Home Education Awareness Week



Home Education Awareness Week 11-16 October 2010

Home Educators all over the country use this as an opportunity to do something special to raise their profile locally and develop a bit of positive public relations. This helps in gaining the movement a bit more credibility, especially when applying for grants or discounts with resource suppliers, or for admission to tertiary institutions or gaining help and advice from schools and perhaps even the use of some of their resources. And of course the benefits would be examined by more people, thereby bringing more people into the home schooling movement and your local support group.

For more information on HEAW go to: http://hef.org.nz/2007/home-education-awareness-week/


Home Education Awareness Week 12-17 October 2009


Home Education Awareness Week 2006

16-21 October 2006
Check out what is on or create something for your own area

Fri 13 to Friday 20 October
We’re contemplating “Open Day’ with Social Studies/Music Fair, plus about 6 invited vendors and sausage sizzle. Our venue is the Netball Assoc rooms next to Hamilton’s netball courts with the BMX track across the carpark – plenty of scope for all-comers. We plan adverts on Council’s website, displays in Library/ies, and articles with pics in the local freebie rags/ newspapers. A couple of weeks ago we did something like this and have met at least 4 families, plus quite a few who were thinking about home education. Well Worthwhile!

Home Education Awareness Week 2004

As reported in TEACH Bulletin 87 November 2004

Home Education Awareness Week Promotions
The annual Home Education Awareness Week (HEAW) was 11-15 October 2004. Here is how two support groups raised the home education profile in their communities:

As parents realise that maybe school isn’t right for their children, we get a number of enquiries regarding Home Education at the beginning or end of each term. We decided that as the schools start promoting themselves at this time of year, then we would do the same. Having a National Awareness week means that the media are more interested in jumping aboard.
One of our parents decided to co-ordinate our efforts. This involved contacting families and asking them to write up a short report on their home education experiences, asking for children’s work and also children who would be interested in writing about their home education experiences. We also had copies of brochures published by the Home Education Foundation and another for our local contacts. We had a good response for this with enough material to put up a display in our local Shopping Mall as well as at the Public Library. These displays were up for the whole week. The shopping mall and library both supplied the display boards for us to use and also allowed set times when we could have manned tables set up so that we could hand out brochures and display some of the curriculum that home educators use.

We also put announcements over the radio station in the community notices section drawing attention to our displays. Contacting the local newspaper led to an article in Tuesday’s paper. The article was quite long, was on the third page with a good picture of children working and had a decent write up: it really stood out. The next day we had already received two phone calls in response. One was from a local radio station who wanted to interview someone for their weekly education programme. Another was from a mother who was thrilled to finally have some contact details regarding home education. We also had a photo of one of our displays with more of our children in the community newspaper. The other community newspaper did not respond to our contacts.

This has been a positive experience, even though it was a little nerve wracking to put ourselves in the public eye. Community response has been quite positive, and we look forward to what we can do next year!

(Marice Hill, Mum to Aaron (13), April (11), Zachary (8) and Isaac (6), Wanganui Home Educators)

West Coast:
A small group of us joined for a photo in the local paper accompanied by an article on home schooling prior to the week. This also advertised the morning tea held during HEAW hosted by three home educating families. It was held in Greymouth and invited anyone interested to attend. We had a good display of resources and a nice morning tea and a few mothers available to talk with the three mothers with families who attended from the wider community. With the closure of several schools in the Grey Valley we saw this as an opportune time to raise awareness. There was also an information board in the local library over the week. In Hokitika publicity was also given to a Maori cultural two-day session with about 25 children participating. Currently about eight families in Greymouth and at least 16 in Hokitika are home educating.


Home Education Awareness Week 1997

Manawatu Home Educators
Review of Home Education Awareness Week 1997 in the Manawatu
From TEACH Bulletin 11 November 1997

The organisers of this activity for this year were Megan McLeay, Gail Alderson and Barbara Smith. It was held in the week of 13-18 October, falling immediately after the Sept/Oct school holidays.

We held a manned display in the Plaza Shopping Centre of Palmerston North with contributions of children’s work, photos of different activities associated with home education, a Show & Tell on Tuesday afternoon, and a Choir group singing on Thursday afternoon. Friday morning we had a morning tea in the library, and Saturday evening we held a Debate in the Terrace End School Hall.

Plaza Display
It was very difficult to get people involved in manning the display, but the reason for manning it was to protect the material on display, and to also be available for people to talk to us if necessary. In the end, the committee had to ring everyone involved in MHE, and ask for a commitment to time. In the end the time slots were all covered and it proved very beneficial in the long run.

Morning Tea
This was not as well attended as last year. We had about 15 home educators and only 3 non-home educators attend. Wednesdays may be a better day for such an activity as we had better attendance last year on a Wednesday than this year on a Friday.

This year we had between 40 and 50 attend the debate held on a Saturday night in a school just out of the centre of town, whereas last year we had about 80 on a Friday night at the city library.

The statement debated was:??That State School is the Best Place to Educate Your Child ??. The teams consisted of:

Brian Pegler
, retired professor at Palmerston North College of Education;
Janine Rankin, our celebrity guest debater, a parenting journalist with the Evening Standard; and
Dr Peter Lineham, history professor at Massey University.

