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Part time home schooling?

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    Is it possible to home school part time in NSW? Or are there some rules preventing that? I know a family that home schools full time and they have offered great advice, but I was wondering about the possibility of part time?

    My big boy is due to start school next year and we would love to home school him, but because of his personality we feel he would benefit from attending a school with other children. That is why I have started to think about part time home school either 2 or 3 days a week.

    I would love to hear from anyone who has any experience or ideas about this.


    Not sure if this is State or National, but in Qld at least, compulsory school age doesn’t start until they reach 6. I think my daughter started Prep at 4 and a bit. This was really too early for her (each child will respond differently). I didn’t realise until it was explained later, I didn’t actually *have* to send her to school during Prep and she could have gone part time.

    With my next child, I will see how they go with their reactions, as to whether they will attend Prep full time or not. Socialising is great if your child is able to process a lot of things at once, but if they struggle with overstimulation, the socialising factor loses it’s benefits.

    So check what the compulsory school age is for NSW. You may be able to have them enrolled at school part time, without having to register for home schooling at all. At least before they reach compulsory school age. My daughter’s school principal was the one who brought this to my attention, when she was struggling with prep and overstimulation.


    Here in VIC I know you can push to have your child at school early. I was at school at 4, and last year I taught a girl who was only just 4 when she started. I thought it was up to the school and teachers to feel out if the child is ready, and reckon that would cross over to children who are not ready starting later.


    I found this in the NSW gov homeschooling section

    “Registration for part-time home schooling

    Part-time home schooling is not possible for children registered for Kindergarten to Year 10.

    All children of compulsory school age must be enrolled in a school (government or nongovernment) or registered for home schooling on a full-time basis.

    Children registered for home schooling beyond Year 10 may be approved to undertake a

    program based on part-time home schooling in combination with approved education or

    training and/or paid work.”

    However there may be ways around it. Over here we have a couple of schools that essentially run homeschool workshops. They go for a day, the kids can be dropped off, they are twice a week from memory. So something like that would mean you are registered as fulltime homeschooling, yet they are still doing stuff in a school environment. There may be something similar near you?


    A mother at our school does part time home schooling mainly because her daughter has CPD, and there is

    no funding and the school won’t pay the $500 for the teaching aid but if my friend bought it she would

    have to leave it at school for others to use at her expense. She is a carer for a sick husband as well.

    So the pension doesn’t go far enough for her to supply the school.

    There is about 5 kids in the school that can use this programme and if the school asked for the teaching aid

    they might get it.

    I was surpised that their wasn’t a class for kids who need the extra help in the Primary schools

    but there is in the high schools which I consider too late when they could be working with kids early on.

    One of the web sites she uses is Zoodels and she sai dit is really good to help all ages of kids

    If any one wants to look at this problem you can go on the she said on the side is an interview

    that was done on the ABC show last year about the problem and the lack of help for these kids


    At work the other day i was talking to the principal, and she said a kid’s parent had told them that a certain student would be doing home schooling one day a week. So apparently here in VIC you can do that, but i think they will get a shock when they see what is required of a home schooler. We think the parent is trying to get out of having to go back to work and keep claiming centerlink. Because they fondly imagined that the childs teacher would send home work for the student to do on their ‘home school’ day. AND they asked that teacher would correct it and put it all in our running records at school.

    Ill update on how it goes.


    At our school the mothers who have been told to go to work or retrain I see many of them are now pregant.

    One mother was bragging that she has never worked in her life and will just have more kids to stay at home

    Granddaughters mother is like that Number 8 on the way. 5 of them live with their fathers.

    If you are to take on home schooling you have to think hard first then decide.

    A family that lived next door to my friends home schooled her 4 children and said it took time and effort to do it.

    One of the councillors that came to our group, said she wan’t impressed with home schooling as a lot of kids

    were loners in life, I said my eldest son is a loner and he went to school. Its his chose not anyone elses.

    Then she said they were behind kids that are in school.

    When my youngest son hurt himself at school and they covered up the dirt in a banage and it became infected he

    had to stay home and I found he did all the days school work in the morning and then had the afternoon to himself

    When he went back to school he was ahead of the rest of the class.

    My granddaughter loves to read but she has read all of the books the teacher has set up for the kids in the class

    and now she has to read the early books she read. When I asked her teacher why she can’t read book in the librar y

    she said she didn’t want her to be too far ahead of the rest of the class.

    Another mother is saying the same her daughter also loves to read and is not allowed to get what she wants to rea.

    so to me she has to be in the circle of holding her back.


    Thank you for the replies!

    At this stage we are undecided about what we will do. We have been thinking about it for a few years now, but the time to decide is fast approaching. I know it will be a lot of work to homeschool, which makes the decision even harder as my wife would be the one at home doing the work with the kids. We know a few people who homeschool their kids so have a reasonable idea as to what to expect.

    Robyn I am a little disgusted by what you said about the treatment of your son and your grand daughter being held back, but after what I have seen i am not surprised. I am a teacher and have worked in about a dozen schools as a casual, I have seen similar things in all of them. Not wanting a student to be too far ahead of the class is a very common attitude which in my opinion is not acceptable.

