Category Archives for Planning

Homeschool Registration in Australia: What You Need to Know

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We get a lot of practical questions about the legal side of home education. So, to coincide with the start of the school year in Australia, we thought it was time we talked to Home Education Association President, Vivienne Fox, about what the current registration and recording requirements in Australia are for homeschooling - and how they differ from state to territory. (This information is current as of February 2018.)

*Note: We will be publishing a larger article covering registration in North America very soon (and in time other countries, too) but we are starting with home turf -- Australia.

Topics we cover

This is an audio interview that you can listen to on YouTube or in the video viewer below. In this discussion with Ms. Fox we cover:

  • Where to start with registration if you're new to homeschooling
  • Can you transfer registration between states if you move interstate?
  • Why each state differs & which states have the strictest requirements
  • How to feel confident about your first moderator or practical visit
  • A walk-through the basic registration methods of each state
  • Tips on how to record learning and show your children's progress
  • All the links we mention (including rego requirements for Australian states & territories) are included below the video

Audio interview (sound only)

Helpful links

Home Education Association (Australia)
HEA has a NSW specific Registration Pack, and provides good Registration Support in NSW and there are chapters of HEA in QLD, ACT, Tasmania, NT, SA, which are worthwhile contacting for support in those states - contact the HEA to be linked up with support relevant to your state.

The Mulberry Homeschool Planner
150 page homeschool planner download designed to help you record and track your children's learning for the year.

New South Wales

NSW Education Standards Authority - Home Education

Queensland

Queensland Government - Home Education

Western Australia

Department of Education - Home Education

Home Education WA network (support group)

Victoria

VRQA - Homeschooling

Victoria State Government - Homeschooling

Home Education Network - Victoria (HEN)

Tasmania

THEAC - Tasmania Home Education Advisory Council

Office of the Education Registrar - Tasmania

Understanding Home Education in Tasmania (HEA doc)

Australian Capital Territory

ACT Education Directorate - Home Education

South Australia

South Australia Government - Home Education

Northern Territory

nt.gov.au - Home Education

Was this audio interview helpful? Please let us know if you have any questions or would like additional information and we'll do our best to add to this article. Email - hello@themulberryjournal.com

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Homeschool Registration in Australia: What You Need to Know
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Eric Koelma

Mulberry Business Manager

Eric is a self-confessed cool nerd, a football fanatic, husband/right-hand-man to Grace and dad to Leo. Eric's philosophy on life is simple: "If I'm not learning, I'm dead."

Homeschool mamas: “How I use my Mulberry Planner”

Curious to know how other families use and customise the pages from The Mulberry Planner? We asked some homeschooling + unschooling mothers to share their tips, strategies and ideas.

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The other day we got a request from a new homeschooler: 

"I'd love to hear someone actually sit down and give a good run down about how they use their planner since there are so many options? I'm a planning newbie - I need help!"

Great question, right? So we asked a few mums who have been using the planner to share their ideas, tips and strategies with us, and here's what they said...

Setting out the planner

Leah, NSW, Australia

Leah made a walk-through video to show us exactly how she's used her planner, complete with audio narration. >>

"We have definitely not used all the pages, and even though we're now onto our fourth year of homeschooling, there's an evolving nature to it so I've used the pages that immediately spoke to me in terms of how the rhythm of our days go."

"I like to use the blank Morning Circle templates and customise them for myself."

"I've definitely used the Mama's book list - love that [the planner] has stuff for mums, not just kids."

Leah's video

This video includes Leah's narration. If there's no sound when playing, click the speaker icon.


Kiara, QLD, Australia

"Setting out my planner I put the vision, snapshot of our family, yearly calendar, and lists at the beginning. Next is monthly calendars applicable for the current term. From there I set out week by week starting with notes, then lesson plans, morning circle, records of learning, reflections and notes. I add the nature finds, notes and quotes wherever I feel I want or need them."

Image: Leah Kua


Kama, New Zealand

"I have the homeschool planner in a 3-ring binder. The sections are:

  • Preparation - I include Snapshot of our family, Our Vision, Weekly Schedule, Notes, and Mama Time.
  • Make a list - I use Mama’s Book List, Teacher’s Book List, Kid’s Book List as places to record books I might want to purchase in the future.
  • Resources - I keep notes about resources I’ve seen or copies of articles or book chapters in this section.
  • Term Planning - I use the blank templates to print out my own monthly ‘plans’, then I use Day Notes with the current one on a clipboard to scribble notes throughout the day, and I plan to use the Family Learning Summary at the end of each month."

Image: Kama C

Image: Kama C


Cherie V, Australia

"The Mulberry Planner has made my home education journey so much simpler, and so far, flow much more smoothly.

In a nutshell, here’s how I use it:

It is my diary, planner and journal all-in-one.

