Across Australia, every jurisdiction recorded an increase in registrations for home education in 2020. While it can be difficult to compare the increases across the different jurisdictions due to their different census dates , NSW and Victoria both calculate their numbers of home educated students on the calendar year, ending 31 December annually. Registration for home education in Victoria increased by 20.0%, and in NSW by 19.07%.
Victorian Registrations for Home Education
NSW Registrations for Home Education
With increases in home education registrations far outstripping the population growth across Australia, the question everyone is asking is why? There is no available data to suggest why Victorians are choosing to home educate their children. ABC journalists asked one family
about this - you can hear the interview here: https://www.abc.net.au/radio/newsradio/victoria-sees-increase-in-home-schooling-since-the/13295132
While some states, such as NSW do attempt to collect that data, the question is optional so the data is difficult to interpret - with 22% of registrants not answering the question. Reported answers were: Other 28.6%, Philosophical 23.09% , Special Learning Needs 20.82%, Religious 4.94%, Bullying 0.15% (Source: Home Schooling Data reports
relating to 2020, NESA).
Another factor that possibly hinders this kind of data collection is the fact that the reason families start home educating is often different to the reason they continue - that is the reasons change over time.
Anecdotal feedback given to the HEA from the home education community suggests that in 2020 many families discovered the benefits of the home education lifestyle. In a less rushed, less pressured homeschooling schedule, families have reconnected, siblings relationships improved, and children with mental health problems such as anxiety were less stressed and more able to learn. Home educated students are able to learn at their own pace and have their learning styles accommodated in an individualised education that schools just can't match.
And while it is true that 2020 saw a spike, there have been consistent increases in home education rates across Australia for the last 5 years. An analysis of this trend by Dr Rebecca English and Dr Karleen Gribble is available on The Conversation.
Would you like to share the main reason you started home educating?