Pupils in homeschooling, distance education on the rise

EDUCATING children from the home is becoming a popular option for parents on the Fraser Coast.

Figures show the number of students registered in home schooling and those enrolled in distance education have increased.

Last year, there were 92 students enrolled in distance education, which increased to 99 this year.

There were 25 home school students registered with the home education unit last year, which increased to 31 this year. However, there are probably more.

Christian Education Ministries' Schools Department general manager Terry Harding said it was difficult to determine exactly how many students were home schooled because many families did not register with the Queensland Government.

"I'd say there would be more people than what are registered with the government group," he said.

Dr Harding said choosing home education was not just about isolation or remoteness anymore.

According to Dr Harding's research, 90-95% of distance education students are in metropolitan areas.

"It's different… it's no longer about location, it's more about parent choice, and that's the critical point," he said.

However, when choosing to teach children from home, Dr Harding said it was not a decision parents took lightly.

For one parent, it is a full-time job which means the family will have a single income for the time children are home schooled.

"However, they're prepared to pay that price because they see the value in home schooling and in distance education," he said.

While teaching a child from home is not for all parents, he said there was an inner teacher in most mothers and fathers.

"My 2011 doctoral research explained the powerful teaching phenomenon that is in all parents. They've taught their children to speak the English language. That is the most difficult ... because the child has to start from scratch.

"Home schooling parents tap into this teaching function… It is something is in most Aussie parents but home schoolers are using it to a great advantage."

Topics:  distance education fraser coast hervey bay homeschooling maryborough

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