For anyone thinking about home schooling their child, there is a lot to consider. Being armed with information about your options and the resources and supports available can make the entire adventure a great deal less intimidating.
A great place to start when looking into home schooling is the Department of Education Home Education website. As a home schooler, there are requirements that need to be met, and you can find out more by visiting Department of Education portal here. The portal provides information on registering as a home schooler, resources and educational programs.
There are different methods of home education, so do some research into the different methods, and on commencing, you may need to trial a few different methods before finding the right method to fit the learning style of your child.
A common method of home schooling is distance education. In this method, the curriculum content is provided (either in booklet format or online), and you work through the school work either at your child’s pace, or to meet assessment due dates, depending on the arrangements you have made with the distance education provider.
As a first option, and to help make the transition smoother and easier for you and for your child, investigate the Schools of Isolated and Distance Education (SIDE). SIDE offer a Referral Program where students with special circumstances may be eligible to enrol, despite living within travel distance of a school. The Referral Program is coordinated by School Psychologists, and is intended to provide support for students aged from pre-primary to Yr 12 who are genuinely unable to attend school due to:
- Severe medical / chronic health problems
- Severe mental health issues
- A pregnancy or parenting responsibilities
- Other special cases
There must be:
- a demonstrated reason why a student is not able to attend a regular school
- a plan in place to address the difficulty (eg. ongoing intervention such as counselling or other appropriate treatment)
- supporting documentation to confirm the nature of the condition (eg. letter of referral by psychologist or doctor)
For more information, go to:
SIDE staff are extremely supportive, and may be able to tailor your child’s educational program specific to his/her learning, health and psychological needs. SIDE is a government school, so standard public school fees apply. School work is primarily completed online.
Australian Christian College Southlands offer correspondence (paper based) distance education in primary school, and in upper school students can choose to study online or via correspondence. Australian Christian College is a private school with christian ethos, so Bible study is a required subject and private school fees apply. Visit the website for more information.
HomeLearn is based in Bunbury and provide ‘an integrated program that helps your child meet ‘Core’ curriculum and ‘Explore’ their interests, all matched to their reading level’. HomeLearn also arrange regular excursions for home schooling families living in the south west region. Visit the website for more information.
Homeschool WA provide general and academic support for homeschooling families. They recommend and use the pre-prepared whole curriculum package Accelerated Christian Education (ACE). Visit the website for more information.
Alternatively, you can choose to design your own curriculum for home schooling, and a moderator from the Department of Education (DET) will consult with you and make home visits to ensure that your child is receiving an appropriate education. Visit the DET Home Education Portal for more information.
Simply Homeschool is written by homeschoolers for homeschoolers. The provide flexible learning plans, with several different payment options available. Visit the website for more information.
A student-centered online learning system for senior school students. Visit the webpage for more information.
There are a great many resources available online to assist with home education, many aligned with the Australian curriculum. Always check the website to confirm this, although some international websites and resources are excellent, and often used in Australian schools as well. Below are some website links to home schooling, tutoring or home practice resources recommended by SWAN members. If you have found success with a website not listed below, please send the link and your feedback to email@example.com so that we may share the information with others.
- ABC Reading eggs - lessons and resources for teaching children to read.
- ABC Maths Seeds - lessons and resources for teaching early maths skills.
- BrainPOP - animated short videos teaching a huge range of lessons across most subjects, with short quizes and other resource material included, for Kindy to Yr 12 students. BrainPOP is American, but used in many Australian schools.
- Mathletics - online mathematics practice for students from Kindy to Yr 12.
- Pearson - Australian curriculum based learning materials and work booklets.
- Skwirk - Online educational content for Kindy to Yr 10. Trial available.
- Spellodrome - online spelling practice for students from Kindy to Yr 12.
- Reading Doctor - provides information and Apps for teaching children to read.
- RIC Publications - Australian curriculum based learning materials and work booklets for all subjects (primarily for primary school age students)
- Teacher Superstore - Australian curriculum based learning materials and work booklets for all subjects (Kindy to Yr 12)
Centrelink has a payment available to support families who are home schooling their children called ‘Assistance for Isolated Children Scheme‘ (AIC). This payment is managed by a sub-centre of Centrelink, and you can contact them direct by phoning 132 318.
You will find further information regarding the AIC payment here, and can download the required Centrelink claim forms by clicking on the links below:
- Assistance for Isolated Children Scheme (AIC) Claim Form
- Assistance for Isolated Children (AIC) Medical Statement – Student Special Needs Form
There are numerous online supports available for home schoolers. It’s well worth looking for one to support your needs. Google “Home schooling Western Australia” or similar keywords to search for the right information to suit your needs. Here are some available options:
- Home Education WA - A support and advocacy network for home schoolers
- Western Australia Homeschooling Kids with Extra Needs (Facebook Group) A facebook support group for people home schooling students with special needs
- South West Home Schooling Network (Facebook Group) A facebook support group for people home schooling children living in south west WA.
- Bunbury and Surrounds Homeschooling Families (Facebook Group) A facebook support group for people home schooling children living in Bunbury, Donnybrook and surrounding areas.