May 5, 2016


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Class of their own: Home-schooling a ‘path of discovery’

Seven per cent of New Zealand’s school population are taught at home. Last year, 5558 children from nearly 3000 families were home-schooled.Education reporter Jody O’Callaghan meets a North Canterbury home-educating family.

http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/education/76178455/class-of-their-own-homeschooling-a-path-of-discovery

Scargill mother Lennie Harrison has been home-schooling her four children for 27 years.

As 10-year-old James is head down studying, the smell of pancakes wafts from the griddle nearby.

Lennie Harrison, home schooling James, 10, and Jasmine,18.

John Kirk-Anderson

Lennie Harrison, home schooling James, 10, and Jasmine,18.

A floor to ceiling shelf packed with books covers one side of the living room, and two wooden desks are lined up along the window.

“Learning at its best is a lifestyle,” Lennie Harrison said.

Canterbury has the third largest home-school community of 764, after Auckland’s 1214, and Waikato’s 818. Home-school parents need approval and regular checks from the Ministry of Education, and must educate their children to the standard they would receive at a registered school.

Harrison said home-schooling mothers often joked they did not get holidays, using every opportunity for learning as a family.

“Take the child by the hand and walk the educational path with them. It’s a path of discovery.”

Harrison designed her own curriculum to suit each child, but it was much easier to gather resources now with the internet than 30 years ago.

“There’s just so much around you just can’t go short.”

“We already have a modern learning environment, we have our house, and outside the house, which is the rest of the world.”

If the family lacked equipment needed for a lesson, she cast the net among friends. If her skills did not extend to a certain subject, she could “swap children” with other home-schoolers needing her specific skills.

Many home-schooled their children through desperation – a child bullied, or their special needs not met in a normal school setting.

For her, “cockiness helps” in making the decision she could educate her children better than mainstream schooling.

“I think I’m made to swim against the tide.”

Christianity played a part too.

She was often asked, ’What about socialisation?’ and ‘What about qualifications?”

They frequently met with about 10 home-educating families in North Canterbury – about 50 children.

At 14, the Harrison children should be able to plan out their day, and start doing voluntary community work to build up their curriculum vitae.

Daughter Jasmine volunteered at a school and a rest home, both for six months.

By 16 they should be full-time – either studying, working, or part-time in each.

Now at 18, “life costs” for Jasmine.

“There’s no more mucking around,” she said.

Jasmine completed level 2 when she was 16, and was now doing NCEA level 3 in classics via correspondence, while doing legal papers through Open Polytechnic. She was also still volunteering.

The ministry paid Harrison $740 to teach a child annually. When their home schooling ended, her children paid a bit of rent and food money, course costs, and car or hobby costs.

Harrison tried being the anxious mother with son Jake, now 32, “waving flags and whistles”, using rewards and punishments, “but you can’t work against a personality”. He needed more space.

He eventually found his feet in electrical engineering, gaining a degree at Christchurch Polytechnic Institute of Technology (CPIT) after completing an electrician apprenticeship.

Going to polytechnic at 21 was the first time he stepped foot in a classroom.

“I didn’t feel like I was handicapped or anything.”

His two children would also be home-schooled.

For daughter Sargia, now 28, joining the workforce as a librarian in Wellington was a “really smooth transition”.

“It was mostly a breeze. I think [home-schooling] really allowed me to discover who I was without outside pressure.”

 - Stuff

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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

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Marlborough parents feel home schooling suits their children

Marlborough mother says she has nothing against traditional schooling, but at home her children are free to learn “what they want, when they want”.

Niki Boon said her children learned primarily through books and observing the world, and her son Kurt would decide whether he wanted to go to high school.

Boon had home schooled all four of her children, aged between 6 and 12-years-old.

Boon and husband Rob Simcic decided home schooling suited their children better, she said.

“We just preferred our kids at home.”

READ MORE:
Home schooling: weird or wonderful?
School’s out, this time forever
‘The children decide what to learn’

They had a lot of freedom in how they structured their children’s day, Boon said.

“They have to learn ‘as much and as often’ as they would at school, but it’s really vague.”

The number of home schooled children in Marlborough climbed to 62 last year.

Fifty children were educated at home in 2014, although in previous years the numbers had reached 100.

The number of children enrolled in schools in Marlborough last year was more than 6600.

Boon knew of some home schooling parents who kept to a rigid timetable, but she did not dictate what her children had to learn and when.

The children had plenty of opportunities to socialise, sometimes with workers from all over the world who stayed on their Spring Creek property, Boon said.

