Getting Started

Working out how long to Homeschool for.

The length of time you are planning on homeschooling needs to be carefully thought out and planned.  I often find a planning sheet that works backwards from end goal to start goals and outlines skill sets is a useful way to do this.

The table below helps me to visually see the types of skills I like children to have at particular points in their education.  If I would like my children to be able to enter University or Polytechnic if that's their choice once they leave secondary school then I first need to establish the level of skills they will need to reach at each stage of their schooling.
By doing this you know that if for some reason you stop homeschooling, or when they are finished with their primary and secondary school years and enter into a standardised system, they are equal to or, better than their peers.

I think it's more than just that though. It's not only their ability to sit a test or complete a worksheet, I also have a series of ‘soft skills’ on the list, to do with communication, social skills and practical skills that I think are important in a well-rounded and balanced education.

Check out the table below. The column on the left hand side has the kinds of skills I believe are necessary for my children to gain and the columns along the top show the three main stages of education..  You need to make a chart that speaks to your family and what is important in your child’s education and work out where you would like your children to be developmentally.




High School


Reads confidently on own a variety of chapter books for at least 15 minutes daily. Can read aloud pausing at appropriate times showing understanding of content and expression. Can move between a variety of fiction and non-fiction books and find relevant pieces of information to be used in research projects. Able to summarise books to source specific information related to a topic of interest. -


Comfortably writes 500 words independently. Can start and finish writing and uses phonetic spelling and basic grammar for sentences and paragraphs. Can write 500-1000 words with ease independently. More emphasis now on understanding spelling patterns and ability to self correct and publish written work to a high level. Able to take information from text books and reword for use in technical writing. Comfortable producing writing on any given topic. Can refer to multiple sources of research for information and utilise it where necessary in own language.


Has a good grasp on the 4 basic processes of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. Can move between these processes and use multiple strategies to employ them. Can apply these processes to everyday situations to solve problems. Can work with part numbers including fractions, decimals and percentages and relate them to money and economics. Understands the concepts of beauty in mathematics with geometry Can gather, display and draw conclusions from data in the form of graphs. Has a basic understanding of the principles of mathematical concepts such as Algebra and Integers. If such topics prove of interest has the ability to pursue them further independently.


Uses a variety of artistic modems to express self and learning with confidence (drawing, painting, clay, sculpture, dance, poetry, song, construction etc) Ability to refine artistic abilities with learning the finer skills of perspective, shading, shadow and colour blending to bring more realism to the end product. -


Able to play at least one instrument confidently and able to sight read basic music theory. Able to take previous musical knowledge and apply it to more than one instrument Has an understanding of different music genres and the development of music over time, along with exposure to numerous composers who have shaped the history of music around the world.

Public Speaking

Answer the telephone politely and take messages. Able to speak around the dining table and relay information on topics of interest and engage in discussion Ability to speak on a topic of research to an audience of at least two people and able to answer questions on the project. Able to ring and book and confirm appointments. -


Basic history of the early world told through myths and legends and the creation stories from a variety of cultures - -


Understand concept of earn, save, spend and give money. Establish a small stall and make/sell items in order to experience commerce. Have a small part time job to experience working. Budget and understand banking system and debt. From money earned, learn to invest and earn interest, budget and save for larger items coming such as first car or university.

Running of a Household

Make own bed, wash and dry dishes, feed an animal, make a simple item out of handwork for the household, whittle something out of wood, hammer and nail something together, assist with meal preparation, set the table Mow the lawns, weed a garden, sew on a button, cook a meal from scratch, wash a car, comfortable using basic hand tools such as screw drivers and spanners. Change a tyre on the car, use a weed eater, use power tools such as a drill or water blaster. Undertake basic grocery shopping

Social Skills

Good basic manners. Polite towards others and respectful with language. A greater understanding of different cultures and backgrounds and an acceptance of others opinions. Able to participate in a robust discussion in a respectful manner. -

Physical Education

Join a team and be a part of a group activity. Attend trainings and games and work in with the team members while following directions from the coach. Join more than one discipline of sport – either individual or team sport. Commit to the training required and develop the position to better own personal ability. Contribute to community by volunteering in a leadership role to coach a team of younger children.

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Up to 2 hours of lessons a day, plus hands on activities means you can easily give your child a quality education at home.

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