Frequently Asked Questions

Questions
about
Membership

I lack confidence. Will I be able to teach my children at home?

With our support, the resources we recommendand and God’s enabling, we are confident that your family will thrive homeschooling. While home education is not for everyone, we believe that the vast majority of parents underestimate what is possible. Many parents have stated that although starting and overcoming doubts was difficult, the actual home schooling experience was a lot easier than they had previously thought.

What if my child has learning difficulties?

Many parents start homeschooling as their child is not receiving the support they really need in the classroom. Most children with learning difficulties respond very positively to the one-on-one interaction that is possible in the home. Furthermore, they will be receiving their primary support from a parent who loves them rather than a paid employee.

Will I clash with my Child?

Many homeschoolers report that their relationship with their children improves once the stress of going to school is taken away. Sending your child to school may only delay dealing with any unresolved issues. At least at home there is plenty of time and opportunity to fully work through areas of conflict.

We also have a chaplain that can help with regard to respect for authority, rebellion and steps to improving the parent-child relationship.

My child is highly motivated, and we both work. Can home schooling work for us?

Homeschooling really does require a parent to be engaged. Normally a child working on his own is not effective. Sometimes, you have to make tough decisions about what is important in your life. In some circumstances a parent working part time can still be an effective supervisor if their hours do not interfere with the main academic hours of the day.

What happens if we are travelling around the country?

A year’s worth of course materials can fit into a small suitcase. A reduced workload, which allows for many hours of hands-on learning, is an excellent complement to all the experiences a child will gain as you travel around this great nation for 3-6 months.

What if my child is academically gifted?

The material is designed so that your child can progress as soon as he or she achieves understanding and competence. This means your child could regularly complete two years work in one and end up receiving their Home Education Year 12 Certificate when 14 or 15. We know of a number of students who have started university at an early age.

How much will it cost?

Our fees are very affordable and the cost of the resources is low. The real cost is the commitment required to be engaged in your children’s education. This will take time, energy and perseverance. We are only a phone call away when you have a difficult day or are finding the going tough. View our fees.

Do we need a computer and internet access?

The short answer is no, you do not. However, access to some TAFE courses and online courses that we recommend will require online access.

What reasons do people give for joining Homeschool WA?
  • Parents want excellent quality Christian education
  • Bullying in schools by other students and by teachers
  • The support provided is personal and relational not just academic
  • The fellowship and friendships formed with other families
  • To spend more time with their children
  • Their child is not getting enough one-one instruction in school
  • Offensive language is rampant in the schoolyard
  • Dissatisfaction with previous schools (academic, spiritual and social reasons)
  • Their children have learning difficulties and they prosper better one on one at home
What are some of the positives of home schooling?
  • Children learn better social skills in a vertical age structure rather than a horizontal one at school
  • The parent child relationship becomes much closer
  • Time is not wasted travelling to school or doing repetitive busy work
  • Children are exposed to real life situations everyday rather than having to imagine them in a classroom
  • No forms are required to go down to the park or to a museum
  • Children are not unfairly exposed to the secular humanistic worldview, which pervades most schools
  • You are able to disciple your children better
  • Your children will be less tired and stressed compared to a full day at school where noise, distractions and bad behavior are constants
  • The relationships between siblings will improve
  • Your day is only limited by your imagination
What are some of the negatives of home schooling?
  • You as a parent may have less time to socialise with your friends
  • There may be extra financial pressures if you give up part time work
  • There will be days of doubt and uncertainty
  • There may be opposition from family and friends
What mistakes do people make when first starting?

Sometimes parents need to allow their children time to adjust to a new system and routine. It may take a couple of weeks for your children to build up to the rate which will be a long term average. On the other hand your children may be very excited at the start and do much more than is required. If you have any queries, please give us a call and we will be able to help.

How long does it take to adjust to home schooling?

This does depend on how old your children are and whether they were resistant at the start. We do recommend that you give at least six months for them to fully adjust. Most children love being at home from day one. By six weeks, 80% of children see that their world has not fallen apart but rather, has actually improved.

My child is worried about losing her friends. What can I say to her?

Most adults have only a few friends. Tell her that if they are true friends they will still want to see your daughter after school. Furthermore they will meet new friends in the very active homeschooling community in Perth.

My child has learnt virtually no grammar and is in Year 9, how will he cope with grammar?

After diagnostic testing we will assign a number of gap PACE’s, which will allow him to quickly catch up.

What is the difference between distance education and home education?

Distance education is where a school takes responsibility for the program and meeting government requirements. In a school you will have certain responsibilities with regards to attendance and completing the school curriculum.

Home education is where the parent takes total responsibility for the education of their child and receives no support from schools or the government. However with Homeschool WA you are not alone, and we will assist you carry out this wonderful task.

What happens if due to family circumstances we have to put our children back into a traditional school?

