The Shepparton-based Northern Victoria Homeschool Australia group says sending children to school is not the only way for them to get an education.SOPHIE MALCOLM January 30, 2013 4:58am
Cameron Blight, 6, and Jazmine Thain, 7, are two of the small group of local children being homeschooled.
Hip-hop dance and Auslan classes, tie-dying lessons and excursions to a dairy farm.
Members of the Shepparton-based Northern Victoria Homeschool Australia group say there is more to homeschooling than most people think.
As thousands of students across the Goulburn Valley get ready to walk through the school gates for another year, the small but tight-knit group will get their education at home.
Tina’s two children are part of the group.
She decided to homeschool her children after her son, now 13, experienced bullying at a mainstream school.
The bullying became so bad, he became non-verbal, she said.
Tina said the process of transitioning to homeschool had its challenges initially — she ‘‘de-schooled’’ her son, avoiding school in any form for six months, before building his learning time back up.
She said many people had misconceptions that homeschooled children were socially isolated, but said the children in the group saw each other at least three days a week.
‘‘They do netball, football, soccer, canoeing, dancing, we go on excursions once a month, they have sleepovers and stuff like that,’’ she said.
Interest in the group had grown steadily, she said.
‘‘Everbody has this idea that you have to send your child to school and that’s not the case at all.’’
A spokesperson for the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development said homeschooled children represented less than 0.4 per cent of school aged children in Victoria, with 3435 registered students last year.
‘‘Parents choose home schooling for a variety of reasons and periods of time,’’ the spokesperson said.
‘‘Parents are able to access a broad range of resources to assist them with home schooling.’’
Angela Joy, another member of the group, said she decided to homeschool her children Cameron, Jacinda and Mitchel because she believed learning was not ‘‘separated from life’’.
‘‘We recently went on a month-long road trip along the east coast of Australia, visiting family and friends, meeting other homeschool families and groups and exploring our beautiful country,’’ Ms Joy said.
‘‘Our children were particularly keen on all the astronomy learning opportunities on the way home down the Newell Hwy.
‘‘There is so much value for all of us in spending time with our children.’’
Shepparton’s Declo Bisimwa firmly believes education is the key to a better life.
Beautiful weather greeted Tungamah residents for the 18th running of the Tungamah Lions Ten Thousand on Sunday.
When Keith and Marion Grumley and their growing family moved to Tatura on January 18, 1968, little did they know that it would be the start of a long and lasting connection to the town.
Garners Boxing Gym in Echuca is encouraging young people to get active with weekly boxing/cardio classes.
Rochester Rotary Club has celebrated its 50th birthday in style.
Sorting future of Campaspe pools
A theatre production with a difference is coming to Seymour.
Local athletes will go head-to-head with some of the best competitors from around the world in swimming and athletics in December.
District residents and visitors will be able to enjoy some of the region’s most beautiful private gardens on Sunday.
The 116th annual Cobram Show went off with a bang at the weekend, drawing in crowds from far and wide for two days of fun.
Tomorrow is a Total Fire Ban day in Deniliquin, meaning no fires can be lit in the open and all fire permits are suspended.
Fifty new full-time jobs will be created at Tatura with a multimillion-dollar expansion of the abattoirs expected to be announced today.
Remembering Australian political giant Gough Whitlam who once called on Benalla police to stop then Treasurer Frank Crean on his journey up the Hume to phone the PM.
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