South Australian Home Education Network

South Australian children learning at home and in the community.
Information and resources for South Australian families interested in educating their children at home.

Saturday, May 28, 2005

Local Site Wish List

Every so often I'm part of a group talking about how to cater to the information needs of our growing homeschooling community, and it seems that a central web repository of information is the first essential step. Some Australian states have home education organisations that maintain excellent websites. Some individually owned sites maintain information and links. Keeping all this up-to-date and relevant is quite a task.

Ann's article talks about what homeschoolers want to see from a local information service. The question I'd like to ask is:

"Do homeschoolers prefer LOCAL information provided locally; or information relevant to their STATE only; or would they prefer to use a NATIONAL information service?"

The article below, written by Ann Zeise can be found at http://homeschooling.gomilpitas.com/articles/062899.htm and I thought it is a good introduction to get a discussion going on the topic of support groups.

This article can be found at

Local Site Wish List

"Who should read this?

  • Local & Regional Support Group Webmasters;
  • Library site developers making homeschool resource pages;
  • Local, Community or City site developers making homeschool support pages;
  • Local parenting resources e-zine publishers.

After the usual homeschooling information, what homeschoolers would really like to see are pages with links to your unique regional resources for families. If you don't know much about homeschooling, link to this site, your state page, and then provide local resources. May I suggest these links could include but not necessarily be limited to:

  • Art resources (from supplies to lessons)
  • Banks with free children's accounts
  • Bookstores (including used books)
  • Businesses and industries that give tours (Contact information)
  • Children's theater and musical groups
  • Drivers ed resources & teen driving regulations
  • Educator Discount retailers who include homeschool teachers
  • Genealogy collections available locally
  • Historic sites, reenactments, societies
  • Kid-friendly gyms, athletic clubs, and community athletic teams
  • Libraries (and how to access online)
  • Music schools, piano teachers
  • Museums (especially kid-friendly, hands-on places. Info about classes.)
  • Natural areas, especially those that have nature guides
  • Publications that list family activities
  • Science supply outlets (low priced) and classes
  • Trails (within the city or out; bike paths)
  • Tutoring and mentoring services (especially math and reading)
  • TV stations with community college classes or similar programming
  • Volunteer opportunities for young people
  • Youth organizations (scouts, 4-H, Campfire, etc.)

I cannot hope to be an "expert" on such a wealth of materials that are already in your grasp. Please! Let us partner in what we each can do best. Link to the pages on my site that give your audience what they need. Email me and let me know you have begun a regional resource section on your site, and I'll most likely link it in my "Regional and Worldwide" resources page most relevant to your area."

I welcome your comments... I'm forever 'tweaking' my websites with the aim of offering homeschoolers what they need in order to make homeschooling a breeze. It's good to get feedback. Home education is coming of age in Australia - what do you think we need to do to make it more accessible for interested families?

cheers
Beverley
www.alwayslearningbooks.com.au
http://homeschoolaustralia.beverleypaine.com

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