Reading the new Victorian Home Education Regulations is as exciting as watching grass grow, which to some would be very exciting, to me? Nope!
So I thought this Blog may be helpful to some.
I was lucky to attend the VRQA Roadshow last week.
The Roadshow was the information for us in Victoria, on the new regulations on registering to Home Educate and the review process.
So I thought I would write up what I understand from it.
If your child is 6 or is turning 6 next year (2018), you may register now, before Dec 31st 2017.
You do this by going to
and printing off this
Then filling in the form, accurately, getting a copy of child's birth certificate or other form of ID (check website for accepted forms of identification).
Then putting it all into an envelope and posting it. There is an email option too.
It may take between 3 days and 4 weeks to receive an email notification that your child is registered or they require more information, this happens only if you have court orders or you have inadvertently inaccurately filled in form. (I did this, 4 years ago!)
As for the date that you will start home schooling, its advised to put it 6 months from the child's 6th birthday or the start of Feb.
This does not mean you have to start 'Teaching' from that date.
Oh, for your information, you have been teaching and guiding your child since birth, or since they entered your world. Keep up the good work.
2. Learning Plan.
For registering a child after Jan 2018. You will need to do this if you wish to register your child for Home Schooling.
'You can register your child for home schooling if:
We will be required to submit a Learning Plan with our registration. It must be in English.
What is a Learning Plan?
Well we have been given samples from the VRQA.
My suggestion is to use the Integrated Learning Plan, no matter your type of Home education, it will give you flexibility.
To me the structured Learning Plan Template looks more complex, and I am all for simplicity.
The main reason, other than flexibility, I suggest the Integrated Learning Plan is because you probably already have a calendar and diary of events of things that you attend.
So this is what you are already doing to assist your child to learn.
What the plan asks for is
LOCATION, TIMING, RECORDING METHOD, EXEMPTION, PARTIAL ENROLMENT, CHILDS NEEDS AND GOALS FOR THE YEAR & HOW YOU WILL COVER THE 8 KLA's
So lets look at these.
Location & Timing:
Do you already use the local library?
Do music or drama?
Have home days?
Watch a particular TV show daily? Weekly? etc.
Regular park meet ups with other parents?
Attend the cinema?
Museum and galleries?
Yearly Family holidays?
Well this is an easy way to "specify when and where instruction will take place and the subject matter that will be covered during the first year of registration".
The Learning Plan also asks what materials and resources parents will use.
Again, take note of where you go.
They are the resources.
Library has Books, DVD's , learning sessions such as Lego Club, Writing Clubs, Anime, Meet the Author, Tynker Time, Coding.
TV, ABC3 has educational programs Mon-Fri morning - do you sit and watch these weekly?
Clubs for Physical activities, mental activities.
Grocery Shopping covers Maths, Humanities, Information and Technology and so on.
I have a Podcast on how to link the KLA's to every day activities coming soon.
"Describe how you will record the education provided. EG: diary, photo record, recording app, test/competition results, work samples etc"
Do you take photos?
Use a diary?
Post to Social Media?
Do the kids do projects?
Use Social Media and take photos?
Subscribe to YouTube, any Learning App?
This is all styles of recording.
So you will need to describe how you will record.
For example. " I use Keptme App regularly (when I remember that is!) linking the photos to the Vic Curriculum, I use a calendar and take photos. My eldest has a diary and YouTube channel. We use a variety of Apps that have a recording option, and so on"
Just fill in the blank section of the Learning Plan. For example if you cannot access LOTE (Language other than English) because of your location or lack of classes.
Partial Enrolment, fill in the blanks of the template Learning Plan. As I do not Part Time school I cannot advise here.
Considering your childs needs:
Which is optional according to the template!
I giggled at this because isn't that why we Home Educate? To meet the needs of our kids!?
Give our kids options?
So I would have a chat with my child and see what they come up with?
It is about them, not you isn't it?
I am sure you have an idea of what you would like your child to achieve the 1st year of Home Educating, put that down.
Learning Activities Plan:
You need to indicate how you will substantially address the 8 KLA's for the year.
This is where I would put down my schedule for the year and link the activities to the KLA.
As the LP (Learning plan) is a 1 off, you can afford to be quite detailed but don't go over board.
Maybe a tick box might work?
Or something like this-
I know that HEN is working on samples for this, and to be honest until the 1st plans are submitted and accepted we may not know how extensive this needs to be. But I would be inclined to keep it as simple as possible.
I am approaching the idea of a review as a drop in the ocean!
Yes, we will be reviewed by the VRQA, which has been a requirement for years by the way.
The difference now, is that the VRQA will schedule 10% of registered children to be reviewed every year, not like before, which was if there was a report about a family then they would investigate and review you.
So what does that mean?
Well, apparently 10% of student names will be randomly selected by a computer to be reviewed.
Now only 1 child per family will be reviewed and once you are selected you are then not to be reviewed again for 2 years, providing you pass the 1st review.
How will this happen?
You will receive a written notice that you will be reviewed and 'outline the scope, timeline and process.'
The VRQA will give us a date and what will be required.
It was also mentioned that we can start recording our child's learning from the date of notification and as long as we have proof that they are progressing and we cover the KLA's then we should be fine.
We do not have to follow a curriculum or grade level, they only want to see proof of progress.
Let me repeat that - WE DO NOT HAVE TO FOLLOW A CURRICULUM OR GRADE LEVEL.
'A review may be based on the following questions:
How do you provide instruction across the learning areas?
What educational materials and resources do you use?
Where and when does your child's instruction take place?
How do you record your child's learning?
We will need samples of the child's work and records of progress against the KLA's.
So go through your photos, link to KLA's and scan or take pictures of the projects, bookwork, shopping lists they have written, artwork produced.
Record them telling you about the latest book they've read, about what they made in Minecraft, Lego and so on, and put it into a PDF file with a little story on what you child does and what they want to focus on in the future.
Will this be enough? Hopefully.
I plan on doing a further Blog or Podcast on this soon.
The review may consist of a Telephone Call or face-to-face meeting, which can be anywhere of your choosing.
But from what was discussed at the Roadshow, they do not appear to want to visit all over the state. Not enough staff perhaps?
Basically, although not ideal, I believe we do not have to stress or worry about the new regulations.
We may have to be a little more vigilant in our record keeping and write an initial plan, but that is it.
Our kids learn, we know this, it is obvious to us.
What we need to do is be able to articulate this learning to the VRQA only when and if we are chosen for a Review.
Connect with your Home Ed community, support each other.
Be accepting of every families choices on their unique approach to guiding their kids education.
Seek assistance if this will make your home educating journey more joyful and rewarding.
Remember you are not made to do Home Schooling in a particular style.
Try different things, what do the children respond to?
Remember we have choices.
If I can assist with anything please let me know.
I appreciate your time.