Homeschooling Australia Facts in a Nutshell

Homeschooling Australia is legal in all states and territories. Each state government has different requirements. You apply to the education board in the state you reside but if you have no fixed address you cannot apply. If you do not live in Australia, or you are not a resident then you cannot apply for homeschooling in Australia. You do not get paid to homeschool in Australia. You choose and buy your own curriculum.

Homeschool Statistics in Australia

Homeschooling Australia (also known as home education) is a vibrant and rapidly growing movement. Not all homeschoolers register with the government for various reasons. Children in distance education are not considered to be home schooled so their enrollment is not included in official statistics.  Whilst it is hard to get exact numbers these here are some recent figures gathered from state government annual reports and correspondence. Infographic homeschooling in australia Unregistered homeschool numbers are hard to estimate but some believe it to be at least 30% of the general homeschool community. Reasons for not registering include the difficult registration process, parents travelling, and educational autonomy for the parents.

Home education is a growing sector in education. More than 3000 children are currently registered for home education in NSW, there having been a 40% increase in registrations over the past five years. However, these statistics underestimate the true number of home educated children as many families opt out of the registration system; there may be more than 10 000 home educated children in NSW. Home Education Australia May 2014

Students who use a distance education provider are not included in official government statistics. They are considered to be in school. Queensland and Western Australia have a very high proportion of homeschool students doing distance education and this is why the amount of registered homeschoolers in those states looks smaller. One of the biggest educational providers in Queensland reports more than 5000 students.

13 FAQs For Homeschooling In Australia Answered

Is it legal to homeschool in Australia?
Yes. Legally children in Australia between the ages of 6 to 15 need to be at school or homeschooled. From 15 to 17 children can leave school as long as they meet state educational or vocational requirements (this varies slightly between states). To be registered for homeschooling in Australia you must apply to the state or territory in which you are a resident. You cannot register to homeschool in Australia if you are living overseas, or have no fixed address. The parent who will be the home educator is the person who registers each individual child.
What are the homeschool laws for my state?
Each state has their own regulation for homeschooling. See information about your specific state here:

Can my child go to university if they are homeschooled?
Yes. You will need to look for alternative pathways but there are many options. There are many stories of children getting into university including the harder courses like medicine and astrophysics. Read about alternative pathways homeschoolers have taken to get into university.
Do I need to be a teacher to homeschool in Australia?
No you do not need to be a teacher, however you must be the legal guardian to apply. Find out what makes a good homeschool teacher.
Do I have to use a specific curriculum?
No. It’s your choice. You can DIY all your resources and curriculum if you want to. However many new homeschoolers prefer to purchase a packaged curriculums when they start. However no matter how you choose to educate you do need to prepare a plan for your child’s education. The Australian Curriculum is the national syllabus for Australian students. Depending on your state you will usually need to base some of your planning to align with it. See your specific state for more details. For a detailed explanation of the Australian Curriculum and how it impacts homeschooling then read this article. You can find the full government curriculum here. At My Homeschool we have written our Australian Homeschool Curriculum to comply with the Australian Curriculum, WA Curriculum and NSW Syllabus. Other states all use the Australian Curriculum.
Is unschooling allowed in Australia?
Unschooling in Australia is a legal option. However you still need to provide and educational plan for registration no matter what homeschooling method you use. Find out about Unschooling In Australia here.
How much does homeschooling cost?
To get registered to homeschool in Australia it is free. You don’t get a specific government subsidy to homeschool but some families are eligible for the isolated children’s scheme. Centrelink also gives some exemptions to the educating parent from working when you homeschool. What will cost you money is curriculum and external lessons like music and other activities such as swimming lessons. Here is a breakdown of particular costs using different learning styles.
How do I start homeschooling?
Here are 5 quick tips:

  1. Determine your motives for homeschooling. This will affect so many of your choices. It will give you a great starting point.
  2. Make a simple start. Don’t be afraid to buy a curriculum package at first. Get samples when possible. It is probably a cheaper option than DIY in the long run and you can usually find some support at the same time. Curriculum packages have already streamlined the process so you won feel so overwhelmed comparing all your options.
  3. Watch how you like to teach and how your child learns. This will help you make decisions in the future.
  4. Be prepared to make some sacrifices. Homeschooling takes a considerable commitment for it to work, especially in the early days.
  5. Try to take your focus off academics and on to establishing good habits and close family relationships. Academics will fall into place. Homeschooling is not school at home – it is a lifestyle.

