October 20, 2014

Latest posts from Home Education Foundation

Dr Ruth Beechick – You can Teach your Child Successfully

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From the Smiths:

http://hef.org.nz/2011/craig-smith-26-january-1951-to-30-september-2011/

Updated 1 October 2014:  Three years on (Craig Smith’s Health) page 7 click here

*****

Needing help for your home schooling journey:

http://hef.org.nz/2011/needing-help-for-your-home-schooling-journey-2/

And

Here are a couple of links to get you started home schooling:

Information on getting startedhttp://hef.org.nz/getting-started-2/

and

Information on getting an exemptionhttp://hef.org.nz/exemptions/

This link is motivational: http://hef.org.nz/2012/home-schooling-what-is-it-all-about/

Exemption Form online: http://hef.org.nz/2012/home-schooling-exemption-form-now-online/

Coming Events: http://hef.org.nz/2013/some-coming-events-for-home-education-during-2013-2/

Beneficiaries: http://hef.org.nz/2013/where-to-for-beneficiary-families-now-that-the-social-security-benefit-categories-and-work-focus-amendment-bill-has-passed-its-third-reading/

Health Curriculum: How to prevent and cure Cancer and other diseases

This series is excellent and I highly recommend that you all watch these Youtube videos – the first five are up on Youtube and the rest will go up one a day (2pm in New Zealand). The first one will probably be taken down soon. It was only meant to be up for free for 24 hours. They will be for sale after the series finishes. Ty is a personal friend of ours. He and his family came to our daughter Genevieve’s wedding. They lived in NZ for about a year. Ty and Charleen home educate their children.

Find out how to prevent and treat cancer 100% naturally, watch the trailer for FREE today. Live docu-series event…thetruthaboutcancer.com
1. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rc1rtIxvkao – History, what is cancer and Chemo
2. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QEkdpGyve3o – Immune system. A Dr in this video says that there may be a case for Chemo to help reduce the cancer so that the immunue system can take over and do its work of getting rid of cancer. They all say that there is NO cure for cancer. It is all about building up the immune system so that it can do its job of killing the cancer.
3. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cQpWH-LR6Gki – “Eliminate these dirty dozen to prevent cancer” “GMO’s” are dangerous foods which are not grown or raised, they are created in a lab environment and tweaked to create a species not found in nature. Even though GMO’s have gotten a lot more press over the past few years I bet you didn’t know that over 70% of processed foods contain genetically modified ingredients! Avoid these foods – Read Ty’s report:  Read it here for free
- Which detoxification treatments were actually in the Merck Manual until the 1970s – (@ 22:10)
- That the lymphatic system is the most overlooked “detox” system in the body (@ 45:00)
5. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L03t6STTjZQ – “Nature’s Pharmacy” For thousands of years, humans have used the plant life around them to help cure their ailments. If you walk into the woods, you will be hard pressed to find anything that’s not medicine. We’ll learn about how natural food really can be our medicine. We’ll learn which foods to avoid and which ones to eat. We’ll learn about vitamin and mineral deficiencies and how to properly correct them with foods and herbs. And we’ll also learn about which types of sugars feed cancer and which types don’t. (we will want to see this for sure)
1. @ 15:25 – learn the difference between left-spin and right-spin sugar molecules and which one feeds cancer cells and which one is healthy
2. @ 53:10 – learn how seeds help defeat cancer by targeting cancer stem cells
3. @ 57:00 – discover how this common emotion stimulates the immune system for 24 hours while another common emotion suppresses immunity for 6 hours
6. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6VO7V4nDnCM “Clean Foods & The Cancer Free Diet”. We all know that “you are what you eat” and in this episode we’re going to show you exactly how to eat in a way that will destroy cancer cells. This is an amazing show that teaches you how to eat and use nutrition to prevent cancer, and also how to eat to treat cancer too. Here’s a small sample of the powerful content in this eipsode
1. @ 10:50 – Could cervical cancer be nothing more than a nutritional deficiency disease?
2. @ 13:23 – Is the Food Pyramid for the Standard American Diet (SAD) really upside down?
3. @ 33:40 – Learn the difference between “good” and “bad” salt and how “good salt” is essential for proper functioning of the immune system and hormones
4. @39:30 – Discover what type of water acts as an antioxidant to your body
5. @ 51:51 – Learn why there are more anti-cancer compounds in a whole food diet than in your local oncology center
7. http://thetruthaboutcancer.com/live/episode7.php Episode 7:  Diagnostic “Do’s & Don’ts” – Proven Treatment Protocols Part 1 (Now playing) (this link will change when Episode 8 goes up at 2pm on Tuesday). This is one of those episodes that you’ll want to have a pen and paper handy for taking notes. In fact, the next 3 episodes are all about specific cancer treatments and protocols shared by the doctors that created/use them everyday to save thousands of lives.

From Ty: One thing that I really want everyone to understand is that
this series is a “Quest for the Cures” (plural).

Meaning… there’s not just one way, or one magic pill, or one protocol that will work for everyone.

Depending on ones genetics, blood type, race, gender, medical history, type of cancer, and other factors, will determine what works and what doesn’t.

Not to mention, we’ve interviewed 51 experts, to get their opinions and expertise, and not all 51 will agree 100% on every single thing.

And that’s okay…

If they all agreed on the same magic pill, then our show would only be 1 episode long :-)

So, please keep in mind that our mission is to investigate and educate, so that YOU (and everyone you love) can make an informed decision if they’re ever faced with a cancer diagnoses.

With that said, you’re about to enjoy 3 nights of proven treatment protocols from the doctors that use them to save lives every single
day.

There are 11 videos altogether – the 8th one will be playing at 2pm this afternoon – I don’t have the link for it yet – you can subscribe here to get the link in your email each day: http://thetruthaboutcancer.com/fall_quest1.php

The whole course can be purchased here for half price for the next 3 days: http://thetruthaboutcancer.com/pre-order/champion.php

Ty Charlene Bollinger

Ty has pulled all the advice in the world together about cancer into this series. He interviews a lot of different people.

This is also good for us too. For those who don’t have cancer as a preventative and for those who have had cancer to keep cancer from returning.

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From the Smiths:

http://hef.org.nz/2011/craig-smith-26-january-1951-to-30-september-2011/

Updated 1 October 2014:  Three years on (Craig Smith’s Health) page 7 click here

*****

Needing help for your home schooling journey:

http://hef.org.nz/2011/needing-help-for-your-home-schooling-journey-2/

And

Here are a couple of links to get you started home schooling:

Information on getting startedhttp://hef.org.nz/getting-started-2/

and

Information on getting an exemptionhttp://hef.org.nz/exemptions/

This link is motivational: http://hef.org.nz/2012/home-schooling-what-is-it-all-about/

Exemption Form online: http://hef.org.nz/2012/home-schooling-exemption-form-now-online/

Coming Events: http://hef.org.nz/2013/some-coming-events-for-home-education-during-2013-2/

Beneficiaries: http://hef.org.nz/2013/where-to-for-beneficiary-families-now-that-the-social-security-benefit-categories-and-work-focus-amendment-bill-has-passed-its-third-reading/

Home Educators can learn from this Veteran Teacher

A veteran teacher turned coach shadows 2 students for 2 days – a sobering lesson learned

The following account comes from a veteran High School teacher who just became a Coach in her building. Because her experience is so vivid and sobering I have kept her identity anonymous. But nothing she describes is any different than my own experience in sitting in HS classes for long periods of time. And this report of course accords fully with the results of our student surveys. 

I have made a terrible mistake.

I waited fourteen years to do something that I should have done my first year of teaching: shadow a student for a day. It was so eye-opening that I wish I could go back to every class of students I ever had right now and change a minimum of ten things – the layout, the lesson plan, the checks for understanding. Most of it!

This is the first year I am working in a school but not teaching my own classes; I am the High School Learning Coach, a new position for the school this year. My job is to work with teachers and admins. to improve student learning outcomes.