  • At the close of each school week, I prep my following week on the ‘plan’, and tabled ‘record of learning’ pages. I store that week’s pages on my clipboard - which sits out, readily available.
  • As we learn, I document our journey on the daily ‘record of learning’ and ‘reflection + notes’ pages. I transfer the weekly pages back into my Term folder once complete, and begin a new week. It’s so easy!
mulberry planner

Image: Cherie V

Here are some photos of our first fortnight, we are currently up to week three and just loving it!

Hope this helps, it’s hard to condense it down when there are just so many good things to say about this planner! This planner ticks the boxes for learning records for my son, myself AND the authorities. And it’s all in one neat, gorgeous space. I found documenting the planning really overwhelming at the beginning. [We're] two and a half years in now, and it’s definitely a joy, not a labour."

Image: Cherie V

Cherie's video

* Cherie was kind enough to create a walkthrough video too (this one just has music, no narration), but is an excellent peek into another homeschooler's layout).


Tara A, TAS, Australia

"So far, really enjoying it and grateful to you for preparing it for us.

  • As a new homeschooling family, we bought the planner in advance of the school year and I spent some time laying up the PDF pages in an order that I felt would suit us best. 
  • Then I had a local printer do the printing for me onto reasonably thick paper and I filed it all in a binder. It's been really good at helping me develop some structure.
  • On a Sunday I get my planning pages out for the coming week and sketch up the week in terms of activities, projects etc. I then fill out the reflection page at the end of the week and file those pages.
  • The circle planning pages have also been brilliant as this is something I am new to and the rigour offered by the exercise of completing the template has been super helpful."

From an unschooler

Kama, New Zealand

"As an unschooler I don’t plan a lot but I like to have all my homeschool materials organised and in one place and the Mulberry Planner has allowed me to do that. 

What I like about this planner is there are so many options and you only need to use what works for your family and your homeschooling situation. The addition of the blank templates means you can fully customise the pages if you want to. And it all looks cohesive and stylish!"


Image: Kama C

How to use lists in your homeschool

Kelly George, QLD, Australia

This homeschool mum with a decade of experience shares how she uses the List templates in her homeschool planning.

"I was very happy to see the new Mulberry Planner has LOTS of list templates, and I’ve been busy filling them out and feeling virtuous about my gorgeous new lists (as opposed to the creased and crumpled bits of repurposed paper I usually use).

I keep a book journal for myself, but I’m using the Mama’s Book List to keep track of the homeschooling-specific books I’d like to read or re-read.

Having a curriculum list means I can keep track of what we’d like to try, what’s good now, what may be good in the future, and what’s not good for us at all. I’ll download and use each sample as we need it, and then either cross it off the list or purchase it."

Kelly wrote a whole article on Using Lists in Homeschooling. Read it below.


How to use Morning Circle pages

Kirstee Raki, QLD, Australia

Kirstee shared how she uses the Morning Circle templates with her morning basket routine.

"Look at your rhythm and find a time suitable for a big, long out breath of activity. Plan out what you are going to do in advance. I like to write it all out on the circle time planning form included in my Mulberry Homeschool Planner. Knowing what you are doing next helps maintain flow. Things fall apart quickly if you have no idea what happens next."

Kirstee wrote a whole article on Morning Circle time. Read it below.


More info on The Mulberry Planner

  • 150+ pages of templates, planning pages, tables, prompts and record sheets to organise your entire year!
  • Created especially for the 2018 January to December Southern Hemisphere school year
  • Easily adaptable for one child or multiple children
  • Designed for easy printing with room for hole punch and ring binder on left margin
  • Ultimate flexibility with multiple layout options, blank title pages, DIY borders and personalised customisation tips.
  • Handy quick print and colour-light options for the pages you'll print most frequently (daily notes, lesson plans etc.)

Want to share your process to help other mums?

Email your tips, strategies and photos (optional) our editor Grace, hello@themulberryjournal.com

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Homeschool mamas: "How we use the Mulberry Journal"

How I use lists in my homeschool (and why I love it!)

Kelly George has been homeschooling for over a decade and swears by list-keeping as the ultimate way to keep organised, stay sane, and plan and record her whole family's learning.

Image by Leah Kua

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By Kelly George | Fearless Homeschool

Lists are the only way I keep track of anything.

To-do lists, meal lists, to buy lists, wishlists – if it’s not on the list it really doesn’t get done. 

So it makes sense that lists are invaluable in our homeschool, too. We use lists to keep track of what we’ve done, to remember what we’d like to do and to make sure everyone’s doing as much as they planned.

Personally, I’ve found paper lists are my best friend. 

I’ve tried digital, but it’s just not concrete enough for me, and seeing as I usually don’t know where my phone is it didn’t make sense to keep important information on it. 

I was very happy to see the new Mulberry Planner has LOTS of list templates, and I’ve been busy filling them out and feeling virtuous about my gorgeous new lists (as opposed to the creased and crumpled bits of repurposed paper I usually use). I’ve also discovered an unexpected bonus of having a beautiful planner - I’ve been more intentional about looking after it, which means I can feel justified when preaching to my children about presenting their work well.

Homeschooling lists are also a great form of record keeping, saving hours of work when re-registration time comes around. You can quickly glance at the books you’ve read, the movies you’ve watched, and the curriculum you’ve completed, and expand on it to make a pretty good report.

Here are the indispensable homeschooling lists we keep.

Book lists

Books are our thing. We borrow 60 books at a time from the library, think books make the best presents, and book sales and well-stocked op-shops are our favourite places to shop.

We all keep a yearly list of the books we read – each child, myself, and my husband. They help us keep track of interests, remember which authors or series we wanted to read more from when it’s library ordering time, and remember what that book was called when we’re chatting about them.

Plus, it’s a subtle competition. Gabrielle always makes sure she’s ahead in numbers. She’s up to 139 books read as of November 20th, so it’s not likely she’ll be overtaken this year.

I also keep a read-aloud list, which I’ll adapt one of these for.

I keep a book journal for myself, but I’m using the Mama’s Book List to keep track of the homeschooling-specific books I’d like to read or re-read. 

Finally, I’ll also be using the Kids Book List for a to-read list for each child. I usually make sure I order or buy quality books regularly, so there’s always some available to choose from, but they don’t always get chosen.

I’d like to make sure they each read at least ten classic or high-quality books each year – dragons and battles are all very exciting, but should be balanced out by books that get the brain cells working, in my opinion.

If I give them each a list in January they can zoom through their requirements, and then return to reading Percy Jackson for the umpteenth time. And I can then give them another list in June – surprise!

Curriculum lists

There’s SO MUCH to keep track of! I used to save samples in a folder on my computer, assuming I’d remember what was in there.

I didn’t.

Most of the time I would forget there was even a folder, so when we wanted something new in a certain area I’d start researching again from scratch.

Having a curriculum list means I can keep track of what we’d like to try, what’s good now, what may be good in the future, and what’s not good for us at all. I’ll download and use each sample as we need it, and then either cross it off the list or purchase it.

If I get very organised, I’ll use another to keep track of the curriculum each child finishes.

Quotes

I’m a word lover, and I love quotes. Anyone who has visited my website or taken one of my courses may have noticed that. Homeschooling means I get to expose my children to what I think is important, and subjecting them to quotes is something I do enthusiastically. 

Right now, I put a new quote up on our whiteboard each week, and we chat about what it means. I choose quotes that make us think, that help us define our ideas or values, or show an everyday issue from a new angle.

This quotes list is replacing my Pinterest board (again, I fail at digital – I don’t even have the Pinterest app on my phone because I couldn’t turn off the notifications), and it’s so much easier to pull out the quotes list and choose the new quote. 

As a bonus, I don’t get stuck looking at quirky designs for vintage dresses, so the process is much quicker!

The ultimate guide to gameschooling on The Mulberry Journal

Want a free Mulberry Planner sample?

Pop in your name & email and we'll send our free Day Notes printable over to you right away!

Podcast list

I started listening to podcasts this year, and really like them (again, late adopter of digital). They’re a great way to get through cooking and cleaning without noticing what I’m doing. 

Unfortunately, the children aren’t as fond of podcasts about entrepreneurship as I am. I’ve found a couple of ‘educational but entertaining’ podcasts we all enjoy, like The Ancient World and TED Talks Daily, but I’d like to find more.

This is my list of podcasts to trial before adding to our regular listening list. We’ve already trialled Douchy’s Biology, and it’s a hit – Gabrielle has been geeking out to hominid evolution while cutting out sewing projects.

Film list

We fail at films. We haven’t had a TV in over a decade, and that pretty much sums it up. We find we have so many other things to do that we never get around to watching movies. 

But there are some things I’d really like to watch with the children. Generally, they’re adaptations of books, and our chief delight is shouting criticism at how much it deviates from the book (you really don’t want to watch Eragon with us, how did they get it so wrong?)

I’ve decided documentaries count as films, because we love nature, farming, and science documentaries. And because the sheet would probably compost before we got through that many movies.

I hope that gives you some insight and inspiration into how lists can be useful in your homeschool. The lists included in the Mulberry Planner are a great place to start if you’re new to list making – they’re extremely relevant to the core needs of homeschoolers. As well as the lists I’ve detailed, there are also lists for music, YouTube, and children’s lists for their achievements and things they’re proud of, plus templates for you to DIY. If you don’t use anything else except the lists, you can still have a well-organised homeschool.

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Kelly George

Contributor

Kelly George is a married mum to five adventurous children who have never been been to school. She runs Fearless Homeschool, which is full of articles, resources, and courses aimed at helping parents break away from the school model to craft their ultimate homeschool, and also organised the first Australian Homeschooling Summit. In her spare time she's a nursing student who enjoys juggling dozens of hobbies.

The Mulberry Planner includes 13 lists
More info here.

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