August 20, 2014


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Keep the joy in your child’s passions

From another home educating mother in New Zealand:

We put our 15 yr old in the local school to do his NCEAs as he wanted to be a pilot and knew he needed qualifications.

Before he went his passions, other than flying, were history and writing his own mini novels. He had an encyclopaedic knowledge of several periods of history and had participated in medieval re-enactments at one point. His history teacher said my son knew more about history than the teacher did and his English teacher said he had a lot of writing talent and a great imagination.

After a term or so, these two subjects had been ruined for my son. He was totally bored and couldn’t work out why. School took all the joy out of those subjects. I don’t know how they manage it!

Luckily he didn’t completely lose his interest in writing at home and still does it. At school he excelled in the other subjects he needed for flying, and got good results in the end, but it still amazes me that the school managed to turn him off subjects he had been fascinated with for years so quickly.

My son, now 19, left school with NCEA Level 3 and UE having done Maths with Calculus, Maths with Stats, Physics Chemistry and Biology. He hated the last year and it was a struggle to keep up his motivation, even though he got on well with his teachers. Luckily his flying and other interests kept him going.

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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:

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

and

Information on getting an exemption: 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/

Sacrificing passion for qualifications

A letter from a New Zealand home educating mother:
Lately there have been a few posts by people wanting certain courses of study more typically taught in the school system or considering school as an option in case their homeschooled child is missing out on something by being homeschooled. I therefore thought I’d share a story that might give you another perspective to consider…

Two years ago one of my children who was 14 at the time expressed an interest in going to school. He had decided he wanted to pursue a career as a graphic designer and felt that by going to school he would be able to study graphics and art under specialized teachers which would help him get where he wanted to go. He had always loved drawing and spent a lot of his free time doodling & sketching. Although we were a little apprehensive, having never really desired to have any of our children in school. However, with regards to our son’s goals we too thought that having specialized professional teachers in these subjects would be the best way to help him achieve his goals believing at the time that I lacked the experience, qualifications & skills to  cater for his needs in these subjects at home.

The first year went ok. He enjoyed his studies and felt that he would still be able to achieve his goals. However, we noticed he was spending less and less time drawing for pleasure and was not overly enthusiastic about his classes. He opted to continue with art and graphics in year 11 but as that year went on he became less and less enthusiastic and started to complain about the boring classes/teaching, negative teachers, seemingly pointless content and the list goes on…. He had by this time stopped drawing for pleasure altogether and had also stopped completing homework assignments and was only doing the barest minimum of class work as well. He was constantly complaining of how boring his classes were and how unenthusiastic & un-motivating his teachers were and they in return were becoming concerned about his lack of effort, lack of motivation & lack of focus and participation in their classes. To put it bluntly he was bored and uninspired and to make matters worse he had lost all confidence in his abilities and no longer felt he had the skills or ability to achieve his original goals. One comment he made was “My art teacher wouldn’t even know my name, let alone anything else about me.” Sure enough at the parent teacher interviews that teacher went through the list on her desk of all the students until she came to my sons name and what work they had completed or not completed as the case was with my son. No comment was made about the quality or work, their personal skills, etc it was just a matter of ticking or not ticking off the boxes of the so called required components.The result of that year of study was that he failed both Graphics and Art because he did not complete enough of the required course work to earn the necessary credits to pass. Oddly enough the quality of his work was considered at the very least passable if you go by the grade he earned for his external Art Portfolio assessment which was moderated outside of the school. Sadly though the internal largely theory based assessments were not completed so he did not earn the required credits for a pass.

Fast forward to this year….. He has dropped both Art and Graphics and has decided to pursue other goals which he feels are more achievable and more suited to him. He has picked up new subjects and is once again hoping that they will provide him with the knowledge, experience and skills to pursue his new career plans. Sadly once again I am starting to see aspects of course content which are boring and uninspiring to him but I am praying he can push through these and stay motivated enough to achieve well.

BUT…

I am sad for him. I don’t mind what he does for his future career and I will support him and encourage him to pursue whatever it is he wants to do, but I am sad that he lost his passion, his motivation, his confidence and his ambition as a result of his experiences under the teaching and guidance of these specialist professional teachers. Not only this but he lost his simple enjoyment of a hobby that was a huge part of his life before he went to school as he no longer ever draws simply for pleasure.

Unfortunately my son is still convinced that school is his best option for achieving his goals and I am sure sport, friends and lunchtime play a huge part in this view but any passion he had for learning has gone and he is now just working to check off the required course content and earn his credits so that he can achieve the entry criteria to enter the degree of his choosing.
So my point is, don’t feel your child needs a specialist or professional teacher or a formal curriculum for them to pursue their passions and ambitions because the professionals may well kill your child’s passion in the drudgery that is often the case with following and conforming to a content based formal curriculum, even under specialist teachers.

Better that they hold onto their inspiration, their passion and dreams than to become a drone to the school curriculum for the sole purpose of achieving a recognized qualification.

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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:

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

and

Information on getting an exemption: 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/

 

Wells brothers go for history as mum watches

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All three of the Wells brothers are competing at the Winter Olympics this year.

Jossi Wells

Getty Images

HOPEFUL: Jossi Wells is one of three Wanaka brothers in Sochi for the Winter Olympics.

