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QUICK GUIDE to teaching your children at home!

Interested in homeschooling, but still not sure? Read All You Need Is...'

Home Education is LEGAL in all states and territories within Australia.

Education, not schooling, is compulsory:

"That every child has a right to an education is recognised in international instruments such as the United Nations Universal Declaration on Human Rights (UDHR) (1948) and the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CROC) (1990) to which Australia is a signatory. The UDHR provides that '[e] ducation shall be free, at least in the elementary and fundamental stages' [and] that 'elementary education shall be compulsory...'; and that 'parents have a prior right to choose the kind of education that shall be given their children' (Article 26(3)). CROC also provides that 'states parties shall take all appropriate measures to ensure that the child is protected against all forms of discrimination or punishment on the basis of the status, activities, expressed opinions, or beliefs of the child's parents, legal guardians, or family members.'
(CROC, Article 2(2))."
Source: Glenda Jackson, Sonia Allan,
International Journal of Elementary Education, Vol 2, Issue 3 (July 2010)

Legislation and regulations differ considerably from state to state. Some require exemption from attending school, others require registration. Some authorities ask for detailed learning programs, others ask for much less. Some offer more support than others. Get to know what is required where you live. Do this by:

Find a local contact person or support group for information and help. Go to group gatherings and excursions. Talk to people. Ask about their experiences, how they home educate, what they had to do. Everyone experiences these things differently and that is okay. Subscribe to newsletters and online groups. Don't be shy: ask questions. People have 'been there, done that' - they can help. Beverley's friendly on-topic Homeschool Australia Yahoo Group is a good place to start. Join and post an introduction, or contact one of the following for information about local groups and contacts:

Home Education Association - national directory of contacts and groups
Home Education Network
Victoria
Home Based Learners of Western Australia

Tasmanian Home Education Advisory Council
Home Education Network of Canberra and the Southern Tablelands (Inc)

Australian Homeschool Network

There is basic information about the legal requirements for each state and terrority linked on the Is it Legal? Homeschool Australia page, as well as the HEA website. Use this with other sources of information to determine what you need to do in your particular situation.

Download and read the relevant sections of your state or territory's Education Act. Copies of Australian legislation is updated regulary on Australasian Legal Information Institute website - click on your state and then look under E for Education.

If in doubt about your rights and responsibilities seek legal advice. Don't be intimidated into giving up your goal.

Start recording. Regardless of whether you 'register' or seek 'exemption', you will feel more confident as a home educator if you write your own curriculum or learning plan and begin recording your children's educational progress, keep a social diary, album or scrapbook. Date all entries, and mark on a calendar the days your children are being home educated - this is the equivalent of a school roll book.Some families will tell you it isn't necessary to keep homeschooling records, or that it's too much bother, but as a newcomer it is the quickest way to build confidence in your home learning experience. Dated records are also legal evidence that your children are being appropriately educated. Don't wait until you are 'approved', start now.

Act like a professional educator: officers processing your application will feel less inclined to treat you as just another (or worse, precocious) parent. This includes keeping dated written records of all communication, including phone calls. Ask for information given to you over the phone to be sent by letter too.

And finally - don't accept 'no' as an answer. Negotiate: they usually give up before you do. Appeals processes are written into legislation in some states. If you feel intimidated or unsure join a homeschooling group. Other families have experienced and overcome problems and will be able to offer useful advice.

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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.

"You've been an inspiration to me, I love the way
you really listen to people."
Vanessa

"Whenever I read your writing I always come away
with increased confidence in my ability to provide and
share a wonderful learning journey with my family!"
Davina

"Your guidance, understanding, support and words of
wisdom changed our lives. We now offer support and
organise many homeschooling events for others."
Lesley

"Thank you once again for your prompt and friendly service.
I am convinced that your books are going to add
quality and peace of mind to my journey of teaching my kids
at home! Just from studying your website, until almost
2am in the morning, I 've been encouraged!"
Louisa

"Thank you for all your many,many reassuring words
over many, many years. You probably don't know exactly how
valuable you are to the Australian Home Education community.
I've been reading your stuff for maybe 8 years or more now.
And I'm very grateful."
Gythaa

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Welcome to the World of Home Education and
Learning without School!

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

The information on this website is of a general nature only and is not intended as personal or professional advice. This site merges and incorporates 'Homeschool Australia' and 'Unschool Australia'.

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Home education is a legal alternative
to school education in Australia.
State and Territory governments are responsible
for regulating home education and have different
requirements, however home educating families
are able to develop curriculum and learning programs
to suit the individual needs of their children.

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