Most children that we know who have been using ACE resources make a very smooth transition back into traditional schooling if circumstances require it. We often hear that they are ahead in many academic areas.

I don’t feel confident to teach my children all the secondary subjects. How will I cope?

You will have confidence knowing that we have staff that will be able to assist your child through online and phone support when the material is beyond your understanding. You will also have the opportunity to learn with your children things that you never learned in school. Many parents report this joint leaning if very fulfulling.

We have an only child. Will he get lonely?

It is true that we are never lonelier than when we are surrounded by people and we have no one whom we trust or love. At home you will be there. You will be able to go to our activity days and to visit the many other homeschooling groups that are active in Perth.

What other homeschooling groups are there in WA?

Most WA homeschooling groups advertise through Home Based Learning Network or on our Facebook page which has over 750 members.

I am not very organized. How will I cope?

Our parent-training package will guide you through step by step and show you how to best implement the material. We also have qualified teachers and our beloved parent mentors who will be able to help with you with organisation.

I am not the parent but the legal guardian of the child. Is the child under my care allowed to do home schooling?

In Western Australia you are allowed to home educate. If you live in South Australia, you may be required to get permission from the parents.

We are on a working 457 visa, can we do home schooling?

Yes

We live overseas; can we do home schooling through HSWA?

Overseas memberships are very welcome, we have families from South Africa, Malaysia, Indonesia and Colombia.

My child’s father has little contact with my child. Do I need to have his permission to do home schooling?

If you live in WA you will not normally need permission. Sometimes if a non-custodial parent strongly objects, a court order may be issued.

I must work but I have good friends/relatives that are willing to supervise my children during school hours. Is this possible?

This situation is not recommended. It is a huge favour to ask a friend or relative to be responsible for your children. They may regret saying they would be willing to do this. Other than a short period while you are sick or for a two-four week period, while you must be overseas, we strongly advise against this.

What is your key Scripture motto?

Under our logo we have the words: Train up a child, which is the first part of Prov. 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go,
and when he is old he will not depart from it.  

We consider Deut 6:6-7 as our second motto: And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart.  You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.

What should I say to skeptical friends and relatives?

You could tell them, “I believe that this is what God wants me to do.” It’s hard to argue with that. Or…

You could start to feed them with articles and concepts that will gradually open their eyes to the benefits of homeschooling. (We will put links and articles on this site to help you.) And…

Often the best way to convince others is to let them see the positive effects that homeschooling is having with your own children.

 

We are mid-way through a family crisis and the children are struggling in all areas. Will provision be made for our circumstances?

We do require 30 PACES to be completed per child per year for membership, but if there are extenuating circumstances we will make allowances.

Does home schooling work for everyone?

We believe that education at home is in accordance with Scripture, and where possible it is the best choice, however, every family situation is different and sometimes attendance at a good school is a satisfactory alternative.

Can we enroll our child in a school part time to get social contact?

This is possible at some government schools in Victoria and in some private schools in Tasmania. We have not heard of any schools in Western Australia that are willing to do this.

Will my child miss out on developing social skills being taught at home?

We believe that children learn better social skills when they are modeling their behavior on adults and responsible older children, not on other children their own age.

Sadly the ‘popular’ child in school is often not generous, kind and sensitive. More often popularity is based on attractiveness, ability at sport, a humorous but wicked tongue or who is the leader of the “in” crowd.

What is the membership process?

Once you send in your forms by post or email, we will send out your parent training and your children’s diagnostic testing within two days. Once these are complete and have been marked we will submit an academic prescription for each child for your approval. We will then do the first order for you and this should arrive within a week or two. We are able to prescribe interim work while you are waiting for the first order.

Can we start during the school term?

Yes, you may start at any time of the year. The diagnostic testing allows your child to pick up from their existing knowledge base.

Can I join online?

Yes, all forms necessary for membership can be downloaded from this site. You could fill in the forms, scan them and return them by email.

What training do I need to do?

The parent training is sent out to you in our welcome pack. It is done by you at home and is at about a Year 10 standard. It is required for membership but unless English is not your first language, very few people have any difficulty completing the training. Most parents take a total of 8 hours to complete the training over 5 days.

What are the diagnostics tests?

The diagnostic tests form an important part of our initial assessment of your children’s academic ability. Based on these tests, and a conversation with you, we will recommend where your child should start.

How long do the diagnostic tests take?

For primary children, allow two–three hours, over two days. For secondary students, allow four-five hours over three days. There is no time pressure.

I have used ACE previously. Am I entitled to a discount?

If you have completed the parent training previously, you are entitled to a $75 discount.

Can I join if we are not regular church attendees?

Yes, but you should be aware that the program has a very strong Christian emphasis, and some people withdraw because of this.

Is there an open membership policy for home schooling?

