The Executive Committee for 2017/2018 consists of:
Debbie Thomas (Auckland) – Co-ordinator
Debbie and her husband, Martin, have been home educating their six children for a number of years now. They currently use ACE curriculum for their youngest three children, but have used a variety of curriculum over the years including Abeka, NZ Curriculum, Unit Studies and Te Kura. They live on Auckland’s North Shore.
Meredith Connolly (Waikato) – Correspondence Secretary
Meredith began home educating her five children in 2010, but now has three at home due to her oldest two returning to school for NCEA. Her husband whole-heartedly supports her teaching all subjects except geography (she admits she is geographically challenged!). Meredith loves the idea that fellow kiwi home educators from all over New Zealand can band together to support, inform and encourage one another. She is also the MOE liaison for THEN in the Waikato.
Cynthia Hancox (Horowhenua) – Government Liaison Team
Cynthia home educated her five children for over 20 years. She has been involved in supporting home educators with their exemption applications for the last 10 years, and is passionate about encouraging home educators and protecting their rights. Cynthia has a broad knowledge of home education in NZ. The Hancox family live on a small lifestyle block in the Horowhenua, and enjoy growing as much of their own food as possible. Cynthia also writes for her various blogs when she has time.
Tatiana Holmes (Wellington) – Special Education Advisor
The Holmes family home educated their oldest son briefly while changing schools and decided to home educate their youngest on a more permanent basis. Their eldest son is now at University while their youngest continues to be home educated. Tatiana has a special interest in the Autism and learning disabilities area, and is actively involved in various support groups for Autism, Aspergers and special needs. Tatiana’s hope is to create a reliable network of assessors, information, and support for home educators who fall under the special needs umbrella.
Nadia Sole (Canterbury) – Member Services Co-ordinator, Website Administrator
The Sole family live on a large lifestyle block in Canterbury where they have started an extensive native planting project. Nadia and Gavin have three children and they were always aware that they would probably home educate. Nadia meets regularly with other unschoolers – she believes that creating a community of like-minded people has been the most important aspect of her home education journey.
Astrid Hendra (Manawatu/Wanganui) – Treasurer, IT Expert
Astrid had always wanted to home educate, and having a daughter with Autism made the decision even easier. Becoming a single parent partway through their journey was an unexpected hurdle. Astrid is self-employed, operating an IT business part-time from home. She is also active in her local home education group, is a member of their committee, and runs their resource library.
Tanya Vivier (Taranaki) – Membership Secretary
Tanya and her husband, Chris, started their homeschooling journey in late 2014 when their only daughter began struggling at school. They use a mainly internet-based approach. Home educating also provides them with ample time to focus on their daughter’s ballet competitions and St Johns Cadets. They enjoy seeing the progress their daughter has made while homeschooling so far, and Tanya loves the opportunity to learn alongside her daughter.
Gin Taylor (Bay of Plenty) – Social Media & Communications Co-ordinator
Gin has unschooled her children their whole lives, and they are now beginning to explore unschooling for teenagers! As her two girls are growing older, Gin is enjoying the interesting discussions about the future and how unschooling can best serve their dreams and goals. Gin and the children are active within their wider community, and join in with local home educators when they can.
Cathy Norris (Wanganui) – ID Cards
Cathy has been home educating since 2008. She has four boys; the eldest went through the school system, but the other three have always been home educated. The family has a Playcentre background, which has led Cathy to take an child-centred approach to the children’s education. She believes in life-long learning, being in the Tertiary system herself for many years now. The family are active in both their local home education community and their wider community
Can you help? We have vacancies on the Executive Committee for:
Meetings Secretary – Gathering agenda items and taking minutes at our monthly online meeting.
Blog Posts – Writing articles every 2-3 weeks for the NCHENZ website on a variety of topics, varying lengths (from short to medium).