Explanation on the decrease of Home schoolers during the 2010/11 year

  • Between 1 July 20010 and 1 July 2011 the number of homeschoolers decreased by 265 students – a 3.9 per cent decrease.

Figure 1: Number of Homeschooling Students 1998-2011

For more statistics: http://www.educationcounts.govt.nz/statistics/schooling/homeschooling/homeschooling-as-at-1-july-2011



I have had many comments from families concerned about the decrease in the numbers of home educators over the period July 2010 to July 2011. It would seem that it could be related to the number of home educators who are now doing 3 or more papers with the Correspondence School. It would seem that these students are no longer counted as home educators but as being included on the Correspondence School roll.

Here are some of the comments:

Can we find out how many were homeschooling then went to doing 3 subjects at Correspondence school – so not legally homeschooling but still at home studying with their families?

and another this email shows the heart of the matter

Just wondering where these figures come from?
When teenagers join the Correspondence School as full time students – we return our exemptions and stop receving the allowance – and are classified as not home schooling.  This is simply not true – although I am classed as my daughter’s supervisor now, I am definitely just, if not more involved in her education – including hands on learning – day to day, and every day I ‘teach’, I just don’t get paid for it, or recognised as such.
We have just completed our 10th year of homeschooling.  The only difference between being at the Correspondence school or not, is that I no longer have to ‘source’ my curriculum, but we spend many many hours ‘supplementing’ and ‘researching’ to fill in the ‘bones’ of the Correspondence School curriculum, I am definitely teaching! G………. is certainly still being home educated!
Just wondered if many students were being classed as no longer homeschooling when they join the correspondence school from the MOE’s perspective, and if so, I certainly challenge these figures.
Kind regards to your family from ours.  May you know the Lord’s continued peace and joy and may this Christmas be very special for you as a family.  You are still in our thoughts and prayers.
Proud to be a homeschooling mum for 10 years!
To God be the glory
So, I think we can safely say that the numbers are not declining – they have just been adjusted.
Although we continue to be concerned about the numbers that give up each year.

Between 1 July 2010 and 30 June 2011, 1,106 students commenced homeschooling

Between 1 July 2010 and 30 June 2011, 1,371 students finished homeschooling.

This year the number appears to be larger but we are not really sure where the MoE has made their mistake in their figures.

•    210 students (15.3 %) finished their homeschooling within a year of starting
•    843 students (61.5 %) finished within four years
•    513 students (37.4 %) had been homeschooled for 5 or more years

Did 1566 students or did 1371 students finish homeschooling in 2010/2011 year?

The % figures do not add up either. The MoE has their figures adding up to 114.2%.

I will contact the MoE to see if this can be made clearer.


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:



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6 thoughts on “Explanation on the decrease of Home schoolers during the 2010/11 year

  1. Thanks for following this up, Barbara – I hadn’t noticed the discrepancy in the figures. It will be interesting to see what they say.

  2. I have noticed in Hamilton we have had a large decrease in numbers this year with some going back to school also some families continued to home educate some of their children and their others returned to school. We also had some 16 year olds going to bridging courses at polytech.
    Lots of dads start worrying when their boys?children hit high school,and they make their children return to school even when they hate it?

  3. A Christchurch person emailed me and said “I wouldn’t be suprised if the Canterbury quakes have something to do with a decrease too. Many families have moved and put children into school in other towns, and some parents have gone back to work with current job insecurities/losses.”

  4. In another email someone said “My own children are classified under the correspondence school. We do all our work through there but supplement it with our own work. We consider ourselves to be home educators it just so happens we get our curriculum from the school. Obviously we don’t actually register on anyone’s data as home schoolers.

  5. and
    “I wonder if another factor for the decrease could be the increasing financial pressures families face and if children have had to go back to public schooling so that a 2nd parent can work? I consider myself fortunate that I am not forced to work but know of families who are.”

  6. This is an important comment that came in today as well that we need to let people know about “If a homeschooling student aged 16 years or over registers for up to TWO papers (I thought that was the maximum without paying), they are forced to be technically classed as an ‘adult student’.

    Because they are classed as an ‘adult student’ the Ministry of Education can identify that they “no longer homeschool” and so take them off their database.

    This is precisely what happened to my 17 year old daughter this year who enrolled in ONE paper. The Ministry then – unknown to me – deleted her from the homeschooling database, and I identified this only when our supervisory allowance papers showed that my daughter was missing! They told me that it’d be a good idea to phone the Resources Section of the Ministry to let them know when a homeschooling student enrols in the papers they’re able to (up to 2 papers), because then – and only then – can they keep them on the system. “

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