Dr Martin Minnee
, local MD and home educating dad;
Catherine Sandbrook, home educating mum of seven children;
Lawrence Alderson, self-employed computer sales/service and home educating dad.

The debate was timed, refereed and judged by the local Toastmaster Club. Technique counts for a lot, it seems. The Affirmative team opened, and Mr Pegler gave a very calm and rational presentation of the overall issues. When Dr Minnee got up as first speaker for the Negative team, he verbally bashed the previous speaker’s comments all over the room with all the passion, conviction and humour he could muster. It called to mind the way last year’s first Negative speaker, Dr Lineham, had similarly put the boot into the home educators’ first speaker after his cool, calm and scholarly opening statements. The home educators never let up on the attack, and secured the win for the Negative team. Each member of each team was awarded a pewter participation goblet sponsored by Gerald’s Gallery. Dr Lineham once again won the Best Overall Winning Speaker, receiving the Digital Mobile Cup.

We were a lot more successful this year in receiving sponsorship for the week, with several businesses donating total of $625. We were very careful in stressing to each business approached that even the smallest donation would be gratefully received, and we secured 12 businesses this way. The remainder of the funds came from fundraising. We sold Peanut Busters and Rocky Roads in the Plaza, and a few people sold them among their friends and family (The contact for these is Chocolate Sensations, ph 0800 105 108. If you order more than three boxes, there is no freight charge. On three boxes each of Rocky Road and Peanut Busters, there is a total profit of $146.23. Peanut Busters were easier to sell, and there is more profit per box.)

Recommendations for 1998

It is certainly worthwhile having one person only responsible for the advertising. They can form their own sub-committee if necessary. We should have more press releases to all the papers, more leaflets around town and a radio interview.

It is suggested that in 1998 we start the debate with a group of home educated children debating with some state schooled children, as the evening is basically quite short as it is. Then we have the adult’s debate following the children’s one. We will look into this early next year-to begin training the children.

From TEACH Bulletin Number 4 April 1997

New Zealand Home Education Week

It has been proposed that the week of 20-26 October 1997, be declared New Zealand Home Education Week. Home Schoolers all over the country could use this as an opportunity to do something special to raise their profile locally and develop a bit of positive public relations. This could help in gaining the movement a bit more credibility, especially when applying for grants or discounts with resource suppliers, or for admission to tertiary institutions or gaining help and advice from schools and perhaps even the use of some of their resources. And of course the benefits would be examined by more people, thereby bringing more people into the home schooling movement and your local support group.

Last year the Manawatu Home Educators held a series of activities which really were successful. Start with these and add more ideas and use the ones that would suit your group the best:

  • public debate
  • coffee morning at public venue
  • hold your weekly support group meeting at the local shopping centre’s open plaza area
  • get a local DJ to interview a couple of you on their station as part of the week
  • have a delegation of home schoolers present the mayor with some token of the week, a professional looking declaration, suitable for framing or some home baking done by home schooled children or some craft items done by the home schoolers
  • have a contest among your home schooled children to write an essay or short story espousing the wonders of home education. Advertise this in the local papers so that the winner could be printed.
  • Maybe throw the competition open to all school children! Get someone to offer a cash prize to really encourage captive school children to think along home schooling lines!
  • Perhaps we could get the Ministry of Education to approve of the following Resolution, and each local support group who felt like taking part could make an appointment with their local MO and/or mayor to present them with a copy of the Resolution plus again some items produced by local home schoolers (a choral item, a framed photo of an earlier accomplishment by home schoolers, like a shot of children sitting on top of a mountain of kleen sacks full of rubbish the home schoolers had collected from the local beach, park, reserve, or a formal invitation to your end-of-year Bar-B-Q so that that dignitary could make the award presentations for the year to the children and deliver the end-of-year speech), ensuring the press is there to take the photos and get the story for the papers.
  • Brain storm among yourselves: then share your ideas through TEACH Bulletin (or TEACH-eForum) and also what you think of the following Resolution:

Whereas home schooling is the fastest growing educational alternative in New Zealand; and
Whereas home schooling families contribute significantly to the cultural diversity important to a healthy society; and
Whereas NZ is a place where diversity and individualism are championed; and
Whereas parents who provide education for their children at home exemplify the independent NZ society; and
Whereas home school families tend to be strong, healthy families who contribute greatly to NZ Society; and
Whereas the cost of educating children at home saves money from the government general fund; and
Whereas home school students are proving themselves by excelling in college and in the work force;
Be it Resolved the New Zealand Ministry of Education approves of home schooling as an important part of New Zealand’s educational infrastructure meriting ministerial sanction and protection; and be it
Further Resolved that the New Zealand Ministry of Education supports the right of parents to choose home schooling as the educational alternative best suited for their children; and be it
Further Resolved that the Ministry of Education and district management areas are encouraged to cooperate with parents who are teaching their children at home; and be it
Further Resolved that the Minister of Education is respectfully requested to direct the Ministry of Education and its district area management to take whatever steps are necessary to ensure that they do not unnecessarily interfere with parents exercising their right to home school their children; and be it
Further Resolved that the Minister of Education establishes the week of October 20-26, 1997 as New Zealand Home Education Week.

3 thoughts on “Home Education Awareness Week

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