The NCHENZ Exec have noticed a huge increase in homeschooling enquiries and commentary in various online groups. It’s wonderful seeing the new families being drawn to this education pathway and we hope they enjoy their homeschooling journey.
The home education option in NZ has always been available as a long-term lifestyle as well as a short-term solution. NCHENZ welcomes all home educators regardless of their reasons for choosing this path and regardless of how long they homeschool for. We would like to acknowledge the patience and generosity of our community for supporting those asking questions and seeking advice about how to get started. It’s incredibly important that new home educators get the correct information. We encourage our experienced home educators to continue to comment on groups where they’re comfortable doing so, pointing new homeschoolers to this website where appropriate, and providing accurate factual information.
While we are an incredibly diverse group, we are one community and NCHENZ has spent many years creating a strong position with the Ministry of Education. We would hate to see that threatened by misinformed families applying to homeschool with inadequate preparation or concept of what this lifestyle involves.
The NCHENZ Exec would like to remind everyone:
- Choosing to home educate, for whatever reason, means taking full responsibility for your child’s education. While you may have experienced home educators alongside you, the full responsibility rests on your shoulders and it is important to be well prepared. This means doing your research, attending an information evening (online or in person), and searching on groups for past questions as many have already been asked.
- Access to facilities, competitions and activities in the community are not an automatic “right” for homeschoolers like it is for kids at school. Organisers have often worked hard to build relationships with facility managers. Bolshy, entitled behaviour jeopardises the relationship and risks the goodwill fostered with the provider. Please be a good ambassador for home education as we each represent the whole community when in public.
- The NCHENZ Executive Committee recommends that you DO NOT read other exemption applications until you have done a first draft of your own. As every family will have different goals, expectations, methods and practices, it is very difficult to read another exemption and not allow that to sway your choices. Instead, research on this website, take time to think and reflect deeply, and create a first draft before getting input from others. If you do need some assistance, there are several experienced home educators around NZ who offer consulting and guidance around preparing for an exemption. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for a list of tried and trusted people.
- NCHENZ has strong links with the Ministry of Education and we would be one of the first to know about changes to the Education Act or exemption application process. There is no basis to the rumours that the Ministry will be capping exemptions, making it harder to get an exemption, or cancelling exemptions for a period of time. While there has certainly been an uptick in the number of applications and the processing time might be slightly longer, it is business as usual with regard to exemption processing. If you see these rumours online please do not allow them to persist as they cause additional stress for new home educators and add unnecessary time at the Ministry end as they answer repeated phonecalls about the rumours.
- Facebook can be a negative environment at times and a break from social media can be really beneficial. If you’re feeling jaded, stressed, or irritated – don’t write a post or make a comment that inadvertently creates more drama.
Not to toot our own horn but the NCHENZ Facebook group is a great drama-free space. Divisive topics are not permitted and therefore we are able to focus on our most important job … the joy of learning alongside our children. You’ll need to join NCHENZ to join the group, it’s free and quick, join here – and once you have your membership number you can join the NCHENZ Facebook group.