April 20, 2014

HSLDA: Single-Parent Homeschooling

Single-Parent Homeschooling

When you’re single with children, homeschooling can appear daunting. Single homeschooling mom Mary Jo Tate shares practical tips and advice to make home education a possibility for your family.

“If God has called you to homeschool your children, He will provide the strength, patience, grace, resources, and time to do it. Let your family and your life be a testimony of God’s faithfulness.” — Mary Jo Tate

Program Listing:

Click on a program title to listen online and read a transcript

5/20   You Can Homeschool!
5/21   Achieving Balance
5/22   Set for Success
5/23   Avoiding Burnout
5/24   Stand by Me

Complete Program:
Listen to the complete program with Mike Smith and Mary Jo Tate.

Listen Now

Guests:

Mary Jo Tate

Mary Jo Tate, author of Flourish: Balance for Homeschool Moms (coming from Apologia in 2013), is blessed with four wonderful sons and has been educating them at home since 1997. An international editor and book coach for over 25 years, she teaches homeschoolers, single moms, and work-at-home moms how to balance family life and home business and how to find peace in the space between the ideal and reality.

Mary Jo has a heart to help, encourage, and inspire other homeschoolers—especially single moms. She reminds them, “If God has called you to homeschool your children, He will provide the strength, patience, grace, resources, and time to do it.” For resources and encouragement for single parents, visit her website. You can get Mary Jo’s e-book, From Frazzled to Focused: 7 Planning Tools for Busy Moms, free here.

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From the Smiths:

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

Updated 1 May 2013:  One year 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:

http://hef.org.nz/getting-started-2/

and

http://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 and WINZ

Many beneficiaries are getting letters from WINZ that are very concerning. Here are some of the concerns from these letters:

I have, today, received a letter from winz stating that one of the requirements of me receiving the new sole parent benefit is that my children are enrolled in and attend school?? I am confused and alarmed. Do you have any information about this? Neither of my children attend school and neither have been immunised.

and

I received the letter and pamphlet today also and am left feeling crushed and distraught, although I’m sure a little more research etc. will hopefully shed some light on what it all actually means. My 2 yo turns 3 in Oct and I VERY MUCH do not want to enrol her in an early childhood centre (I currently homeschool her school-aged brother and sister) but I do wonder, if I am forced to enrol her somewhere, whether Play Centre is included in the approved programmes? At least then we could maybe get away with the one short session a week…

Firstly take a look at this link: 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/

and this link:

You can home school and get the benefit. The Select Committee said that you would be able to do both.

 http://www.parliament.nz/NR/rdonlyres/BA3A8C04-EA05-454D-8875-EA715B021E0B/269438/DBSCH_SCR_5776_SocialSecurityBenefitCategoriesandW.pdf

Exemptions for home schooling

Many submitters raised the right of parents to home school their children.

We wish to assure them that this bill does not propose changes to policies on home schooling school-age children. The Ministry of  Education currently issues a Certificate of Exemption from Enrolment at a Registered School to parents who have met the criteria for home schooling, and the Ministry of Social Development does not intervene in decisions regarding schooling exemptions made by the Ministry of Education. However, because the legal requirement for school attendance begins at 6 years of age, the Ministry of Education does not currently provide exemptions to home school a child aged 5.

 We recommend amending clause 25, new section 60RA(3) by inserting paragraph (ab), to allow home schooling to meet the social obligation for school attendance by children aged 5 years until they turn 6 years old if the parent meets the additional criteria set out in regulations for an exemption from work test obligations for home schooling. This would recognise that school attendance is not legally required during this year, and a Certificate of Exemption from Enrolment at a Registered School cannot be obtained until a child is 6.

However, once the child turned 6, an exemption certificate would still be required.

The proposed change should make it clear that it is not our intention to remove the ability for children aged from 5 to 6, or older, to be home schooled.

We also wish to note that a beneficiary can be exempt from meeting some or all of their work test obligations if they hold an exemption certificate and are home schooling a dependent or foster child who could not reasonably be expected to attend school because of, for example, learning or behavioural difficulties.

I am at a conference at the moment will add to this as soon as possible

 

3rd Reading of Social Security (Benefit Categories and Work Focus) Amendment Bill

Parliamentary Debates (Hansard) Social Security (Benefit Categories and Work Focus) Amendment Bill — Third Reading

There are now 310,146 people on benefits: 92,550 sole parents on Domestic Purposes Benefit, 58,208 on Sickness Benefits and 48,756 on Unemployment Benefits.

