The Home Education Association (HEA) is an Australian group set up by home schoolers to help other home educators. Through their site you can find out information about the curriculum standards in each state and territory in Australia. Education in this country, at primary and secondary levels, is not run federally but by the individual states. This can mean there are different expectations depending upon where you live in Australia. HEA membership also can help with insurance issues when group home schooling classes are held, covering children etc.
The history of home education in Australia raises some interesting issues. Middle class mothers in the early days of the New South Wales colony did frequently educate their children themselves. Australia, however, was one of the first nations to introduce compulsory school attendance legislation; in NSW in 1880 the Public Instruction Act included such a provision. With colonies having been places of penal servitude, it is understandable that governments wanted to end illiteracy amongst the children of convicts and future generations, generally. Acts, such as these, were a way of governments controlling the education of their subjects, and thus shaping the nation.
It has, however, created a traditional disrespect and suspicion of things such as home schooling. This was despite the fact that home schooling was never outlawed in this country and if parents could prove that they were meeting educational standards, then they had no case to answer and could continue to do so. Home schooling became more popular and better organised in the nineteen seventies in Australia; leading to the formation of groups like the HEA.
Famous Australian home schoolers include Jessica Watson, who sailed single handily around the globe. Famous international home schooling lists feature Winston Churchill, Franklyn Roosevelt, Virginia Woolf, Mozart, Thomas Edison and many, many more. Historically, many of these people had one thing in common more than any other; they came from very wealthy families. Home schooling today is not a particularly expensive option, especially when compared to private school education. Other helpful home schooling sites are www.aussieducator.org,au and the Australian Home Education Advisory Service. These services can assist you in selecting texts for schooling, finding suitable auxiliary tutors and evaluating your child’s current educational standard. They are an important contribution to home schooling in this country, as they provide knowledgeable sounding boards for home educators. You do not need to feel like you are operating alone, there is plenty of help out there.