Homeschooling SA – The Essential Parents’ Guide

Homeschooling in South Australia has become increasingly popular in recent times, providing a new way of learning for students, and new possibilities for parents and guardians. With many families living in remote areas, distance learning and homeschooling are practical, and very successful solutions. The Covid-19 pandemic has been a catalyst, at first forcing us into new ways of operating, and then demonstrating the benefits of home education for some children.

With work and family life becoming increasingly flexible, it is no surprise that registrations have increased. Homeschooling can be a daunting prospect to consider, but taking a methodical approach and gaining a thorough understanding of the requirements will give you the confidence to try homeschooling and to see how you can design a curriculum and content plan that suits your family’s needs. Applications in South Australia are managed through the South Australia Department of Education and Child Development.

Applying for Exemption with the South Australia Department of Education and Child Development

It is a legal requirement to go through the correct processes and to liaise with the South Australia Department of Education and Child Development. The first step when looking into homeschooling in South Australia is understanding the registration process and how this differs from other states. In South Australia, you need to enrol in a school and then apply for an exemption. This differs from some other states that require a registration rather than an exemption.

The compulsory school age in South Australia is between the ages of six years and 17 years old. The processing of your exemption can take up to a month, and during this time period, the principal of your local school can provide a principal’s exemption.

This is the link to the Home Education Exemption Application Form. 

Curriculum requirements for Homeschooling in SA

There is a broad requirement to link your programme of learning to the Australian Curriculum and this will ensure you are providing not only a balanced learning experience, but will also assist with your application assessment. A starting point for key subjects to cover are:

  • English
  • Mathematics
  • Sciences (including physics, chemistry and biology)
  • Humanities and social sciences (including history, geography, economics, business, civics and citizenship)
  • the arts
  • Languages
  • Health and physical education
  • Information and communication technology, and design and technology.

At first impression, this can seem daunting, but gaining an understanding of the support materials available, and ensuring you take a methodical approach to the application process can greatly assist with navigating the application for homeschool registration. From Year 8, even home educated students can access music instruction, and qualifications for the senior years such as the SACE (South Australian Certificate of Education) can be done for Year 11 and 12 students via distance education.

Homeschooling SA Support Groups

One of the common concerns from parents who are interested in homeschooling is around socialisation and ensuring that children have access to extra-curricular activities while completing distance education. Throughout South Australia, there are a number of after school activities and a range of support groups available.

Homeschool groups, Scouts, Guides, cadets, ballet and music classes, swimming lessons, sports clubs, and other online groups around areas of interest ensure that homeschooled children have just as busy and enriched a schedule as their traditionally schooled counterparts. Many areas have online groups that get together on a regular basis for activities, field trips, or even school camps, providing high-quality home education.

Homeschooling SA Assessment and Reporting Requirements

At times, homeschooling parents and caregivers may need to provide proof of a structured education plan and of recorded process. Online platforms such as Education Perfect that keep a record of all the subjects covered alongside any assessments completed can help with demonstrating progression as a part of a holistic learning programme. This may be as simple as referring to the objectives, taking photos of learning activities, or dating samples throughout the year to demonstrate procession.

See how to use EP to help plan your homeschool curriculum. 

Homeschooling in SA FAQ

Is homeschooling right for my family?

Homeschooling is an excellent alternative for parents who want to provide their children with a well-rounded education that explores non-traditional content and offers flexibility in the mode of delivery and timetable. To be successful at this, you will need commitment and dedication from both yourself as well as other members of the community or family. Check out our FAQ on the difference between distance learning and homeschooling below.

How long does it take to find out if my application is successful?

Each application is processed as quickly as possible and students must remain enrolled in school while this process is ongoing. There is no set timeline in South Australia and each application may take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months. After the application is processed, a Home Education Project Officer will visit to discuss your application and review any questions.

How much time do I need to teach each subject?

There is no hard and fast rule on specific time allocations, just make sure that you meet the requirements provided in the curriculum. The time you spend on each subject or module depends on your child’s needs, their progression, and where they need support. Get as much support as you need, and make sure that you connect with other homeschooling parents – different strengths can create support systems for different subjects.

A Home Education Project Officer will visit on an annual basis to conduct a review and discuss the ongoing achievement of your home educated student. This is another reason why it is important to have a clear system for keeping records.

What is the difference between distance learning and homeschooling?

Distance learning is education under the auspices of a school and you are required to use pre-determined materials and curriculum. This is of benefit in some respects – providing resources and support, but you will lose the independence and flexibility of planning your own curriculum. Deciding which format will fit your child the best, and your family, is entirely a personal choice.

How can EP help me to deliver a homeschool programme in South Australia?

Many programmes are available, and leveraging technology as a part of a holistic homeschool programme can be highly effective. For example, EP records every question answered, minute spent learning, and task and assessment that your child completes. This provides fantastic pre-assessment data and can help with common tests like NAPLAN, and ensuring that there is a measure of progress that is easily viewed,

This information is invaluable when it comes to reporting time, and helps to plan a sequence of content. There is real-time tracking of progress and it is easy to see at a snapshot how your child is progressing. This can help with planning future lessons that are tailor-made, and also assess how effective the programme is at catering to weaknesses and strengths.

Register for a free trial here

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Why Use EP to Homeschool?

EP is adjustable for every style of homeschooling. It’s built to enhance your ability as a home educator and offer your child both structured and flexible methods of learning. The platform allows you to adapt for individual strengths and weaknesses so every learner feels supported.

You can:
Create your own courses
Follow our pre built outlines
Unschool your learner with our interest led functionality
Join over 1500 other homeschoolers!

Why Use EP to Homeschool?

EP is adjustable for every style of homeschooling. It’s built to enhance your ability as a home educator and offer your child both structured and flexible methods of learning. The platform allows you to adapt for individual strengths and weaknesses so every learner feels supported.

You can:
Create your own courses
Follow our pre built outlines
Unschool your learner with our interest led functionality
Join over 1500 other homeschoolers!