A recent homeschooling study has shown that Home Schooling children perform “significantly better” in NAPLAN tests. With a personalised education suitable for any year or level, and results like this filtering through; homeschooling Australia has become very appealing to families. This is backed by the growth in home education rising by 80% in the past 6 years.
Just like mainstream education, a requirement of homeschooling Australia is that you are providing evidence of offering a quality education to your kids.
This can feel like a mountain of pressure because, let’s be honest, as a homeschooling parent, you are now solely responsible for your own child’s education. If there ever was a big deal, this one would be it!
That is why I am so glad you’re here reaching out for support. If you would like to see how we homeschool our two kids day to day, oh and also Travel Australia and back the World while we do it, then come and follow our Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and YouTube channel.
I will be one of guest speak at the annual Australian Homeschool Summit between 4-18 February 2019.
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This post is specifically tailored to Homeschooling Qld. I am currently registered with the Queensland Education department – Home Education Unit (HEU), so my advice will be most relevant to Queensland. In the near future, we will be writing posts for Homeschooling Victoria and Homeschooling NSW.
Why complete your homeschooling report?
It’s illegal not to
This is the probably the biggest reason why.
It is a legal requirement to have your school-aged child (legal ages vary from state to state) registered and meeting all requirements with a registered education body in Australia. Homeschooling is one of those options, as is Distance Education, Public or Private Education, and an exemption approved by your school principal.
I like to know that I am doing a good job and not missing anything for my kids. Sorry to say, but this Reporting time is the perfect reflection time to pick up on anything that may be missed during the year.
Kudos to your kids
Give your kids loads of feedback and positive encouragement (even if they didn’t meet exactly what you set out) is super important. Think of it this way, how do you act when you are giving positive feedback? Reporting time is the time we P – A – R – T – Y! We celebrate a year well done with many KUDOS to our kids! The kids name the end of reporting celebration, and we do it!
When your child isn’t in a mainstream school, you don’t get to keep cute little creations or homemade stories. Homeschooling gives us a time to create one piece of work that marks a major milestone for our kids. Like this epic story written by Rob for his end of Year 4 English sample: Meeting the Galapagos Tortoise in the Wild
Feedback for the whole family
Homeschool reports can be a really interesting snapshot for the non-teaching parent. Its really easy for the non-teaching parent to miss all the amazing milestones that they may miss in a day. Home School reporting is a time to share this. Equally so for family members who either support or don’t support your decision to homeschool!
Your Practical Tips: How to complete the Home School Report
1. First up, relax!
Take a deep breath. It goes without saying, but keeping a clear head and on-task will ensure your best report completed in the quickest manner.
Being overwhelmed with the reporting pack and procedures you have just received is natural. I know, I have been there. In my first year, I panicked. It seemed there was no reasoning with me, but that was before there was help available on online.
Tens of thousands of homeschool parents complete a report and plan each and every year. Help is available (that’s why you’re here, right?) You can now even pay for assistance from seasoned report writers who are making a business out of it.
2. Find, and then remember your motivation.
Find your motivation for why you register. Find and focus on that motivation, and I assure you the whole homeschool reporting process will be much easier and quicker!
Maybe you want to travel Australia with kids or BACKPACK the world with kids!, and the freedom of the road is your motivation. Maybe your child has greatly struggled throughout the year, and requires personal assistance to thrive? Or, maybe there is a special need that makes homeschooling ever so appealing to make your child the best and happiest they ever can be. Nothing like wanting the best for your child to bring in the massive motivation!
Whatever your reason, find it and write it down. If you’re not sure what your motivation is, read our 23 Benefits of Homeschooling to get you started.
3. Submit your registration application
If this is your first year, you should submit your Registration for Home Education (the Preliminary Application) as soon as possible. In Queensland, you may submit this separately which at the time of writing this allows you 60 days to complete the future Educational program.
If you are in Queensland, the Home School Qld reporting pack requires you to complete the following elements:
- Reporting for Registration for Home Education – this is either your Preliminary Application or your subsequent Application form.
- A written year overview and an overview of your child.
- Child’s work samples. In Queensland, this includes six samples from three different subjects. The two samples you require for each subject need to be dated and show progress in the subject.
- Parent annotations to your child’s work samples if this is the end of your first year of reporting or subsequent years.
