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.’’
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The under 16 Pigeons kick started the YFNC's finals campaign with a resounding victory over the Paul Spargo led Scots College in the Grand Final of the AWJFL Elwyn Langford Shield at the Albury Sports Ground on Sunday.
Greater Shepparton City Council was successful in securing the National Cutting Horse Association Victorian Futurity Cutting Horse Championships for 2014 and 2015, with this year’s event scheduled from September 10-14 at Tatura Park.
An ad for the Healthy Ageing Project will be filmed in Echuca, Rushworth and Rochester today.
More than $15,000 was raised at a family day on Sunday. The event was to raise money for the families of Barry Purtell and Dave Lobb.
Book Week gets colourful turnout.
Deaprtment of Environment and Primary Industries unhappy about Mt Disappointment vandals.
Jerilderie Shire deputy mayor Ruth McRae handed the key over for the new Rural Fire Service station last Friday.
Farmers have a new weapon in the fight against mice.
Cobram kids learn about health with hospital as state-wide obesity campaign is launched.
Murray Irrigation to search for new boss after Anthony Couroupis finishes with the company.
A few anxious customers were outside the closed gates of the failed Bee-Jay Machinery business on Goulburn Valley Hwy in Shepparton on Tuesday morning, wondering what would become of deposits they had paid for tractors and other machinery.
The Benalla Indian Myna Action Group will pay a $1 per bird bounty on live birds delivered to CAL farm. National Party MP Bill Sykes donated $100 to fund the bounty.
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