As part of getting my feet wet, my principal suggested I “be” a student for two days: I was to shadow and complete all the work of a 10th grade student on one day and to do the same for a 12th grade student on another day. My task was to do everything the student was supposed to do: if there was lecture or notes on the board, I copied them as fast I could into my notebook. If there was a Chemistry lab, I did it with my host student. If there was a test, I took it (I passed the Spanish one, but I am certain I failed the business one)…

Key Takeaway #1

Students sit all day, and sitting is exhausting.

I could not believe how tired I was after the first day. I literally sat down the entire day, except for walking to and from classes. We forget as teachers, because we are on our feet a lot – in front of the board, pacing as we speak, circling around the room to check on student work, sitting, standing, kneeling down to chat with a student as she works through a difficult problem…we move a lot.

But students move almost never. And never is exhausting. In every class for four long blocks, the expectation was for us to come in, take our seats, and sit down for the duration of the time. By the end of the day, I could not stop yawning and I was desperate to move or stretch. I couldn’t believe how alert my host student was, because it took a lot of conscious effort for me not to get up and start doing jumping jacks in the middle of Science just to keep my mind and body from slipping into oblivion after so many hours of sitting passively.

I was drained, and not in a good, long, productive-day kind of way. No, it was that icky, lethargic tired feeling. I had planned to go back to my office and jot down some initial notes on the day, but I was so drained I couldn’t do anything that involved mental effort (so instead I watched TV) and I was in bed by 8:30.

If I could go back and change my classes now, I would immediately change the following three things:

  • mandatory stretch halfway through the class
  • put a Nerf basketball hoop on the back of my door and encourage kids to play in the first and final minutes of class
  • build in a hands-on, move-around activity into every single class day. Yes, we would sacrifice some content to do this – that’s fine. I was so tired by the end of the day, I wasn’t absorbing most of the content, so I am not sure my previous method of making kids sit through hour-long, sit-down discussions of the texts was all that effective.

Key Takeaway #2

High School students are sitting passively and listening during approximately 90% of their classes.

Obviously I was only shadowing for two days, but in follow-up interviews with both of my host students, they assured me that the classes I experienced were fairly typical.

In eight periods of high school classes, my host students rarely spoke. Sometimes it was because the teacher was lecturing; sometimes it was because another student was presenting; sometimes it was because another student was called to the board to solve a difficult equation; and sometimes it was because the period was spent taking a test. So, I don’t mean to imply critically that only the teachers droned on while students just sat and took notes. But still, hand in hand with takeaway #1 is this idea that most of the students’ day was spent passively absorbing information.

It was not just the sitting that was draining but that so much of the day was spent absorbing information but not often grappling with it.

I asked my tenth-grade host, Cindy, if she felt like she made important contributions to class or if, when she was absent, the class missed out on the benefit of her knowledge or contributions, and she laughed and said no.

I was struck by this takeaway in particular because it made me realize how little autonomy students have, how little of their learning they are directing or choosing. I felt especially bad about opportunities I had missed in the past in this regard.

If I could go back and change my classes now, I would immediately:

  • Offer brief, blitzkrieg-like mini-lessons with engaging, assessment-for-learning-type activities following directly on their heels (e.g. a ten-minute lecture on Whitman’s life and poetry, followed by small-group work in which teams scour new poems of his for the very themes and notions expressed in the lecture, and then share out or perform some of them to the whole group while everyone takes notes on the findings.)
  • set an egg timer every time I get up to talk and all eyes are on me. When the timer goes off, I am done. End of story. I can go on and on. I love to hear myself talk. I often cannot shut up. This is not really conducive to my students’ learning, however much I might enjoy it.
  • Ask every class to start with students’ Essential Questions or just general questions born of confusion from the previous night’s reading or the previous class’s discussion. I would ask them to come in to class and write them all on the board, and then, as a group, ask them to choose which one we start with and which ones need to be addressed. This is my biggest regret right now – not starting every class this way. I am imagining all the misunderstandings, the engagement, the enthusiasm, the collaborative skills, and the autonomy we missed out on because I didn’t begin every class with fifteen or twenty minutes of this.

Key takeaway #3

You feel a little bit like a nuisance all day long.

I lost count of how many times we were told be quiet and pay attention. It’s normal to do so – teachers have a set amount of time and we need to use it wisely. But in shadowing, throughout the day, you start to feel sorry for the students who are told over and over again to pay attention because you understand part of what they are reacting to is sitting and listening all day. It’s really hard to do, and not something we ask adults to do day in and out. Think back to a multi-day conference or long PD day you had and remember that feeling by the end of the day – that need to just disconnect, break free, go for a run, chat with a friend, or surf the web and catch up on emails. That is how students often feel in our classes, not because we are boring per se but because they have been sitting and listening most of the day already. They have had enough.

In addition, there was a good deal of sarcasm and snark directed at students and I recognized, uncomfortably, how much I myself have engaged in this kind of communication. I would become near apoplectic last year whenever a very challenging class of mine would take a test, and without fail, several students in a row would ask the same question about the test. Each time I would stop the class and address it so everyone could hear it. Nevertheless, a few minutes later a student who had clearly been working his way through the test and not attentive to my announcement would ask the same question again. A few students would laugh along as I made a big show of rolling my eyes and drily stating, “OK, once again, let me explain…”

Of course it feels ridiculous to have to explain the same thing five times, but suddenly, when I was the one taking the tests, I was stressed. I was anxious. I had questions. And if the person teaching answered those questions by rolling their eyes at me, I would never want to ask another question again. I feel a great deal more empathy for students after shadowing, and I realize that sarcasm, impatience, and annoyance are a way of creating a barrier between me and them. They do not help learning.

If I could go back and change my classes now, I would immediately:

  • Dig deep into my personal experience as a parent where I found wells of patience and love I never knew I have, and call upon them more often when dealing with students who have questions. Questions are an invitation to know a student better and create a bond with that student. We can open the door wider or shut if forever, and we may not even realize we have shut it.
  • I would make my personal goal of “no sarcasm” public and ask the students to hold me accountable for it. I could drop money into a jar for each slip and use it to treat the kids to pizza at the end of the year. In this way, I have both helped create a closer bond with them and shared a very real and personal example of goal-setting for them to use a model in their own thinking about goals.
  • I would structure every test or formal activity like the IB exams do – a five-minute reading period in which students can ask all their questions but no one can write until the reading period is finished. This is a simple solution I probably should have tried years ago that would head off a lot (thought, admittedly, not all) of the frustration I felt with constant, repetitive questions.

I have a lot more respect and empathy for students after just one day of being one again. Teachers work hard, but I now think that conscientious students work harder. I worry about the messages we send them as they go to our classes and home to do our assigned work, and my hope is that more teachers who are able will try this shadowing and share their findings with each other and their administrations. This could lead to better “backwards design” from the student experience so that we have more engaged, alert, and balanced students sitting (or standing) in our classes.

262 Comments

Wow. The response to this post has been overwhelming – over 150,000 page hits so far – and over 800 emails to me requesting further info.

So, instead of replying by email, my response and resources I promised can now be found below:

AE Student Survey 2014-15

AE Shadow Student

Survey Letter 2014

To read the whole article go to: http://grantwiggins.wordpress.com/2014/10/10/a-veteran-teacher-turned-coach-shadows-2-students-for-2-days-a-sobering-lesson-learned/

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From the Smiths:

http://hef.org.nz/2011/craig-smith-26-january-1951-to-30-september-2011/

Updated 1 October 2014:  Three years on (Craig Smith’s Health) page 7 click here

*****

Needing help for your home schooling journey:

http://hef.org.nz/2011/needing-help-for-your-home-schooling-journey-2/

And

Here are a couple of links to get you started home schooling:

Information on getting startedhttp://hef.org.nz/getting-started-2/

and

Information on getting an exemptionhttp://hef.org.nz/exemptions/

This link is motivational: http://hef.org.nz/2012/home-schooling-what-is-it-all-about/

Exemption Form online: http://hef.org.nz/2012/home-schooling-exemption-form-now-online/

Coming Events: http://hef.org.nz/2013/some-coming-events-for-home-education-during-2013-2/

Beneficiaries: http://hef.org.nz/2013/where-to-for-beneficiary-families-now-that-the-social-security-benefit-categories-and-work-focus-amendment-bill-has-passed-its-third-reading/

Going overseas: exemptions and allowance

A home educator who had recently returned from overseas looked into his exemption applications for his children. He questioned whether he should be filling out new exemptions for his children. Candida from the Hamilton local MoE office looked into it for him and found that he did not have to submit new exemptions (Thanks Candida). Wonderful news. Candida contacted the National MoE office and now we have the official word on it from Lucy:

We have sought clarification with our legal team regarding the rules around having to reapply for an exemption when returning to New Zealand after residing overseas for a while.

