MAKING GOVERNMENT REDUNDANT
Here at Liberty Itch, we love practical initiatives which undermine the need for government.
Afterall, if we’re constantly fighting government bloat within the bureaucracy, we’re probably going to lose. There are too many Sir Humphrey Appleby’s around, right?
So, if the battle is about making government smaller, let’s withdraw from its services.
Let’s make government redundant.
Let’s step through the basics, some of the old chestnut arguments against home-schooling, its amazing advantages, a look at how big home-schooling is in Australia, what it’s like home-schooling your children, the impact of home-schooling on your household budget and a recommendation at the end based on all this information.
There are three groups who decide home-schooling is the best option for their children:
- Parents with advanced students
Think here of particularly gifted students for whom a classroom environment is just going to slow them down. These children need accelerating to meet their potential and the school system just can’t keep up.
- Parents with belief systems
You’ll instinctively understand this group. Here, we’re talking about parents with strong religious or political views, often both. They feel their values aren’t reflected in the system and they are driven to ensure their children receive an education which does.
- Parents with students the government can’t helpSometimes a student has such a bad time of our industrial-era schooling system that he falls through the cracks and is left behind. In these cases, the parents have no option but to withdraw their child and turn to home-school.
By far, most home schoolers are in groups one and two.
COMMON ARGUMENTS AGAINST HOMESCHOOLING
Now let’s start with what the naysayers from the Department of Education, the Teachers Federation and public education activists will tell you:
- Your child doesn’t get the value of the National CurriculumThe truth is that home-schooled students are still required to cover the material within the National Curriculum. However, you can create your own curriculum which covers this and other material.
- Your child isn’t taught by trained professionals
I know several people home-schooling their children, trained teachers who’ve lost their jobs from covid vaccine mandates. Further, you may not think much of the quality of the trained teachers your children are currently allocated. Perhaps you’ll be better. Further still, maybe these trained teachers are predisposed to teach your child ideas you’re not comfortable with. So maybe it’s an advantage not to have these trained teachers.
- Your child won’t qualify for an ATAR
Wrong. Home-schooled students do qualify for university. The vast majority are better prepared and excel at a tertiary level.
- Your child loses socialisation skills
There are home-school networks entrepreneurially springing up all over Australia. These are home-schooling families which meet regularly to ensure students’ continued interaction with peers all under the caring supervision of parents. Bullying? Adverse peer-group pressure behaviours? Not in this environment.
- You have to quit your job to do it
If both parents cooperate, this can be achieved. See template household budget below.
THE 13 BENEFITS OF HOME-SCHOOLING
In comparison, the benefits are many times greater than any perceived problems. Let’s look at thirteen I could readily identify:
- Less Regimentation, More AdaptationWith home-school, you’re not regimented into 9am to 3pm. You can be creative, not to lose structure but, by seizing learning opportunities as they present themselves. Astronomy at night, excursions in good weather.
- Individualised, Tailored Learning ExperiencesFinally, you can educate your children according to their specific needs. No more cookie-cutter approach from the government or government-funded schools.
- Rapid Student AccelerationIf your child is highly intelligent, fantastic. Now you can feed his or her curiosity at an accelerated pace.
- Political EmphasisIf you are concerned that your child is being indoctrinated with left-wing dogma, now your concerns evaporate. Teach without the slant. Teach with your own slant. The choice is yours.
If you feel a secular education is insufficient, home-schooling puts you in the driver’s seat. Integrate Faith subjects and experiences into the curriculum you teach.
Customised Student 1-On-1 Support
If your child is falling behind, who better to fight for his or her improvement. No-one professional teacher is going to fight as hard as you. Years later, your child will thank you.
Home-schooling shatters the industrial-age education system’s trait of producing conformity. TED’s most popular speech at 22 million views was titled “Do Schools Kill Creativity?” by the late Sir Ken Robinson.
It reflects the importance of preserving and nourishing creativity, which home-schooling achieves in spades.
Total Focus On Your Children
The juggle facing families between making a living and educating children is a thing of the past. Each parent specialises. One earns. The other teaches. Both do that well. No more half-thwarted job and 3 minute parent-teacher reports at night. You’re in control.
- Enhanced Family CohesionA fully-immersed family life can only benefit the family and society.
- Stellar Scholastic ResultsWith all this extra care and diligence with the children, results are likely to improve.
