing body of literature available in home education in Australia: see Summary of Australian Research on Home Education. Families intending to home educate in New South Wales are encourage to join an online support community: there is a list of contacts and support groups on the Home Education Association website: http://www.hea.edu.au/support/local-support/browse-support-contacts/?state=nsw.
Beverley Paine's The Educating Parents Homeschooling and Unschooling Facebook group is another way to connect with experienced NSW home educating families who can offer help and support.
Home education is provided for within the The Education Act http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/nsw/consol_act/ea1990104/, which requires children aged 6-17 to be enrolled in an approved educational/training program (or above 15 years of age in paid employment or combination of approved education/training). Download and read the relevant sections of the Act as well as any guidelines or regulations provided by the home education regulatory authority. If in doubt about your rights and responsibilities seek legal advice. Don’t be intimidated into giving up your goal.
The NSW Board of Studies Teaching and Educational Standards (BOSTES) is responsible for registering home educators. Authorised Persons (APs) oversee applications. Children aged 6-17 are required to be enrolled in an approved educational/training program.
Registration is up to 2 years dependent on meeting the specified conditions, in particular meeting the NSW syllabus requirements. The child's 'year' of education is specified on the Certificate of Registration for Home Education.
Applications are forwarded to the Home Education Unit and include a home interview. Parents may apply for exemption from registration due to conscientious objection on religious grounds - in practice this makes little difference to the registration process.
A renewal notice is sent about 3 months before registration expires. It is possible to do 'renewal by documentation' which does not include a home interview. There is an appeals process.
Part-time enrolment at school is not possible.
If home education ceases, the BOSTES must be notified within 14 days of the name and address of the school the child is attending.
Registered home educating students can participate in NAPLAN and Yr 8 ESSA.
No funding or provision of resources is provided by BOSTES.
For comprehensive information on how to apply see the BOS Home Education in NSW Information Package http://www.boardofstudies.nsw.edu.au/parents/pdf_doc/home-edu-info-pack-13.pdf
Download applications forms from this page: http://www.boardofstudies.nsw.edu.au/home-schooling/
Suzie, from Suzie's Home Education Ideas, has a brilliant breakdown on how to apply for registration in NSW here: http://suzieshomeeducationideas.blogspot.com.au/2013/10/6-steps-in-preparing-for-homeschool.html.
Tracey, completed their second DDs BOS registration in 2011 and reported that the authorised person was supportive and wasn't too concerned about home education approaches, although Key Learning Areas needed to be covered. She wrote about it on her blog, including a copy of their submission for registration:
2014: there was a Parliamentary Inquiry into Home Schooling being conducted regarding the provision of, support for, and regulation of home education in NSW. Please see the following pages:
Some tips for applying for registration as a home educator:
Once you have contacted the education authority it generally takes 3-4 weeks to get approval to home educate. Sometimes it can take longer if there is a backlog of applications and reviews to process.
You may be asked for your reason to home educate your children. Be positive and assertive: “We believe that we can give our child the best education possible, with access to quality resources and materials, individual learning programs, group learning and social opportunities.”
When dealing with the authorities:
Removing your child from school:
Some final advice:
I've written quite a few books and booklets for Aussie homeschoolers - links to these can be found in the right hand column on this page. I take a personalized approach to education and my book Getting Started with Homeschooling is a practical manual that describes how you can write your own learning programs and build your own curriculum to suit your family and your individual children rather than buying one off the shelf. A do-it-yourself curriculum isn't hard to create and doesn't take long to do. Visit other homeschooling families and join a support group so that you can see how easy it really is!
If you wish to share your experiences as a home educator or would like to make contact with other homeschooling families in your area please consider listing yourself as a contact person on our support groups page.
I am looking for a volunteer to help write the Tasmania information section of The Educating Parent website. If you are interested, please email. In the meantime I am collecting links to information that may be helpful.
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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.
A gift of any size, small or large, is greatly appreciated.
I am currently giving this site a much needed facelift!
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Home education is a legal alternative
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Thank you for visiting!
Beverley Paine, The Educating Parent
The opinions and articles included on this website are not necessarily those of Beverley and Robin Paine,
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