No place like home for home-schooled Hunter kids

MORE Hunter parents are choosing to abandon the NSW education system to teach their children at home.

The number of children being home-schooled in the region has more than doubled since 2006.

Figures tabled in NSW Parliament show 186 children registered for home-schooling in the Hunter this year, up from 77 in 2006.

Statewide there are 2342 registered to study at home.

Michelle Morrow, who runs a website for home educators in the Hunter, estimated the figures were double those stated because of the number of families who did not register.

A further 120 Hunter students also study distance education through Australian Christian College, Sydney.

Ms Morrow said some of the increase was because there was less stigma attached to the practice than in previous years, and that parents home-schooled because of philosophical reasons, religion and bullying.

She estimated about half of home-schooled children were removed from school because they suffered a combination of behaviour disorders and bullying.

"In many cases being home-schooled can make a big difference," she said.

Ms Morrow teaches three of her children at home and just sent her eldest Daniel, 13, to high school because of his interest in maths and science.

She said she started to home-school Daniel intending to keep him home until he was seven but found the benefits were so great that she continued with the program.

"Learning is tailored towards the child and their learning needs. It really gives them a love of learning," she said.

However, the belief that home-schooled children miss out on socialisation appears to be a misconception. Home-school groups run athletics and swimming carnivals, gymnastics, poetry readings, play dates and participate in after-school activities.

"I'm getting asked by other kids if I can home-school them," Ms Morrow said.