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From the Smiths:

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

Updated 2 February 2013:  One year 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:

http://hef.org.nz/getting-started-2/

and

http://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/

 

Where to for Beneficiary families now that the Social Security (Benefit Categories and Work Focus) Amendment Bill has passed its Third Reading

Families Children and Parents Together

There have been some changes to the Bill since the First Reading back in September 2012. It is important if you are on a benefit that you understand what the law does and does not say so that you are not forced by WINZ to do something that the law does not require of you.

What does the law say?

1. It is compulsory for 3 and 4 year olds to be attending an ECE—this ECE can be in your home with your own children. If you are keeping your children home you will have to use a Government approved programme for an undisclosed amount of time each week which will be taken out to 15 hours a week sometime in the future.

2. You can keep your 5 year olds at home doing whatever you like with them—just like before this Bill passed.

3. Your 6 year olds and above have to attend school or you have to get an exemption for them—just like before the Bill passed.

4. You will have to enrol your children with a GP.

5. Your children will have to complete the core WellChild/Tamariki Ora checks

6. If your youngest is 5 you (mothers) will have to work for 15 hours a week.

7. If your youngest is 14 you (mothers) will have to work for 30 hours a week.

8. From the time you go onto a benefit until the end of that year the social obligations do not apply - this also applies to everyone going onto the benefit this year.

 

What does the law NOT say?

1. You do not have to send your child to an ECE facility.

2. The Bill has not set the minimum weekly hours for using the Government approved curriculum in your home. At the moment you can determine that time at less than 15 hours a week. It will be extended to 15 hours at a later date.

3. The law says nothing about 5 year olds.

4. You don’t have to visit the GP—(have to be enrolled with a GP)

5. Compulsory immunisations are not in the Bill, and Paula Bennett was not able to include them in the Bill after the Second Reading. So you do not have to get your preschoolers immunised.

6. Mothers have to work 15 or 30 hours a week but it does not have to be out of your home and there is no money value on it in the Bill. One WINZ worker told a beneficiary mother (before the Bill passed) that she could sit at home watching TV while she knitted for 15 hours a week.

7. The Bill does not say that you have to go to “Getting Work Ready Meetings/Training” before your youngest is 5. So if you get a letter when your youngest is still only 2 or even younger (I heard of someone getting the letter when her youngest was only 6 months old) then hold the WINZ workers to the law. You only have to be working 15 hours a week once your youngest turns 5—not before.

8. You can home educate your children and work 15 or 30 hours a week. Paula Bennett said that you would not be able to, but if you are working from home then it is possible—hard, unfair etc. but it is possible. More on this later with ideas etc.

 

My recommendations

1. We don’t know how the sanctions will work. If you are on the Benefit when this Bill comes into effect we don’t know how hard or easy it will be to get off the benefit if you are not obeying the social obligations or work requirements. You might be able to say that you don’t want to receive the Benefit any more and that will be the end of it. But on the other hand the sanctions are nasty. If after three warnings over 6-8 weeks you haven’t fulfilled the social obligations you will lose half your benefit and be subject to “intensified case management support”—in other words more frequent meetings with WINZ to make you comply with the social obligations. According to the MSD’s Welfare Reform Paper E, “There are operational processes in place for clients to be referred to CYF or fraud investigation if they continue on a fifty percent sanction.” This means that parents who continue refusing to fulfill their social obligations after losing half their benefit may be reported to CYF or investigated for fraud.

2.       So my recommendations would be if at all possible to get off the Benefit before this bill comes into effect in July 2013 especially if you have no intentions to teach the Government approved curriculum to your 3 and 4 year olds and do not intend to work the required 15 or 30 hours a week.

3.       1 Timothy 5 talks about older children looking after their mothers and younger siblings and leaving true widows for the Church to look after them.

  • · If at all possible get your older children or the father of your children or extended family to help/support you and your children.
  • · If this fails and your family can’t help then go to your Church and talk to them. It is time for the local Church to take up their responsibilities to help the widow and those in need and not leave it up to the Government any longer.
  • · If you are not on a benefit then please consider providing the needy families you know with this help and support as appropriate.

 

MSD and Home Schooling

Different WINZ offices have been operating differently. Some have been compassionate and others have been obnoxious towards home educators. The MSD (Ministry of Social Development) have told me that they want to have the same policy toward home educators across the country. They want the WINZ workers to be compassionate not obnoxious. Some WINZ workers are against home education. They don’t see why they have to put their children in school and have to go out to work while the Government pays home educating mothers to stay home with their children—they forget that it is a choice that they made. They forget that the government pays for their children’s school and ECE. They ignore the fact that home educators save the government money when they keep their children home. So they try to make things very hard for home educators by saying they have to send their children to ECE and go out to work.

