In Victoria (Australia) we have a Government department (under the
Department of Education etc.) that specialises in Distance Education as we
call it here. It is not only for families that want to do home schooling but
also for those that live in remote areas. The children and parents have an
interview and then the Distance Ed people send the work that has to be done
plus instructions for the parent/teacher. The child does the work and
returns it to Distance Ed, a teacher there corrects it and returns it to the
student. They also use audio tapes and they have options for other contact
methods, which probably nowadays include something like video conferencing
We used this system in 1996 when our boys were in grade 2 and 4 and we went
on a 4 months holiday overseas and around Australia. It worked wonderfully
well, the kids loved it and when we came back they were ahead with their
work compared to the other kids in their class! I think the whole
registration and service cost us around A$100 for both kids. The only thing
they missed out on was the company of other kids their age.
From what I know, if you don't want to use the Distance Ed material then the
parent(s) have to have certain capabilities to be allowed to do
homeschooling and I think there are some evaluation procedures for the
children at intervals.
Because of the vastness of Australia and the number of people that live in
remote areas we also have other education alternatives, such as School of
From: Patricia Knott [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Saturday, 15 November 2003 10:07 AM
To: ArtsEdNet Talk
Subject: another survey-Homeschooling (only if you have time)
Last summer I asked this list to help me with a survey for my grad class on
issues in education and your responses got me a big WOW from my class. We
tend to get very provincial in our observations and this list allows for a
more global response to questions, issues, and answers.
So, I'm in another grad class and am compiling more responses for a report.
I have surveyed locally and am searching for opinions that got beyond my
local attitudes and maybe incorporate some observations that are different
from the perceptions I see where I live in PA.
My topic is home schooling.
What is your first reaction to the term home schooling? ( Do you think
home schoolers are religious or political radicals?)
Are you insulted by home schooling? Are you offended that what we do
may be in question
by the parent or student that wants homeshooling?
Who do think home schools? and why?
Do you think home schoolers have any district or state mandated
requirements? Are you
aware of any requirements?
Should homeschoolers be allowed to to participate in curricular(classes)
activities that the public school provides?
Why are the numbers of home schoolers increasing? (what needs are we not
My local survey indicates that teachers think that the home schooled
child misses out on the
socialization aspect of attending school. Is this valid?
I spent an hour yesterday interviewing a child that comes weekly to my video
production club , but is otherwise home schooled. He is doing incredible
stuff with video and computer stuff. He is motivated to work all day on what
compels him. He is faithful to my club. His special needs don't fall into
the categories so home schooling is working for him. His reasons are
pursuit of interest and I am respectful of what he feels the school was not
Can we embrace all alternatives to educating all children and, perhaps,
disregard our notions of what we regard as tradition?
Thanks to anyone who can plod through this
but only through the plodding will we really understand the learning