Home Educators do not need to reapply for their certificate of exemption after leaving NZ and then returning.

We do however, need to be informed when they leave and return to NZ as the funding will cease when they are away.

I will be changing our deskfile to make this clearer, and will also be sending a message out to all of our regional homeschooling staff today.

The deskfile will say:

Homeschool Parents Leaving New Zealand for Holiday or Extended Period

The maximum time a home schooling family can leave New Zealand and remain eligible for full home schooling allowance is 28 days. However the 28 day rule can be slightly flexible.

If a family leaves New Zealand for up to and including 28 days they still remain eligible for the full home schooling allowance for the overseas period.

If a family leaves New Zealand for more than 28 days but less than six months and returns to New Zealand to continue home schooling a ‘less days’ payment will be made. Please inform the Resourcing Division in the National Office of any home schoolers that will be out of New Zealand for more than 28 days, so a note can be made for the payment period.

If a family leaves New Zealand for more than 6 months they will need to re-apply for their homeschooling allowance, upon their return. This does not mean having to re-apply for the exemption but rather inform us they are back so the payments can resume.

 

This has been mentioned in some of the feedback provided to us that I have seen so far. Can you please let your members know of this?  I will also add it into our communications when we go back to the home educators with the collation of feedback.

Please let me know if you have any questions.

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Please share/forward this link with other home educators.

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From the Smiths:

http://hef.org.nz/2011/craig-smith-26-january-1951-to-30-september-2011/

Updated 1 October 2014:  Three years on (Craig Smith’s Health) page 7 click here

*****

Needing help for your home schooling journey:

http://hef.org.nz/2011/needing-help-for-your-home-schooling-journey-2/

And

Here are a couple of links to get you started home schooling:

Information on getting startedhttp://hef.org.nz/getting-started-2/

and

Information on getting an exemptionhttp://hef.org.nz/exemptions/

This link is motivational: http://hef.org.nz/2012/home-schooling-what-is-it-all-about/

Exemption Form online: http://hef.org.nz/2012/home-schooling-exemption-form-now-online/

Coming Events: http://hef.org.nz/2013/some-coming-events-for-home-education-during-2013-2/

Beneficiaries: http://hef.org.nz/2013/where-to-for-beneficiary-families-now-that-the-social-security-benefit-categories-and-work-focus-amendment-bill-has-passed-its-third-reading/

Cruise within the Kaipara

I have an email from Lisa who is the leader of the Kaipara Homeschool Group she is organising a cruise within the Kaipara. They need more adults to make the cruise a child-friendly one.

I have been speaking to the organiser, Gaye Somers, and she is offering to give us a special deal for the homeschool group. Instead of being $35 per adult it would be $30 per adult, and children 5 to 14 yrs $12 instead of $15. Children 0-4 are free. The date would be Wednesday the 22nd October 11am – 2pm. BYO lunch. We would need at least 30 paying adults (they take 100 passengers) and then we could have the boat just for our group and then the commentary would be tailored to the needs of the children. The trip would only go for just over 3 hours instead of 4 hours so it is doable for kids.

The cruise features:

  • Old Kauri Mill Sites
  • Maori Pa Sites
  • NZ’s largest inland river systems
  • Working oyster and mussel farms
  • Remote Historic Settlements
  • Takahoa Bay
  • Historic 1860 Batley Hotel
  • Many bays and inlets accessible only by boat
  • Birdlife, ecology, nature and historic cruise
  • Informative commentary as the sites as passed by

For more information here is their website below:

http://www.kaiparacruises.co.nz/

The cruise leaves from Pahi Wharf – google map below

https://www.google.co.nz/maps/place/Pahi+Rd,+Pahi+0571/@-36.131224,174.2289201,14z/data=!4m2!3m1!1s0x6d0c5e2cdcde8101:0xb2648d6417ffa960

The deadline is this Sunday – we have 14 adults so far.

Thanks so much.

Kind regards,

Lisa Liggett :)

Kaipara Homeschool Group Co-ordinator

Ph: 09 439 1330

Cell: 021 117 9667

 

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From the Smiths:

http://hef.org.nz/2011/craig-smith-26-january-1951-to-30-september-2011/

Updated 1 October 2014:  Three years on (Craig Smith’s Health) page 7 click here

*****

Needing help for your home schooling journey:

http://hef.org.nz/2011/needing-help-for-your-home-schooling-journey-2/

And

Here are a couple of links to get you started home schooling:

Information on getting startedhttp://hef.org.nz/getting-started-2/

and

Information on getting an exemptionhttp://hef.org.nz/exemptions/

This link is motivational: http://hef.org.nz/2012/home-schooling-what-is-it-all-about/

Exemption Form online: http://hef.org.nz/2012/home-schooling-exemption-form-now-online/

Coming Events: http://hef.org.nz/2013/some-coming-events-for-home-education-during-2013-2/

Beneficiaries: http://hef.org.nz/2013/where-to-for-beneficiary-families-now-that-the-social-security-benefit-categories-and-work-focus-amendment-bill-has-passed-its-third-reading/

MoE offices processing exemption applications

“It is best that the exemption applications be sent to the “old offices” and then they can distribute them if need be.”

Please see my email below to Lucy and her reply regarding which offices we should be sending our exemption applications to.

Are all the local MoE offices now processing exemptions?

These offices will be processing the exemptions:

There is confusion about these other offices since they are not in the link above yet:

Tai Tokerau
BOP/Rotorua/Taupo
Hawke’s Bay/Gisborne
Taranaki/Whanganui/Manawatu

1.  It would be helpful to have:
a) a list in the above link of the offices that are now processing the exemption applications
b) and if they are not yet when the expected date is.
***
The other confusion people have is – which office to send the exemption to.

2. It would be helpful to have a map of New Zealand in the link showing the catchment for each local MoE office.

This is Lucy’s reply:

I will add this to the feedback for collation, thank you.

In terms of your first question – it is up to the regional directors of each region whether they will be processing the applications in their office or not. Some have not made that decision yet, and I am not sure when the decisions will be made.

So for now, it is best that the applications be sent to the “old offices” and then they can distribute them if need be.

Once I hear more I will let you know.

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Please share/forward this link with other home educators.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

From the Smiths:

http://hef.org.nz/2011/craig-smith-26-january-1951-to-30-september-2011/

Updated 1 October 2014:  Three years on (Craig Smith’s Health) page 7 click here

*****

Needing help for your home schooling journey:

http://hef.org.nz/2011/needing-help-for-your-home-schooling-journey-2/

And

Here are a couple of links to get you started home schooling:

Information on getting startedhttp://hef.org.nz/getting-started-2/

and

Information on getting an exemptionhttp://hef.org.nz/exemptions/

This link is motivational: http://hef.org.nz/2012/home-schooling-what-is-it-all-about/

Exemption Form online: http://hef.org.nz/2012/home-schooling-exemption-form-now-online/

Coming Events: http://hef.org.nz/2013/some-coming-events-for-home-education-during-2013-2/

Beneficiaries: http://hef.org.nz/2013/where-to-for-beneficiary-families-now-that-the-social-security-benefit-categories-and-work-focus-amendment-bill-has-passed-its-third-reading/

Scoping Survey: Long term plans for our personal “survey/email”

Craig with children and timelineMany home educating families are wondering what will be happening to the Scoping Survey/email they sent into the MoE. So I wrote an email on Friday:

Scoping Survey feedback future

Thanks for your letter saying

“You have expressed some concerns that have been voiced from some home educators. We would like for them to know that no one will be getting an ERO review because of the feedback they have given – that wasn’t the point of the feedback process. The feedback will not be used at an individual level and no one will be penalised because of any individual feedback given.”

