'True' homeschooling, by legal definition, is the parent taking responsibility for the child's education (within curriculum guidelines) so HomeLearn is not 'school', but a 'resource provider' to help you do a great job of the task. This is also not 'distance education' (which is really some 'school' reaching into your home and telling you what to do with your child) - that is not our style ... ie it is not about some 'authority' telling every detail of what to do, nor about one single programmed path as if the student is a package on a production line, or about 'hoop jumping' through test after test, and it is not even about 'teaching' ... it is much more about guiding your child on a learning journey, with our resources to help you do a great job!
(For more on this, see our blog post at Homeschooling Versus Distance Education, but some important implications are:
* You are responsible for registration with your state Education Department ... but we help you with this ... general guidance in completing your registration application is available on our secure website
* We do not 'mark' work or keep records, that is your responsibility ... but we have ways to help with this ... guides are provided in setting up a curriculum folder with advice on keeping records of progress
* We do not 'require' you to follow a set program blindly ... but we do suggest you keep to the general guidelines for it to work properly
* ie We do not 'do it for you' ... but we support you so you can do a great job!
Think of us as the "bridge"!
Firstly we bridge you to the educational task. The HomeLearn approach is to help you to help your child in their education - not to take it away from you, but to assist you to do it. HomeLearn provides resources to cover all learning areas (Arts, English, Sport, Culture, Maths, Science, Society, and Technology), at different reading levels to match your child's current progress, and you can use as much or as little of these as you wish. You are connected to educational resources.
Secondly we bridge a thematic exploring approach to the curriculum. The HomeLearn courses are organised around themes that encourage exploration of interests and giftings, but these themes are matched to the Australian Curriculum, particularly for Science and Society, so you can still be assured of covering the curriculum. Exploring is great to encourage a love of learning but at some stage your child will need to connect with the "real world" and you need to know that they are ready and capable. Themes and exploration are connected to the curriculum.
Thirdly we bridge you to the technology. Support and guidance is an integral part of our service, as you get familiar with the way HomeLearn works and the possibilities. Intensive support is available to start with (through our 'Assisted' package), and there will always be help available at the end of an email - technical help, educational help, ideas and more. You are the "expert" with your child - other "experts" are there to help you with the important task of educating your child. The HomeLearn website connects you to extra expertise.
Fourthly we bridge the learning to the world around. HomeLearn courses should not all be done sitting at a computer - the website is the point to come to for the structure and the ideas, then much of the learning can be done in other ways and in the process of life. The "maths" lesson for today could be to print off a guide sheet, grab a calculator, and go out to do the shopping! The thematic approach and exploring through the internet, maths projects that relate to life, a focus on the working future and ways towards it these all take the student's eyes out of "the books" and into the world. The students are connected to the world.
Fifthly we bridge you and your child to others. HomeLearn encourages parents to share ideas with each other, and has forums to assist in organising activities that will get students together in outings and collaborative projects and the like. You and you child are connected to others.
Still scared? Don't be. If you have had the courage and drive to start homeschooling, be assured you already have what it takes to use HomeLearn successfully.