[Thursday 2nd October 2014]
This is the big question that those on the 'outside' ask, and are often surprised when they find out.
One journalist investigated and wrote an article in the 'West Australian' newspaper a couple of years ago, and seemed very surprised at the results. They had expected it was mostly 'country' people who didn't have 'good' schools nearby, but were very surprised to find that the majority were from city and suburban areas, and the biggest reason ?? ... bullying in schools.
Another recent article found on an ABC news site says much the same ...
the 'results' surprise the writer. The article, at http://www.abc.net.au/local/stories/2013/11/04/3883619.htm entitled 'Home is where the class is - the rise of homeschooling' is about research by Nicholas Gamble from Monash University.
Here are some interesting excerpts:
"It used to be...that if you mention home education then either you are an out there left-hippy, or a strongly religious conservative. They were your options and there wasn’t many in between. But in Australia now, that is changing, and it is increasingly becoming just another educational option," says Mr Gamble.
His initial figures from a quick survey are interesting:
In a survey of around 200 homeschooling families, one in five made the choice because of dissatisfaction with the school system. Around 15 percent homeschooled specifically because they felt classrooms did not cater to their children because of learning difficulties, social issues or advanced learning. Less than ten percent of respondents homeschooled primarily for religious reasons, and around 15 percent said they were interested in learning without the traditional school structure.
And does it work?
A big question for parents considering schooling their children at home is what effect this will have on their academic outcomes. But the lack of research means the best evidence is anecdotal. "There certainly doesn't seem to be a glut of unemployed, previously home-educated kids," offers Mr Gamble.
There is also a very good 'finish' to the article that helps those 'outside' understand the home schooling option better:
One thing that unites the huge diversity of homeschooling participants is the desire to provide quality education no matter the circumstances.
If this sounds like you, perhaps you should give HomeLearn a try.