For more information see our How To Homeschool Course. And our Suddenly Homeschooling article may also help you.

How is homeschooling different from distance education?
Australia has a great tradition of children learning at home. School of the Air has been around in the outback for many years. But there is a subtle distinction to make between distance education and homeschooling Australia. Homeschooling is not run by a school. Parents are accountable for their children’s education – not a school or teacher. You are the teacher, and you oversee lessons. There is actually a big difference between being a distance education student and being a registered homeschooler. When you are with a school, or a distance education provider, you are accountable to a school. You send all your documentation into them and they run the schedule and set the curriculum that must be done. Your child is actually still a school student and not technically homeschooled. For example, when you use My Homeschool you buy the curriculum from us but you still have the flexibility to run the schedule or even change around the curriculum if desired. You are not accountable to us. You are responsible for your child’s registration and you make the application to homeschool to your state’s registration unit. You are in control of your schedule and can take holidays whenever you want. If you like to follow the school term schedule you can but it is not compulsory. You don’t send any work to us. You mark their work and keep their records. Whether you homeschool Australia or do distance education, you will need to send paperwork off to someone. When you homeschool you apply to your state’s homeschool registration body. Some families choose distance education because they think it is easier and that they will get more support. However more support also can mean less flexibility. Distance education is also much more expensive as in most cases they are run by private schools.
Do homeschoolers do exams?
Homeschoolers are not required to do exams to stay registered. Some families choose to do the NAPLAN you can contact your local school for help in getting a test. Many resources include tests and quizzes. You can also make up your own exams. Many homeschoolers assess their children as they go or provide Charlotte Mason style exams.
How do you homeschool with more than one child?
Many large families choose to homeschool. It can often be easier because they have playmates during the school days. When families homeschool they often report their children become very close. Here are some ideas on combining lessons.
Can I homeschool in high school?
Yes, you can homeschool your child at any time during their education. Homeschooling through high school without teacher training can be done successfully. Here are some ideas on teaching subjects that scare you.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of homeschooling?
Some of the perceived disadvantages are that the educating parent needs to sacrifice too much to homeschool their child. Other complaints include socialisation, lack of quality teachers and poor outcomes. Here is a list of pros and cons.  

Can You Do The Registration Plan For Me?

How to be a homeschool teacher
There are no generic plans that you can just print off and submit. However, some people offer a planning registration service that will cost you a few hundred dollars.

In all circumstances you will need to be a part of the planning process because all plans need to be individualised for your child. When  you have your registration visit you need to know what is in the plan and discuss how you are going to teach it.

At My Homeschool we provide a Registration Planning Course and give you templates with an outcome linked scope and sequence for each of our grades. These are only useful to you if you are using our courses.

Here is an example of our Year Two Registration Plan Template  from our Year 2 Lite program.  An Outcome linked Year 2 Scope and Sequence also comes with a purchased curriculum.

My Homeschool is a curriculum package for Australian homeschoolers that has been successfully used for registration by hundreds of NSW homeschoolers. We have done most of the planning and linking to the syllabus for you. You just need to add specifics for your child. Our graded courses also provide you with templates and a Getting Registered Course that will make it much easier.

Homeschooling Support in Australia

There are too many Facebook groups for Australian Homeschoolers to list,  you can easily find them through a Facebook search. Try also searching a group in your local area.

My Homeschool Community is also a place that offers support for homeschooling in Australia.

We provide a virtual home educator’s staff room for all our members which includes:

  • regular online workshops,
  • how to homeschool courses
  • registration help courses
  • community forums for members only