April 24, 2014

Bullies spur parents to home school kids

I was rung by a reporter in Christchurch this morning about this article in an Australian newspaper:

Bullies spur parents to home school kids

The West Australian

Bullies spur parents to home school kids

The West Australian

Bullying and “cattiness” spurred by social media has contributed to a surge in the number of parents deciding to teach their children at home, according to one of the State’s biggest homeschooling bodies.

Latest Department of Education figures show 2192 students were registered for homeschooling last year – an increase of 303 students on the year before when homeschool participation increased by just 83 students.

Homeschool WA director Stuart Chapman said about a third of families who signed up for homeschooling programs had done so because of a bullying incident.

Most of those students, he said, were teenage girls in years eight to 10 who were subjected to a different type of bullying to boys.

“With boys it’s easier to tell because it’s bruises but with girls it’s cattiness,” he said. “It’s much harder to tell and it’s much more psychological with girls.”

Since starting in 2012, the organisation has grown from 129 students to about 300 students and another 100 are expected to join this year.

Mr Chapman said social media had given bullies another way to target victims and contributed to the increase.

“The trouble with bullying with social media is you can’t get away from it,” he said. “It carries on after school.”

Herne Hill mother Cindy Banks said bullying was the main reason she had pulled her two teenage sons out of schools in favour of homeschooling.

She said her 15-year-old son Matthew had been targeted at primary school and the bullying continued into secondary school before spilling on to social media.

Ms Banks said bullies used online gaming and chat sites to send abusive messages to her son.

“As soon as that happened I cut it down,” she said. Ms Banks said Matthew had been a “different person” since he started homeschooling but she was still concerned about the use of social media. Bullying online, she said, was difficult to detect when teenagers wanted to keep their internet privileges.

“It’s easier to shut that down if your child lets you know, but some kids, they don’t want to lose Facebook so they keep it hidden,” Ms Banks said.

Perth tutor Richard Hunt-Smith says he is fully booked with homeschool families, the number seeking help increasing steadily over the past two years.

He says bullying on social media is one reason parents decide to homeschool and most families limit their child’s use of the internet as a result.

However, Department of Education acting director of Statewide services Eirlys Ingram said any increase in homeschooling numbers could be attributed to lowering the compulsory school age and increase in overall student population.

“The department has found no evidence to support the claim bullying has become more of an issue in the past year and has led to an increase in students dropping out of school,” Ms Ingram said.

Read more here: http://au.news.yahoo.com/thewest/a/20865256/bullies-spur-parents-to-home-school-kids/

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From the Smiths:

Home-schooling on the rise

School's in: Annie Regan home schools her children Caitlin, 9, Liam, 7, and Millie, 4, at their Tarrawarra  home.School’s in: Annie Regan home schools her children Caitlin, 9, Liam, 7, and Millie, 4, at their Tarrawarra home. Photo: Penny Stephens

The walls of the living room are plastered with number charts and illustrated alphabets, and fun facts about gorillas.

But it would be wrong to call this room in a home in Tarrawarra a classroom, even though Annie Regan and Tony Hickey choose to home-school their three children – Caitlin, 9, Liam, 7, and Millie, 4 – in this space.

Caitlin loves dancing and maths, Liam loves animals and books, and Millie loves everything and everyone, meaning opportunities to teach arise everywhere, from the swimming pool to the supermarket.

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“Learning is a part of life,” Ms Regan said. “There’s no separation. You find knowledge wherever you can, and everywhere you are.”

She is not against traditional schooling, and was once a primary school teacher.

“This is the option, right now, that works for us. But that could change,” she said. “It’s not for everyone, but the advantage I see is being able to make learning fun, with freedom from teaching to standardised tests.”

Home-schooling has doubled in Victoria in six years, leaping from 1829 registrations in 2008 to 3718 in 2013. There are dozens of regular gatherings of home-school groups around the state, including one run fortnightly by Ms Regan at the Memorial Hall in nearby Yarra Glen.

More than 20 families in the area take part, meaning parents can swap stories, ideas and lesson plans, and the children benefit from a large circle of friends with a wide range of ages.

“I love going to home-school group,” said Caitlin. “Even the older kids, they’re not like most teenagers, who ignore me when I’m around. These ones actually play with me.”

The family also takes advantage of educational programs at Tarrawarra Museum of Art, the Australian Centre for the Moving Image and Melbourne Museum. Then there are extracurricular choices: gymnastics, Girl Guides, Cub Scouts, dance and basketball.

Sue Wight co-ordinates the Home Education Network, which runs camps and connects local support groups. She has seen perceptions of home-schooling slowly shifting.

