Monday, 14 October 2013

6 Steps in Preparing for Homeschool Registration (NSW)

I have had the privilege over the last few weeks of helping parents understand and prepare the required documents that were needed in order for them to gain homeschooling registration, in the Australian state of New South Wales. The new changes that have been made to the Information Package by the Board of Studies NSW, have made a lot of people nervous about the registration process. In my previous post, 10 Steps to Home Education (in Australia), it outlines that each state and territory in Australia have their own homeschool registration requirements and I have made links to that  information. So I am going to outline the 6 main steps you need to take when applying for homeschool registration in New South Wales.
 

Once you have downloaded the Information Package
as well as the application for initial registration, you will see that there is a list of requirements that you will need to cover in order to register. Here they are;

1. Educational Program 
An educational program is basically a proposed plan of what the learning at home will cover over the span of a year. There are a number of requirements that need to be considered when putting together an educational program as this program needs: 
  • to be based on the curriculum
  • to be based on and taught in accordance with the relevant Board of Studies syllabuses
  • identifies the intended learning outcomes based on the syllabus (links to outcomes)
  • identifies the needs of the child
So here is how I write my education plan. I use a template (see below) that is broken into the six required subject areas (for New South Wales) and divided each subject into four learning terms (similar to a school). I use this template to write down:
  • what I would like to cover (per subject)
  • what my children would like to learn
  • what my children are interested in 
  • what their needs are (eg. more support with their reading)
  • what resources I have to support their learning
Once I have outlined our activity ideas, topics and learning resources, I link the outcomes from the curriculum and the different syllabuses in NSW, that each activity covers. Examples of educational plans can be seen on the Homeschool Australia facebook group.

2. Recording Progress and Acheivement
To show how I will record progress and achievement, I keep a folder (portfolio) that is divided into the six subject areas. This is such an easy and organised way how to keep work samples together that shows your child's progress and achievement through out the learning year.  Keeping it organised in a portfolio makes it easier when you go to apply for homeschooling re-register.
 
I try and make sure I have three to four work samples (such as a written letter, a painting or some photographs of a science experiment we have done) for each subject area at the end of each term. Sometimes I have more examples in one area than in others but it is a basic guide to documenting your child's progress. However, there will be learning activities that your child will do that fits into more than one subject area so its up to you where you  place it. 

3. Timetable (time allocated for learning)
Putting together a timetable can be rather tricky if you are unsure of how much time needs to be spent on each subject area. Because we take a child-led approach to home educating our children, a timetable is used as a basic guide and not something that we live by. Here is an idea of what Our Learning Day looks like in a timetable. 

This is just an example of our timetable that we use as a guide. I can honestly say that because learning occurs all the time, a timetable does not accurately reflect the learning that takes place in our home.  

4. Learning Environment
I think it is important for every child to have a clean, organised and safe learning environment that is suitable for effective home schooling. Whether you have a large home with lots of space or a small space for learning, you need to work with what you have. Having a student desk or just a kitchen table for your child to work on as well as having some type of storage space for their learning materials is all that you are required to do. Here, you can read about Our Learning Space.

5. Learning Resources 
You will need to think about what learning resources you have in your home as well as other resources that are available outside of your home (such as the library) that can be used to support the learning needs of your child. In my opinion, there are five main learning resources you should have when applying for home school registration and they are:
  • paper/writing books and pens
  • curriculum/workbooks that you want to use
  • library card
  • internet access
  • homeschooling group
Other learning resources you would like or need can be slowly acquired over time as this will make sure you don't buy things that you won't necessarily use.

6. Daily Record
The final requirement for registration is having a way of showing evidence of delivering a educational program. Basically, you need to show how you are going to record your daily learning activities. I have preciously used the template below to plan and record our daily learning activities.
Since changing our homeschooling approach to a more interest-led learning, I have been using a simple note book where, at the end of the day, I record all the daily learning that has taken place in our home (example below).
I hope this has give you some idea of what to plan for and how to get organise for homeschool registration in New South Wales. If you have any questions or would love some help with your own registration process (regardless of what state/territory you are in), please contact me via email or on facebook as I would be happy to help. 


17 comments:

  1. Hi Suzie,
    I enjoyed reading about your plans - it's always good to see how other homeschooling families plan out their documentation, and put their philosophies into practice.

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    1. Hi Amy,
      Thank you for your comment. I have been looking through your blog and noted that you offer services to assist others with home school registration in Queensland through your editing services. That is a wonderful to see.

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  2. Hi Suzie. This entry has been so helpful to me! I am just starting my homeschooling journey with my son this year and was so confused as to what I should be recording/documenting. No one has explained it so clearly as you just have! Even though my son is only 5 and I don't need to register him for another year, I still wanted to get into the practice of doing it all and now I feel so very confident after reading this. Thank you!

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    1. Hi Roslyn, You're most welcome! So glad you have found this information useful and helpful in your own homeschooling journey. I wish you all the best this year as you start homeschooling.

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  3. Hi Suzy,
    Thanks so much for this information. I have just applied for registration and waiting for the BOS to let me know of the next step.
    Is there anything else that I should know in preparing for the AP visit. Would you recommend that I try to find another homeschooling parent who could be present at the visit?
    What do you think?
    Thanks so much.
    Cheri

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  4. Hi Suzie,

    I am planning to travel with my family and I as wondering approximately how long the registration process usually takes.

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  5. Great post. Thanks for the nice information; it is really awesome and very useful for the blogger reader those want to know about the homeschool registration.

    Registration for Homeschooling

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  6. Awesome and very helpful post Suzie! I have been researching like crazy and haven't found anyone who has put the layout to getting started so simply and easy to understand! THANK YOU!

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  7. Thank you so much Suzie. I have been fretting as to how to even start with the documentation we are supposed to present to the AP. Your post has made it seem a lot less daunting.

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    1. That is wonderful to hear! Good luck with your homeschooling journey.

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    2. My
      Parents don't let me be homeschooled but I want to really badly what do I tell them

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  8. hi suzie my wife and i have just about to start all this for my son in year 8 as he been bully way to much and can no longer handle school is there anyway to talk to you over phone as we need some help cheers

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    1. Hi Rod, You can send me an email at suzieshomeeducationideas@gmail.com and I can help you get started.

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  9. Hi Suzie, is this still the way its done in 2016? I'm wanting to get started applying to become registered for homeschooling so I can get my kids out of the public education system ASAP.

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    1. We have just re-reigstered last month (Feb 2016) with the Board of Studies NSW and the same process applies. I showed a list of outcomes in each subject area and that was sufficient for registration. You can send me an email at suzieshomeeducationideas@gmail.com if you have any more questions.

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  10. Hi Suzie, I am a year 8 student and I really want to be homeschool ive already told my parents but they just won't let me and all of the students always makes fun of me and bully me. So I really want to be home schooled. What can I do?

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