HAPPY AT HOME: Josh Hall, 8 and siblings Suzie, 5, Bluey the dog, Annie, 12, parents Rick and Bree Hall, Hattie, 2, BJ, 22, Molly, 14, Sam, 15, Daniel, 7, Zach, 11, and beloved pet Ruby.
HAPPY AT HOME: Josh Hall, 8 and siblings Suzie, 5, Bluey the dog, Annie, 12, parents Rick and Bree Hall, Hattie, 2, BJ, 22, Molly, 14, Sam, 15, Daniel, 7, Zach, 11, and beloved pet Ruby. Paul Braven

Why more parents are switching to home schooling

MORE and more parents in the Gladstone region are choosing home schooling over placing their children in public or private schools.

With over 30 families choosing this method of education within the region and over 100 home schooled students, it is becoming a more common choice.

Bree Hall has been home schooling for the past 18 years.

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The mother of nine said she sees nothing but positive outcomes for children in home schooling.

"Home schooling can be very natural or very structured - students have to follow a curriculum and engage in all the same programs a regular school student would," she said.

"The benefits with home schooling are a student has more one-on-one, valuable and quality learning time.

"They get more attention than what they would get in a regular classroom as there are less distractions and students."

To home school you do not need any formal qualifications, however Converge International counsellor and home schooler of over 10 years Marilyn Andrews said there are important things to be considered.

"Home schooling won't work if you are not willing to spend the effort and time with your student's education," she said.

"You have to be committed and equipped with the right resources and support, or your child will not receive the education they need.

"As a counsellor I can see the concern of whether home schooling limits a child's socials skills and whether it affects their mental well-being.

"However this is also a common misconception and there is no basis surrounding it - home schooled students are as active within the community and amongst other students as those in mainstream schools."

Counsellor and mother Stacy Gernetzky said she has been considering home schooling for some time now.

"I'm very tempted to go into (it)," she said.

"At regular public schools all I hear about are stories of punch-ups, violence, bad language and the solicitation of child pornography - although I have seen cases where home schooling has negatively impacted upon a child's social skills to the point where they find it quite difficult to fit in.

"In saying that I see more benefits in home schooling children than negatives," she said.

"It's definitely something every parent should consider and it's important to explore all options."

SPEAK UP: What do you think about home schooling? Get in touch on 4970 3030 or sarah.barnham@gladstoneobserver.com.au


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