If Jossi or Beau-James Wells manage to create Kiwi Olympic history tonight, it will be with their mum watching on from the stands for the first time ever.

Stacey Wells, mother of the extraordinary Wells freeskiing quartet, has made the trip to Sochi to watch her sons compete both the Olympic slopestyle and halfpipe events at the Rosa Khutor Extreme Park over the next week.

It is the first time she has travelled internationally to watch her sons compete – firstly with Jossi and Beau-James tonight, before Byron joins the duo in the freeski halfpipe next week.

The Wells boys were homeschooled by their mother in Wanaka, meaning they could concentrate on their skiing alongside their education growing up.

Jossi Wells, who is seen as New Zealand’s best hope for a medal in Sochi, told Fairfax Media that having mum in the crowd will be a special event for the three brothers.

“She’s never been overseas to watch any competitions before – she’s always been busy back home with work,” the 23-year-old told Fairfax Media.

“For her to get the time off and watch us over here, it’s going to be pretty amazing.

“We’ll have dad at the top with us before we drop, and we’ll have mum at the bottom in the crowd. We’ve got it locked down.”

Beau-James said that having mum watching him ski will provide him with extra motivation while competing tonight, and next week.

“If your mum is watching, you’ve got to go a bit better,” the 18-year-old said.

“I can’t wait. She never really gets to watch any of our events overseas.

“It’s going to be really cool to see her in the crowd over here for the Olympics.

The only member of the Wells family not in Sochi is youngster brother Jackson, who is currently in training in Colorado.

Men’s freeski slopestyle qualifying begins at 7.10pm tonight, while the final will take place at 10.30pm

– © Fairfax NZ News

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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:

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

and

Information on getting an exemption: 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/

Country Calendar: Tim and Raewyn Shand and family of Port Ligar

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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/

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Social Security (Benefit Categories and Work Focus) Amendment Bill

Make a submission: Reject compulsory Early Education for 3 year olds

Raewyn and her children: How can we help them now?

Greetings

As many of you know last week a dear friend of mine, and the home schooling movement in New Zealand, lost her husband in a car accident. I asked you to pray for this family at the time. Here is the news report: http://www.stuff.co.nz/marlborough-express/news/8329048/Father-dies-in-Sounds and here is Raewyn’s blog:  http://rabbits-nest.xanga.com/weblog/

Even though Tim and Raewyn live remotely – miles from anyone and anywhere they have been available to help home educators whenever they can. Raewyn has been active in the Nelson and Blenheim Home Education Support Groups over the years. She has also helped lots of people on the phone and over the internet.

Tim and Raewyn have been very generous to home educators over the years as well. They welcomed home educators onto their property and their accommodation (http://www.waterfallbay.co.nz/waterfalllodge.htmlhttp://www.waterfallbay.co.nz/thecottage.html and other buildings as well). If you visited outside the holiday periods and weekends then you could stay in their accommodation for free. A wonderful way for a large home educating family to get a wonderful holiday. The holiday experiences at Port Ligar were one of a kind -not easily repeated elsewhere. Tim would love to show people around, get them involved in the farm work, hunting, fishing or whatever was going on at the time. Nothing was a bother to Tim – he wanted everyone to experience the best of Port Ligar.

When my two oldest came home from nearly 2 years overseas, we celebrated Zach’s 21st at Port Ligar. We were all standing on the wharf one day and Genevieve said something like this “You know, we have travelled a lot over the last 21 months and seen a lot of places. But there is nowhere in the World as beautiful as this.” We loved going to Port Ligar – we didn’t go there enough though, and now both Raewyn and I are on our own – well not on our own completely we still have young children at home and will be home educating them for quite awhile yet.

Funerals are not cheap, even when you do a lot of things yourself like Raewyn’s children have. I have had a few people ask about giving donations to Raewyn.

Tim’s final resting place

If you have been blessed by the Shand family, if Tim has given you a wonderful boat ride over to D’Urville Island, if you have experienced farm life at Port Ligar, if you have been hunting with Tim and his children, or swimming off the wharf, if Raewyn has helped you in your home schooling journey, or encouraged you to keep going when times were tough then maybe now would be a great time to bless Raewyn by giving a donation to her and her children to help with the funeral costs, the helicopter and other expenses. I am sure that this will be a great blessing to Raewyn at the moment and another way to show love and support to them.

Please make your donation to this bank account and please make sure you say that it is a “donation to the Shands” and add your name if you would like Raewyn to know you have given a gift. If you would like a receipt then please include your name and email me your address. Thankyou.
Westpac Bank

Home Education Foundation (This is the name of the account for donations)
030726 0495399 00

my email is barbara@hef.org.nz

I would like to thank those of you who decide to make a donation to Raewyn in advance. It was a great help to me to have some donations to help cover our costs when Craig died. I would love to see Raewyn blessed in this way too. Raewyn has given her time freely to home schoolers  and has encouraged a lot of families over the 26 years we have known her. Let’s bless her now in return.

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

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

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/

*******************************

Social Security (Benefit Categories and Work Focus) Amendment Bill

Make a submission: Reject compulsory Early Education for 3 year olds