- Fosters Self-Direction and IndependenceYour children are encouraged to think and act with a greater degree of independence. Why? The mere fact that you’ve taken an independent path from government and government-funded education will be noticed by your children and reinforced by you in the mindset you instil in them.
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- Develop and Finetune Your Own Training SkillsYou’ll learn new skills as a trainer and teacher. How could you not? These are portable skills of great utility which will make you more valuable in the market, should you wish to return.
- Disempowering Government and the Education MonopolyWhile all this is happening, you’ve weaned one family off the government education teat and undermined the Teachers Federation monopoly. You’ve improved Australia by proving their involvement in our lives is not needed.
HOW MANY HOME-SCHOOL IN AUSTRALIA?
The home-schooling rate is 3.4% in the United States.
There are approximately 4.08 million primary and secondary students in Australia. Of these, just 30,000 are home-schooled. That’s less than 1%. But the figure increased 105% last year alone.
The days of Australians not even knowing that home-schooling exists as an option are fast ending.
More and more families are deciding to take government out of the education business.
WHAT IT’S LIKE HOME-SCHOOLING?
I have first-hand experience home-schooling my children in the United States where I lived for 12 years.
There, local government runs the public school system. The process was as easy at calling the local school district, telling them we were moving from private school to home-school, complete a one-page form and them acknowledging it. We submitted one report quarterly. The reports were rudimentary. They didn’t interfere. They respected our choice to be free.
At the time, we wanted our children to have the option to attend one of the top universities in that country. This required careful selection and timing of subjects, and results. We made a mistake in subject selection and timing because we didn’t include practical, lab-based biology at one point.
We didn’t have a laboratory. How could we achieve this?
One 30 second Google search later and we found “biology lab in a box”, hit overnight delivery and next day our garage was converted into a full-scale biology lab with the whole family dissecting pig’s eyes, frogs and lamb hearts, then writing-up the lab reports.
One of our children is an extrovert and felt the impact of not having a social environment outside the family. We were a bit slow off the mark and hadn’t joined the home-school networks designed to sort this out. However, we increased social interaction and the issue was gone.
We tracked how quickly our children moved through our heavier curriculum compared with other education options. My children typically had their work done by 1pm with a heavier workload. They ploughed through the material, much faster than traditional classrooms.
Overall, I feel my children benefitted from the home-schooling experience. They are independent-thinking, problem-solvers.
Of course, all this is an American experience from an Australian’s perspective.
Here in Australia, I contacted a teacher who lost her job due to the vaccine mandate. She decided to home-school. Today the network had shrunk a little but still active.
In South Australia, there is a well-known science competition called the Oliphant Science Awards. Past winners have included students from home-school networks in the Adelaide Hills. Past home-schoolers have placed well.
YOUR HOUSEHOLD BUDGET WHEN YOU HOME-SCHOOL
Of course, every household budget is unique and canvassing them all in this article is impossible. Let’s make some assumptions so at least we can see the impact of home-schooling under those prerequisites.
We’ll assume this is a two-parent, two child family. One parent is on $120,000 per annum and the other on $80,000. In the table below, I ran numbers assuming they are currently sending their two children to a public school, a private school or a top-tier Sydney or Melbourne private school.
Then I show what the disposable income after school fees would be if they home-schooled.
Here’s the comparison:
Therefore, for the 40% of families sending their secondary student children to private schools in Australia, you are either going to take a $30,000 hit to your family budget or make a $30,000 gain by opting for home-school instead.
What is your child and country worth?
If you want to make government redundant, you’re going to have to take matters into your own hands.
One way to do this is to try home-schooling for your children.
The benefits are enormous, not just for your child, not just for you, but for the country.
I don’t know a better way to instil the next generation with self-reliance, independence, problem-solving, adaptability, creativity and leadership than this way.
And I certainly don’t know a better way to reduce the impact of government over the long-term than this.
I’d love to hear your experiences with home-schooling in the comments below. You are guaranteed a reply.
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An entrepreneur who has employed 1,470+ people, Kenelm was admitted to the BRW Fast 100 three times with businesses in Australia, NZ, Singapore and New York, where he lived for 12 years. Kenelm’s investment firm performs mid-market leveraged roll-ups. He was a regular columnist for the Australian Financial Review. Kenelm is the Founder of Liberty Itch.