Choosing the Right School, Evergreen, Parent Resources

Moving from home-schooling to distance education

Many parents are looking for an alternative to mainstream schooling, but are confused about the differences between home-schooling and distance education, writes Danni Foster-Brown, Head of Virtual Learning Community at Hillcrest Christian College.

Parents often begin the search for alternatives to mainstream schooling due to philosophical or faith-based reasons, because their child is struggling with school refusal, or because they are embarking on a more flexible schooling model due to, for example, extended travel.

Home schooling, or ‘home education’, as it is known in Queensland, is a legally-recognised alternative to formal schooling, where parents register themselves with the government for permission to provide education to their child at home. Parents are then solely responsible for providing a high-quality education, including resourcing and planning each child’s educational program, assessing student learning, and meeting the government’s reporting requirements.

Distance Education, on the other hand, is a legally-recognised option available to home-based learners where a registered school provides students with a full-time educational experience, comparable to that which they would receive at an on-campus school.

While originally established for students who were geographically isolated, the Distance Education programs of today are increasingly catering to the needs of families who are exploring alternative schooling formats due to reasons such as lifestyle, supporting the mental wellbeing of their children, and personal choice.

Distance Education programs provide all of the curriculum/learning materials for students to complete their education, take an active role in teaching students, develop, mark and give feedback on assessment items, and take care of all reporting requirements outlined by the government.

Hillcrest Christian College’s Virtual Learning Community (VLC) is an accredited Distance Education provider, meaning that we are a registered school that is permitted to teach remotely. We offer a full-time program that follows the Australian Curriculum, providing a quality education, but within the context of a values-based, Christian worldview. We offer a supportive environment that takes the ‘distance’ out of Distance Education, through its focus on wellbeing, and equipping students socially and emotionally.

To find out more about our academic and wellbeing programs, and how we can take over the hard work of home education, please contact our friendly team today here.

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