March 29, 2023

Possible conferences in April and May

Below is an email that I have just sent out to a few people. My home has sold, I move out 21 April and leave New Zealand 5 June. So I will be available to speak at a few places around New Zealand. Please take a look at the dates below and if they suit you would you be available to organise a conference in your area?  The dates that are confirmed are set, but the other dates may be able to be moved around a little. Please contact me if you are interested in organising a conference in your area, 06 357 4399 or 021 0278 2221

While I still have a van in New Zealand and while I wait for my container to arrive in Tasmania I thought I would travel around New Zealand doing conferences and visiting family and friends before leaving. I will be back regularly (with my adopted and guardianship children to see birth parents) but I wont have my own vehicle.

So before I go would you like me to talk in your area? If so, then are these dates below suitable? It is not a big task: 1. Book a reasonably cheap hall (usually a Church hall); 2. advertise in your area; 3. take registrations – either pre conference or just on the day; 4. have tables so that I can set out a bunch of books for sale; 5. serve up morning, afternoon tea or supper; 6. clean up.

If you would like me to talk, and have others talk too, I would like to have a slot for a “State of the Nation” talk – about 45min to an hour. (45min then 15 min for Q & A.)(Included in the talk will be the MoE “work programme” next steps, National Library and Asylum.)

Travelling with me will be Suzannah Rowntree (Australian). Bio and talk info below.

Travelling Barbara, Grace 9 and Suzannah

27 April 2015 Wanganui Home Educators Conference: contact Lisa (06) 345 8645,

Travel to Auckland 29 or 30 May

1 April get Harp fixed and visit an Aunt

2 May 2015 Conference in Hamilton  (THEN) Home Educators Conference: contact Margaret (07) 843 5656 email: (numbers limited)
5 May 2015 BOP Home Educators Conference: contact Gin 022 127 6461
6 May 2015 Taupo Home Educators afternoon: contact Sharon 027 288 8879
9 May 2015 Nelson Home Educators Conference: contact Rachel 027 254 6699
11 May 2015 Takaka Home Educators conference: contact Dot 03 525 8182

12 May 2015  Morning tea in Takaka  contact Dot 03 525 8182

14 May 2015 Half day conference Hokitika – confirmed
16 May possibly available to speak for half a day in Wanaka 16, 18, 19, or 20 (Will let you know as one of those days we will be taking a trip up to the Hakataramea Valley via the Lindis)
22 May 2015 Conference Te Anau  – confirmed (Possible Suzannah bus trip to Mitre Peak?)
23 May 2015 Invercargill Home Education conference: contact Diane
25 May 2015  Dunedin Home Educators Conference – contact Claire 021 295 8953


26 May 2015 half day conf Oamaru – confirmed

27 May 2015 half day conf in Christchurch
28 May 2015 Half day conf in Blenheim – confirmed
29 May 2015 Travel to Wellington half day conf in Wellington – Contact Sara
30 May to 3 June Palmerston North/Masterton/Levin ?
2011 South Island tour Craig and Barbara

2013 South Island tour Barbara

2015 South Island tour Barbara and Suzannah.

Workshop Electives offered by Barbara Smith

Barbara’s Bio
Barbara - Media
Barbara, widow of Craig Smith, has been home educating her eight children 35 years (29 years with an exemption). Had pre-schoolers for 30 years, breast fed for 22 years. So I know what it is like to be trying to teach the children with a preschooler or two and having a baby crying out for another feed and two loads of washing needing to be hung out. I still have at least seven years ahead of me so I have to be able to last the long haul. Barbara is the author of Training our Children.
Suzannah is available to speak at the conferences 22 April – 30 May.
Suzannah’s bio:
Suzannah RowntreeWhen Suzannah Rowntree isn’t travelling the world to help out friends in need, she lives in a big house in rural Australia with her family, writing fiction and non-fiction and trying to beat her previous number-of-books-read-in-a-year record. She blogs the results at and is the author of several books including War Games, a Christian guide to classic literature, and Pendragon’s Heir, a novel for young people. As a home-ed graduate, Suzannah has also been active in advocating home education both in Australia and New Zealand.
Suzannah’s topic

“Finishing the Race: How Home Education Prepared Me for Life”?

Where are young home-ed graduates now? In this talk I’ll give case study of 4 home-ed grads, one of whom was home-educated through high school by a mother with chronic illness. I’ll also discuss some of the most important life lessons I learned from my parents, demonstrate how home-ed graduates are thinking outside the box when it comes to higher education and employment, and provide examples of how my own and other parents prepared their children for life.

Suggestions for programme and costs
Full day conference could look something like this
Suggested fee $15.00:
Registration 9am
First session 9:30 – 10:30am
Second session 11:00 – 12:30pm
Bring own lunch
Third session 1:30 – 2:30pm
Fourth session 3-4pm
Half day conference could look something like this –
Suggested  fee $10.00 :
Registration 2:30pm
First session 3-4pm
Second session 4:30 – 6pm
Bring and share Dinner
Third session 7- 8:30pm
The entry fee pays for the venue, morning, afternoon tea and supper and to help with my travel costs.
I am looking forward to seeing many of you again or for the first time.

Updated 1 October 2014:  Three 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:


Red Tape Cluster Buster Meetings and the Scoping Survey:


  1. Melissa Luppens says

    Could you please tell me how t get m ore information about the upcoming Christchurch conference you plan to speak at? I am very interested in attending on May 27, 2015 but do not know how to get further details.

    Thank you,


  2. Melissa, contact Jenny at