26 April 2013

More families choosing to learn at home

Gone are the days when education meant sending children to the nearest public school or, if the family could afford it, to a private school. Parents today can choose an education model that suits their family arrangements and children's needs, and follow directed or self-guided curriculums.

Options include religious, Montessori, Steiner, Reggio Emilia and home schooling.

Thousands of Victorian children have been schooled at home, and in the past two years it has grown threefold here and worldwide; this year an estimated 4000 Victorian children will be home schooled.

Susan Wight, co-ordinator of the Home Education Network, a volunteer advocacy and support organisation, says home schooling is a recognised, legal and viable alternative to various mainstream schooling options.

According to the state government guide Home Schooling in Victoria, published in March 2010, the Education and Training Reform Act 2006 requires all children of compulsory school age (six to 17) who are home schooled to be registered with the Victorian Registration and Qualifications Authority.

Mrs Wight says home schooled children have the same options for entering tertiary studies available to those from public and private schools. Some parents home school their children through primary grades and then enrol them into schools for the VCE years; other choices include Open University; the AYCE (Access Yea Community Education) program; university entrance tests, exams or programs; TAFE; and bridging courses.

Mrs Wight says parents choose to home school children for a variety of reasons, and manage it in different ways. Some have a more structured environment, she says, but most take a less formal approach.

Some families choose to home school one child while another is in school - it depends on what they believe will suit each child best. ''There are also people who home school part-time or have children that attend school for a particular subject,'' she says.

Kim and Michael Versteden sent their children to the local public school but removed them in 2005 in favour of home schooling. The couple run their own business and live in Gippsland with their children, Scott, 17, Kaitlin, 15, and Ryan 13. Their eldest child, Wade 19, works.

Ms Versteden says she and her husband were unhappy sending their children to school but didn't know there were options. ''I thought kids who went to school were put in the same environment with the same bunch of kids, for the same amount of time, with the same teacher, were taught the same way and they wore the same clothes,'' she says. ''Everything was the same, the same. It didn't cater for children's individual needs.''

She believes home schooling has allowed the children ''to learn the way they are wired to learn. It might be more hands on, more abstract or more textbook - depending on who they are and where they're at''.

The Verstedens were also dissatisfied with their children's academic accomplishments, and social issues. Ms Versteden, a classroom helper at the school, saw bullying, some involving her children.

Before taking the children out , she attended some home school group activities and found the environment more co-operative than competitive.

Home schooling is not a situation where a parent is the teacher and the children students, Ms Versteden says. It's a family or group of people learning and working together.

''It's all relative to what they need to know at that time, and often what they don't like then will become an interest later,'' she says.

''There are times when Kaitlin will come to me with a maths problem and I'll have to work it out myself to help her, but I think it's good for them to see me work things out because it shows them how to do it. It's also good for them to see us struggle doing something because then they don't feel like a failure when they are struggling - and it's amazing how many things I've learnt since we started. We believe home schooling has given[them] a well-rounded education.''

What you need to know

Home Schooling in Victoria outlines services and support for families, which includes information on:
  • Registering a child for home schooling
  • Developing a home schooling program
  • Victorian school curriculum support
  • Home-schooling support networks
  • Financial support
  • Partial enrolment and community-based education options
  • Post-compulsory pathways
The Education and Training Reform Act 2006 requires that education in Victoria is consistent with the principles and practice of Australian democracy and that all education programs, including home-schooling programs, address eight key learning areas  as a condition of registration: the arts, English, health and physical education, languages other than English, mathematics, science, studies of society and the environment, technology.
Parents who home school their children assume responsibility for the planning, implementation and assessment of the educational program. The program should enable each child to:
  • Realise their learning potential
  • Maximise their education and training achievement
  • Develop enthusiasm for lifelong learning 

theage.com.au 25 Mar 2013

The public education system was designed to program and monitor the education of the children of the masses.

Any child that rises above the rest can be a threat to the establishment.
The children of the leaders and corporate elite have a rich history of being isolated from the public education system, are taught an entirely different curriculum, which is a well documented fact.
In Victoria current news focusing on the educational system shows that the system is failing the masses, which it is not really, but rather the agenda is being fulfilled.
The children of the masses are deliberately being dumbed down as future subservient slaves to the corporatocracy.

No comments: