Homeschoolers in New Zealand? - Mothering Forums
Australia and New Zealand > Homeschoolers in New Zealand?
jrose_lee's Avatar jrose_lee 05:19 PM 08-30-2009
Hello!

We are looking into job opportunities for my husband in New Zealand currently. If it works out we'd be moving this upcoming December.

I would just like some info on homeschooling in NZ.....

how easy is it to get the waiver for putting them in school?
do they evaluate the kids? test them? question them?
Do people want to come and check on you a lot?
What kind of support groups are there?
Is it much much easier (with all the different rules) to just do a curriculum rather than try to unschool or something?

I'd love ANY And ALL info from anyone who knows! I've tried to look it up online but would like first hand experience...

TIA!

accountclosed2's Avatar accountclosed2 10:16 AM 09-29-2009
I'm not currently in NZ, and my daughter is still a bit young, but I plan to home school when we are back there.

The law says a child has to be taught as well and as often as in school or something similar, and isn't too hard to comply with. There are a number of un-schoolers as well, so a bought curriculum is not necessary. You need to send in a new application every year, starting at your child's sixth birthday, but they rarely visit or test you (they visit a few home-schoolers a year). I think you have to send in some evaluations of your child's work with your next application. You can find more info by googling home schooling or home education in Auckland, Hamilton, Wellington or Christchurch, the local home schooling groups should b able to give you advice about applications and things like that.
Smokering's Avatar Smokering 11:27 PM 11-03-2009
There are heaps of homeschoolers in Hamilton, both secular and religious - it's quite a thriving community.

I don't think it's particularly hard to do your own curriculum. Mum did. The Education Review Office (ERO) comes by to check on you every few years in theory, but in practice if you do well on the first visit they don't bother checking again for ages. Years. I was homeschooled from ages 13-16 and never got reviewed because my older sister had done so well; my younger sisters only got reviewed last year (and I'm 23 now, so!), and the guy was very pro-homeschooling, thought they were great, ate homemade cookies and that was that.

And yes, the key phrase is "taught as regularly and as well" as in a public school. Which frankly, isn't hard. I wouldn't recommend moving to NZ if you weren't planning to homeschool, actually; the system kinda sucks.
accountclosed3's Avatar accountclosed3 02:24 PM 01-06-2010
the school system in NZ may stink, but the country as a whole is ranked at 7th in the world for education, well above the US.

but, i'm still all for homeschooling/unschooling. i'm leaning toward waldorf-inspired/influenced unschooling right now. we'll see how we go though.

i'm excited that it is so hands off.
jrose_lee's Avatar jrose_lee 08:46 PM 01-06-2010
Well, we're officially moving there in one week so....here we go!!!!! Yay!
accountclosed3's Avatar accountclosed3 10:10 PM 01-10-2010
congrats! we hope to also move there in a week or so!

we have to wait and see, but it iwll be soon!

where will you be again? we'll be in wellington!
jrose_lee's Avatar jrose_lee 12:16 AM 01-11-2010
HI!
We'll be in Kaitaia way up at the tip top of Northland. I haven't been able to meet anyone on any online forums from up there. It's sort of a smaller town. Keep in touch if you like! Always good to know someone else who's new to the country and going through th same thing!

jessica
accountclosed3's Avatar accountclosed3 02:07 PM 01-12-2010
i'm on a yahoo group for ex-pats. it's great. very informative.

and sure, we'll meet up. we plan on seeing the place!
accountclosed2's Avatar accountclosed2 02:23 PM 01-13-2010
How lovely! Good luck, both of you, and enjoy the summer!

We are planning to be back in Wellington in April or May, I can't wait, I'm sooooo homesick!
accountclosed3's Avatar accountclosed3 09:47 PM 01-14-2010
i'll be so psyched to see you again! we're totally going to rock storytelling and singing at the studio!
tiffani's Avatar tiffani 10:22 PM 01-16-2010
we're in wellington, and my kids are 8 and 10 and unschooled. we're not actually involved with the new zealand system, being still registered with a canadian program, but I hang around with enough homeschoolers in wellington to know how the system works here...

you only apply for your exemption when your child would normally be entering school -- on their 5th birthday here, rather than at the beginning of the school year. though I think you actually have until they're 6 to get the exemption, but not sure of that...

after that, they theoretically check in on you, and it's theoretically random, but I know families who get checked on every year (or most years) and some who go years without being checked on at all. you don't have to reapply each year though.

there is a great group here in wellington, and I think it's growing with the up and coming younger group. It's a more religious-than-not group, and there really aren't very many unschoolers. I think that's also changing with the younger group, though, as unschooling catches on, and more people start homeschooling here. There are lots and lots of activities to participate in, and many friends to make, which is the important thing!

there is a yahoo group for Radical Unschoolers of Aotearoa, not sure of the exact name of the group, but if you search yahoo groups for it, it will come up.

hope you're enjoying wellington -- though the weather here is so awful lately... where is summer?!?!?!?
accountclosed3's Avatar accountclosed3 01:56 PM 01-18-2010
we are strongly leaning toward unschooling (with waldorf influences) for our son! we are excited about the opportunities in NZ.

i have heard that summer ahs been funny there. ah well! it's better than a PA january!
accountclosed2's Avatar accountclosed2 02:14 PM 02-13-2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by zoebird View Post
i'll be so psyched to see you again! we're totally going to rock storytelling and singing at the studio!
Yes! Can't wait to be back! Will be great to see you again! And now our wee ones will be able to play together!

How's it going with the studio? I am so keen to do yoga again. None of the places here allow babies and children (except baby-mum yoga for mum's with non-mobile babies under 6 months).
Past_VNE's Avatar Past_VNE 09:26 PM 07-01-2010
Jrose, now that you've been there a few months, what do you have to say about it?

We are seriously considering a move to Auckland this year, for a year's time (and up in the air, thereafter.)

We have a 5.5 yr old and a 1 yr old. We are currently US homeschoolers, non-vaxed, and have a dog. (I've read the NZ gov site on importing pets.)

I'd love to hear anything you have to say, good or bad!
jrose_lee's Avatar jrose_lee 10:09 PM 07-01-2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by Past_VNE View Post
Jrose, now that you've been there a few months, what do you have to say about it?

We are seriously considering a move to Auckland this year, for a year's time (and up in the air, thereafter.)

We have a 5.5 yr old and a 1 yr old. We are currently US homeschoolers, non-vaxed, and have a dog. (I've read the NZ gov site on importing pets.)

I'd love to hear anything you have to say, good or bad!
Hello! We are still liking it. I wish that our homeschool group was a bit more active for activities for the young children. There isn't much going on and most of it is out of town (and we don't have a car here yet). With Auckland you would have absolutely no trouble finding a homeschool group. There are tons! There has been a slight change to the homeschooling law over here. They are a little more strict about the paper work (questions etc) that you have to turn in to get permission to homeschool, but they do not come and do home visits anymore. We have not applied yet b/c ds is only 4 and you don't have to do it until age 6. If you were only planning to stay a year I wonder if you would have to do it at all. Anyway, yes we're liking it. I sort of wish we were in a bigger city. I'm having trouble finding enough social type stuff to do (everything is aimed at the tots crowd and then most everyone else goes to school).

Good luck! Let us know if you make it down. We come to Auckland every once in a while to go to church!
Becky C's Avatar Becky C 03:19 AM 10-09-2010
Hi JRose- Just joined the forum, and had a quick look around. I'm currently in Queenstown, but headed to Kerikeri in January, we've just bought a place there. Not so far away from Kaitaia!
jrose_lee's Avatar jrose_lee 01:12 AM 10-12-2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by Becky C View Post
Hi JRose- Just joined the forum, and had a quick look around. I'm currently in Queenstown, but headed to Kerikeri in January, we've just bought a place there. Not so far away from Kaitaia!
Hi! I hope you enjoy Kerkeri. I've heard there is a group of homeschoolers that meets up there. My husband just applied for a job there, but I'm not getting my hopes up...although I would love it
Faith49's Avatar Faith49 05:28 PM 06-26-2012

Hi there,

 

yes it was easy to apply to the Ministry of Education for a exemption, and it took 2 month processing time.

The Homeschoolers Group will help you with the paperwork, they helped me allot.Or if you stuck with it, let me know 

and I will help you to fill out the paperwork for the Ministry of Education.

I am using the books from Excel, you can buy them here in the book stores, or you use other materials.

Everything you need can also be bought from Trademe, what saved me a bundle.

The Ministry of Education has the right to make a appointment and check upon the education that, the child

receives, but  hasn't done it yet and I am homeschooling since 2 years. You are responsible to test your child, 

I have done this yet either. We as homeschooling parents have meetings here in Hamilton NZ for Christian and

Non Christian parents, to support each other. It is a great support network and they arranged camps, art classes, sports 

and so much more. You would join a Term News Letter, this will give you information and options if you wanting to have your

child to join a class or a group for the term, like sports, drama, arts. 

The freedom you gain is amazing and I can tell you only from my experiences, I wished I would done this earlier.

 

But know, no matter were in New Zealand your husband will find work, there will be a Homeschoolers Group... :)

 

Corrie

 

http://www.nchenz.org.nz/resources/qualifications/testing-your-student/


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