The Australian National Curriculum is now 'law' in all states of Australia, and all schools across public and private sectors are required to make sure their programs fit with this.
Homeschool families are also required to conform with this.
We have some serious concerns about the current form of the Australian National Curriculum [see the other FAQ of our 'views' on this], but we must assist homeschooling families to meet the requirements of it.
One basic principle or assumption of the ANC is that all students are expected to be doing the same thing at the same time and age, and they are assessed on their ability to be at that stage of development. Quality education should treat each student as an individual, with each person's program tailored to suit their specific needs which is often quite different and distinct from their grade/age. The ANC's basic principle seems almost opposite or opposing.
However, there are provisions in the Australian Curriculum to provide 'adjusted' curriculum for students with "special education needs".
We at HomeLearn believe every student is 'special', and we are sure every parent believes the same about their child. The Australian Curriculum actually says the same thing - it is just that they only then apply it to a small few and, by implication, treat the majority as not 'special' and require them to be on the same production line at the same place and time.
In the HomeLearn program, all students are treated as having 'special education needs'. They might be 'special' because they have wonderful talents in some areas; they might be 'special' because they need extra help or a slower schedule in some areas; they are 'special' simply because they are unique human beings with their own styles.
The section on 'special education needs' in the Australian Curriculum allows for and encourages educators to:
• "make necessary adjustments for students so they can access and participate in education without experiencing discrimination"
• allow "students to progress differently in different learning areas or demonstrate skills in different contexts"
• use "personal knowledge of the student to determine each student's level of achievement within the learning continuum"
• "identify the next steps for the student's learning to help them progress along the learning continuum"
• "check that the intended learning for the student is deep and active rather than passive"
• provide learning that is "relevant - offering an appropriate level of challenge beyond what they already know, understand and can do"
• make sure learning is "meaningful - building on student's prior learning and accommodating their learning preferences and personal interests in a way which engages them"
• "take into account the needs of each student and adjust the learning activities, assessment strategies and/or learning environment as appropriate"
Doesn't this sound like the ideal kind of education that your children should be entitled to? (Try thinking of an education program that doesn't provide these things!!)
Those with 'special education needs' get all this. Doesn't every child deserve it too?
That's why we treat every child as having 'special education needs' - because they are special and they do all have special education needs. The HomeLearn program provides all of the things on the list above - individual tailored learning for each child that is relevant and meaningful.
For more detailed information about this, included the relevant sections of the Australian Curriculum, (which are a little hidden) see our section on:
Australian Curriculum and special education needs