A recent article from The Australian, “Unhappy parents embrace home schooling in record numbers” sums up a huge shift that we are seeing increased evidence of. With Euka numbers doubling every year, certain themes become clear. According to the article, the number of children in homeschool in Australia has soared more than 80 per cent over the past six years, propelled by strong growth of home schooling in NSW and Victoria, which account for 54 per cent of home school registrations nationwide.
homeschooling in Australia
The registrations for home schooling in Victoria have increased 71 per cent to 5647 since 2011, with student numbers up 19 per cent last year alone, despite moves by the state government to introduce tougher regulations. More than 19,000 students — almost one in 200 — are now educated at home and the number is forecast to tip 50,000 in 10 years.
Parents and students are frustrated at the lack of individualisation in the mainstream school setting. Every child is different and those that require extra support often fall between the cracks. Just as difficult is the plight of the gifted child who is bored and without challenge, given “busy” work to keep them quiet. Parents want to know that their child is getting the education needed to help their child thrive.
Children with learning challenges are often not provided with the support they need. The simple act of having someone listen as they talk through the directions the lesson requires, is of vital importance. At times a simple change of method in providing an answer is all that it takes to enable a child to express their learning. We recently heard the story, of a child that had repeated lower Grades 3 times due to an inability to write. His particular challenge made the act of writing very time consuming. With this shift to homeschooling in Australia, and thus allowing this student to simply record his answers verbally, enabled him to excel in his learning. In fact, he caught up 2 years in 12 months. With the chance to use voice recognition computer software, in the future, this student is eagerly anticipating university studies. Most importantly his view of himself as a learner has been transformed.
homeschool curriculum caters to all children
Many gifted children are choosing to move into Australian Homeschooling. With each child varying in areas of giftedness or talents, homeschooling allows them to move ahead in order to fulfill their passion and interests. With Primary students taking High school subjects, in preparation for early entry into university, these children are able to enjoy the thrill of learning, without the boundaries that mainstream school often imposes.
Another common and devastating theme is bullying. I have lost count of the number of parents who share heartbreaking stories of their sweet outgoing, confident child, becoming withdrawn and totally unable to go to school.
Contrast this with any group of homeschoolers you will see. Without peer pressure or schoolyard politics, homeschooled children are naturally accepting of each other. The multi age learning environment is a perfect atmosphere in which to make friends with others who have similar interests, rather than being grouped by age. The effects of bullying on the child’s view of themselves, is extremely detrimental. Homeschooling is providing the chance to rebuild their sense of self-worth in a loving accepting atmosphere. We are seeing time and again restoration of self-worth, and enthusiasm for learning, in our students.
enhancing skills through homeschool in Australia
Parents and students alike are becoming tired of irrelevant material or teaching practices taught in school. The role of education is to provide each child with the tools needed to flourish after the school years are over, but with the world changing at tremendous speed, the skills needed are also changing. Allowing students to develop the skills of critical thinking, problem solving and creative imagination should be the lens through which all learning takes place. Euka ensures our programs reflect these core skills.
The ultimate desire of parents is to equip their children, socially, emotionally and academically, to thrive in the future they are walking into. Australian homeschooling provides the opportunity to do just that, with the ability to design a homeschool curriculum based specifically on the needs of the individual child.