To home school their children, parents had to apply for a certificate of exemption from the Ministry of Education.

Parents had to provide information to the ministry including a statement of their philosophy, what subjects they intended to teach, and a description of intended environmental, social and community contact.

Children who were home schooled could take NCEA exams through the Correspondence School or through a “link school”.

Twice a year parents had to make a declaration to the Ministry of Education that the home schooling was continuing. Students were allowed to “trial” a school for up to 10 weeks, without losing their home schooling status.

Fellow home schooling mother Veronika Merkle, originally from Germany, made the decision to home school her son Corbinian, 6, because she wanted him to grow up bilingual.

She also felt he was too young to be separated from the family.

While she hoped to home school him all the way through primary school, she would have to wait and see whether it suited him, she said.

“As they grow up they might have different needs, that we might struggle to meet,” she said.

Marlborough Boys’ College principal Wayne Hegarty said occasionally students who were home schooled would come to Marlborough Boys’ to do their NCEA exams.

“Some will do very well. It just varies, really.”

Two years ago, William Irwin-Harris, who was home schooled for most of his life, became proxime accessit to the dux.

“He was a very bright boy, and it was nice to see him grow in confidence,” Hegarty said.

William’s mother Jacqui Harris said he had just won a prize for mathematics at Victoria University.

Parent Smyth Brydon said her son attended Grovetown School, but her 8-year-old daughter Brooke was educated at home. She tried school for two years but decided she wanted to try learning at home.

“She’s a real free spirit, and I’m a real fan of following the children’s lead,” Brydon said.

“She [experienced school], and it was good, but at the end of the day she said ‘no, I still want to give this a go’,” Brydon said.

Brooke’s preschool teacher first suggested home schooling after Brydon said she was concerned Brooke was not ready for school. Initially Brydon was reluctant, but after she did some research into it she thought it would suit the family.

Brydon said she hoped Brooke would choose to keep learning at home, as she did not want her to feel the pressure to fit in as she got older.

Brooke was very self-motivated, Brydon said.

“If she wants to become a doctor, she’ll become a doctor. If she wants to become an artist, she’ll become an artist.”

Each year about 5500 New Zealand children were home schooled.

 - The Marlborough Express

Read more here and see photo:  http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/education/76571741/marlborough-parents-feel-home-schooling-suits-their-children.html

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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

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Schools Will Reject ‘Extreme’ Sex Ed Guidelines

MEDIA RELEASE

29 May 2015

Schools Will Reject ‘Extreme’ Sex Ed Guidelines

Family First NZ says that most schools along with the parents in the school community will rightly reject the extreme elements of the new sexuality education guidelines, and that resources should be targeted at parents to help them educate their own children.

“Primary school children as young as 5 will be indoctrinated with issues around ‘gender stereotypes and norms’, ‘sexuality and gender well-being’, ‘gender, sexuality and diversity’, and ‘gender and sexuality messages’. But most children that age simply want to play, eat and have fun. We should let children be children,” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ.

“Parents will object to programmes targeted at children as young as five undermining the role and values of parents, and resources which fail to take into account the emotional and physical development of each child and the values of that particular family.”

“Among the implications of the proposals around so-called ‘gender’ issues in schools is that sex-specific facilities, including changing rooms, showers, toilets or sports teams may no longer be directed on the basis of a child’s actual biological sex. Students could pick the toilet or changing room or sports team or uniform of the gender with which they identify at that time. They give the opportunity, for example, for male students who pretend to be transgender an alibi to use girls’ toilets, showers, and changing rooms. But the expectation of parents and the children themselves is to see students of the same sex in places like changing rooms and showers.”

“The ‘gender agenda’ will simply lead to confusion in schools. Ignoring biology is not a proper solution. What children really need is affirmation of their unique personality and appropriate treatment for their unhappiness and other presenting emotional issues. Most children with gender dysphoria will not remain gender dysphoric after puberty. To push the gender agenda in schools is a dangerous step to take,” says Mr McCoskrie.

“There is definitely a need for young people to be aware of the harms of pornography, rape and teen pregnancy, and issues around consent, but parents know their children the best and should determine the best timing and most appropriate way to tackle these sensitive topics. A valueless ‘one size fits all’ approach is far too simplistic and can even be harmful.”

“Studies show that the biggest protective factors for coping with puberty and sexual involvement are married parents, family values, parental supervision, and parental expectations for behaviour. What happens at home is the greatest determinant of the outcomes for the young person,” says Mr McCoskrie.

