This is a simple question that should have a yes or no answer but unfortunately, it is a little complex in the homeschool world. There are different rules in different countries.
Homeschooling is legal in every state and territory in Australia. Strict conditions do apply including a written application that must be submitted to the relevant state education department for approval.
Or alternatively, your child/children must be enrolled in a School of Distance education program.
The process and conditions can vary from state to state depending on the type of curriculum that you desire for your child/children.
What is the difference between homeschooling and Distance Education in Australia?
The main difference between traditional homeschooling and Distance Education is that homeschooling requires the parent to be responsible for setting and designing the curriculum.
In addition, they are responsible for the completion of the relevant curriculum that a child requires for an adequate education.
Whereas Distance education is overseen by a school. Meaning the curriculum and subjects are set by the education department. Testing and assessments are monitored and results are filed to ensure that progress milestones are reached.
However, both traditional homeschooling and distance education implies that work is completed under the supervision of a parent or suitable tutor in a home environment.
The child is not required to attend a school and the learning and teaching hours are flexible.
Do parents get paid to homeschool in Australia?
Now to answer that question…..Generally, there is no specific financial assistance for those that choose to homeschool in the traditional way.
However, under Distance Education, there are some payments and allowances that may be accessible in some circumstances.
In addition, a home tutor, (that is usually a parent) is not classed as a carer and therefore not eligible for a carer’s allowance unless the child has a disability.
There are exceptions and this is where payment can be beneficial for the child and/or the home tutor
How Much Do You Get Paid to Homeschool Your Child?
There are some exceptions in Australia where you can get some assistance with the cost of homeschool under Distance Education.
This is particularly relevant if a parent and student are living in a remote or isolated area of Australia.
The state and Federal governments may assist with the costs associated with distance education. This comes as ‘assistance’ through the Isolated Children Scheme.
Assistance for Isolated Children Scheme for homeschooling via distance education.
If your child/children are enrolled in a Distance education program and you meet the eligibility criteria you may qualify for annual payments.
These payments are federally & state-funded and are paid at the beginning of each school term up to an amount of approx $4000.00pa. depending on eligibility under the Assistance for isolated Children Scheme.
Click this link for further info:
Ways to save money to homeschool your child?
There are a number of ways to save money to homeschool your kids.
Taxation Benefits Through ATO for Homeschooling
It’s a good idea to check with the Australian Taxation Office or your Accountant to see if you or your child/children are eligible for any tax deductions or student study allowances.
Most student allowances are for teens over the age of 15 and studying full time at high school or other education.
You may be able to claim for stationery, office supplies and internet, depending on personal income circumstances or combined income for each financial year.
Child Dental Benefits Scheme for Homeschooled Students
This scheme covers students from age 5 to 17 years of age for dental service costs. The benefit is up to( $ 1000) One thousand Australian dollars per student. The eligible services include:
For further information head to this link:
How much does homeschooling cost?
It is estimated that approximately $200 per child per year is spent on homeschool supplies and resources. This would include such things as stationery, folders, books, and worksheets.
This however does not include the cost for internet and data usage, laptop or computer, computer programs or downloads.
Nor does it cover costs for setting up a suitable study space with a desk, chair, shelving and other items. It also does not include costs associated with extracurricular activities or social engagements.
What money can be saved by homeschooling my kids?
- No uniform costs – It can cost upwards of $500 per student on uniforms and school shoes per year.
- No tuckshop/canteen money – if you don’t pack a lunchbox every day you can eat up to $ 50 per week per student.
- No school fees – depending on state or private school, this can be thousands of dollars per year per student.
Example of typical school costs for a student in Private school per year.
*This estimate is based on my child’s experience in a private school for 1 year. Cost is approximate and only as a guide.
- School Fees per annum – $ 11,000
- School Uniform – sports x 1 and regular uniforms x 3 – $800
- School books and stationary $ 350
- Laptop purchase $900
- Camp & excursion fees $600
- Tuckshop – 1 x per week @ $10 = $400pa
TOTAL COST $ 14,050
In addition, there may be extra costs should the student require public transport to and from school.
So if you have more than one child attending private school you are up for a significant amount of money per year.
So what is the real cost of homeschooling or distance educating your child?
This expense is largely dependent on your choice, your lifestyle and your financial budget. So it can be simple or extravagant.
What I will say is that no matter the cost, the benefits and impact that the homeschool lifestyle will have on your child/children and family will be Priceless. This I can guarantee.
And in addition, you will never have to iron a school uniform ever again…Win-Win situation for you and the kids !!
No pay but plenty of perks
Written with love & kindness
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How to Homeschool – The Good the Bad and the Ugly Realities of Doing it Successfully
This is the book I wrote to my younger self about doing it successfully. Take it from someone who has been there.
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About The Author
My name is Ursula Boston. I’ve been educating my daughters as a proud homeschool mum for nearly 20 years. Alongside managing our household and small business from home.
If you want to learn how to do this from someone who has actually done it. Twice! I will show you HOW.