What We Do When There is a Lack of Government Support and Guidance for Homeschooling Parents
Sometimes it might be easy to think homeschooling will be too difficult without the help of the government or a large organized institution. After all, don’t most children need a teacher, coach, principal, secretary and government to organise bureaucracy, as well as a school psychologist, nurse, gardener, maintenance man and so on?
Not necessarily. Many homeschooling parents fulfill these roles themselves. But, if education is so easy that just one parent can do it, why haven’t more people cottoned on? In reality, homeschooling is this easy. It’s just that most people propagate the false view that these trained educators (most of whom have 3-year degrees) are indispensable. Indeed, when everyone is telling you that you’ll fail, homeschooling well seems so much more difficult as parents must swim against the current telling them they can't do it. It certainly does take a brave parent to defy the majority (including the government itself at times) and forego government support.
Even though the government is not outwardly antagonistic to homeschoolers, they often over-regulate, and deny some concessions to homeschool families (only now is the NSW government giving homeschoolers travel concession cards).
For governments, the cost of homeschooling is quite small, as the parents invest so much time and money in their children, the government needs to pay very little. Indeed, to send one’s child to public school costs the government far more! Consequently, many homeschooling parents feel the government should support homeschooling financially. However, where there is government funding, there is almost always government regulation.
In America, homeschooling a special needs child is subsidized by some states - although, in this situation, government control is not immediately apparent, as soon as parents disagree with a ‘recommendation’, government’s will suggest a different ‘education approach’.
Did you ever feel there was a problem as you lacked homeschooling resources which most schools have?
Finding resources WITHOUT government support
With the internet’s rise, the wealth of educational resources available is mind boggling. No longer is finding homeschool material a problem. Rather, choosing between the stacks of resources poses the bigger challenge. If one book doesn’t work, another will do the trick. Australia offers the Home Education Association Magazine which will answer many questions parents have regarding homeschooling in Australia.
Many Australian organisations run conferences where whole homeschool families can attend and take part at relatively low prices. Many of these events (called inclusive events) mix Christian and secular homeschoolers. They offer great opportunities for parents to find answers to questions such as, “How do I teach mathematics” or “How do I start thinking about getting my child into university or TAFE.”
Parents can have their questions answered in a personal environment which considers personal circumstances without government input. This can be the upside of not having the support of big bureaucracy.