Yes, anyone may join. Even adults who would like a Year 10 or 12 certificate are welcome to join. They will still need someone to supervise their tests for accountability purposes.

Do both parents have to do the training?

No, only the main supervisor needs to do the training, but we do recommend that the second parent at least read through the manual.

My child has just turned 20, can I enroll her?

Yes, we do not have any age restrictions.

My child has just turned 20, can I enroll her?

Yes, we do not have any age restrictions.

Do I need to send in my child’s previous school reports?

The most recent school reports are useful and a copy of them will help us with the initial prescription.

Questions
about
Membership

What is Mastery Based Learning?

Mastery Based Learning consists of specific learning objectives taught in small units of learning, with parallel short tests at frequent intervals.
The child’s mastery learning experience is characterised by carefully sequenced activities, reinforcement of learning, monitoring of learning and regular feedback.

What is a PACE?

PACE is an acronym for Packet of Accelerated Christian Education. It is a combination of self-instructional manual, workbook and textbook. Unlike many school textbooks, the language and vocabulary are chosen to reflect the child’s reading level, so that he/she is able to understand without teacher input.

This allows a child to work independently of other siblings at home. The system is brilliant for parents who homeschool with large families.

How Christian is the material?

The first aim of ACE is to bring children to Christ and then model their life on Him. This is done in every subject and in every PACE. Proverbs 1:7 states that, The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. Unless we see things from God’s perspective, all our learning is in vain.

Do the Resources Teach a Literal Six-Day Creation?

Yes. From year one ACE teaches children about the creation of the world in six days, with a literal Adam and Eve, the Garden of Eden and a worldwide flood.

Does the material teach about the theory of evolution?

Yes it does but it also shows some of the problems associated with evolution that are normarlly ignored in public schools.

How much time should each child spend in formal study?

In primary school most children are finished by lunchtime, which leaves the afternoon to pursue creative arts and physical activity. In secondary school most children are finished all bookwork by 3pm, without the need for “homework”.

What is Mastery Based Learning?

Mastery Based Learning consists of specific learning objectives taught in small units of learning, with parallel short tests at frequent intervals.
The child’s mastery learning experience is characterised by carefully sequenced activities, reinforcement of learning, monitoring of learning and regular feedback.

What are the core subjects?

English, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, Word Building (Spelling) and Creative Writing.

How do I order the resources?

We will do the first order for you. You can then order direct from the supplier, SCEE. Most people now use the online excel spreadsheet, which can be downloaded from the Internet.

How many PACEs should my child finish each year?

We suggest 60 PACEs per year in primary school and 72 in secondary school. Some students will exceed these goals and others will still do well by doing less. Our minimum is 30 PACEs per year.

Can we receive credit for TAFE courses?

Yes. Please speak to one of our secondary staff to ensure that your selection will meet our year 10 or 12 home education certificate requirements.

Does ACE work for all children?

No pedagogical method will work with every child. Please discuss any problems your child is experiencing with your assigned tutor. We will be able to recommend strategies to help or if it becomes clear that ACE is not working, we will recommend alternative resources.

My children are very creative. How will ACE suit them?

ACE provides structure and foundational skills. It is also is efficient allowing students time to explore creative arts in the afternoon. Parents can also suggest extra research projects and borrow books from the local library to augment what is being studied in the PACEs.

Can I re-use PACE’s for my younger children?

Younger children should not be using second hand PACES. Answers from their siblings will still be still visible and they should have the pleasure of ownership of their work. Answer keys, literature books and activity packs on the other hand may be re-used.

When I finish with the score keys with my youngest child am I able to sell them?

Yes. We have a trading post on our Facebook group and in our newsletter. Please remember to include the test key when selling score keys.

What Australian PACEs are available?

Australian history PACEs and mathematics PACEs are available.

What is the pass mark for PACE tests?

Below PACE number 1037 the pass mark is 90%. From 1037 and above the pass mark is 80% except for Word Building where the pass mark remains at 90%.

Providing correct procedures are followed, students will be able to achieve these high standards.

What happens if my child is having difficulty passing?

Please contact your assigned tutor to discuss the situation. There may be a concept a child has not grasped or more likely it may be as simple as incorrect or incomplete scoring.

How does goal setting work?

From about the age of eight children will set their goals for how much work they will do the next day. They are to write down on their goal chart, how many pages they will do in each subject. The following day they are expected to complete those goals. This is excellent training for being high achievers later in life.

Will the program help my child to grow in Christian character?

Each PACE has a character theme, such as kind, resourceful or attentive, which is developed throughout the PACE. The children are encouraged to apply the character trait in their own lives.

At the end of each year a student will have covered all or nearly all of the 60 character traits that Jesus demonstrated.

I have a student who is not performing at the same level in all subjects. What will happen in this situation?