Home educators have been greatly relieved that they wont be getting an ERO review as a result of what they have put in the Scoping Survey.

There has been some more discussions about the information that people have given to the MoE. We thank you for your assurances that the feedback will not be used at an individual level and that no one will be penalised because of any individual feedback given.The next question that many home educators have is what is going to happen to the feedback once you have finished with it?

Home educators are wondering:

  1. Will it be destroyed?
  2. Will it remain on the files for someone in the future to do something else with the feedback
  3. Does the information still have individual names attached to the individual feedback forms/surveys/emails and if so, if the feedback is not destroyed after you have finished with it, will they be removed?

Home educators want to know that when those responsible for the information (Jim, Sonya and Lucy) leave your current jobs, that no one else will be able to come in and use the feedback in any way that can be used against individual home educators, nor that it will be used for any other purpose than the scoping document.

Here is the reply from Lucy:

Good Morning Barbara,

Once we have finished collating these feedback forms for the purposes of this exercise, they will be destroyed (hard copies) and deleted (emailed ones) so they cannot be used again.

Hope that clears things up, let me know if you have any further questions.

Kind Regards,

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Links:
-Home Education Foundation letter which covers exemption form, beneficiaries, International home educators and Keystone.

MoE/ERO issues

Changes in the MoE

MoE discussions introduction to the Red Tape Cluster Buster meetings

Preparation for the MoE discussions with Red Tape Cluster Buster meetings andrelevant for the Problem Scoping Survey
- Discussions home educators had online at Clutter buster group or (for ease of reading as not everyone can get onto the Google docs) here…http://hef.org.nz/coming-events-archives-2012/red-tape-cluster-buster/ (Also a lot of very good information to aid you in filling out the Problem Scoping Survey)

Record of Progress and Achievement (an example of the new National MoE office staff understanding home educators)

Truancy and the Home Schooler/Home Educator (another success with the National Office in that Megan showed us alternatives)

Scoping Meeting 15 July 2014 – Getting to know you

2nd Meeting 28 July 2014 – Red Tape Cluster Buster Meeting

MoE scoping Home Educators – email

Feedback Form (Problem Scoping Survey) on MoE website

Email to the MoE about the Scoping Survey from a Home Educator

Problem Scoping Survey: ideas and deadline

MoE’s reply to Yumiko’s email about the Scoping Survey

MoE Problem Scoping Survey: please make it known and fill it out

The last of Craig Smith’s writings before he died 3 years ago

MoE Problem Scoping Survey

- Home Education Foundation’s Problem Scoping Survey

- Scoping Survey: Barbara Smith

- Problem Scoping Survey – Update

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Please share/forward this link with other home educators.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

From the Smiths:

http://hef.org.nz/2011/craig-smith-26-january-1951-to-30-september-2011/

Updated 1 October 2014:  Three years on (Craig Smith’s Health) page 7 click here

*****

Needing help for your home schooling journey:

http://hef.org.nz/2011/needing-help-for-your-home-schooling-journey-2/

And

Here are a couple of links to get you started home schooling:

Information on getting startedhttp://hef.org.nz/getting-started-2/

and

Information on getting an exemptionhttp://hef.org.nz/exemptions/

This link is motivational: http://hef.org.nz/2012/home-schooling-what-is-it-all-about/

Exemption Form online: http://hef.org.nz/2012/home-schooling-exemption-form-now-online/

Coming Events: http://hef.org.nz/2013/some-coming-events-for-home-education-during-2013-2/

Beneficiaries: http://hef.org.nz/2013/where-to-for-beneficiary-families-now-that-the-social-security-benefit-categories-and-work-focus-amendment-bill-has-passed-its-third-reading/

SCHOOLING THE WORLD: THE WHITE MAN’S LAST BURDEN

If you wanted to change an ancient culture in a generation, how would you do it?

You would change the way it educates its children.

The U.S. Government knew this in the 19th century when it forced Native American children into government boarding schools. Today, volunteers build schools in traditional societies around the world, convinced that school is the only way to a ‘better’ life for indigenous children.

But is this true? What really happens when we replace a traditional culture’s way of learning and understanding the world with our own? SCHOOLING THE WORLD takes a challenging, sometimes funny, ultimately deeply disturbing look at the effects of modern education on the world’s last sustainable indigenous cultures.

Beautifully shot on location in the Buddhist culture of Ladakh in the northern Indian Himalayas, the film weaves the voices of Ladakhi people through a conversation between four carefully chosen original thinkers; anthropologist and ethnobotanist Wade Davis, a National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence; Helena Norberg-Hodge and Vandana Shiva, both recipients of the Right Livelihood Award for their work with traditional peoples in India; and Manish Jain, a former architect of education programs with UNESCO, USAID, and the World Bank.

The film examines the hidden assumption of cultural superiority behind education aid projects, which overtly aim to help children “escape” to a “better life” — despite mounting evidence of the environmental, social, and mental health costs of our own modern consumer lifestyles, from epidemic rates of childhood depression and substance abuse to pollution and climate change.

It looks at the failure of institutional education to deliver on its promise of a way out of poverty — here in the United States as well as in the so-called “developing” world.

And it questions our very definitions of wealth and poverty — and of knowledge and ignorance — as it uncovers the role of schools in the destruction of traditional sustainable agricultural and ecological knowledge, in the breakup of extended families and communities, and in the devaluation of elders and ancient spiritual traditions.

Finally, SCHOOLING THE WORLD calls for a “deeper dialogue” between cultures, suggesting that we have at least as much to learn as we have to teach, and that these ancient sustainable societies may harbor knowledge which is vital for our own survival in the coming millennia.

LOST PEOPLE FILMS presents SCHOOLING THE WORLD: THE WHITE MAN’S LAST BURDEN / photography JIM HURST and BEN KNIGHT / sound recording JIM HURST / produced by NEAL MARLENS, JIM HURST, and MARK GROSSAN / directed and edited by CAROL BLACK / featuring WADE DAVIS, HELENA NORBERG-HODGE, VANDANA SHIVA, MANISH JAIN, & DOLMA TSERING / 65 minutes

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

From the Smiths:

http://hef.org.nz/2011/craig-smith-26-january-1951-to-30-september-2011/

Updated 1 October 2014:  Three years on (Craig Smith’s Health) page 7 click here

*****

Needing help for your home schooling journey:

http://hef.org.nz/2011/needing-help-for-your-home-schooling-journey-2/

And

Here are a couple of links to get you started home schooling:

Information on getting startedhttp://hef.org.nz/getting-started-2/

and

Information on getting an exemptionhttp://hef.org.nz/exemptions/

This link is motivational: http://hef.org.nz/2012/home-schooling-what-is-it-all-about/

Exemption Form online: http://hef.org.nz/2012/home-schooling-exemption-form-now-online/

Coming Events: http://hef.org.nz/2013/some-coming-events-for-home-education-during-2013-2/

Beneficiaries: http://hef.org.nz/2013/where-to-for-beneficiary-families-now-that-the-social-security-benefit-categories-and-work-focus-amendment-bill-has-passed-its-third-reading/

Cause for concern: The rise and rise of corporate childcare

Education Aotearoa 1 Oct 2014
The current boom in large-scale for-profit early childhood centres is shaping up as a disastrous experiment in the care of the very young. Jane Blaikie investigates.

Key points

  •   A boom in industrial- scale childcare centres is pushing high-quality, small-scale centres to the brink.
  • Reports are emerging of vulnerable children being subject to poor quality care and education in large, for- profit centres.
  • Hundreds of millions of dollars of public money is going to private-sector operators who put profit first.

It’s like kiwifruit,” says Peter Monteith of the Tauranga Kindergarten Association. “Everyone thought there was big money in it and lots of people got into it.”
From Auckland to Invercargill, early childhood teachers report the same thing – glitzy, industrial- scale childcare centres springing up in their area or large operators making aggressive offers to buy struggling, small-scale centres, which are then rebranded in corporate colours, employing fewer qualified staff.

Some 43 percent more children are attending early childhood services than a decade ago, according to the latest Ministry of Education figures. But more striking is that all this growth has been in for- profit, all-day services.

A total of 91,207 children now attend for-profit services, while the number of children in kindergartens run by non-profit associations has fallen slightly to 24,949. Since 2011, when regulations that limited the size of centres to 50 children were changed, 124 centres have been licensed to cater for up to 150 children. One for- profit operator owns 28 of these large centres…

Teachers raise the prospect of a social time bomb as children in their most critical years of brain development spend long hours in care that is little more than “crowd control”…

In South Auckland, two former professional rugby players are opening centres. A parent visited one and found that each year-age room features a big screen TV. A teacher later visited to confirm the report and found there were relatively few other resources or activities for children.

To entice parents to enrol in the new centres, the operators ran events outside a supermarket offering free food to families and large free toys to the children. Parents at the new centres pay no fees and their children get free nappies, formula and lunches. A door-to-door pick up service for children means parents do not have to go to the centres – breaking a cardinal rule of good practice in the sector: positive, ongoing, daily relationships with parents…

But even with no fees, government funding means the new centres are very profitable, says Monteith, who’s done some back-of-the-envelope calculations – if you employ a minimum of qualified teachers and plenty of low-paid, unqualified relievers.“These centres are like supermarket chains,” says Monteith, who many years ago worked in retail. “You have a core of professional staff and they’re usually reasonably well paid because you’re exploiting them severely, and outside of that is

a casualised, unskilled workforce, working on what are essentially ‘zero hours’ contracts.” These contracts are just one way that operators “extract value” from centres (see copy below).

Heartbreaking tales

But that’s just money. What about the children? NZEI surveyed 22 staff working in large, for-profit centres and their comments are stark:

• “I have heard children and babies being denied food because the budget is going over.”

• “The manager expects all children to get themselves to sleep. ‘They have to get used to it’ – this was said about an infant four months old and used to being nursed to sleep – there’s no allowing for a nurturing practice.”

• “Never enough teachers to effectively take care of the children.”

• “We end up spending the day more as a glorified babysitter and cleaner, and don’t really get time to do any meaningful teaching.”

• “Blindspots on the floor.”
• “Lack of bicultural competencies.”
• “I really worry for little babies in with 25 other little babies, with one teacher to five babies. Ratios are worked out to bare minimum staffing. You have to consider who can change nappies, prepare meals, be inside, be outside, be able to go to the loo. Children are at risk.”

A long-time teacher, Dixon worked for Victoria University in Wellington delivering professional development to early childhood centres, but when the funding was cut, she lost her job. She now facilitates Professional Networks, for groups of non- profit centres. “Most teachers find it hard to get PD – it’s quite scattered and it’s often watered down primary stuff.”

She says, “We are having a big social experiment without considering the possible outcomes. Why are we not taking any notice of the reliable research which is very clear about the need for strong ongoing attachments and trusting relationships for healthy brains?”

“And if you get families in by offering free stuff and a pick-up service, how do you prove that your childcare is a quality service? Are parents ever going to know that – if they use the pick-up service? You can’t see their staffing levels. You can’t see interactions between children. To my way of thinking, they’re actually short-changing those families.”

“There may be two people with 12 toddlers or infants, stressed out and they can’t get breaks and they can’t provide any quality for the children. I get so upset thinking of them working like that and thinking of the children and what their days are like.”

These are children, too, who need the best quality, says Brice. They are often behind in oral language, as is well recorded in research on children living
in poor communities – and in desperate need of quality, small-group interactions in ECE.

“Those teachers [in large, for-profit centres] turn themselves inside out trying but there aren’t enough of them on the floor to provide any of those small group interactions. They feel like they’re just policing.”

They also fear losing their jobs if they speak up. So what about ERO then – isn’t the Education  Review Office able to weed out poor quality? Apparently not. ERO looks at how “well- placed” a service is to deliver learning – it doesn’t actually monitor whether the learning is going on. There are no spot checks, and it seems easy enough to wing an ERO review as centres are given plenty of notice of a visit. “You make sure your paperwork is in order, all your resources are tidy and out, and you’ve got your staff ratios there on the day,” according to one practitioner.

How then has this situation has been allowed to develop? For most of last century, progressive groups promoted ECE while conservatives tended to resist the idea of ECE, preferring a more traditional model of at-home mothers. However, when the Labour government introduced the  20 hours free policy, with the intention of not offering the funding to for-profit services, it came under immediate and intense pressure to do so, and it succumbed.

In turn, the National-led government elected in 2008 swallowed any remaining doubts it might have had about mothers in paid work and now appears to see the sector as a good business opportunity.

Read the whole article here…

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

From the Smiths:

http://hef.org.nz/2011/craig-smith-26-january-1951-to-30-september-2011/

Updated 1 October 2014:  Three years on (Craig Smith’s Health) page 7 click here

*****

Needing help for your home schooling journey:

http://hef.org.nz/2011/needing-help-for-your-home-schooling-journey-2/

And

Here are a couple of links to get you started home schooling:

Information on getting startedhttp://hef.org.nz/getting-started-2/

and

Information on getting an exemptionhttp://hef.org.nz/exemptions/

This link is motivational: http://hef.org.nz/2012/home-schooling-what-is-it-all-about/

Exemption Form online: http://hef.org.nz/2012/home-schooling-exemption-form-now-online/

Coming Events: http://hef.org.nz/2013/some-coming-events-for-home-education-during-2013-2/

Beneficiaries: http://hef.org.nz/2013/where-to-for-beneficiary-families-now-that-the-social-security-benefit-categories-and-work-focus-amendment-bill-has-passed-its-third-reading/

 

 

Piano Nanny – Free Piano Lessons

Piano Nanny- Free Piano Lessons
http://www.pianonanny.com/

Learn to read music and learn to play the piano using this set of free online piano lessons. This piano tutorial is brought to you by PianoNanny.com and Piano on the Net.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Please share/forward this link with other home educators.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

From the Smiths:

http://hef.org.nz/2011/craig-smith-26-january-1951-to-30-september-2011/

Updated 1 October 2014:  Three years on (Craig Smith’s Health) page 7 click here

*****

Needing help for your home schooling journey:

http://hef.org.nz/2011/needing-help-for-your-home-schooling-journey-2/

And

Here are a couple of links to get you started home schooling:

Information on getting startedhttp://hef.org.nz/getting-started-2/

and

Information on getting an exemptionhttp://hef.org.nz/exemptions/

This link is motivational: http://hef.org.nz/2012/home-schooling-what-is-it-all-about/

Exemption Form online: http://hef.org.nz/2012/home-schooling-exemption-form-now-online/

Coming Events: http://hef.org.nz/2013/some-coming-events-for-home-education-during-2013-2/

Beneficiaries: http://hef.org.nz/2013/where-to-for-beneficiary-families-now-that-the-social-security-benefit-categories-and-work-focus-amendment-bill-has-passed-its-third-reading/

Letter to MoE re Scoping Survey 7 October 2014

Craig with children and timeline
Email to the MoE 7 October 2014

Dear Jim, Sonya and Lucy

I am really excited about the Red Tape Cluster Buster Meetings, the Problem Scoping Survey and the interactions we have had with you so far.

