Does learning from home or homeschooling suggest we need to recreate a school environment in our home?

According to the Guidelines for Homeschooling Registration in NSW, homeschooling does not mean operating like a school in the home. As long as the requirements for homeschooling registration continue to be met, parents have flexibility about when and how they provide the educational program to their child(ren).

So in essence, we can continue building upon learning opportunities that arise naturally on a day-to-day basis, as long as we continue to meet the requirements for homeschooling registration.

We can continue to adjust our learning activities to meet our child’s interests and needs. As well as adopting our own chosen education approach, integrating learning across a range of areas and stages of development.

“For a small child there is no division between playing and learning; between the things he or she does ‘just for fun’ and things that are ‘educational’. The child learns while living and any part of living that is enjoyable is also play.”
~ Penelope Leach

Primary Education

Kindergarten to Year 6 (K-6)

In NSW the Education Act 1990 determines the curriculum for all students. The NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) syllabuses identify the essential learning for all NSW students.

NSW Curriculum K-6

Syllabus Stages

The NESA syllabuses for primary education are based on the following stages of learning for K-6:

  • Early Stage 1 – Kindergarten
  • Stage 1 – Years 1 and 2
  • Stage 2 – Years 3 and 4
  • Stage 3 – Years 5 and 6

Key Learning Areas

The minimum curriculum for primary education for all NSW children is based on the NESA syllabuses for the following mandatory Key Learning Areas (KLAs):

Each Key Learning Area has Objectives that define, in broad terms, the knowledge, understanding, skills, values and attitudes to be developed. They act as organisers for the intended Outcomes for each Stage of learning.

Stage Statements are summaries of the knowledge, understanding, skills, values and attitudes that have been developed as a result of achieving the Outcomes for each Stage of learning.

Overview of Objectives and Outcomes


English is the study and use of the English language in its various textual forms; spoken, written, interpreted and reflected.

The study of English in K-10 aims to enable students to understand and use language effectively, appreciate, reflect on and enjoy the English language and to make meaning in ways that are imaginative, creative, interpretive, critical and powerful.

A quick overview of English K-10 Syllabus objectives:

  • communicate through speaking, listening, reading, writing, viewing and representing
    speaking and listing, writing and representing, hard writing and using digital technologies, reading and viewing, spelling
  • use language to shape and make meaning according to purpose, audience and context
    speaking and listening, writing and representing, reading and viewing, grammar, punctuation and vocabulary
  • think in ways that are imaginative, creative, interpretative and critical
    thinking imaginatively and creatively
  • express themselves and their relationships with others and their world
    expressing themselves
  • learn and reflect on their learning through their study of English
    reflecting on learning

Mathematics provides knowledge, skills and understanding in number and algebra, measurement and geometry, and statistics and probability. Focusing on mathematical understanding, fluency, communication, logical reasoning, analytical thought and problem-solving skills.

The study of Mathematics in K-10 aims to develop an increasingly sophisticated understanding of mathematical concepts and fluency with mathematical processes, and be able to pose and solve problems and reason in Number and Algebra, Measurement and Geometry, and Statistics and Probability.

A quick overview of Mathematics K-10 Syllabus objectives:

  • working mathematically
    – develop understanding and fluency in mathematics through inquiry, exploring and connecting mathematical concepts, choosing and applying problem-solving skills and mathematical techniques, communication and reasoning
    communicating, problem solving, reasoning, understanding, fluency
  • number and algebra
    – develop efficient strategies for numerical calculation, recognise patterns, describe relationships and apply algebraic techniques and generalisation
    whole numbers, addition and subtraction, multiplication and division, fractions, decimals and percentages, patterns and algebra
  • measurement and geometry
    – identify, visualise and quantify measures and the attributes of shapes and objects, and explore measurement concepts and geometric relationships, applying formulas, strategies and geometric reasoning in the solutions of problems
    length, area, volume and capacity, mass, time, three-dimensional space, two-dimensional space, angles, position
  • statistics and probability
    – collect, represent, analyse, interpret and evaluate data, assign and use probabilities, and make sound judgements
    data, chance
Science and Technology

Science and Technology are linked through problem solving, the skills and processes of scientific inquiry and technological design.

The study of Science and Technology in K-6 enables students to explore scientific and technological concepts and develop knowledge and understanding of the world; enabling them to inquire, plan, investigate and develop solutions to problems.

A quick overview of Science and Technology K–6 Syllabus objectives:

  • develop skills
    scientific inquiry through the process of working scientifically
    design and production processes in the development of solutions
    – design and production of digital solutions
  • develop knowledge and understanding
    – the natural world including living things, materials, forces, energy, and Earth and space
    – the built environment including engineering principles and systems, food and fibre production, and material technologies
    – digital technologies including digital systems and how digital technologies represent data
  • values and attitudes
    – value the importance and contribution of science and technology in developing solutions for current and future personal, social and global issues and in shaping a sustainable future
    – appreciate the importance of using evidence and reason to engage with and respond to scientific and technological ideas
    – value developing solutions to problems and meeting challenges through the application of working scientifically, and design and production skills
Human Society and Its Environment (HSIE)

History and Geography can be taught together, separately or integrated with other areas.


History investigates the actions, motives and lifestyles of people over time, from individuals and family members, to local communities, expanding to national and world history contexts.

