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      AussieHomeschool Closing Down   11/14/2019

      All good things must come to an end and AussieHomeschool is no different. It is with much sadness yet even more necessity that this must be so.   As of Sunday evening, 17/11/2019 the Discussion Forums will close. The Classifieds, for now although not indeterminate, will continue as is.       Why is this happening now? In all honesty, it probably should have happened many years ago but I created this forum, which originally a homeschool classifieds forum for Aussies, about 20 years or so ago. I, along with others for whom I am gratefully indebted to, have spent many, many hours sweating, laughing, praying, crying, writing, apologising, pleading and speaking about this wonderful place. In this day and age of Social Media, along with our ages and therefore differernt stages of life, it is simply not viable in any way for it to continue. You may think differently and that's okay - you honestly have to have lived through some of the dramas and learning opportunities that we all have to truly appreciate why we have the standards that we do - they were borne out of necessity and not undertaken lightly. Much blood, sweat and tears have been spilt over this place. Even more friendships, learning, debate, love, prayer and great times have been had becuase of AussieHomeschool. No one could ever be more thankful for it than I.

      I understand you may feel frustration or even anger and for that I apologise, I feel you. But now it is YOUR time to go out and spread the word of home education and its benefits. Share YOUR story, tell those you know and don't know about homeschooling and what is has done for your family.   On behalf of John (my long suffering and patient husband), myself and the ENTIRE moderating team over the many years - I THANK YOU and WISH YOU ALL THE VERY BEST IN ALL YOUR ENDEAVOURS.   God Bless, Susan (HomeGrownKids /  AussieHomeschool)


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AH Blog: The benefits of Homework …. for Homeschoolers?

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The benefits of Homework …. for Homeschoolers? AussieHomeschool

photo credit:  stockphotos and www.freedigitalphotos.net

photo credit: stockphotos and www.freedigitalphotos.net

One of the silly questions people ask homeschoolers is:  Do you do any homework?  Homework is defined as school work assigned to be done outside the classroom (distinguished from classwork).  Culturally we understand homework to be school work done at home.  So on the face of it, we probably don’t do homework.

Though many parents I know struggle with how much homework is sent home there are benefits:

  1. Parents can be aware of what the children are learning
  2. Children learn responsibility by managing their time and assignment due dates
  3. Children learn to study on their own
  4. Teachers can see how much the children really understand

Benefits aside, if I was a school parent, I would struggle if I saw homework as busy work and if it took up the time we could be using as a family after school hours. But since I’m writing to homeschoolers I wanted to think about homework and the homeschooler … maybe we should be doing homework.

One of the things that I established early on in my homeschooling journey is that I don’t need to replicate what the schools do.  I have a different situation, and therefore the benefit of different choices.  So I am not suggesting, at all, that we gather our children at 4.00pm and sit them down to do homework.  It is the benefits of homework that I want us to focus on.

  • Are our children learning to manage their time with various assignments?
  • Do they work towards a due date?
  • Can they study (research, question and record) on their own?

I have two students who have already graduated from homeschooling.  As I look back on their experiences I can see that though they studied well on their own, they didn’t work to any due dates.  Joshua, who has gone on to university studies, where there are due dates and time restrictions has learnt quickly and well.  He had the character and ability, just didn’t have the practice.  As I have two others still in homeschool/highschool I am learning from our past efforts.

My challenge is to find ways to give them the due dates or time for the assignments without taking away the benefits of working with their weaknesses and strengths, and allowing for life to happen.  As I said of Joshua – he had the character to be able to learn to work with due dates very quickly once he was in a different situation, this is because we had worked on time frames in other areas of his life – like chores and responsibilities around the home.  So these skills are transferable.   But I would like to find some way to apply this to their studies, and I have come to think this is more important as they get into the upper highschool years. This is what we are working with to teach these skills:

  • A study routine – this gives them time to study, regularly.
  • Using a student diary – this is for their whole of life so it includes their chores, projects, commitments and studies
  • Set time for independent work.  Our kids generally study their discipline studies (any subject that needs daily drill/practice) by themselves:  math, typing, music, language arts, handwriting, drawing etc (different for each student, and different at different seasons of life)
  • Time to record what they have learnt.  This is done in terms of notebooking, creative, hands on or digital projects.
  • Set some projects with due dates, and though I have provided some time to work on these projects, I expect the kids to plan how much work needs to be done, and if they are running out of time, I expect them to use their productive free time to make sure it gets finished on time.

Project for term 1 was to complete a media project for Australian History.  For Naomi this has been a collaborative project so she’s worked with another homeschool student (for Daniel it has been an independent project, though he has asked his friends to help out with one aspect).

Project for term 2 will be to update personal blogs once a week.

So homework may not look the same as our school-going counterparts – but it has been worth thinking about.  Here are some other issues that school-parents have to deal with – are there lessons for us to pick up from this list as well?

  • Handing on notes from school to mum
  • Emptying back pack, dealing with lunch boxes
  • Putting shoes away
  • Knowing your uniform, PE gear, project etc is ready for the next day
  • Keeping tab of library books

Please don’t take this as a homeschool vs school debate.  I’m simply looking at the skills that kids at school have to develop – and making a switch in my thinking – are my kids learning these things too?  My kids take both business and personal phone messages, do they pass them on?  When the kids were little they took a backpack wherever we went, these days they take a bag of their choice and so often it gets dumped on the dining table when we walk in the door – we are working on this!  They are responsible for having all they need when we go somewhere – hats, waterbottle, book, shoes etc or whatever is appropriate for our activity.  They are responsible for knowing where their library books are – there is a library book shelf to help them with this.

Teaching these skills to our kids are important – whether we homeschool or send them to school.  The key for any parent is to be intentional:  to know what you are aiming for, and to have a plan of action.  We need to be actively working on it, not hoping for the best!


About Belinda

Mum (of 4 children) who lives in the North of Australia. One of my primary goals for this season of my life is to disciple my children – to help them grow in their love for God, to give them what they need to achieve what they are made for.

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Another simple thing many school children learn about is timetables and catching buses and trains etc. Unlike mum, they won't wait and tell you to hurry up :)  

When DS was 12, I decided to let him catch the bus to and from his drama class.  It was only a 15 minute trip and the hall was right at the bus stop terminus, so it was really simple.  

It was something I found really difficult to do, letting him go out in the big wide world by himself,  but I realised my DD who was at high school was completely confident with public transport and had much better time keeping and organisational skills.    

He loved that little bit of independence and it certainly helped him become a little more aware of time.

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Some of the things you have mentioned are why two of mine are in school this year.  I needed the break to just readjust to a teen and an up and coming kinder, but they all need to learn some skills in managing themselves better.  And to learn that some things in life are non-negotiable.


Next year when I have all 4 at home again I intend to do homework.  In a way!  I am going to work with each on their subjects that need me but if they are dragging their feet and I see it as attitude, not aptitude, I will be giving them the rest of the work to complete on their own time.  I want them to learn about not only not wasting their own time but respecting the time of others, mine and their siblings who will miss out on their one on one time if one monopolises me by not working well.



Jen in NSW

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