The interaction and contact with other kids is really important for their development as is team sport participation etc.
There's learning about society's rules, socialisation skills, peer learning and cooperation / initiative / tolerance things to think of.
Homeschooling is not synonymous with locking your children in the house and them never seeing a soul outside of their own family.Yes, in some extreme cases it happens but that is a parenting failure, not a failure of the philosophy of homeschooling.
Team sports are available outside of schools, as are many other social and community based clubs.
What of society's rules are learned in school which are not learned by being active member's in society?
There are not a lot of resources in Australia, as it isn't a very popular option.
There are MANY resources in Australia; in capital cities and in regional areas.
Start with:Home Education AssociationHome Based Learning Network
(this is a WA based organisation Erinna)Beverley PaineEducation Choices MagazineAustralian Christian Academy
(if Christian education is your style.)A to Z Home's Cool
Search yahoo! groups for local area groups.
It isn't the same as the social interaction you get when a child is in a traditional schooling system, but it can be perfectly adequate if the parents ensure that the social side of the child's education is not forgotten.
Why is the socialisation children get at school so good? Where else in life are you forced to socialise with other people just because they are the same age as you? Socialisation was one of the downfalls in our children's schooling and one of the reasons we decided to pull them OUT of school. Liam in particular has always made friends with children older than him, so when his friends (in combined classes) were moved on and he wasn't he LOST friends. How many times throughout school did we make friends and lose them the next year because they were in a different class?
Another issue is that at times, the child may want to confide in people other than family...
Why? Again, if a child can't confide in their parents that is a parenting issue not a school vs homeschooling issue. I went to school; I couldn't confide ANYTHING in my parents and that lack of being able to confide in them MADE me unable to confide in anyone.
I think the Department of Education has a mandated home school curriculum.
The education department regulations vary from State to State. In QLD we can be registered to homeschool using the State's Distance Education program, ACE, Groves Christian College, or any other distance education program nationwide. We can also be registered to homeschool by providing our own curriuculum or NO curriculum (child-led or natural learning).
what are the benefits of home schooling?Actual learning time:
How much time spent at school is actually spent learning? How much time is spent lining up, coming in and out, settling disruptive students, etc.Learning Styles:
Anyone who is a teacher knows that there are many different learning styles; most of which are not accomodated in a institutional classroom environment. Children are made to feel "slow" and looked down upon if they have not met benchmarks (not necessarily by their teachers but by the system and their peers). Children don't NEED to be able to read by 7 years old, the education SYSTEM needs them to be able to read by that age, teachers and teacher's aides don't have the time (in most cases) to share resources in any way other than printed form, to get the information out to the masses as quickly as possible to move on to the next learning objective. Child Led Curriculum
: Why is it more important for children to learn about Ancient Egypt than Ancient China? (trying to remember what *I* learnt at school) Why is it more important for children to move on to learn about insects rather than continuing to study dinosaurs in greater depth? Why shouldn't a child be able to study ONE subject in great detail than have to study many in tiny amounts? Homeschooling children have a greater learning base than institutionally schooled children in my experience. Our homeschooled children have the whole world as their classroom. Noone is telling them they must learn this and they can't learn about that (or not yet). Noone is telling them they know enough about the subject they are most interested in and it's time to learn about something else. I don't need to know everything or be good at everything to enable my children to learn about it; I only need to know how to source information, to find resources and to bring them to my children or my children to them.Socialisation
: Our children relate well to all people. They are just as comfortable in maintaining a conversation with an adult as with a child their own age, older or younger. My children seek out adult assistance when required, as for help in shops, in their learning, etc rather than asking their parents to do it for them. They are accepting of people with disabilities and of people from different religious and racial backgrounds to their own.Self Esteem
: It is much easier to establish a child's self esteem in a loving home environment than in a conventional classroom setting in which children tend to taunt and ridicule each other in order to be at the top of the "social ladder" to be in the "popular group". A child who does well in class is a "geek" or "teacher's pet". A child who is "popular" is often seen to be less intelligent by their peers. Children experience social rejection in institutionalised education far more often than they do in any true social settting and those who as adults (thinking "Ugly Betty" here) experience that social rejection are experiencing it from people who have learned that behaviour from school.
Our children value people for many reasons; and every reason to value a person is as valid as the next. Noone is telling them that either popularity, academic intelligence, sporting achievements or artistic abilities are any one more important than the other. Our children are able to see all these natural abilities in people and to value them all. Our children will never suffer the pressure of labeling; of grading and testing and of pre-formed opinions of their abilities (for example when a new teacher reads their previous records). Our children will never be taught by a teacher who has a personality clash with them and from whom they therefore fail to learn for a year.Independent Decision Making
: Without peer pressure homeschooled children are more able to make independent decision; more able to think outside the square without the pressure of thinking that someone will think less of them for doing so."Tertiary" Education
: Many people question the ability of homeschooled children to enter tertiary education later in their lives, currently more than 200 American colleges, including such prestigious institutions as Harvard, Yale, and Princeton, actively seek to attract home schooled students not only because of their high SAT scores, but for their advanced social skills as well. Tertiary entrance in Australia is no longer based on entrance exam scores alone, prior learning and experience are also recognised. A homeschooled child can enrol in Open University from age 12 (I actually know an 11 year old currently enrolled in OU in a maths program), this opportunity would not be available to a traditionally schooled child as they would simply not have the time to dedicate to the course.