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A Plan for Ticking Year 10 Homeschool Boxes

August 29, 2022

My daughter, Lily, recently came to me because she was interested in getting her 10-year accreditation for homeschooling. My initial reaction was "Why?"

She's 16 and she's currently studying beauty therapy at TAFE after graduating from hairdressing. She doesn't really need the Year 10 certificate since she already has one Cert III, and is in the process of getting another one - and these are MUCH more valuable if she ever decides to apply for tertiary education. But I get it - she's been homeschooling for 10 years and wants this certificate as recognition. It's a 'right of passage'. Acknowledgement that she's done it. That's important for a young person. And so, if it's important to her, then it's important to me.

I'm always have to stand in the middle. I straddle multiple worlds - in personal development adventures and also in the institutionalised education space.

On one side, I'm trying out new, out-of-the-box ideas in designing awesome educational experiences - and on the other side balancing the NESA requirements of homeschoolers.

Because I respect the 2 worlds, I'm able to find the best in both.

Win + Win.

That's what this episode is all about - a simple conversation that makes the NESA demands (we call these the 'boxes') easy to understand and fulfil - AND still participate in a fun, engaging, holistic learning experience.

This is the plan that I put together with Lily to help her prepare for her interview and get her Year 10 certificate. You might find this useful for your own homeschool program.



1. We looked at what Lily's been doing, her schedule, and the balance of subjects that she's been taking through her program at TAFE and at home.

  • Mondays & Tuesdays: Work with me and Sofia

  • Wednesdays, Thursdays, & Fridays: Hair dressing & Beauty Therapy at TAFE

2. We listed down all the subjects or topics that NESA will look at during her interview. In each of the topics, we identified projects and activities that will be part of her portfolio.

One key activity is our Film Project where we watch historical films that focus on stories that happened in the 20th century. The Film Project covers several subjects, including History, English, and Science. I always take a holistic approach to learning but NESA wants to see it broken down to it's elements - so here's what we prepared:


  • Investment - Barefoot Investor for Families

  • Year 11 Math Excel-based Workbook produced by Pascal Press with real-life practical application: Taxation, Commission and Piecework, and other financial maths


  • Spelling sessions - we've noticed that low spelling skills has been an issue and decided to address it. When you have to show up in text online, right or wrong, people judge you by your literacy skills. So we're working on it.

  • Essay samples: It's such a great asset to have the skills to be able to do a good essay when you're going into university studies.

  • English workbook

  • Movie reviews


  • Through her Beauty Therapy course, she will be able to look into science-related topics like skin types, hair follicles, how they grow, and all sorts of biology aspects related to the course that she's been doing.

  • Related to the film project, we're going to choose historical films that have a lot of scientific elements to them (like Hidden Figures, Apollo 13, etc).

  • She will pick three films that have scientific elements and will have a mini assignment related to that scientific aspect that she wants to study or research further.

History & Geography

  • We drew a 20th-century timeline in the hallway to help them in finding movies that correspond to each decade.

  • We watch historical movies about the 20th century and review a movie per week.

  • The report will be generated through a template on the computer to also complement the work with computer skills. We print their reports and also stick them to our timeline.

  • The movie reviews that they do are also part of their work in English.

  • There will be movies that have scientific elements to them, which will also be part of her Science work as well.

  • Geography book

  • Plan for her world trip: where to go, what sort of people are there, what sort of foods you can enjoy, and other aspects of travel


  • Samples of her course work (hairdressing)

  • Fitness Plan that contains her plan for healthy eating and doing enough exercise


  • Online piano lessons for 6 months (still ongoing)

  • Put together some recordings and videos of her playing the piano as part of Creative Arts

Other topics/skills to develop: Computer skills

We make sure that we take a holistic approach in designing our homeschooling program while also addressing the requirements that NESA has for homeschoolers.

Lily has done multiple projects using PROJECT SPACE

If you want to know more about how I develop a program using project-based learning as the baseline, go to:

To get your free historical movies list use the form below:


Podcast highlights:

  • [1:50] We (Ortal and I) want to help parents to take a more holistic approach to education and use design thinking as a model and framework to be able to do this. Because it is really is the best way to learn and to think about life in general.

  • [08:52] You don't 100% stick to your program. You take learning opportunities as they emerge. Two years is a long period of time in the life of a growing and developing student, so it's [the program] bound to change over the course of 2 years.

  • [10:39] Homeschoolers look at 50% (grades) and say "alright, our glass is half-full, let's try and bring it up to 80% or 90%, to a satisfactory level where we can say you understand this and we can move forward.

  • [13:55] On developing your program: We have to be confident in the space between big thinking, project-based learning on one end of the spectrum, and on the other hand of the spectrum addressing these boxes that NESA, or whoever your governing authority body is, wants to tick.

  • [19:20] On Science: We don't do a lot of science in our homeschooling work, but we do really value scientific thinking, critical thinking, and the ability to carry out an experiment.


"If a child can't learn the way we teach, maybe we should teach the way they learn."

- Ignacio 'Nacho' Estrada


Links mentioned in this episode:

>> How to Develop a Homeschool Program through Project-Based Learning

>> Project-Based Learning Weekly Webinar


You can now enjoy this episode on your favourite podcast site!

Listen on itunes
Watch The Blueprint with slides on YouTube




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