The diagnostic testing will identify if a child is more able in some subjects and he will be prescribed at this level. This flexibility is a great feature of the program.

What are the pathways to university for students from Homeschool WA?

The pathways to university for homeschooled students are increasing all the time. UWA recently opened a pathway via the STAT assessment. It is prudent to start preparing and researching your child’s career path early. Please contact the office to discuss the most recent developments.

At what age should I start my child on ACE?

Many very young children show an interest in books and a desire to read and parents are sometimes anxious about how to teach them. Reading is very much a developmental process and giving children a sound preparation to learning to read is as vital as actually learning to read.

The ACE Kindergarten program is an excellent preparation for learning to read, designed for young children from 4-5 years of age. The program is a detailed and comprehensive resource for parents.

The emphasis is on aural development and familiarizes children with recognising letters and the alphabet characters they will meet in the following Learning to Read program, ABCs for Ace and Christi. There is no expectation for them to learn to write the letters or words at this stage.

The workbooks are geared to helping children learn finger control when drawing and colouring, art or craft activities, stories and the sounds of letters.

The Learning to read program, ABCs for Ace and Christi is usually started with children 5 – 6 years old. The basic phonetic sounds are introduced systematically and workbooks are provided to teach children to recognise letters and sounds as well as write them. At the end of the ABCs program, which usually takes about a term, the children have PACEs similar to older children.

All children should complete a reading readiness test before commencing the ABCs. This will prevent a child, who is not ready to read, from becoming confused or discouraged. It is better to prepare the child well before beginning the ABCs.

Occasionally a child may be ready to read at an earlier than expected age and may even begin to read during the Kindergarten program. It is generally better to keep their learning active and suited to their development, , rather than move onto the more formal ABCs. However, the ABCs can be adapted to suit younger children.

A child may not be ready to read until they’re closer to six years old. This is perfectly normal and the ABCs suit an older child well.

Are we permitted to use non-ACE resources?

Homeschool WA is open to all homeschooling families. So long as a minimum of 30 PACEs is completed each year, your child may use some alternative material. To achieve the ACE Year 10 or Year 12 Home Education Certificate, there are a limited number of non-ACE subjects that may be chosen for electives.

General Questions

What is involved in the annual awards night?

This is an annual event in February, where the students’ achievements are recognised and celebrated. All praise and glory is given to God for enabling the students to achieve good success.

What are attendance forms?

These forms are available from our website and help keep track of student learning. We request that the forms are returned on the first day of the month with completed PACE tests, so the half-yearly reports can be completed.

Will my children need to sit the National Program for Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) tests?

This is not compulsory as we are not a registered school. You are able to complete the tests as a homeschooler by contacting your local Department of Education district office.

Are you open during school holidays?

Yes, our office hours are 8.30 am – 4 pm. The office is closed from Christmas to New Year.

What happens if we live interstate of overseas?

We take membership from every Australian State and overseas.

Can my child do part time work?

We encourage children to get part time work from an early age. It helps them to be reliable, efficient and appreciate the value of money.

What is the insurance policy for work experience?

At this point you will be able to obtain insurance cover through Home Education Australia (HEA). Please contact the office for details.

Are my children covered by an insurance policy?

When we have activity days organised by Homeschool WA, our insurance is covered by a public liability insurance which we have taken out.

I have just had a baby. Can we take a break from home schooling for a few weeks?

One of the benefits of homeschooling is that you are not tied to the school calendar. You can take holidays when you wish. Welcome to a new world of imagination and flexibility.

I am divorced but my former husband would like a copy of all school reports. Is this possible?

Yes, you are able to provide details of a non-custodial parent on the membership forms.

I have finished my ABC’s course with my youngest child. Can I sell it?

Yes. It will probably sell for about 50% of the original cost on our trading post.

What happens if I move interstate?

You are very welcome to continue membership when you live in another state; you may keep the tutor that you are familar with or you may use one of the tutors that live in your new state.

Where should my child do their academic work?

We recommend an area, which is quiet, well lit, and easily supervised by you. The kitchen table works well for many families. Others convert a lounge room into a learning centre.

What is student convention?

As a member of HSWA you are entitle to attend SCEE student conventions. These provide an opportunity for students to compete in a range of events such as athletics, craft, art, public speaking, music and academics. For more information see http://www.scee.edu.au/spscguidelines/index.php

Is there any new resources being developed?

Fourth Edition PACEs are currently being rolled out in Maths and Science. SCEE are also modifying some courses to make university entrance in Australia easier. We will post updates on the site as these become public.

Does HSWA have a connection to a denominational church?

No. Our statement of faith indicates our doctrinal position, which is non-denominational.

How will we be able to meet other families from HSWA?

We will have regular activity days and informal parent networks in both Perth and regional areas. These will be advertised on our Facebook group and our website.