“Twenty years ago when you told someone about home-schooling, their first response was: ‘Is that legal?’ ” she said. “Now, the first response is: ‘I know someone who does that.’ ”

The internet has supplied a wealth of teaching materials as home-schooling has become more popular, but Dr David Zyngier of Monash University warned that home-schooling had become a “no cost, no brainer” for too many parents.

Victoria has the highest rate of home-school registration in the country. The 3718 Victorian students last year compared with 3194 in NSW, 1108 in Queensland and 719 in Tasmania.

Victorian families need only register with the Victorian Registration and Qualifications Authority and sign a statement agreeing they will provide regular instruction addressing eight key learning areas. In other states the requirements are far more strict.

In Tasmania, parents must submit an application explaining how they will implement and evaluate a learning program. Once home-schooling is approved, the Tasmanian Home Education Advisory Council conducts home visits to ensure standards are met. Other states have similar rules.

Read more: http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/homeschooling-on-the-rise-20140130-31p9u.html#ixzz2sEVPglJS

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From the Smiths:

http://hef.org.nz/2011/craig-smith-26-january-1951-to-30-september-2011/

Updated: 30 September 2013:  One year on (Craig Smith’s Health) page 7 click here

*****

Needing help for your home schooling journey:

http://hef.org.nz/2011/needing-help-for-your-home-schooling-journey-2/

And

Here are a couple of links to get you started home schooling:

Information on getting started: http://hef.org.nz/getting-started-2/

and

Information on getting an exemption: http://hef.org.nz/exemptions/

Exemption Form online:http://hef.org.nz/2012/home-schooling-exemption-form-now-online/

This link is motivational:http://hef.org.nz/2012/home-schooling-what-is-it-all-about/

Coming Events:http://hef.org.nz/2013/some-coming-events-for-home-education-during-2013-2/

Beneficiaries: http://hef.org.nz/2013/where-to-for-beneficiary-families-now-that-the-social-security-benefit-categories-and-work-focus-amendment-bill-has-passed-its-third-reading/

Home schooling up 65% in four years

Lindy Hadges with two of her five children, Ruben, 15, and Odette, 8, whom she home schools in Carlton, Sydney.Emotional decision: Sydney mother Lindy Hadges with Ruben, 15, and Odette, 8. Ms Hadges is educating her five children at home as she believes in a more ”organic, fluid” style of learning. Photo: Janie Barrett

The number of children being taught at home in NSW has ballooned by 65 per cent in four years, with many parents citing bullying, philosophical objections to schooling and a desire for personal learning as reasons for rejecting formal education.

Children being home schooled have increased from 1703 in July 2008 to 2802 in July 2012. Over the same time, the school population of NSW grew by less than 3 per cent.

The secretary of Home Education Australia, Sharyn Grebert, said: ”There is a culture of bullying within our schools. That has had a tremendous impact on a number of home schoolers.”

Noting the increase in home schooling in its 2012 annual report, the Board of Studies found applicants for home schooling who provided a reason for not using school cited ”philosophical choice or individualised approach to learning dif?culties”.

Since 2008-09, the number of families registered for home schooling has risen from 1177 to 1625 in 2011-12.

David Zyngier, a senior lecturer from the Faculty of Education at Monash University, said he was concerned the rise in home schooling was linked to the false perception that public schools were unsafe and  the undermining of the professionalism of teachers.

‘‘All of a sudden everyone’s an expert in education,’’ he said.

But many parents now claim their decision to opt out of the system is under threat from growing government regulation. Home educating parents have recently begun campaigning against what they say are attempts by the NSW Board of Studies, which is responsible for registering children for home schooling and making sure the curriculum is being covered, to do so in a more rigid and prescriptive way.

They claim a new information pack released by the board in August means there are now greater requirements to align their child’s education with outcomes of a standard curriculum, more onerous reporting requirements and changes that make it easier for staff from the board  to visit their homes.

Ms Grebert said this could cause people to not register or not be part of the system. The changes had engendered  ‘‘fury  and distrust’’.

‘‘We don’t want to replicate the school system within the home. The reason that the children are out of it is for that very reason,’’ she said.

Sydney mother Lindy Hadges chose to educate her five children at home because she did not want to separate from them and believes in a more ‘‘organic, fluid’’ style of learning.

‘‘For me, really early on, it was a very emotional, personal thing,’’ she said. ‘‘It was just a desire to be with them and a feeling that being with my children is how I model and train them and care for them and guide them through life. I can’t do that in absence.

’’Each day involved ‘‘lots of activities’’, she said. ‘‘They would go off to home school swimming, home school surfing, home school creative arts. Every morning we would have our reading and maths time … and then depending on what flows out of that, that will govern where we go next.’’

