This submission is on behalf of some of the home educators of ………………………(a Home Educating Support Group).
I oppose the Bill because I believe parents MUST retain the right to preschool their own children as they see fit. I understand that there are vulnerable children out there that need to be protected, however I do not believe this Bill will address that issue. The vast majority of parents wish to do the best they possibly can for their children and that includes educating them and socialising them so that they can fulfil their potential, however that does not necessarily mean registering with an ECE.
“I am an invalids beneficiary who has been homeschooling my child her entire life – she is now thirteen. My decision to homeschool was made with a great deal of serious thought and re-evaluated often over the years. However, at no time has public schooling ever been appropriate for my child and her unique needs. I am thankful I can supply this necessity despite being a solo mother, due to the support of the invalids benefit, which I would be receiving whether my child was homeschooled or not.
I have taught my child to be proud to live in a country which helps all its citizens in the different ways they need, including providing financial support if they can not work. I have also taught her to look constantly for ways in which we can give back to the community, for example through volunteer charity work. This has been my method of counteracting the fallacies that receiving a benefit is shameful and that making money is the only thing which gives a person value.
I must now explain to her that the National government is sending an implied message that all beneficiaries are at risk of abusing their children, are incapable of providing their children with a quality home-based education, and are cast so low in society that their human rights can be stripped from them and their freedoms revoked.
I do appreciate the National government’s worthy desire to protect children from harm. However, there is a greater harm done when all are tarred with a brush that should be applied to a very small minority. My homeschool has been approved by the Education Review Office and deemed of such a high standard that it no longer needs ongoing review. My child has never attended public school. To force her to attend now, as a teenager, would be to cause her great harm. Certainly, we must protect at-risk children. But we must not do harm to other children at the same time.
And on a personal note – please do not harm the spirit of New Zealand either. I love this country for the kindness it provides its citizens, the integrity of its government, the decency of its social welfare system, and the fact everyone’s human rights are upheld. The thought that you intend to rob beneficiaries of their freedom to make the best choices for their families, and subject them to a different law than that of the rest of the country, is absolutely chilling.”
I am not sure all home school families would be home schooling their children if the education system worked…..
Cutting the funding for special needs, reducing teacher numbers, increasing class numbers, combining schools……It is only the ‘odd’ child (special needs or slow or other) now that is missing out. Soon it will be every single one of them in school. There is not much in the NZ education system in place to which a parent could aspire to. Why would they force it onto anyone, parents or their children alike? Besides that, not many 3 year olds are ready for regular group meetings (early childhood education etc), not even every 5 year old for that matter.
In the past 2 years they have done much damage in the already dying school system. They would do better to focus their attention on the true needs of children and their families. Reform the education system, make space for all, create special needs units and train special needs teachers, reduce child-teacher ratio etc . Stop attacking caring parents who actually do the job the schools should be doing.