Australian Homeschool Curriculum
My Homeschool is an Australian homeschool curriculum inspired by the teaching methods of Charlotte Mason. In developing My Homeschool, we were mindful of the Australian Curriculum and state syllabus requirements. We currently offer Kindergarten/Prep/Pre Primary to Year 8.
Our approach to education is different to the traditional school method of textbooks and worksheets. Instead, we use many of Charlotte Mason’s ideas. We use living books, short lessons, narration, copywork, world history, and nature study inspired lessons in geography and science. Whilst Charlotte Mason’s method of homeschooling is our guiding educational philosophy, we have deviated from her approach somewhat as we comply with the content demands of the Australian Curriculum. Our Homeschool Teaching 101 course, provided free with membership, will teach you more about her methods.
Education of the whole child is important to us and parents are encouraged to teach their children spiritually, intellectually, emotionally and socially. We aim to give parents confidence that they are educating their children with a world view that honours the values of Christian education. However, some of our resources are secular and we don’t provide religious instruction or Bible study – we’ll leave that up to you. If you want a deeper discussion on Is Charlotte Mason Homeschooling Christian? then this article will help.
Australian Homeschool Curriculum Literature Choices
My homeschool uses living books in many subjects. Some are for your child to read alone, and some are to be read aloud by the parent. We also include some audio book options. Books allocated for reading aloud provide an opportunity for families to discuss them broadly. Parents are able to offer the scaffolding and support which will help their child navigate the literature which may be challenging for a variety of reasons.
We do have secular books in our curriculum, and these do not always line up perfectly with a Christian world view. This also reflects Charlotte Mason’s approach. We have tried our best to make good choices in our literature and we have read what we recommend. We have rejected many books in the process of writing this curriculum. Finding a perfect book is almost impossible but our book selection is thought out and many of our books are recommended by others who follow a Charlotte Mason education.
We’ve also included culturally significant Australian literature which often highlights what was happening in the era it was written. For this reason, some of the literature may well be ‘politically incorrect’ or old fashioned by today’s standards, but at the time of writing it was not. These books offer an opportunity to teach your child about the culture of the times.
Our books were chosen with the Australian Curriculum in mind, however we understand that you may not want to read all the books we have chosen. Feel free to replace them with a title that suits your family’s needs.
Our Australian homeschool curriculum is streamlined to include various subjects at the same time without cutting out content. Academics can be completed in three or four half days a week in the primary years and four to five days in high school. Spend the extra free time pursuing your other interests and allowing your child to embrace the wonder of learning naturally. Home educating is a lifestyle, so the learning never stops.
Whilst we have done our best to minimise teaching preparation and lesson planning we still believe that you, the educating parent, play an essential role in your child’s education. We encourage you to reclaim your own education as you learn along with your child. The ideas that will be enriching your children’s lives will also be enriching you.
Approximately three to four hours per week of reading aloud is required in this course. Many lessons can be done independently as children get older, however, children will differ in the level of support they need and at first you will need to be actively involved in helping them form good study habits. Research suggests it takes 6 weeks to form a new habit, so expect to have a greater level of intensity during this time as your student adjusts to home education. This may not take as long if your child has been homeschooling for a while.
Australian Homeschool Curriculum Terms
A 36 week, four term schedule, is used. There are nine weeks per term, eight weeks have set lessons and the ninth week is a catch-up week that can also be used for assessment.
This course has a flexible format that can be started at any time. If you wish to begin mid-term or mid-year you can still pick up the course from week one. Since math resources are purchased separately you can follow the level you were using prior to starting our course.
Subjects: What’s Covered and What is Not
We believe you will find a rich feast of ideas presented in this course that will satisfy your desire to give your child a wholesome living book education and still comply with government obligations for home education registration.
The Charlotte Mason method teaches in the three areas suggested by the Australian Curriculum: literacy, literature and language. At My Homeschool we use living books as the basis for many lessons. Good books are used to teach handwriting, spelling, reading and writing.
Core Maths Program (Own Choice)
There are some great core maths programs that would well with the My Homeschool courses. We understand that families like to choose a program so we provide suggestions and you pick what suits your needs best.
Our Australian Homeschool Curriculum develops scientific skills through observation (and recording those through notebooking and journaling), understanding science through quality science-based literature, and through studying biographies of scientists to learn about their human endeavours. We do deviate slightly from the Charlotte Mason method at times in this subject, using some textbooks, videos and projects for further study.
From Year Five we use science textbooks written from a Christian worldview. These are purchased separately and could be substituted with a secular science textbook if desired.
World history study is not actually a part of the Australian Curriculum content for primary school. However, it is an integral part of the Charlotte Mason method. For that reason, a world history cycle is offered in the primary school courses.
Our geography lessons in the primary years include field trips, nature study, living books, map making and some geography skills. Finding living books to teach geography from an Australian perspective was difficult. So, we have written many of our own resources on this topic.
Creative and Practical Art
My Homeschool provides an art Art and Picture Study course and a Music Appreciation course with your membership. We also include a few extra art lessons but we don’t believe in bogging you down with multiple craft projects that will probably end up in the bin. We have confidence that you can organise this subject according to your own talents and opportunities. Here are some ideas on teaching homeschool art .
Foreign Language Study
Teaching a foreign language is one of the eight learning strands of the Australian Curriculum. Charlotte Mason firmly believed that children should be offered a ‘taste and see’ approach to learning a language. Many of her pupils, who traditionally would not have been taught a language, became skilled in three languages at the end of their school studies.
My Homeschool includes a simple languages program within the primary courses which focus on a range of world languages, including some indigenous languages. These will encourage your child to appreciate aspects of cultural diversity and ethnic and intercultural understanding. And for those families wanting study a foreign language in depth with an aim to becoming a fluent speaker, we also provide suggestions for additional resources to help you achieve that goal.
Physical Education and Health Studies
Regular physical activity and structured sports activities are recommended. Health studies are encouraged in the activities of daily living. A Healthy Conversations Checklist has been provided to facilitate conversations that are age appropriate.
If you have more questions about our Australian Homeschool Curriculum look at our Frequently Asked Questions.