A recent international study found that by the age of ten years old, most children will have already had their first ‘facts of life’ talk with their parents. The online survey of 5,420 parents and 2,569 children aged 5-10 years old was undertaken during 2014 in New Zealand, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Czech Republic, France, Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States. The AVG Technology survey found that most parents plan to have the chat about adult topics including pornography, sex and puberty by the time their kids are 10-years-old, and that 76% believe that the Internet has encouraged the conversation on adult themes with children at an increasingly early age.

“This is a great result and shows that parents are now looking to pre-empt the unacceptable messages being pushed in the media, on the internet, and by groups abusing the sex education curriculum which pollute their young children’s minds and innocence. Parents are the best moral gatekeepers for their children,” says Mr McCoskrie.

ENDS

For More Information and Media Interviews, contact Family First:

Bob McCoskrie – National Director

Sign up now to received FREE email updates of issues affecting families – be informed! http://www.familyfirst.org.nz/email-updates/

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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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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

Red Tape Cluster Buster Meetings and the Scoping Survey: http://hef.org.nz/2014/next-steps-deadline-8-december-2014/

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Home schooling session aimed at ‘quirky’ families

A home schooling conference is heading to Nelson

A home schooling conference is heading to Nelson

A home schooling conference to be held this weekend will have a session aimed at “quirky” children and parents.

Barbara Smith, of the Home Education Foundation, will be in Nelson on Saturday, holding a conference for those interested in home schooling.

Smith had made trips around New Zealand for several years, holding conferences to support home education.

The conference will include a session entitled Natural Education for All, and is aimed at “quirky” children and parents, those with Asperger’s, anxiety, social awkwardness or those who are gifted.

It will be presented by Debbie Ball – mother of seven children, all home educated from birth. Six of her children had been diagnosed with Asperger’s.

The session is to help families decide if school is right for their child, and if not, show them they have options.

The conference runs from 9.30 till 4.30 at St Paul’s Church Hall, 69 Waimea West Rd, Brightwater.

For more details visit: hef.org.nz.

 - Stuff

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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

Red Tape Cluster Buster Meetings and the Scoping Survey: http://hef.org.nz/2014/next-steps-deadline-8-december-2014

 

Please like & share:

Parents Are Key Sex Educators, Not Schools

 FAMILY FIRST NZ logo

MEDIA RELEASE

20 February 2015

Parents Are Key Sex Educators, Not Schools

Family First NZ is rejecting a call by an Australian sexologist for sex education to be targeted at children as young as five, and says that resources should be targeted at parents to help them educate their own children.

“Parents should be horrified at the prospect of programmes targeted at children as young as five undermining the role and values of parents, and resources which fail to take into account the emotional and physical development of each child and the values of that particular family,” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ.

“There is definitely a need for young people to be aware of the harms of pornography, rape and teen pregnancy, and issues around consent, but parents know their children the best and should determine the best timing and most appropriate way to tackle these sensitive topics. A valueless ‘one size fits all’ approach is far too simplistic and can even be harmful.”

“Studies show that the biggest protective factors for coping with puberty and sexual involvement are married parents, family values, parental supervision, and parental expectations for behaviour. What happens at home is the greatest determinant of the outcomes for the young person.”

Family First acknowledges that the Youth Wellbeing Project has excellent resources for parents, and this is where the emphasis should be.

A recent international study found that by the age of ten years old, most children will have already had their first ‘facts of life’ talk with their parents. The online survey of 5,420 parents and 2,569 children aged 5-10 years old was undertaken during 2014 in New Zealand, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Czech Republic, France, Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States. The AVG Technology survey found that most parents plan to have the chat about adult topics including pornography, sex and puberty by the time their kids are 10-years-old, and that 76% believe that the Internet has encouraged the conversation on adult themes with children at an increasingly early age.

“This is a great result and shows that parents are now looking to pre-empt the unacceptable messages being pushed in the media, on the internet, and by groups abusing the sex education curriculum which pollute their young children’s minds and innocence. Parents are the best moral gatekeepers for their children,” says Mr McCoskrie.

“We should be resourcing parents to be empowered to have these talks with their own children.”

A recent review of sex education resources recommended to adolescents in NZ found that they are seriously flawed with both sins of commission and sins of omission, and that critical life and death information is distorted or ignored.

ENDS

For More Information and Media Interviews, contact Family First:

Bob McCoskrie – National Director

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Check out how you can support Family First here: http://us2.campaign-archive1.com/?u=0cd68702160c587ec85116fce&id=9b51bfd3c4

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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

Red Tape Cluster Buster Meetings and the Scoping Survey: http://hef.org.nz/2014/next-steps-deadline-8-december-2014/

 

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