    I have taught in some schools where academia is not prized at all and is simply skim taught. I have seen safety issues at schools and when I quietly tell the executive instead of looking into it they tell me that if something goes wrong I will not be the one filling out the paper work. In my opinion they should investigate it, then decide if they do something or if it is not really an issue. I could go on about this kind of stuff all day.

    I have taught in a lot of schools and have seen a lot of other teachers working, some great some less so. From what i have seen I do not think that a child who is home schooled can ever be behind academically no matter how good the school or teacher. While homeschooling the class can be focused on the individual needs of the child. Most of the time a child spends at school they are waiting, when they are doing something they are not doing it at their level but are doing it at the level that the average child in that class. In a class of 30 students I do not see how it can be done any other way. After meeting a lot of teachers I am not overly keen on them raising my children either, but that is another story.

    I do fear if we homeschool that my eldest will grow up to lack social skills. He is a great kid, but he does not pick up social things as easily as he should. We also do not have access to many social things he can do, the nearest homeschool mob meets once a month which would not be enough for him. My wife and i dont do a lot of social things so our kids learning social things by watching us is not an option either.

    If we do send him to school it will be purely so that he can gain social skills. I know that is a terrible way to look at school, but I am being honest.


    The lady who was next door to my friends had a large circle of other parents who also home schooled so the kids

    didn’t miss out on friends plus the kids were in Cubs and one played sport and another judo

    The kids made friends with kids that went to school so they still had their outside contacts


    :wave: Mukluk. We debated whether to homeschool our 2 (or not) for very similar reasons to yourself. We made the decision earlier this year to next year use a Distance Ed school ACC where you get the curriculum provided, the kids are socially involved in groups and also have online interaction with other kids and they also go on camps for 3 weeks out of the year split over three terms. Our eldest is also a very social child where our youngest is not. Our youngest is currently in a kindy class where the behaviour of the other children is like nothing I have ever seen and he is falling apart.

    It’s a very hard decision to make but I would recommend looking into the ACC (Australian Christian college) schools. It seems to fit somewhere inbetween the 2. I also know homeschooling families who would be out every day of the week if they let themselves on social activities with other families. I guess it depends on what and how many homeschooling families you have in the area you live in. I think it is hard to get out and get involved but I tell myself that the alternative at normal school is much worse. Some of the behaviour coming out of kids in schools these days is not a very socially nice place to be. I think the alternative is much better.

    It’s also great to get them involved in after school sporting activities etc to have that outside group of friends. Our kids do fencing, gymnastics and play cricket. Next year I will be adding piano lessons to the list along with other homeschooling group activities that I can fit around the kids school work.


    DD was homeschooled part-time for year 9 here in Vic. It is up to the principal here to take on homeschoolers but I insisted and they were forced to take her – with a bit of legal input from the homeschool people. This was to cover the language component of the compulsory elements you have to include (yet it was an optional subject for those in mainstream school at that age). She also continued music lessons there.

    The school still got funding for her, which was their main concern, they couldn’t give a rats arse about her frustration with the banality of the work (very bright girl). She returned for VCE and did it easily after overcoming some prejudice from a few ‘threatened’ people at the school.


    I home schooled my now 18yo about 10 years ago. He did attend a very small primary school and I wanted to do it part time – let him do art and sport at the school – and at first the school was very agreeable and thought it was a wonderful idea. Then the Dept of Ed stepped in and put a stop to it. So I home schooled full time for just over a year and he thrived and we got him past some learning difficulties he was facing and not coping with due to pressure to meet learning standards.

    Gee Vickie, I hope no one had preconceived ideas about me when I decided to home school. Sounds awful that this woman is being judged so harshly and spoken about like this.

    Luckily back then, despite the Dept of Ed putting immense pressure on us, you did not have to register to be a home schooler. If schools had the funding to cater to childrens’ different learning abilities, there would not be such a wide gap. Very sad how things are headed in public education especially, in Victoria that I know of.


    It is probably time to update this a bit with what has happened as well as some things that I have learned.

    We started our big boy in a small three teacher public school at the beginning of the year. He was not going very well and was losing ground both socially and academically. We decided to persevere as he was getting a different teacher at a certain date. Although I am sure the new teacher is a good teacher things were no better with her. I don’t want to give too many details as the school and teachers in question are not all that bad, they were just not right for our boy at this point in his life.

    My wife now homeschools our big boy full time, he is making progress academically and is a lot happier. We know a few other home school families and try to meet with them to do social things where possible. We have not ruled out the possibility of him going back to a school if he is ready.

    In NSW homeschooling is to be full time or not at all. That is unless the child has a disability, in which case they may homeschool part time. Apparently if the child has a disability then all the rules are changed as schools must be seen to be inclusive. If the child has a disability then they can also offer part time distance education if it is wanted.


    Thanks for the update Mukluk. My two boys were homeschooled for a few years and are now in high school. So much of the time the kids are at school is wasted waiting for others to finish, changing classes, lining up etc etc. We found we could do school work in the morning and have it all knocked over in a few hours which left the afternoon for socialising. We went to things organised by the Home Education Network (HEN) and our local homeschool group. It was hard work at times but well worth it and something I would certainly consider again if my children were struggling.


    Why don’t you homeschool and have your child be part of some external group or club? Socialising doesn’t neeed to happen just at school

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