The board insists that  parent concerns are misplaced, that information has been misinterpreted and said the policies were only updated to reflect new aspects of the national curriculum.

‘‘It is incorrect to suggest that the updated information package reduces the flexibility home schooling parents have for providing an educational program based on the child’s pace of learning,’’  a spokesman said. ‘‘The minimum curriculum continues to be the Board of Studies syllabuses.

’’Ms Hadges said parents were concerned the board was trying to create more of a ‘‘school approach’’ to home schooling and had been disappointed with its  response.

‘‘I think what that  shows is that they don’t really understand the heart of home schooling and that’s kind of sad,’’ she said.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
From the Smiths:

http://hef.org.nz/2011/craig-smith-26-january-1951-to-30-september-2011/

Updated: 30 September 2013:  One year on (Craig Smith’s Health) page 7 click here

*****

Needing help for your home schooling journey:

http://hef.org.nz/2011/needing-help-for-your-home-schooling-journey-2/

And

Here are a couple of links to get you started home schooling:

Information on getting started: http://hef.org.nz/getting-started-2/

and

Information on getting an exemption: http://hef.org.nz/exemptions/

Exemption Form online:http://hef.org.nz/2012/home-schooling-exemption-form-now-online/

This link is motivational:http://hef.org.nz/2012/home-schooling-what-is-it-all-about/

Coming Events:http://hef.org.nz/2013/some-coming-events-for-home-education-during-2013-2/

Beneficiaries: http://hef.org.nz/2013/where-to-for-beneficiary-families-now-that-the-social-security-benefit-categories-and-work-focus-amendment-bill-has-passed-its-third-reading/

Home schooling up 65% in four years in Australia

Lindy Hadges with two of her five children, Ruben, 15, and Odette, 8, whom she home schools in Carlton, Sydney.Emotional decision: Sydney mother Lindy Hadges with Ruben, 15, and Odette, 8. Ms Hadges is educating her five children at home as she believes in a more ”organic, fluid” style of learning. Photo: Janie Barrett

The number of children being taught at home in NSW has ballooned by 65 per cent in four years, with many parents citing bullying, philosophical objections to schooling and a desire for personal learning as reasons for rejecting formal education.

Children being home schooled have increased from 1703 in July 2008 to 2802 in July 2012. Over the same time, the school population of NSW grew by less than 3 per cent.

The secretary of Home Education Australia, Sharyn Grebert, said: ”There is a culture of bullying within our schools. That has had a tremendous impact on a number of home schoolers.”

Noting the increase in home schooling in its 2012 annual report, the Board of Studies found applicants for home schooling who provided a reason for not using school cited ”philosophical choice or individualised approach to learning dif?culties”.

Since 2008-09, the number of families registered for home schooling has risen from 1177 to 1625 in 2011-12.

David Zyngier, a senior lecturer from the Faculty of Education at Monash University, said he was concerned the rise in home schooling was linked to the false perception that public schools were unsafe and  the undermining of the professionalism of teachers.

‘‘All of a sudden everyone’s an expert in education,’’ he said.

But many parents now claim their decision to opt out of the system is under threat from growing government regulation. Home educating parents have recently begun campaigning against what they say are attempts by the NSW Board of Studies, which is responsible for registering children for home schooling and making sure the curriculum is being covered, to do so in a more rigid and prescriptive way.

They claim a new information pack released by the board in August means there are now greater requirements to align their child’s education with outcomes of a standard curriculum, more onerous reporting requirements and changes that make it easier for staff from the board  to visit their homes.

Ms Grebert said this could cause people to not register or not be part of the system. The changes had engendered  ‘‘fury  and distrust’’.

‘‘We don’t want to replicate the school system within the home. The reason that the children are out of it is for that very reason,’’ she said.

Sydney mother Lindy Hadges chose to educate her five children at home because she did not want to separate from them and believes in a more ‘‘organic, fluid’’ style of learning.

‘‘For me, really early on, it was a very emotional, personal thing,’’ she said. ‘‘It was just a desire to be with them and a feeling that being with my children is how I model and train them and care for them and guide them through life. I can’t do that in absence.

’’Each day involved ‘‘lots of activities’’, she said. ‘‘They would go off to home school swimming, home school surfing, home school creative arts. Every morning we would have our reading and maths time … and then depending on what flows out of that, that will govern where we go next.’’

The board insists that  parent concerns are misplaced, that information has been misinterpreted and said the policies were only updated to reflect new aspects of the national curriculum.

‘‘It is incorrect to suggest that the updated information package reduces the flexibility home schooling parents have for providing an educational program based on the child’s pace of learning,’’  a spokesman said. ‘‘The minimum curriculum continues to be the Board of Studies syllabuses.

