Why do some families choose Home Schooling?
In the last decade, the number of South Australian children home educated rose by almost 70 per cent. Reasons for choosing homeschooling vary but they include
- catering for special needs children not otherwise assisted in a school environment
- families regularly travel or move for reasons of work or life-style choices
- local school zoning rules mean that families do not have adequate schooling choices
- persistent social pressures in schools (such as bullying and victimisation) force families into homeschooling as the preferred option.
Students are required to attend school from the age of 6 to 16 and then remain in an approved education program until 17. A parent or guardian must apply for an exemption from school attendance if they wish to take their child out of school temporarily or permanently. Home education is a legal alternative to school based education for children in South Australia provided appropriate approvals have been given and a program of home education aligns with the South Australian and/or Australian curriculum.
When choosing to home educate, parents undertake responsibility for their children’s education and must be able to demonstrate that their children are provided with:
- an appropriate learning program and a typical timetable
- resources to support the learning program
- opportunities for social interaction
- a suitable learning environment.
There are an increasing number of resources available to home learning students, including
- online sites such as Aussie Educator which dedicates a section to Homeschooling
- part-time attendance at local schools
- attendance at lessons through the Open Access College
- resources and support through local public libraries.
The globalisation of learning means that ‘students are no longer limited to learning materials available within the confines of their school, but are able to draw on almost boundless resources of multiple types via the internet. They have become connected learners (Siemens, 2004) who can explore, share and create knowledge with peers in their own classroom and around the world’*.
Reasons often given by parents for making their South Australian local public library a key part of their Homeschooling program include
- free access to the internet and wireless network
- free access to educational/literacy support programs such as storytime and holiday programs
- staff support for digital literacy and research skills
- spaces dedicated to quiet study and group study
- free access to an extensive range of resources in multiple literacies
- access to community, community information and community programs
- hours of opening which includes access to physical and virtual library spaces.
Books on Homeschooling can be found by following the link below
*ASLA Future Learning and School Libraries 2013