So, you find yourself in a situation where home-schooling is a possibility or a necessity – where do you start? Perth might be a new place to you or it could be completely foreign and taking on something as daunting as educating your child at home might seem like just too much, when you already have so much on your plate! Check out these pointers and see if this eases the burden a bit!
Home-schooling may become an option or a necessity for people from all walks of life, in all sorts of areas. Sometimes it’s our child that needs it. For example, it might just be too much to expect them to move to a new city with only the prospect of being there for a year or so, so home-schooling is a great option to give them some security and continuity. Maybe they are close to the end of their schooling in their current bracket, for example nearly finished primary school or high school, and moving schools just before they will have to move again anyways, is just too much! Home-schooling is a great way to finish out that season before they move onto a new chapter.
Whatever your reasons, home-schooling doesn’t need to be simply reproducing what happens at school in the home. When home-schooling, parents are working one-on-one with their child or their child is working independently, and this allows time to focus on what really matters to you and your child.
In Australia, it is a requirement by the government that all school-aged children are registered for formal education, even if this is home-schooling. To enter into home-schooling, you must first register your intent to home-educate your child by contacting your local regional education office. You must contact the office directly and request a form, and then return it to them. Perth is usually referred to in terms of North and South with the division marked by the river that runs through its centre. Once you have worked out where you live in relation to it, you just call that office! Contact details for the offices can be found at Department of Education Western Australia
Usually within 2 weeks of registering your intent to home-school, a representative (Referred to as a moderator) will visit your home at a pre-arranged time, and will run you through all the materials and programs that are available to you. They cover the most popular curriculums (The order of school materials relevant to your child’s age and academic level) available for purchase. There are others in addition to this that won’t be covered such as those specific to an area or style of teaching that you would like to pursue. Things like Christian education, Montessori or Waldorf styles may be pursued through enquiring with one of the support groups mentioned below. The moderator will also make you aware of any Home-school support and education groups available in your area, all sporting groups and swimming lessons available and any other home-school relevant programs that can be accessed online.
Finding Support and Help
The HBLN or Home-based Learning Network/Home-Education WA is the peak support body for home-schooling in Western Australia. They run a website, Facebook page and various other workshops, events, and additional education classes. This is where students can gain access to a particularly in-depth subject from a trained professional at a central location. Students can be dropped off for one of their classes (Which includes Art, writing, Drama, Geography, Science, and Sport to name a few) and then return weekly to build on their subject. There are costs involved in becoming a member and for individual classes and all information on those can be found HERE (https://www.hbln.org.au/) HBLN membership entitles members to discounts on all programs and some external events, access to content and newsletters and support from the community of home-schoolers who use the member’s area.
There is a plethora of Home-school support groups on Facebook and they provide a place for you to ask any question that comes to mind about getting access to curriculums, materials or dealing with any teething issues that pop up along the way. The Home-school community is hugely supportive and as home-based education continues to grow in popularity, more people from all sorts of backgrounds are joining together to help each other with the transition. Just search on Facebook “Homeschool Perth” for groups, you will find lots! Even one for fishing and another for Parkour!
If you were worried that by home-schooling you would lose access to all the joint education and health department initiatives, like the dentist – never fear! The dentist will still send letters through to allow you access to the program, and you still get access to Vacswim and pretty much anything you can think of that you would find at school as extra-curricular. Even astronomy through SciTech! You can do joint-excursions with other home-schoolers and get into things like Performance Matinees and group bookings to regular school excursions destinations (eg; The Zoo, the aquarium, etc), simply join one of the groups in your area or hunt one out on Facebook and they will let you know what is coming up!
While the initial decision to home-school can be a big one, it stops being a challenge once you decide and it becomes an adventure that you and your child get to go on together! And Perth is the best place in the world to experience it!