Frequently asked Questions
How Do I Begin Homeschooling?
You will need to apply for an exemption from Enrolment in School from the ministry of Education. This requires you to answer and explain certain aspects of your future home schooling. We highly recommend you talk to other home educators to help you with this application process, it may seems a little daunting however remember the Ministry of Education approves many school exemptions for home schooling every year. If you are organised, prepared and informed your exemption application will likely be processed and approved within a couple of weeks.
Click here to be taken to Ministry of Educations webpage on the home schooling process, you'll find the requirements for Home Education in New Zealand here alongside your application form and information.
Do I get paid?
Home schooling can be a financial burden on a family. Generally a parent or caregiver is unable work full time so to home school their children, often leaving families to get by on a single income. Many home educating parents work part-time around their home schooling successfully. Home Schooling does not need to cost a lot of money and the more you use local resources, the internet, make wise curriculum choices and advice from others the more affordable it will be. The Ministry of Education also provides a supervision allowance payable in two instalments in June and December. This allowance can be adequate to purchase curriculum if that is how you'd choose to spend it.
Current supervisory allowances :
First child $743 per year
Second child $632 per year
Third Child $521 per year
Subsequent children $372 per year
Every six months the Ministry of Education will send out a Statutory Declaration for each home schooled child. You are required to fill in any details and have it witnessed as you sign it. You can do this with a Justice of the Peace or more easily at a Police Station counter. This declaration states that you have been home schooling your child and will continue to do so "as regularly and as well as in a registered school". The declaration is sent out with information on the allowance also in June and December. It is just something that is required each six months and will soon become a norm to your home schooling.
What About Socialisation?
Home schooled children are not isolated and friendless! In fact in most home schooled families it is quite the opposite. Home schooled children develop close friendships not only with their parents and siblings, but with many other children. They will often go through their childhood without bullying, nastiness and peer pressure, which naturally results in great confidence, personal strength and self-esteem. They know how to socialise with adults and children of all ages alike, and can turn away from undesirable behaviour confidently as parents have continually been a model to reinforce positive behaviour in such a natural manner and with the numerous social, sporting and group activities available for home schoolers, socialisation is definitely not an issue for our children.
Higher Education: How Will My Child Gain Entry to Tertiary Education?
Many tertiary organisations accept home schooled students as a matter of fact. Admission officers often accept that home schoolers are dedicated, self-motivated and intelligent students. Currently in New Zealand we have many home educated students in studying medicine, engineering, IT, science, music, psychology and business and much more. Many more have completed their studies and are now lawyers, nurses, vets, lecturers and dental nurses as well as engineers, chefs, or running their own businesses. Our students have done very well for themselves. Home schooling certainly has not hindered them.
How Can I Teach My Children if I'm Not Qualified?
You don't have to be an expert in a subject to be a good teacher. You have countless teaching options when it comes to home education. Curriculums, support groups, fellow home schoolers and students - the answer is always there for you to be fully supported and confident in your abilities to teach your children. There are many studies to suggest mum and dad can effectively teach their own children as well as any 'qualified' teacher and you do not need to look very deep into the home schooling community to know this is true. You have the opportunity to learn right along with them, you get a book, find a webpage ... do the research and learn as you go. You will become their guide on how to learn and you'll be amazed at how resourceful your children will become as they develop a love of learning.
Homeschooling in NZ
The National Council of Home Educators New Zealand is an incorporated society set up to encourage, promote, inform and advance the cause of home education in New Zealand at a national level.
Ministry of Education
Homeschooling information web page from the ministry.