October 2, 2023

Home schooling hits new heights

Home schooling hits new heights

Article from: Herald Sun

Emily Power

July 13, 2009 12:00am

Rushworth family

Learning lounge: Chareen Rushworth home schools Timothy, Jane and Nathaniel, 4, in their family home. Picture: Mark Smith

HOME schooling is on the rise, with thousands of mums and dads rejecting mainstream education.

As 842,000 Victorian public students return to classrooms today, more than 2200 children will stay at home to be tutored by their parents.

In the past year an extra 715 students have started do-it-yourself education over public and private schools.

State Government records show 2279 students from 1257 families were registered as home schooled in June this year, up on the 1564 students from 859 families in June last year.

Bullying, philosophical beliefs, slow learners or bright pupils not being catered for, and some schools failing to deliver high standards, are driving the trend, according to home schooling expert Frank Marett.

Timothy Rushworth, 16, and his sister Jane, 14, have always been home schooled by their mother, Chareen.

Ms Rushworth said her family decided to home school because it did not make sense for her to return to work to pay school fees, and it had kept the family close.”I read a book called The Three Rs and I realised I had been teaching my children that when I taught them to count, and how to speak. I thought ‘I have got them to the age of five, I am sure I can teach them what one plus one is equal to’,” she said.

“And I realised it is not really as hard as it is made out to be.”

Frank and Valerie Marett home schooled their six children for 20 years. They now test home-schooled students and run a supply shop and advice service for parents.

“Parents require only one thing — self-discipline to stick at it. We are not the odd ones out, it is the schools,” Mr Marett said.

Psychologist and former teacher Sally-Anne McCormack said home schooling had its place but children must be socialised in preparation for tertiary studies or the workforce.

She recommends part-time home schooling for the most gifted students, but warned children should not be pulled out of the mainstream system because of bullying.

“We all need to learn resilience,” she said. “Change schools . . . find some professional help and support, and go back into the system.”

Education Department spokeswoman Jane Metlikovec said the department supported the right of parents to choose their child’s educational environment.


The Rushworths used to live in New Zealand

We do not agree with Sally-Anne McCormack’s comments.


  1. k 12 homeschool curriculum is on the rise,yeah, it’s true, it’s better because you provide your children with the most customized education ….i recommend this method of education…