The Executive Committee for 2023/2024 consists of:
Nadia Sole CJ Govan Cynthia Hancox Sheena Harris Ruth Lolo Gin Taylor Jess Corbett Dee Kelly Maharookh Sidhwa Kylie Marshall Vicki Wolfe
Nadia lives with her husband Gavin and their three teen boys in Christchurch. She was always aware that they would probably home educate as she watched her sister’s children grow up being homeschooled. Meeting regularly with other unschoolers to create a community of like-minded people has been the most important aspect of the family’s home education journey. With her oldest now 17 and determined to study engineering, Nadia has been exploring the different pathways for University Entrance outside of NCEA via Te Kura which doesn’t seem to suit her son.
CJ has always been passionate about education and became a registered teacher with qualifications in Special Education many years ago. She started to home educate when she found the needs of one of her children could not be met in the mainstream school system. Now, CJ and her partner have a blended family with five children ranging from 2 to 25 years old. She says their house is “full of disability and neurodiversity” – Autism, ADHD, tourettes, ID, dyslexia, dyscalculia, hearing loss, SPD, and speech language delay. They are constantly adapting their approach and also use NZ Sign Language.
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 14 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.
Government Liaison Team
Sheena lives west of Hamilton with her husband Nathan and their three sons. She has woven Charlotte Mason, Classical and unschooling into the tapestry of learning for her children. Sheena has launched many new home educators off the starting blocks by hosting information evenings and assisting with exemption applications. She comes to the NCHENZ committee with a passion to help and support any family who wishes to provide a tailored education in their home and community, ensuring that they enjoy the journey along the way.
Ruth was homeschooled for most of her own childhood, and she and her husband knew from the start that they wanted to do the same for their two boys. Based in Wellington, they’ve taken advantage of the flexibility home education offers to spend extended time overseas, immersing themselves in other cultures and languages and learning about the geography and history of different places. They enjoy pursuing their sons’ diverse interests through unit studies and encouraging them to explore the world around them and contribute where they can.
Member Offers Co-ordinator
Gin has two teenagers – she says she thought she was busy when they were toddlers, but if only she knew! Gin has unschooled from the beginning and continues to do so. She passionately advocates for her youngest teen who has dyslexia, OCD and social anxiety, and Gin is currently navigating a way forward for her daughter to start a part time job. In the Taylor household life ls busy, beautiful, and at times utterly bonkers trying to manage everyone’s commitments into one short week!
Jess lives in Dunedin and has been homeschooling her neurodiverse son since December 2019 due to increasing issues within the mainstream school system. With a passion for self-sufficiency and living a car-free lifestyle, Jess spends her time birdwatching, gardening and keeping her three Pekin bantams in line. Focusing on the importance of positive mental health has been a key feature in decisions around homeschooling for Jess and her family.
As a teenage parent, Dee has devoted her life to her children’s education and wellbeing. With kids now aged 18yrs, 14yrs and 8yrs, Dee and her husband enjoy using the natural environment as their classroom. Their youngest child has a range of significant needs and had a short stint at school until he lost all of his teacher aide funding. He is now thriving again at home with his older siblings.
ID Cards Co-ordinator
Maharookh is a qualified child psychologist and teacher, with degrees in both. She is currently homeschooling her two youngest children. Maharookh is also on the Auckland Home Educators Committee, where she helps with exemptions and meets regularly with the local Ministry of Education staff.
Kylie began home educating to support her autistic children whose learning and support needs weren’t being met in the mainstream school environment. Due to this she has experience in modifying curriculum and learning opportunities to meet the diverse needs of her children. She has been homeschooling for four years. She mainly uses free curriculum and occasionally stays up until the early hours to create her own unit studies.
Social Media Officer
Vicki lives in Wellington and has been homeschooling her children from the beginning. The family have an eclectic approach to education, with a strong focus on STEM subjects. Vicki uses a combination of online teaching programmes and play-based activities to educate her children. They enjoy the flexibility of homeschooling and the ability to tailor the education to the individual child’s needs.
Te Kura Adviser – email firstname.lastname@example.org for information or assistance in using Te Kura in your home education programme.
Can you help? We have an off-Committee role available to homeschooled teens or homeschooling caregivers:
Blog Posts – Writing articles every 2-3 weeks for the NCHENZ website on a variety of topics, varying lengths (from short to medium). Email email@example.com for further details.