Home Education in the High School Years
Two of the major concerns that home-educating parents have as their child enters their high school years (or if they are taking their child out of high school) is how to teach higher level subjects and how their child will attain university entrance if they wish to.
Fortunately, there are multiple pathways to university for home-educated students, many of which are significantly more accessible and relevant than ATAR. Only 26% of students entering university are offered their place based on their ATAR score. This article highlights some of the issues surrounding the unbalanced focus schools place on ATAR results.
When it comes to facilitating your teen’s high school learning, it’s important to remember that you don’t have to do it all yourself.
Years 7 – 9
Junior high school functions much like primary school except that some subjects become optional. After Year 8, LOTE, Technologies, and Arts are no longer compulsory.
Some parents feel a need to source a formal learning program for every subject area simply because their child is in high school, however much of the curriculum can still be covered through a multitude of rich learning opportunities and life experiences such as workshops, work experience, part-time/casual work, pursuing their interests, practical skill-building, online learning, mentors, tutors, classes, excursions, interacting with peers, participating in community life, hobbies and more.
A variety of opportunities are also available for formal learning for those who prefer a more structured approach.
Years 10 – 12
Young people of Year 11 or Year 12 age must be on an approved NOA (Notice of Arrangements) unless they are:
- enrolled full-time at school;
- enrolled and participating in a full-time course at a State Training Provider (formerly known as TAFE) and have a completed and signed Parent and Health Consent form lodged with the State Training Provider;
- enrolled and participating in a full-time apprenticeship or traineeship, and a completed contract has been lodged with ApprentiCentre;
- educated at home in accordance with section 10 of the School Education Act 1999.
Home-educating students in senior high school will not receive a WACE (WA Certificate of Education) Certificate and are not eligible to sit the ATAR (Australian Tertiary Admission Rank) exams, however, there are still many options for students to engage in or work towards tertiary study and most home-educated students find there is no disadvantage in pursuing non-ATAR/school learning pathways in their senior secondary years.
Senior High School Options for Studying While Remaining Registered for Home Education
Some families continue home education using a variety of textbooks, programs, online study, life experiences, work experience, workshops, and more. The WA Year 11 & 12 Syllabuses are available online and some home-educating families use them as a teaching resource, even though home-educating students cannot sit the ATAR exam.
Part-time TAFE or RTO
When participating in part-time TAFE or RTO courses, students can stay registered for home education. They may have to continue to show educational progress in areas not covered by their TAFE/RTO course.
This is an option to guide studies for interested students. It does not provide a formally recognised certification, but teaches important skills for tertiary study and may be useful in a portfolio for university entry. Find more information here.
This is a program that students can participate in as home educators or as distance education students. Find out more here.
Students can remain registered as home educators and participate in Open University courses during their high school years. These courses are expensive and students need to be prepared for university-level content, but this suits some students. Find more info here.
Crimson Global Academy
This is an online school, but since it’s a global organisation, it isn’t tied to a state distance education program, so students remain registered for home education. Find more info here.
There are a range of online learning programs that provide content and learning for senior high school students, whether home-educating or at school.
Options for Home Study without Home Education Registration
These options require deregistering from home education (if you are home educating) and enrolling in a school that offers students to opportunity to study either fully or in part at home. It’s not home education/homeschooling but provides a chance to study from home.