Thank you for allowing the deadline to be extended out to 9:00am on Tuesday morning. I trust a few more people have taken advantage of that.

I am still hearing of people who have not received the email from you and do not spend a lot of time on the internet so they have not heard from us either. I think if you were to do something like this again in the future it would be good to combine it with the home schooling declaration letter.

I would like to think that a lot of people have sent in Problem Scoping Surveys with all the positive interactions that they have had with the MoE. Over the years we have had some wonderful people in the MoE dealing with our exemption applications and ERO reviews. I trust that people are telling you this. But I suspect that it is the ones who have been hurting that you might hear more from. But also in saying that I know that there are many who are really hurting and afraid to answer the Problem Scoping Survey.

As people are trying to fill in this Problem Scoping Survey it is bringing back to them the fear and frustrations of getting their exemptions particularly from some local MoE offices and especially if they have special needs children.

Here are the comments that I am getting from people who are not willing to fill out the Scoping Survey or send in an email – even anonymously.
“I know you need the surveys and I get that they could help and I really do appreciate the work you’re trying to achieve but I have to tell you……..I’m too scared to fill one out. And I know we can do them anonymously but they will be able to tell who we are by the problems that we had. I’m very much afraid that the education department could retaliate in the future and we cannot afford for that to happen…”

(Plus seven other comments including the rest of this comment.)
And comments from those who have filled out the form:
“…I have to be honest. I reread it after I sent it again and burst out crying! I had a panic attack and thought, Oh my goodness what if the Advisor I was talking about is on the review board? But it is done and if it helps…yay. If I suddenly get an ERO then I know it was all a farce and I will not fall for it again…”

(Plus two other comments)

And this is a comment that I saw recently – not sure if it is in a submission to your or not – but thought it was good for you to see.
“…Quite frankly ours was a nightmare…”

(And the rest of this comment)
(I had permission to pass these comments onto the Problem Scoping Survey team.)
After reading these comments and many more from other home educators I am beginning to see one reason why home education isn’t growing in New Zealand like it is in some other Countries. There are several reasons, I am sure, but a growing conviction I have is that it sounds like, as I put in the Home Education Foundation’s Scoping Survey, that some Principals and some local MoE office staff have been making it very difficult for families to get an exemption, and even trying to put them off home education.

The other concern I have about the home education statistics is the number who stop home educating after 1 – 3 years. We have tried to address this with workshops/conferences/seminars around the Country. There are a lot of local support groups and a lot of online support groups these days for encouragement and advice so it is disappointing to see that the numbers giving up home educating continues to be so high each year. Again, I am now seeing, as a result of the Scoping Survey process, another reason why home education is not growing in New Zealand and I have a growing conviction that it has in part to do with the hard time some people have in getting their exemptions. Once the home educators have their exemptions, because of the terrible time they had getting it, they are keeping exactly to what they wrote in the exemption, putting untold stress on the family by “Schooling” at home instead of developing a lifestyle of educating their children at home. They are scared that if they deviate from what they wrote in their exemption form (timetable and all) that the MoE will send the ERO in to review them. This is burnout material. I think many have burnt out and instead of changing what they are doing (out of fear of the local MoE) have put their children back in school even though they would rather keep them at home knowing that it is better for their children to be at home with them.

Home educators save the MoE/Government a lot of money. I would think in these days of the Government trying to save money where they can that they would welcome families home educating their children. I love the fact that you consider Home Schooling your largest school and the sentiments that go with that. We would like to see this attitude in all the local MoE offices.

Again I look forward to seeing the results of the Red Tape Cluster Buster meetings and the Problem Scoping Surveys and being able to comment on them.

Regards
Barbara Smith
www.hef.org.nz
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Lucy addressed part of this email in this email that she sent to me…
“You have expressed some concerns that have been voiced from some home educators. We would like for them to know that no one will be getting an ERO review because of the feedback they have given – that wasn’t the point of the feedback process. The feedback will not be used at an individual level and no one will be penalised because of any individual feedback given.”
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Links:
-Home Education Foundation letter which covers exemption form, beneficiaries, International home educators and Keystone.

MoE/ERO issues

Changes in the MoE

MoE discussions introduction to the Red Tape Cluster Buster meetings

Preparation for the MoE discussions with Red Tape Cluster Buster meetings andrelevant for the Problem Scoping Survey
- Discussions home educators had online at Clutter buster group or (for ease of reading as not everyone can get onto the Google docs) here…http://hef.org.nz/coming-events-archives-2012/red-tape-cluster-buster/ (Also a lot of very good information to aid you in filling out the Problem Scoping Survey)

Record of Progress and Achievement (an example of the new National MoE office staff understanding home educators)

Truancy and the Home Schooler/Home Educator (another success with the National Office in that Megan showed us alternatives)

Scoping Meeting 15 July 2014 – Getting to know you

2nd Meeting 28 July 2014 – Red Tape Cluster Buster Meeting

MoE scoping Home Educators – email

Feedback Form (Problem Scoping Survey) on MoE website

Email to the MoE about the Scoping Survey from a Home Educator

Problem Scoping Survey: ideas and deadline

MoE’s reply to Yumiko’s email about the Scoping Survey

MoE Problem Scoping Survey: please make it known and fill it out

The last of Craig Smith’s writings before he died 3 years ago

MoE Problem Scoping Survey

- Home Education Foundation’s Problem Scoping Survey

- Scoping Survey: Barbara Smith

- Problem Scoping Survey – Update

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Please share/forward this link with other home educators.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

From the Smiths:

http://hef.org.nz/2011/craig-smith-26-january-1951-to-30-september-2011/

Updated 1 October 2014:  Three years on (Craig Smith’s Health) page 7 click here

*****

Needing help for your home schooling journey:

http://hef.org.nz/2011/needing-help-for-your-home-schooling-journey-2/

And

Here are a couple of links to get you started home schooling:

Information on getting startedhttp://hef.org.nz/getting-started-2/

and

Information on getting an exemptionhttp://hef.org.nz/exemptions/

This link is motivational: http://hef.org.nz/2012/home-schooling-what-is-it-all-about/

Exemption Form online: http://hef.org.nz/2012/home-schooling-exemption-form-now-online/

Coming Events: http://hef.org.nz/2013/some-coming-events-for-home-education-during-2013-2/

Beneficiaries: http://hef.org.nz/2013/where-to-for-beneficiary-families-now-that-the-social-security-benefit-categories-and-work-focus-amendment-bill-has-passed-its-third-reading/

Applying for an Exemption to Educate At Home

On specialexemption cover cheque_Page_1

normally $7.00

For October and November $5.00 by ordering through sales@hef.org.nz or ph 06 357-4399

Bulk orders October and November

5 or more $3.50 each

10 or more $2.50 each

(all prices include postage)

A snippet from the booklet:

A Collection of
Exemption Tips and Ideas

by Craig Smith

Introduction

Seriously considering the option to educate your own children at home, rescuing them from the state’s schooling institutions, is one of the best moves you will ever
make. Teaching your own children is taking the government of your children back away from the state. The state never had any Biblically valid claim to educationally govern your children anyway. Your family’s cohesion and integrity as a functional unit is set to be greatly and very profitably enhanced. All the studies that have been done in this area show that your children are about to excel beyond their peers in both academics and social skills. Instead of the politically correct curriculum of the current Ministry of Education, with all the special interest group add-ons, you are about to step outside the box and discover the whole entire universe of skills and knowledge that is available for you to pursue…and most of it is absolutely free of charge!
Be assured that most of the people in the Ministry who will be reading and assessing your application are fairly positive about home education: they’ve seen the results and they like what they see. They are professionals and do their best to eliminate any personal or even professional bias they may have toward or against any particular educational approach. Consequently, this exemption application is virtually a blank cheque being handed to you by the Ministry of Education! Yes!! You have before you an incredible degree of freedom and flexibility to hand-craft a curriculum tailor made to your child’s ability, maturity, interests, passions, aspirations, inclinations, aptitudes, his or her favourite/most efficient ways to learn and assimilates knowledge, as well as your own family culture and expectations.
What I mean is this: no one on this earth is more motivated for your child’s success than you. No one is more willing to spend the blood, sweat, toil and tears that may be required to see your child mature to full potential. No one knows your child better than you. No one has already done more for your child than you have. I mean, you couldn’t pay anyone to do what you have already done for your child. It is quite probable that no one else except your spouse is as close to him/her, has his/her trust as much, is the one with whom s/he feels most secure. No one else can see as clearly as you do when s/he understands, and when s/he is struggling. No one else is willing to be with him/her 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, which means no one else will ever be able to observe him/her as closely as you do. As I say, even the best teachers in classrooms can only dream about such advantages which you already possess by default.

