When I started my business in 2017, I had very little idea about homeschooling. I stepped out of teaching after 13 years (I went straight from highschool to uni, to teaching, so I’ve literally been at school since I was 5) and found myself in an amazing new world. One family of homeschoolers came to me for tuition, then the next minute, I was getting daily phone calls. When it comes to homeschooling, there are plenty of us on the Gold Coast, Australia.
I learned the rules and requirements over time, through online groups (thank you, Facebook) and through chatting with a multitude of families all over Australia who have elected to, or are thinking about, homeschooling. And, man, are there a plethora of people taking this option up! I’ve worked with the Government on how to ensure my tuition centre follows proper protocol, and I’ve learned we are building something special here - an alternative. I'm excited and honoured to be a part of it.
In my experience so far (which is only a little over a year), the first thing that can happen to a parent or carer when they think about the homechool option is a flood of fear. How can I do this? How hard will it be? Will I ever have time to myself again? What is HEQ and why do they need my documents? Am I good enough? Not to mention the family members that do the eye-roll thing before they've done any actual research on the matter (this is even harder when it's your spouse).
Breathe. This is normal.
So, what makes the Gold Coast so special? Power in numbers, people! There are THOUSANDS of homeschoolers across our sunshine state, and there are more every year.
This has led to co-ops, tuition centres specifically catering to homeschoolers (plug, plug), nature and outdoor programs, the arts, dance, gymnastics, martial arts, mobile music vans, ALL SORTS of wonderful things for homeschoolers whereby you can kick back for an hour or 3 and relax … or get some uninterrupted work done. If you are lucky enough, you can pay for teachers to come to your home as well. Or, if you have the gumption, start your own co-op.
Homeschooling does not have to be forever, either. Maybe your student has become disengaged, disenchanted, or feels heightened school anxiety. Maybe you have always wanted to homeschool, but didn’t know where to start. At the end of the day, every child is different. Whether they go to a state school, independent or catholic school, or whether they homeschool - what’s best for YOUR child is most important.
Lastly, don’t fear the National Curriculum. It’s actually quite helpful. It’s a ‘free resource’ for what students are doing at certain ‘ages.’ It even has assessment samples and videos.
In this information age, we have everything we need at the tips of our fingers