- The proposed Educational Program for the coming year. A template is provided, but it is not necessary to use this.
This may seem overwhelming, but relax, ‘you got this’ as my six-year daughter would tell you. Often rolled in with report writing is the fear of the actually Home Schooling process with your child/children. How will they go? Will they learn? Am I qualified to teach them? All of these are normal, and when addressed logically, you will realise its likely just overwhelm controlling you.
4. Choose the learning style you wish to participate in with your child.
You can become very lost on all the different philosophies of Homeschooling. Generally speaking, these are the main categories of educational philosophy:
Unschooling, Traditional Schooling, Nature Led, Child Led, Steiner, Worldschooling and Charlotte Mason.
We don’t like fitting into any boxes (if you hadn’t noticed by our full-time travel lifestyle), so we draw our inspiration from all educational philosophies. You’ll find us sitting down and doing bookwork, being led solely by our kids in Unschooling and using the world as our classroom.
5. Are you following a curriculum, or making it even better?!
Whether you intend on following the curriculum or not, it’s an excellent use of time to research what your child’s age-appropriate peers are doing.
You will find all this information on the ACARA website . ACARA is the National assessment body and provides end of year samples per year.
Our son Rob, aged 9 submitted a blog post for his end of Year 4 sample. This is his story on ‘Meeting the Galapagos Tortoise’
6. Involve your child
Even if they are six years of age, involving your child in the planning and reporting process will reap MANY life-long rewards.
Homeschooling for us is about inspiring passionate and lifelong learners. Giving our children the options of what and how they want to learn outcomes; helps them to understand their ‘why’ they want to learn. Kids who recognise their why, are the ones that excel no matter what!
Make engaged learners and your whole Homeschooling process is easier. Speaking from experience, this can be a tough road to face at the start and is nothing you can achieve overnight.
7. Decide – are you using the template or creating your own?
We use the template that HEU provides and have not had any further requests for reporting information. The report is tedious but if you methodically move through each subject and do not move on until the item is fully complete, it will make it much easier.
Use a variety of resources to achieve the outcome and plenty of hands-on learning opportunities. HEU offers suggestions for online resources, some which are quite good.
Otherwise, make sure you look through our list of great Educational Apps for your kids:
Others say that making your own template is easier and will ultimately require less information. If this is your first report, I suggest following the template unless you have assistance from a fellow Homeschooling Australia parent.
8. Keep samples during the year
You can quarter the amount of effort at Home School Reporting time by keeping samples throughout the year. We travel so for us this means, scanning documents and taking photos instead.
The start of your samples may include: A science experiment, dates when books are finished, journal writing, bookwork activities (but you can not use pre-printed worksheets), photos of sporting or personal development achievement, photos or documentation of visiting somewhere for the purpose of education.
We don’t keep track of hours of schooling or every activity we do.
9. Start compiling your report early
You will be given 90 days to complete your report. Heaps of time. Starting early, even if it is just the planning is the key! Think clear outcomes and strategies that will benefit your child.
Individualise your curriculum and a plan to achieve results around the child. Home Education departments need to see that you are tailoring a program and adaptable enough that you will take on changes so your child has the best chance of success.
10. Seek support!
The amount of support for Homeschooling Australia through online communities is astounding. Seek help with your local Homeschool Facebook communities, or through these pages and groups:
State by State is different: Australia Homeschool
Each homeschooling Australia State and Territory has differing methods of reporting. Fundamentally, no matter the State, they all come down to the same key components required.
- Evidence that you are providing an enriching and varied learning environment tailored to your child’s needs.
- Evidence that you are meeting, exceeding or if special needs are present, working towards their educational milestones.
- Your child is thriving as best as they can.
Registering: Homeschooling Australia
Following are the links to each Australia Homeschool government department. It is here, you will find your own specific guidelines:
Has this post helped you? Share it around!! You will find much more helpful Homeschooling advice on our Home Schooling page.
Looking for more advice? We’d love to hear from you. We love travelling as a family, sharing our handy advice and saying YES to every adventure! Send us a message and connect with us on social media – Facebook, on Instagram, Pinterest, and our YouTube.
Disclaimer: All advice is from my own experience, and does not qualify as legal or professional advice.