The study of History in K-10 aims to stimulate students’ interest in and enjoyment of exploring the past, to develop a critical understanding of the past and its impact on the present, and to develop the critical skills of historical inquiry.

A quick overview of History K-10 Syllabus objectives:

  • develop skills
    – to undertake the process of historical inquiry
    – to communicate their understanding of history
  • develop knowledge and understanding
    – the nature of history and key changes and developments from the past, the modern world and Australia
    – key historical concepts, ideas, movements, people and events that shaped past civilisations, the modern world and Australia
    – personal and family histories, present and past family life, the past in the present, community and remembrances, first contacts, the Australian colonies, Australia as a nation

Geography is the study of places and the relationship between people and their environments.

The study of Geography in K-10 aims to stimulate students’ interest in and engagement with the world. Through geographical inquiry they develop an understanding of the interactions between
people, places and environments.

A quick overview of Geography K-10 Syllabus objectives:

  • develop skills to acquire, process and communicate geographical information
    acquiring, processing, communicating
  • develop knowledge and understanding
    place, significance of places and what they are like
    space, significance of location and spatial distribution, and ways people organise and manage the spaces that we live in
    environment, significance of the environment in human life, and the important relationships between humans and the environment
    interconnection, no object of geographical study can be viewed in isolation
    scale, the way that geographical phenomena and problems can be examined at different spatial levels
    sustainability, the capacity of the environment to continue to support our lives and the lives of other creatures into the future
    change, explaining geographical phenomena by investigating how they have developed over time
  • apply geographical tools for geographical inquiry
    maps, fieldwork, graphs and statistics, spatial technologies. visual representations
Personal Development, Health and Physical Education (PDHPE)

Personal Development, Health and Physical Education encompasses all aspects of an individual’s wellbeing, inclusive of social, mental, physical and spiritual heath.

The study of PDHPE in K-10 aims to enable students to develop the knowledge, understanding, skills, values and attitudes required to lead and promote healthy, safe and active lives.

A quick overview of PDHPE K-10 Syllabus objectives:

  • develop skills
    self-management skills, taking personal responsibility for own actions and emotions, and take positive action to protect and enhance the health, safety and wellbeing of others
    interpersonal skills to interact effectively and respectfully with others, build and maintain respectful relationships and advocate for their own and others’ health, safety, wellbeing and participation in physical activity
    – move with confidence, competence and creativity within and across various physical activity contexts
  • demonstrate an understanding
    – of strategies that promote a sense of personal identity and build resilience and respectful relationships
    – of movement skills, concepts and strategies to respond confidently, competently and creatively in a variety of physical activity contexts
    – understand the significance of contextual factors that influence health, safety, wellbeing and participation in physical activity
    – enact and strengthen health, safety, wellbeing and participation in physical activity
  • values and attitudes
    – value and appreciate influences on personal health practices and demonstrate a commitment to lead and promote healthy, safe and active lives for themselves, others and communities
Creative Arts

Visual arts, music, drama and dance offers opportunities for personal expression, enjoyment, creative action, imagination, emotional response, aesthetic pleasure and the creation of shared meanings.

The study of Creative Arts in K-10 aims to increase students’ understanding and accomplishment in the visual arts, music, drama and dance. And to appreciate the meanings and values that each of the artforms offer personally, culturally and as forms of communication.

A quick overview of Creative Arts K–6 Syllabus objectives:

  • visual arts 
    – making artworks by investigations of the world as subject matter, use of expressive forms, and consideration of the audience of their works
    – appreciating their own artworks and those of others, recognising some relationships between artists, artworks, audiences and how the world is interpreted
    making, appreciating
  • music
    – performing music of different styles and from different times and cultures by singing, playing and moving
    – organising sound into musical composition using musical concepts
    – listening to and discussing their own music and that of others
    performing, organising sound, listening
  • drama
    – making drama collaboratively by taking in roles and creating imagined situations shaped by the elements of drama
    – performing drama by actively engaging in drama forms
    – appreciating their own dramatic works and those of others
    making, performing, appreciating
  • dance
    – composing their own dances using elements and contexts of dance
    – performing their own dances and the dances of others from different times and cultures using the elements and contexts of dance
    – appreciating their own dances and those of others
    performing, composing, appreciating

Home educators can also provide learning in a language other than English. From Stage 4, language is considered mandatory study, but optional in K-3.

The study of Language in K-10 enables students to communicate with others in Language, and to reflect on and understand the nature and role of language and culture in their own lives and the lives of others.

A quick overview of Languages K-10 Framework objectives:

  • communicating
    interacting, exchanging information, ideas and opinions, and socialising, planning and
    accessing and responding, obtaining, processing and responding to information through a
    range of spoken, written, digital and/or multimodal texts
    composing, creating spoken, written, bilingual, digital and/or multimodal texts
  • understanding
    systems of language, understanding the language system including sound, writing, grammar
    and text structure; and how language changes over time and place
    role of language and culture, understanding and reflecting on the role of language and
    culture in the exchange of meaning, and considering how interaction shapes communication and
  • values and attitudes
    – develop an interest in and enjoyment of language learning
    – appreciate and value own heritage, culture and identity
    – appreciate and respect the culture, beliefs and values of others through language learning

Homeschooling enables parents and guardians to integrate the NSW Curriculum with learning processes that occur naturally on a day-to-day basis.

The NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) provides support for homeschooling parents. If you have any questions about the registration process in NSW, or are wanting to apply, please visit the NESA website.