Pondering Some Ideas about How to Prepare for a Homeschool Registration Visit

Homeschool registration… I don’t really like those words. I often wish there was no such thing as record keeping and registration visits. What if our kids could learn what they liked, in their own way, without us worrying about having to satisfy registration requirements? Wouldn’t that be good?

I live in NSW, Australia and unfortunately we don’t have that freedom. However, in all the 22 years we’ve been homeschooling, I’ve never experienced any difficulties obtaining registrations for my children, even when we’ve been unschooling. We haven’t had to compromise: My children have always learnt in a way that suits them best. 

But there’s been a lot of talk recently about the updated homeschool Information Package for NSW homeschoolers. Some people are concerned that the changes are making it more difficult to register. My family tend to homeschool in our own little world, and it was a long time before I even heard about these changes. When I eventually did, I thought I’d better go and read the relevant document.

Within the document are 19 questions and answers written to ‘assist parents’ in understanding what is required of us if we want to homeschool our children.

Question 2 asks: Does the updated Information Package require me to change the way I home school my child?The answer is No.

Does this mean our family can continue homeschooling and record keeping as we’ve always done in the past? Can we let our children follow their interests, record all their learning experiences, and present these as evidence they are receiving an education, rather than prepare detailed educational plans and programs? I’m not sure because Question 5 says: 

Does the homeschooling educational program need to be based on Board of Studies syllabuses? And the answer is Yes.

I had a look at the syllabuses and my heart sank. I wondered if it is actually possible to unschool if our children’s learning has to be based on these documents. How do we prove our unschooling children’s learning satisfies question 5? Do we need to include the syllabus outcomes when we are record keeping? I don’t want to do this, but I have heard some APs are asking for evidence that the outcomes have been met.

I want my children to continue unschooling. This is very important to us. I’ve considered just doing things our own way and hoping for the best. But if there’s an easy way to satisfy the homeschool requirements, without compromising my children’s learning, that would be better. Could Evernote records provide this easy way? I’ve been pondering the situation.
Yesterday I put together a video about some
possible record keeping ideas. Again I share my Evernote homeschooling notebooks on screen. I show a method for
including the syllabus outcomes. I do some chatting about unschooling.

If you have time I’d love to share my video with you. You could
watch it in two or three sessions if you haven’t got a long enough stretch of
quiet time. I’m hoping once you’ve heard my ideas, you’ll stop by and share your own experiences and suggestions. In particular, I’d like to hear if anyone else has been given a
long registration period, even though they haven’t provided any learning outcomes.

In the video, I promised to share this week’s unschooling
notebook. I’ve decided not to share a public link after all, but I’m happy to extend personal invitations to view my notebook if anyone is interested. Please see my post What My Girls Did This Week and How I Recorded These Learning Experiences for details.

PS I should have made a test video to check the lighting before recording this video. Because i didn’t, I look rather washed out. Never mind. At least you can hear my voice!

You can also find me on my Sue Elvis Writes Facebook page, where all my blogs are gathered together in one place. I often post links to resources and other interesting stuff. I’d love to see you there!

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