You Can Do It!

First-time home educators usually want to have a look at someone else’s exemption, so they know what to do. It is usually best not to look at another’s exemption until after you’ve had a go at doing your own first. Otherwise all you can think to write is what you’ve seen in the other person’s example. Have a go at writing your own original after reading the material in this booklet and then have someone experienced with exemption applications to look it over and give you some advice on how to improve it if needed. After that is a good time to look at another person’s exemption application.
Some readers will find this material frustrating at first because I will not be telling you exactly what to do. “Please, just give me the recipe, Step 1, Step 2, etc….I can do that.” But the fact is, education is far more complex than that. But it is not complex in a confusing or hard-to-understand sort of way. It is complex in the same way that life itself is complex…it has many aspects to it, and all of these aspects relate to one another in various ways. To put it another way, to provide an education for your children is to follow and to concentrate on, for a sustained period of time, the road of common sense.
That is to say, you already instinctively know much of what you need to do. You know what things your children truly need to learn and what things they can drop. In ten minutes, and most likely a lot less than that, you could easily come up with a basic syllabus of subjects that need to be covered and skills that need to be mastered.
In fact, why don’t you stop right now and do just that.
So there is your content. The depth to which you will go in each of the content areas is pretty much up to you. Our family has been at this since 1985. We plan to continue to home educate until our current youngest is at least 16, which will be in 2021. That is a span of 36 years, and we saw some time ago that we needed to streamline this whole process of home education for the simple reason that we two parents need to survive and not burn out too early.
Here’s what we’ve done: all the academics (I’m not talking at this point about spiritual, social, moral, character, sport or work ethic education and training in this
example…only the academics) we divided into two baskets. In the first basket are the skills they must master. And you already know what they are: the 3 Rs: Reading, wRiting and aRithmetic. These three are non-negotiable, and the children must master them completely. Some folks would like to add a 4th R: Research skills. Go for it. In the second basket is everything else: history, science, art, P.E., geography, language skills, music, etc.
Now, do keep in mind, that what you write in the exemption application will hardly begin to cover the vast extent of educational subjects and experiences that you will have in your home education journey. There will be dozens of other things you will want to cover that you haven’t thought of yet or that don’t need to be mentioned in your exemption application. As an illustration, all our family ever put down on our applications were the subject areas: Maths, English, History, Science and Geography.
That’s it. No “Social Studies” or “Technology” which the Ministry of Education routinely ask prospective home educators to include. We have never included these because, in my personal opinion, they are non-subjects. And besides, there is no legal requirement to include any subject in particular, so the Ministry cannot require you to include it. More on that later.
You can easily come up with your curriculum content (subject areas), and you will determine the depth of coverage as you go along and gain more knowledge and
insight about what you’re doing. Next is your methodology…how will you actually teach these subjects; what will you do on a daily basis? Again, this will be
determined largely by trial and experimentation as you go along. And feel free to experiment. It is all part of the learning process. One thing that beginners to home
education really struggle with is the feeling they are not “doing enough” or not “producing enough” papers to pin on the wall and stick to the fridge. Forget about all that…you are first of all honing down your routines by trialling this and that and by experimenting with different ideas. Once you find one that really suits you all, the progress you will make will shoot you even further ahead. The fact is, because you are engaged in more of a tutoring or mentoring situation with home education (one-on-one for the most part) rather than the one teacher and 25 students scenario of a classroom, you already have tremendous logistical advantages that put you way ahead of even gifted teachers in expensively-equipped classrooms. Added to that, because you are operating with your children 24/7, and know them better than anyone else, and are more committed to their success that anyone else will ever be, and because your powers of observation, diagnosis and assessment are more intimate and are motivated by that superior power of parental love, you will also have relationship advantages that leave school teachers in the dust.

