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How do you know what to teach?

If the Australian National Curriculum provides a map for teachers to use in schools, is that same document relevant to home educators? Some would argue that all children in Australia should learn approximately the same things during their primary and secondary education, regardless of where that education occurs. Some would argue that this doesn't happen even in schools. Some would argue that the nature of home education as a lifestyle of learning makes the point moot. And some of you have probably never even questioned this basic assumption: education is based on a set curriculum.


One of the questions we hear most often as home educators is "Where do you get the Curriculum" (as if it is a single, discrete item). Or, "How do you know what to teach?"

Some quick facts:


ACARA

State curriculum

No Set Curriculum

Other requirements

QLD

optional

optional



NSW

NSW

ACT

optional


VIC

optional

optional



8 learning areas

TAS

optional



SA

8 learning areas per ACARA

NT

8 learning areas per ACARA

WA

WA

So if you are feeling ready to dive in and start reading curriculum documents, get comfortable first! They are long and full of teacher jargon. Reading them like a book from beginning to end may result in confusion and feeling overwhelmed. But there is good news: there are pages within the curriculum designed for parents to use and understand. These are generally detailed enough to guide your home education planning. Here's how to find them:


ACARA Parent information - the WA parent information also links straight back here.




As you locate and choose the resources you will use to facilitate the education of your child, this will flesh out the details. A great place to start this process is the HEA's free resources listing. Your young people will be an important part of the process - when they are interested in a topic and asking questions, you will find yourself exploring rabbit holes you didn't know were there and learning right alongside them.


Regardless of the curriculum you choose (sometimes despite it!) that is the joy of home education - discovery, connectedness and lifelong learning.


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