MoE’s reply to Yumiko’s email about the Scoping Survey

Response to:  Email to the MoE about the Scoping Survey from a Home Educator

This reponse will be put up on the MoE website on Monday

Dear Dr Yumiko,

Thank you for your email.

This feedback process is intended as an informal scoping exercise not as formal research and as such doesn’t cover off the elements outlined in your email. In saying that, the points that you have raised in your email are all really valid.

In terms of the purpose of this exercise, we have met with some home schooling parents and two home schooling organisations e.g. (HEF and NCHENZ) over the past year to establish and/or strengthen relationships with the home schooling sector.  Some parents and home schooling organisations as well as organisations such as Te Kura and the Education Review Office and Ministry staff have told us that there are many things they like about the home schooling system in New Zealand. In addition there are some things  regarding home schooling that they would like changed.  There are up to 6,000 young people being home schooled at any one time.  We want to provide all parents and organisations involved in the home schooling sector with the opportunity to let the Ministry know what is working well and if there is anything that could be changed or improved? We have been welcoming all feedback.

After 3 October 2014, we will be collating all the feedback from the home schooling sector and organisations involved in home schooling.  We will summarise what is working well and anything that people would like to see changed. A copy of all the feedback and the summary of this collated feedback will be provided to the home schooling sector by the end of November 2014.  We will seek feedback from the sector on this document to ensure we have accurately captured what is working well and what people would like to see changed.  The feedback we receive from the home schooling sector will inform us of the next steps.  Any proposed next steps will be provided to the home schooling sector for comment also by the end of November 2014.

We have endeavoured to contact as many home school parents as possible and have sent emails to the 2530 home educators email addresses that we have on our database (that were given to us on application for home schooling) which covers approximately 4980 home school students with less than 50 email ‘bounce backs’. We are aware that we have not been able to contact all home school parents .  We have placed the survey on our website in an attempt to provide the information to as many people as possible:

Regarding your query re: the term “successes”, this means to us ‘what’s working well for home schoolers’.  We think it is important for the Ministry to understand what of the current home schooling system is working well for people who choose this form of education for their children.

To help assist people with providing feedback, we have created a feedback sheet. The feedback sheet is intended as a guide; people can submit their feedback in any form they like either by emailing us or writing to us. The feedback received is confidential to the Ministry of Education, we won’t be identifying individual responses or any identifying personal information in any of the reporting back that we do.

Thank you for taking time to raise these points with us. We greatly appreciate your feedback and we will also  add this information to our website for other home educators to see as well.

Please direct all other enquiries to

Kind Regards,

Updated link: Problem Scoping Survey: ideas and deadline

Remember when the MoE talks about “success” in this case they are talking about the success and failure of the interactions between the MoE and home educators. NOT the successes and failures of our home education in our homes.

Although don’t be afraid to tell them of your successes just don’t tell them of your failures. We all feel that we could be doing better and have failed in some areas. After home educating for 28 years (with an exemption) and realising how fast the time goes by and how little can be achieved in a day and yet our children learn and those of my children who have completed their education at home are now thriving in their chosen fields. Even school teachers must see many or their failures in the class. We only have a fraction of the children yet we all have the same amount of time. Actually that statement is incorrect as we have 24 hours while teachers only have from 9:00am to 3:00pm. Again that is incorrect as schools like to encroach on family time and give home work as well. What I am saying we are not perfect. So please don’t mention what you feel is failure in your home education as it is something you can be dealing with in the future and does not need to be brought to the attention of the MoE.

On the other hand do mention your successes – how you home educate without a timetable, without using a topic plan, without set curriculum, without rigid guidelines, without goal planning if that is how you home educate. Talk about the successes your children have in learning to read and write (sometimes even on their own) and especially without qualified teachers.

Tell them what is working in your home, whether you use a timetable, set curriculum, topic plan for subjects, rigid guidelines and goal planning or whether your family are natural learners/radical unschoolers or somewhere in between.

It is not like an ERO review on the home education in our own homes. It is like an ERO review on the systems/processes that the MoE use with home educators. Simply what works, what doesn’t and how can it be improved.

The evidence shows overwhelmingly that these children (home schooled children) perform extremely well, above average, when they re-enter formal education. That appears to be across the board, whether they sat at home and had formal lessons…or whether they were up-a-tree hippies who had no formal learning pattern. On any measure you like, socially or academically, they will do better.” — Jeff Richardson, Monash University, Melbourne

RONALD MEIGHAN, University of Nottingham School of Education, 1996 wanted to write an essay against home education. After he had done his research he wrote: Home-Based Education Not “Does It Work?” but “Why Does It Work So Well?

Do check out this link with a bunch of ideas to stimulate your thinking for filling out the scoping survey: Problem Scoping Survey: ideas and deadline

Addresses for sending the Scoping Survey back:


snail mail: Lucy Ambrose, 45-47 Pipitea St, Wellington

phone: 04 4 463 8946 | Ext 48946

or look for the addresses in Jim Greening’ letter.

Home Education Foundation letter which covers exemption form, beneficiaries, International home educators and Keystone.

– MoE/ERO issues

– Changes in the MoE

– MoE discussions introduction to the Red Tape Cluster Buster meetings

– Preparation for the MoE discussions with Red Tape Cluster Buster meetings and relevant for the Problem Scoping Survey
– Discussions home educators had online at Clutter buster group or (for ease of reading as not everyone can get onto the Google docs) here… (Also a lot of very good information to aid you in filling out the Problem Scoping Survey)

– Record of Progress and Achievement (an example of the new National MoE office staff understanding home educators)

– Truancy and the Home Schooler/Home Educator (another success with the National Office in that Megan showed us alternatives)

– Scoping Meeting 15 July 2014 – Getting to know you

– 2nd Meeting 28 July 2014 – Red Tape Cluster Buster Meeting

– MoE scoping Home Educators – email

Feedback Form (Problem Scoping Survey) on MoE website

Email to the MoE about the Scoping Survey from a Home Educator

Problem Scoping Survey: ideas and deadline


Please share/forward this link with other home educators.


From the Smiths:

Updated 22 September 2014:  Two years on (Craig Smith’s Health) page 7 click here


Needing help for your home schooling journey:


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

Information on getting started


Information on getting an exemption

This link is motivational:

Exemption Form online:

Coming Events: