July 28, 2014

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Help with new inquiries and filling out exemption forms

At this time of the year in previous years we have had a lot of phone calls from parents thinking about home schooling/educating their children in the coming year. This year will be no different. But this year Craig is not here and I am still figuring out all the things that Craig used to do. I also have some difficult cases on my hands with the ERO and CYPs and one person who contacted me early on who was having trouble with special education that I still need to contact back. So I need to field these calls to others so that I can still get some time with my 3 young children. If several people come forward to answer these calls then the work load can be spread, making it lighter for all of us.

As we were  heading for the Wellington hospital just before Craig was diagnosed with Stage 4 Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) I put this link on our website: http://hef.org.nz/2011/needing-help-for-your-home-schooling-journey-2/.

I would like to make this a more comprehensive list for the beginning of this year. I would like to make it much easier for people to find the right person to ring. Many of the websites in the link above do not have phone numbers to contact. Often people will want to ring and speak to someone rather than email.

Sometimes you get someone ringing up and they don’t know what to ask. So they will ask something like “How much does it cost to home school?” as their opening question. As we continue talking we can take that person on a journey and really inspire them about home educating their children. Often these calls take about 2 hours. It is not about just giving the person a quick answer. It is giving them confidence that they CAN home educate and giving them some tools to enable to to get started etc etc etc. This is not about just giving someone a few facts. It is about inspiring someone to home educate who is not sure that they can do it. Sometimes these calls are all it needs to tip someone from sending their children back to school or launching out to home educating their children. Other callers are needing help to fill out their exemption forms.

So I am now asking for those who would like to be included in the list above to please contact me – barbara@hef.org.nz. Please let me know if you are from a support group and would like have your name under that support group or if you are just interested in helping people in your area whether there is a support group there or not then let me know as well. Thanks

Needing help for your home schooling journey?

Home schooling exemption form now online


From the Smiths:


Updated 10 December 2011: Life for Those Left Behind (Craig Smith’s Health) page 6 click here


Needing help for your home schooling journey:



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

Needing help for your home schooling journey?

Craig passed away 30 September 2011.

I have had to think about what I should be doing now. I have three little ones still at home. They are 14, 11 and 6, and their training and home education must come first. Alanson, our grown up son, has moved back home and has taken on many of the responsibilities with the children. Craig and I were involved jointly in the Home Education Foundation and it has been so much a part of our lives for so long now. I don’t want to give it all up. Alanson being at home now will enable me to carry on some of the Home Education Foundation functions like: the website www.hef.org.nz; the email discussion groups-hefnetnz, chednetnz, ccednet, dwha and TEACH-eForum; the books we sell; difficult MoE, ERO and special education issues (which Craig was so good at-I have a lot to learn, but have already had a few cases since Craig died); and a Titus 2 ministry which would include counselling-home education and family/parenting issues and speaking at a limited number of workshops each year.

I cannot take all the phone calls from people starting out like Craig used to. He would get a number each week and he would be on the phone to them for 1-2 hours at a time. This will take up too much of my time as these usually come during the day when I now will want to be with my children. So I will be referring these calls to local support groups. I would like to get a good list on our website of the main contact people in each area to make it easier for new people.

Please check on the Home Schooling Support Group closest to you and they will be more than willing to help you out. Click on the link below and go to “contact us” and you should be able to find a phone number or an email address.

NZ Home Education Support Groups

These email discussion groups are also a good place to get help and support:

NZ-r-Email discussion groups

Facebook seems to be the place where people go for a lot of support these days:

Home schooling exemption form now online


Here are a couple of links to get you started:


Applying for an Exemption to Educate at Home

Hot off the press



For more information view this YouTube video where Craig is promoting this book:

To order do one of the following:

send email to sales@hef.org.nz with visa number

post cheque or visa number to PO Box 9064, Palmerston North

fax: 06 357-4389

phone: 06 357-4399

Free Call 0800 100 692

Trademe (fees added):  http://www.trademe.co.nz/Members/Listings.aspx?member=2366144

Sella (No added fees):  http://www.sella.co.nz/store/4ym9qg/home-education-foundation/display-100

ERO: Homeschooling

ERO: Homeschooling

Every child in New Zealand has a right to education.

While most New Zealand children are educated in schools, the Government also allows parents to make other choices. Some parents choose to take on the responsibility of educating their children. In order to do this, they will have sought and been granted an exemption from enrolling their children at registered schools. This is commonly referred to as homeschooling or home educating.

In granting this exemption, the Secretary for Education accepts that each child will be taught at least as regularly and well at home as in a registered school. If a child is not being taught as regularly and well as in a registered school the Secretary for Education can revoke the Certificate of Exemption.

ERO carries out reviews when requested by the Secretary for Education, or in other particular circumstances.

For more information please contact ERO.

Education Review Office – Corporate Office
Level 1, 101 Lambton Quay
Box 2799, Wellington
New Zealand

Phone: 0-4-499 2489
Fax: 0-4-499 2482
Email: info@ero.govt.nz

Nationwide contact for home education enquiries – homeschooling NZ

Needing help for your home schooling journey:



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


Contact details:
Craig and Barbara Smith
06 357-4399
email: barbara@hef.org.nz
Greetings all,
There have been a couple of requests lately for people willing to give exemption advice and encouragement.
Just a reminder that this is precisely what we at the Home Education Foundation are here for!
We help with preparing for exemptions and ERO reviews, how to understand and answer the exemption questions, we sit in on ERO Reviews with people, and I’ve even been a witness at a court case involving home education and socialisation. We have tons of material on socialisation, research results in both academic and social areas, ideas on curriculum development and getting into university and links to other information that we send out for free. We have 22 years of experience in teaching our own 8 children aged 28 down to 3 (yes, we’re still at it) and running conferences and speaking in nearly every corner of the country. Barbara just talked a mum who was full of panic through her ERO review preparation, and the mum passed with flying colours! I just wrote a letter to the Hamilton office of the MoE about what I thought was unfair treatment in an exemption application…the mum emailed today to say the exemption just came through!
Being a charitable trust, we do not charge for anything we send out or for our advice, even though most phone calls last between a half hour to a full hour or more. We trust the Lord to move people to make donations as they see fit and to subscribe to Keystone http://hef.org.nz/category/keystone-magazine/ and TEACH Bulletin http://hef.org.nz/category/teach-bulletin/. Although we personally are committed to the Lordship of Jesus Christ, the Home Education Foundation is committed to rescuing ANY children out of state schooling institutions and to giving as much help and encouragement as we can to any and all parents and grandparents wanting to have a go at home education.
So don’t hesitate to get people to ring us or send an email. We don’t have an 0800 number but if people ring us on a landline, we can ring them back so we pay for the call since it costs us next to nothing.

Applying for an Exemption to Home School

in New Zealand

Here are two very helpful  links

The first is a cut down version of the exemption application, showing you exactly which comments the Ministry of Education (MoE) expects you to reply to:


The second is a lengthy letter giving all kinds of tips on how to answer the comments:


I’d suggest reading those two, having a go at answering the questions, then give us a ring (06) 357-4399 or emailing your phone number and we will ring you (email barbara@hef.org.nz).

It seems complicated at first, but it really isn’t that bad at all. We can talk you through it. All free of charge. That’s why we’re here.

Websites and blogs:

If you have a website or blog then please feel free to repost this on your website or blog and/or to link to these pages on your website or blog.