We have had some conflicting information from Paula Bennett about what the MSD policy is for home educators. In a letter from her in October she said that beneficiaries who want to homeschool their children will have to provide “proof of restricted circumstances that makes their child’s attendance at school unreasonable” as well as a Ministry of Education (MoE) exemption certificate, in order to fulfill the Bill’s requirement for children to be attending school. However, Parliamentary documents such as the Select Committee’s report confirm that an MoE exemption is all you need in order to fulfill the social obligation for school attendance.

The MSD wants to be consistent with how they treat home educators. If your case worker at WINZ is being unfair and intolerant and thinks you should not be homeschooling or keeping your 3 and 4 year old home, then Head Office would like to hear about it. Please ring (04) 916-3300.

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Please feel free to repost, forward or pass on  this email

Please do so with the whole post. Thankyou

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Related Links:

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From the Smiths:

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

Updated 5 October 2012:  One year 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:

http://hef.org.nz/getting-started-2/

and

http://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/

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Social Security (Benefit Categories and Work Focus) Amendment Bill

http://hef.org.nz/2012/make-a-submission-reject-compulsory-early-education-for-3-year-olds/

 

Media Release 25 – Families and Churches Must Care for the Unemployed

April 10, 2013

Palmerston North, NZ – The Social Security (Benefit Categories and Work Focus) Amendment Bill has passed by a narrow two-vote margin, together with “social obligations” which will force beneficiary parents to make certain decisions for their children’s health and education or be penalised by a 50% sanction.

“This is disappointing,” says Home Education Foundation National Director Barbara Smith, who mobilised parents and young people across New Zealand to object to the draconian “social obligations”. “The New Zealand Law Society said this bill would discriminate against beneficiaries, and no amendments were made in response to that. The Minister for Health said that it would result in more children missing out on basic health care, and no amendments were made in response to that. Even a proposed amendment to prevent families being sanctioned where this would leave children without adequate income was defeated.”

Most of all, says Mrs Smith, it’s disappointing that government-approved early childhood education will now be mandatory for all 3 and 4 year old preschool-aged children of beneficiaries.

However, she says, the social obligations provide an opportunity for families, churches, and government to reconsider their proper roles.

“If the government pays to support sole-parent and struggling families, then we shouldn’t be surprised when they believe that gives them a say in these families’ decisions. Whoever pays the piper calls the tune.

“But this is a deviation from the government’s properly limited role, to protect national borders and keep the peace.”

Mrs Smith says she hopes these rules will convince struggling families to look elsewhere for financial support in times of hardship. “We can’t complain that the government is taking away our responsibilities if we aren’t willing to face those responsibilities.

“Throughout the Christian history of our culture, charity and public welfare has been the responsibility of families and churches, not the state,” she says.

“Families understood that they had the responsibility to care for ill or out-of-work relations. And where family support was inadequate, the church would step in to provide for the needy.”

Mrs Smith says that the church’s historic role in providing health care, education, and welfare has powerfully shaped culture in the past. “During the decline of the Roman empire, the church became so influential owing to its selfless deeds of charity and mercy that one emperor was forced to set up his own rival social security system to remind citizens that he was their god and would supply all their needs.”

Mrs Smith, a widow being supported by her five adult children, says that history teaches us to hope for the future. “There is a better way.

“In the coming days and years, more parents are going to face poverty and hardship because they refuse to sign their children over to a bloated paternal government which insists it knows best.

“We need to be ready to support them.”

About the Home Education Foundation

The Home Education Foundation has been informing parents for 28 years about the fantastic opportunity to de-institutionalise our sons and daughters and to embrace the spiritual, intellectual and academic freedom that is ours for the taking. Through conferences, journals, newsletters and all kinds of personal communications, we explain the vision of handcrafting each child into a unique individual, complete with virtuous character, a hunger for service to others, academic acumen and a strong work ethic. For more information, please visit www.hef.org.nz

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Where this Media Release appeared:

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Voxy: Families and churches urged to care for the unemployed

Scoop: Families and Churches Must Care for the Unemployed

Newstalk ZB: Interviewed today- recorded – will post up link when it is available

Radio Rhema: have rung me and I may be interviewed tomorrow, 11 April

.

Other Press Releases on the 3rd reading so far:

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Paula Bennett: Welfare reforms pass into law

Auckland Action Against Poverty: Beneficiaries ‘receive biggest boot in the guts since ’91′

Peter Dunne: Fairer child support reform bill passes

Parliament today: Child Support And Welfare Reforms Pass Into Law

Labour: Welfare Reforms Mark The End Of Social Contract

Jacinda Ardern: Welfare reforms mark the end of social contract – Jacinda Ardern

Asenati Lole-Taylor  Social welfare reforms ‘impose unrealistic obligations’

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

From the Smiths:

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

Updated 2 February 2013:  One year 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:

http://hef.org.nz/getting-started-2/

and

http://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/