Getting the Big Picture

Education and schooling are two very different things. Schooling is what you and I and perhaps some of your children have experienced in a classroom of one sort or another. If you bring your children home and teach them yourself, you can give them a true education. We are talking of a lot more than just a certain body of head knowledge and a few skills. We are talking about the ability to use that knowledge and those skills in the proper way, for the proper purposes, in the context of the real world of the home, the market place, the community and the workplace. That is, you can pass on to your children what you know, what you know they really need to learn, as well as all those lessons in life (the most important ones of all) which I’m certain you will agree you did not learn in the classroom. You can pass on the attitudes, values, standards, concepts of right and wrong, good and bad, wise and unwise, that you are personally convinced about, rather than the ones that your children just soak up by being immersed in what they call the “hidden curriculum” at schools. You can train their character and build in the character qualities you know their future employers, their future spouses, their future children will want to see and need to see in them and that they will definitely need to possess. You can help them to see how the knowledge they gain fits into the “big picture”.
The most important and useful thing you can do for your children is both motivate them to learn and at the same time give them a vision for taking upon their own
shoulders, as appropriate, more and more of the responsibility for their own education. Once they see that the whole world is their oyster, you may have trouble
holding them back, not that you’d want to do that necessarily; but you will not have trouble filling in your day, wondering what to study and investigate next: your
problem will be that there are not enough hours in the day to follow up all the leads you want to follow.
Believe it or not, the law, the Education Act, does not require even schools to teach anything in particular: they have to be open for so many hours, and they must teach from a “secular” perspective (“with no religious instruction or observance”), and there is an expectation that they will be getting sex education, but that is as far as the Act itself goes. It does say the schools must teach according to the syllabus handed down from the Minister of Education (a career politician, please allow me to point out, as opposed to a career educationalist) in the Gazette from time to time.1
The original Education Act of 1877 did list exactly which subjects were to be taught in state schools: Reading, Writing, Arithmetic, English Grammar and Composition, Geography, History, Elementary Science, Drawing, Object Lessons, and Vocal Music. Most of these subjects have dropped off entirely from the Ministry of Education’s list of “Learning Areas” in its 2007 National Curriculum statement. In addition, “reading” has been downgraded to the same level as “viewing”, and “writing” has been downgraded to the same level as “presenting”.2 (And did you know that parents back in 1877, when faced with the above list of school subjects, could withdraw their children from one of those subjects? Can you guess which one?
History: it was not considered acceptable for children to be forced to sit through a version of the Reformation that would be contrary to the views of their own
denomination.3 Today parents sometimes have the right to withdraw their children from certain aspects of sex and sexuality education. Isn’t it interesting to compare what things were important to parents then and now?)
There is no recognised body of knowledge that young people need to know in order to succeed in the New Zealand of the 21st century. What the MoE pushes through the schools is merely their current (politically determined) guess. You, on the other hand, are not politically motivated, but have a much better grasp on the realities of everyday life in the real world. Run with that. There are many local home education support groups out there, many email discussion groups just in NZ, many networks for swapping ideas and curriculum materials. There are many educational philosophies out there, and various learning styles and various teaching styles. Yes, these things require a bit of investigation, but again, you have other advantages in a home education situation that mean you can relax a fair bit about the passage of time as you and your children together investigate these things. Actually the investigation itself is a very useful and practical educational project! These extra advantages I mean here, in addition to the ones I already enumerated, are those of the tutoring or mentoring situation you will have with just you as teacher/guide/mentor and your child(ren) as the student(s). One-on-one instruction coupled with a vigorously interactive format is the most efficient form of learning, full stop. Classroom instruction is the least efficient, but it is a logistical necessity if you are going to have one teacher to 25 children.
As I say, for simplicity, we normally think of all the academic objectives as sitting in two baskets. The first are the basic skills that must be mastered: the 3 Rs: reading, writing and arithmetic. These do take a fair bit of intensive tuition in order to master, not just become passable at.
Reading, being a form of information intake, includes listening. One must be an accurate reader and listener, comprehending as much as possible, and discerning the difference between reasoned debate and sheer propaganda, between an honest critique and a sales pitch, between fact and opinion, etc.
Writing is not just penmanship, spelling and grammar, but also composition of tightly reasoned, logical and well-constructed essays. Being a form of information output, writing also includes public speaking, the ability to face an audience of one or a thousand and deliver with confidence a prepared or an extemporaneous talk on a subject chosen out of interest or assigned by a professor.
Arithmetic would be to master all the maths that you as an adult use and need on a day-to-day basis: it probably doesn’t include trigonometry or calculus and may only include some very basic concepts from geometry and algebra.
I could add a fourth R: research skills. The child who has mastered these basic skills in this first basket can then teach himself virtually anything after than, with a bit of guidance from you.
The second basket contains everything else – science, history, art, PE, geography, physics, chemistry – and can be covered most effectively by simply reading good
books together, watching good videos and educational CDs, doing projects together and field trips and discussing them. This second basket can also be done with a family of several different age groups at the same time: simply expect more from the older ones, less from the younger ones.
Most of what we expect to be doing and producing as a “Home School” is counter productive: desks, blackboards, textbooks, lectures, assignments, home work,
marking, standardised tests. These are all logistical developments to cope with the school setting of one teacher and 25 children. None of these things are needed – or useful – to the tutoring / mentoring situation that you can have at home. Because of the distractions, interruptions, strict timetables, necessity to change subjects at every 45 minute interval, the necessity to move at a pace too fast for some and too slow for others and totally irrelevant to still others, the politicised nature of the subjects taught, the enforced recess breaks and lunch times, the length of time it takes to get 25 children sitting in the same room, focused and turned to the same page in the same text book, the boring nature of text books, the mixed abilities and mixed backgrounds and mixed worldviews of the 25 students, plus many other factors….because of all these, you can do at home in two hours what could easily take two weeks to accomplish in the typical school classroom.
The implication is, don’t even try to copy the conventional school approach to schooling in the classroom, but instead go for real-life education in the real world.
Yes, this takes a bit of climbing up a steep learning curve at first, but doing it together becomes a very profitable exercise in real-world education.
Education and Learning Is All Around Us There is formal learning: when parents directly teach, instruct or explain with or without text books or work books. This may more accurately be called formal teaching, for one is not too sure about the learning going on, especially if the children are not allowed to ask questions. If only the teacher asks questions, it is a good bet that little learning is going on.
There is informal learning: when you are discussing a book you are reading together or to them or interacting over the things seen along the way as you drive from A to B.
This is the heart of mentoring: reading and discussing and interacting together over all the issues of life as they come your way. Remember the three year old’s incessant “Why?” questions? You never want them to stop asking those questions, but instead you want to encourage and build upon and exploit that natural curiosity wired into every child. In free discussions, encourage questions, all questions, any questions.
They will not come at you in a logical fashion, starting with the alphabet and going step by logical step through all there is to know about English, and then changing to maths and taking it step by incremental step as one would find in a conventional school’s scope and sequence.4 I personally prefer this approach and have tried to force my children to follow a rigidly defined and logically progressive sequence of lessons. But your children are probably like my children: they would come at me with questions from all over the place. You will struggle with the relevance of many questions and may be tempted to disregard them and ignore them and even forbid them. But stop and think a moment: while you may not see any relevance, your child has made some kind of a connection between whatever you were previously talking about and the new question the child just asked. The children are making and will make their own connections and will naturally follow those links in their own minds with a lot more gusto. You can do the same thing, with some practise perhaps, and make links back to what you wanted to talk about or to other important topics that their questions have brought to your mind.
The fact is, while your ideal of progressing sequentially from step 1 to 10 in subjects A through E gets sidetracked by all these weird questions, the children are actually jumping around to other steps that are still on your curriculum, some further down the track and some you’ve already covered, but their questions also jump around to other subjects not on your curriculum. This is a real bonus! And because the children are asking the questions, they are learning, they are taking something in. It is particularly effective because they are making connections. Knowledge and learning experts tell us that it is the making of connections that really advances both rote memorisation and learning with understanding. The children have their own scope and sequence built into each of those “How?” and “Why?” questions.
One of the first things children in the classroom learn is that the teacher is the one who asks the questions, not the students. Nothing kills the spontaneous curiosity all children are born with quite as quickly as that. But you can encourage the questions, the more the better. If you don’t know the answer, fine, go look it up. That research is in itself a great educational pursuit. Listen, you want to organise things so that your children see you as the authority. Why? Because you are the authority, you are the authority, you are the authority in your children’s lives, under God, just as it should be, just as they need. You will either know the answer or how to find the answer, as well as explain how the answer fits into the big picture.
There is incidental learning: when your children just pick things up as you go about your daily business, things that are caught rather than taught. This includes much in the area of character training, which may be far more important and valuable to your children, when it’s all said and done, than their academic accomplishments.
There is self-learning: self-instruction that takes place when the children have free play, pursue hobbies, experiment on their own, are set tasks and put in charge or made responsible for regular chores, or when they just sit down and start reading for their own enjoyment and edification.
Then there is learning that takes place when you aren’t even there: when they join clubs, go to scouts, church groups, camps, sports teams, visit Uncle Ted up the valley and help milk the cows, etc. As long as they are awake, they are learning something.
The curriculum is all waking hours. Fairly flexible that, not necessarily organised to the last detail. In fact, most home educators who start off really formally soon
become rather informal. And those who start off really informally soon become even more informal, and may appear to outsiders to be goofing off all day. It is just that they are pursuing knowledge in a more effective method of reading, discussion, exploration and experimentation. There may be precious little “work” produced as in schools, but that is because “school work” is another one of those logistical requirements of schools to ensure the children are in fact doing “something”, for the teacher cannot possibly know where each child is up to.

To read the rest of this book go to: http://hef.org.nz/exemptions/applying-for-an-exemption-to-educate-at-home/

or order at the above special prices

““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““`

Craig talks about this book less than a month before he died of stage 4 Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM). He wrote this book 6 months before he was diagnosed with the tumour in his brain which caused him to go completely numb down his left side.

For more information or to buy this book go to: http://hef.org.nz/exemptions/applying-for-an-exemption-to-educate-at-home/

On special

normally $7.00

For October and November $5.00 by ordering through sales@hef.org.nz or ph 06 357-4399

Bulk orders October and November

5 or more $3.50 each

10 or more $2.50 each

(all prices include postage)

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From the Smiths:

http://hef.org.nz/2011/craig-smith-26-january-1951-to-30-september-2011/

Updated 1 October 2014:  Three years on (Craig Smith’s Health) page 7 click here

*****

Needing help for your home schooling journey:

http://hef.org.nz/2011/needing-help-for-your-home-schooling-journey-2/

And

Here are a couple of links to get you started home schooling:

Information on getting startedhttp://hef.org.nz/getting-started-2/

and

Information on getting an exemptionhttp://hef.org.nz/exemptions/

This link is motivational: http://hef.org.nz/2012/home-schooling-what-is-it-all-about/

Exemption Form online: http://hef.org.nz/2012/home-schooling-exemption-form-now-online/

Coming Events: http://hef.org.nz/2013/some-coming-events-for-home-education-during-2013-2/

Beneficiaries: http://hef.org.nz/2013/where-to-for-beneficiary-families-now-that-the-social-security-benefit-categories-and-work-focus-amendment-bill-has-passed-its-third-reading/