The best way to get started is by talking to other homeschoolers or joining an online homeschooling discussion group where you can post your questions. Most groups will welcome you while you are checking things out, even if your children are very young and you are not yet “officially” homeschooling.
It is law that NZ citizens and residents aged between 6 and 16 must go to school. This is outlined in the Education Act 1989. A parent may apply to have their child exempted from attending school under Section 21 of the Act if they can show that the child will be taught at least as regularly and well as in a registered school (or, in the case of a child with special education needs, that they will be taught at least as regularly and well as in a special class or clinic or by a special service). The exemption application process is quite detailed but very worthwhile – you only have to apply once for each child and the exemption remains valid until the end of the year the child turn 19yrs (unless you cancel it or in rare cases the Ministry of Education may revoke it if they have cause).
There is a lot of useful information on the internet about homeschooling – many online communities, blogs, suppliers and curriculum resources. It’s probably never been easier to homeschool! Finding a like-minded community is essential – there are many local networking groups where you can start getting to know other homeschoolers in your area. Almost all of these groups started informally as a bunch of homeschoolers who decided to formalise things by creating a local group. If you can’t find the right group, find another couple of like-minded families and consider starting your own!
Expect it to take about six months or so for everything to fall into place with your homeschooling routine. Take the opportunity to read widely about homeschooling and develop your ideas with regard to your philosophy, motivations and general approach to home education.
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