’’Ms Hadges said parents were concerned the board was trying to create more of a ‘‘school approach’’ to home schooling and had been disappointed with its  response.

‘‘I think what that  shows is that they don’t really understand the heart of home schooling and that’s kind of sad,’’ she said.

Sydney Home Education Network (SHEN) opposes the new regulations and is supporting a petition started by a homeschool mother in Sydney, which calls upon Adrian Piccoli, the Minister of Education, to “cancel the new information pack and consult with home educators.”According to SHEN, the petition gathered over 500 signatures in the first 24 hours. Australian home educators have asked homeschoolers and friends of freedom around the world for help. To support families in Australia, please sign the petition.

Please also send an email to the Minister of Education in New South Wales, the Honorable Adrian Piccoli, encouraging him to listen to home educators and pull the new regulations and support less restrictions for homeschoolers.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

From the Smiths:

http://hef.org.nz/2011/craig-smith-26-january-1951-to-30-september-2011/

Updated 12 September 2013:  One year on (Craig Smith’s Health) page 7 click here

*****

Needing help for your home schooling journey:

http://hef.org.nz/2011/needing-help-for-your-home-schooling-journey-2/

And

Here are a couple of links to get you started home schooling:

http://hef.org.nz/getting-started-2/

and

http://hef.org.nz/exemptions/

This link is motivational: http://hef.org.nz/2012/home-schooling-what-is-it-all-about/

Exemption Form online: http://hef.org.nz/2012/home-schooling-exemption-form-now-online/

Coming Events: http://hef.org.nz/2013/some-coming-events-for-home-education-during-2013-2/

HSLDA: Home Visits Imposed on Homeschoolers Down Under

Australia

 

The New South Wales Board of Studies in Australia issued new regulations for homeschoolers that include unannounced home visits, requesting permission to homeschool, and detailed curriculum and evaluation requirements. The Board of Studies (BoS), the department that oversees education in the state of New South Wales (NSW), implemented the new “Information Package on Registration for Homeschooling” on August 26th without any consultation with homeschoolers.

“The new homeschooling regulations are nothing short of a dictatorship,” one Australian mother told HSLDA. “The homeschool community was told that we had to accept the package and that it has already been signed off by the Education Minister. End of story. The homeschooling community is in an uproar.”

The Sydney Home Education Network (SHEN) has stated that the new policy could make it very difficult for many families to continue homeschooling, due to the substantial changes in the registration packet, such as:

  • Board of Studies representatives may “drop in” on a homeschooling family and conduct a home visit to check that there is ongoing compliance with requirements;
  • Children have to be taught on the grade level approved by the BoS. Re-registration must occur to get “permission” to teach any materials other than that of peers in the school system;
  • Evidence must be provided to demonstrate a “capacity to comply with the requirements for registration,” including a written plan for the proposed educational program; a proposed system for planning, supervising, and assessing; the availability of resources; and the suitability of the home learning environment for “effective homeschooling”
  • All applications to register or re-register to homeschool may take up to three months, which could have adverse effects if a child has to remain in a bad situation in school until given permission to homeschool; and
  • Although there seems to be a choice whether one can conscientiously object to registering on religious grounds, the grounds for objection are extremely narrow and a family must satisfy all of the requirements for registration as part of the objection process.

SHEN opposes the new regulations and is supporting a petition started by a homeschool mother in Sydney, which calls upon Adrian Piccoli, the Minister of Education, to “cancel the new information pack and consult with home educators.”

According to SHEN, the petition gathered over 500 signatures in the first 24 hours. Australian home educators have asked homeschoolers and friends of freedom around the world for help. To support families in Australia, please sign the petition.

Please also send an email to the Minister of Education in New South Wales, the Honorable Adrian Piccoli, encouraging him to listen to home educators and pull the new regulations and support less restrictions for homeschoolers.

Read more here: http://www.hslda.org/hs/international/Australia/201308310.asp

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

From the Smiths:

http://hef.org.nz/2011/craig-smith-26-january-1951-to-30-september-2011/

Updated 1 May 2013:  One year on (Craig Smith’s Health) page 7 click here

*****

Needing help for your home schooling journey:

http://hef.org.nz/2011/needing-help-for-your-home-schooling-journey-2/

And

Here are a couple of links to get you started home schooling:

http://hef.org.nz/getting-started-2/

and

http://hef.org.nz/exemptions/

This link is motivational: http://hef.org.nz/2012/home-schooling-what-is-it-all-about/

Exemption Form online: http://hef.org.nz/2012/home-schooling-exemption-form-now-online/

Coming Events: http://hef.org.nz/2013/some-coming-events-for-home-education-during-2013-2/