Home-schooled children and their families socialising at Wade Park, East Lismore. From left, Maha Grierson-Jones, 8, Isabella Ryan, 12, Isabella Braga, 10, Ezra Ryan, back, 10, Erika Dansie, back 11, Carlin Grierson-Jones, 8,and Zsa Zsa Kiss.
Home-schooled children and their families socialising at Wade Park, East Lismore. From left, Maha Grierson-Jones, 8, Isabella Ryan, 12, Isabella Braga, 10, Ezra Ryan, back, 10, Erika Dansie, back 11, Carlin Grierson-Jones, 8,and Zsa Zsa Kiss. Cathy Adams

Local home school kids love learning

IF home schooling is on the rise across NSW, then it's veritably booming on the North Coast.

Every Friday in Lismore's Wade Park a group of about 20 home-schooled children and their parents gather in an informal group that is one of many across Northern NSW.

Organiser of the group, Lismore mum Zsa Zsa Kiss said there were other active home-schooling groups in Grafton, Lismore, Nimbin, Brunswick Heads, and Murwillumbah.

"There definitely seems to be more people getting involved," Ms Kiss said. "I met a lady in the library and she's got five kids and she's just started home- schooling."

Ms Kiss made the decision to home school her eight-year-old daughter Erica to allow for "real time, real life learning" in relevant situations, and maintaining precious intimacy in the family.

"Every child learns differently - not all learn from sitting down looking at books," she said.

"With home-schooling you can allow things to happen in their own time rather than making them jump through hoops.

"It's about being able to match their styles of learning."

Home schooling mum of three Tara Luca said the practice had been positively impacted by the rise of the internet, especially for self-directed learning.

"There's always been people home-schooling but now there's so many resources online," she said.

"For instance my daughter was learning a song on the violin... and I googled a lesson plan for the song and there was a whole bunch of them."

Ms Luca said home-schooling was all about "self-directed learning" and revolved around the child's interests.

"It works on the premise that if a child is interested in something, then learning is effortless," she said.

"The parent can just help facilitate, giving lots of resources, and the kids are so interested in the project they just keep going."

"My kids are really into music, so it's really effortless... say there's a composer they're interested in, I say let's learn about Mozart or Beethoven, and we can tie in maths really easily with fractions of the beat.

"It's more learning through play, but you're still covering all the bases."

Another technique is scattering activities around the house and letting the child move towards the things they are impulsed to do.

"You can just see what the child gravitates towards, and that's your lesson for that morning," Ms Luca said.



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