Home education is a legal alternative to school enrolment in Queensland. However, if you choose to educate your child at home during any stage of their compulsory education (between the ages of five and a half and eighteen), you need to apply for registration via the Home Education Unit.
Your child cannot be simultaneously enrolled at school and registered for home education, so once your certificate is granted, they’ll have to withdraw from their existing school and you will assume sole responsibility for their education.
Registering for homeschooling in Queensland
Applications can be submitted at any time of the year and should include:
- A certified copy of your child's birth certificate
- Copies of any extant court orders
- A completed statutory declaration
- An overview of the intended educational program to be implemented.
You will also be required to include details of where your child will be educated and by whom (either yourself or a registered teacher) and your strategies for monitoring their educational progress.
When you have all of your documents ready, you can download an Application for Registration for Home Education form.
Your responsibilities after registration
Once you register for home education, you will be legally responsible for providing your child with a quality education. This includes:
- Planning and implementing an educational program which aligns with the Australian National Curriculum
- Providing an appropriate learning environment
- Providing the resources necessary to support home education
- Recording and assessing your child's academic progress
- Submitting an annual report demonstrating your child's learning progress over time.
You can read more about the requirements of homeschooling and your responsibilities under the Education (General Provisions) Act 2006 here.
Planning a successful home education program
According to the Home Education Unit, effective home learning programs should:
- Align with the eight core learning areas as defined by the Australian National Curriculum.
- Appropriately align with the age and general abilities of your child.
- Utilise a range of learning materials and resources.
- Be conducted in an environment conducive to learning.
- Engage with the unique needs of your child, demonstrate educational and personal goals for that child and plan for change and progress over time.
- Include a variety of approaches to teaching and learning.
- Include opportunities for social development.
- Be supported by sufficient and appropriate teaching resources.
You will also be required to develop a system for recording your child's learning over time to show how the program has been delivered and how the requirements for registration are being met.
You can read more about preparing an educational program here.
Monitoring and recording your child's progress
A written report on your child's home education progress is due in the tenth month of registration each year. This should include:
- Details of learning experiences
- A description of progress towards defined learning goals
- Documented learning outcomes and achievements
- Examples of creative or project work (samples of work, a creative portfolio, research assignments or a learning journal written by your child).
How Cluey supports homeschooling in Queensland
Our flexible, online model means that your child can log in to our online learning platform from anywhere, utilising video, audio and collaborative whiteboard capabilities.
You can choose the areas you'd most like to focus on and specify your learning goals. Our programs can be tailored to your teaching philosophy and the needs of your child. What's more, you'll receive a report at the end of every session which can form part of your evidence of learning progress.
What do I need to consider before I homeschool?
Although you will need to eventually develop a learning program and home education space, homeschooling is first and foremost an incredible time commitment. It's important to consider whether you have the dedication required to teach your child, and whether this will get in the way of paid work or other commitments.
How old must my child be before I register them?
To be eligible for home education, your child must be at least 5 years and 6 months on December 31 in the year registration takes effect. Children are legally eligible for registration up until the age of 18.
What happens after I register?
Once you post an application to the Home Education Unit, along with the required documents and intended learning program, provisional registration is usually posted to you within seven days of receipt. You may commence your proposed home education program as soon as your application is submitted.
How long will the application process take?
Although every case is different depending on the support documents provided, as well as procedural and other requirements, the Chief Executive has 90 days to make a decision regarding your registration.
You will be contacted if further information is required, but most cases are decided within this timeframe.
What happens if my application for registration is refused?
If your application for registration is not successful, a notice will be posted to you by registered mail with the reason for refusal. You will have the right to request a review of the decision via an enclosed application form.
How can I make sure I get approved?
Do your research on what's required, including the relevant documentation, and develop a detailed learning plan which shows your learning goals over time.
Most refusals occur when an assessment officer determines that the requirements are not being met or would not be met by the applicant.
Will I be monitored or reviewed while homeschooling?
You will be required to submit a written report on the tenth month of each registered year, which demonstrates how you have been delivering your child's educational program and includes evidence of progress.
What are the essential subjects/curriculum I need to teach?
Although there is no set homeschooling curriculum, you'll be required to develop an educational program based on the eight core learning areas defined by the Australian National Curriculum. These include literacy, numeracy and HSIE subjects. More information about the learning requirements for each year group can be found here.
How much time should I spend on each subject?
You might find that a four day week works best, or five half days. You need to ensure you cover the requirements in the curriculum, but the way you teach it and the time you spend on each module is entirely up to you.
What if my child has special needs?
If you have a child who for any reason doesn't fit the "ordinary" box, homeschooling could be a positive option. Homeschooling can often take the stress out of structured lessons, allowing children to learn at their own pace and in their own way. For special needs, always seek as much support as possible, both to ensure you're teaching to your child's unique needs, and to connect with other parents or teachers who might be experiencing similar challenges.
How do I plan my homeschool/learning program?
You could plan your own curriculum based on the learning outcomes detailed in the Australian National Curriculum. There are also several out-of-the-box homeschooling programs, many of which are developed by education experts and based on different approaches and teaching philosophies. Just ensure that the program you choose takes into account the requirements of registration in Queensland and aligns with the unique needs of your child.
And of course Cluey offers homeschooling support programs.
How do I document my homeschooling progress/portfolio?
There's no one way to document your home education program. You might put together a collection of work, which would look different depending on the age and ability of your child. A written diary or essay samples are one example. Maths worksheets, stories based on historical understanding and other creative, inquiry-based studies are other options.
Do I need formal teaching qualifications to homeschool?
You don't need any formal training to become a homeschool teacher. As long as you meet the requirements and show evidence of learning, you're set!
What do I do if I'm overwhelmed?
Will you be able to cope with the mammoth undertaking that is homeschooling? The short answer is yes, when there's a will there's a way. But it's important to understand the realities of homeschooling and seek support in the form of outside tutoring if you feel yourself burning out.
Does my homeschooled child really need to complete Year 11 or 12?
When your child moves out of their compulsory school age (16 years) or completes Year 10, they are still required to participate in an eligible option. These include:
- Approved education or training (registered home education is an eligible option)
- Paid employment
- A combination of education, training and paid employment.
If your child has university in his or her sights, they will need to begin preparing for their QCE. This cannot be done as part of registered home education. In this case, your child will need to cease registration and begin study through school, TAFE or Open Colleges.