Blenheim: Home education afternoon and evening 13 November

13 November 2008
Blenheim: Home Education afternoon and evening casual meeting
Time:    3:30pm onwards.
Venue: 18 Hathaway St, Spring Creek, Blenheim
Casual – come when you can. Bring and share tea planned for about 5:30pm. Discussions continuing after tea. We will be discussing, among other things, your rights as Home Educators and what is required by law for filling out your Exemption Form. This is a timely meeting because of the planned meeting with Hilary Clifton of the MoE in December.  
Contact:  Contact Rena  03 570-5143 [at]

More info on 18 Oct Workshop Palmerston North

More information on some of the workshop sessions:

1st Session:

Living Room Adventures – History alive in your own home! Combine it with related literature and  you enliven your study and your children’s minds even more. Examples and discussion time.

Home Education – Getting things into Perspective”
This would be a good keynote message. It is an all round message – something for everyone.
Covers things like:

  • What”s it all about
  • Schooling versus education
  • Character training
  • Can I do this: parents’ qualifications
  • Tutoring/Mentoring
  • Where is this going: developing vision

Some comments from those who have attended this workshop in the past:

  • Great input from Craig Smith on stepping back and looking at the “big picture” of why and how we are home educating.
  • Thought provoking and interesting. Took on board idea of evaluating & teaching “our” kids to their abilities and interests.
  • Entertaining – good shot at a very broad subject.
  • Craig Smith is just gold! :) Whatever conferences you have, you MUST have Craig!
2nd Session:

“Getting Started, dealing with MOE/ERO, pulling children out of School, doing exemption form etc”
Legal aspects; curriculum materials; educational approaches
A comment about this elective:

  • Excellent. Practical and helpful information presented in a relaxed style – I took heaps of notes. I would recommend this session.
“Avoiding Burnout – Keeping Going When the Going Gets Tough” 1 1/2 hrs
Symptoms of burnout
Causes of home school burnout
Strategies for avoiding burnout

Comments made to us after this talk:

  • I was going to send my children back to school until I heard you give this talk. Now I am going to keep home educating them
  • I was really worried about home schooling. I didn’t think I could do it. After hearing this talk I’m going back to fill in my exemption form.

3rd Session –
“Choosing or Developing Your Own Curriculum”
Exploring a number of issues around choosing a curriculum or developing your own.

“Training Our Children’s minds”, “The Tools of Learning” and “Motivation”
Barbara takes the Grammar, Logic and Rhetoric stages of a classical education and applies it to a Hebrew/Interpersonal approach. This is a good workshop no matter what curriculum you are using or not using.

Here are some comments made about these electives:

  • Very valuable info picked up from this session
  • I would like to let you know how much I enjoyed your talk – and how very inspired it left me! My children are all under 10, so we began straight away (we have been un-schooling), and after only one week, all the kids are doing really well. (So am I – I like the simplicity.) So, thank you very much – keep up the good work. Kind Regards, Vicki.
  • Thanks sooo much for your time on Saturday at WHSA. I enjoyed listening to you both. Barbara, I am going to introduce your memory box – daily, weekly etc! – Love Leanne
  • Thank you for all the work you did to prepare and present the classical homeschooling workshops in South Auckland. It was a real encouragement. Thank you for sharing your vision for homeschooling. Thank you for generously giving your time in this way, for sharing your love for the Lord and how that translates into educating your children. Love, Tarnya
  • I went to the homeschool workshop last weekend, and it was lovely to see some of you there. Barbara Smith led some excellent workshops on classical education. I was renewed in my vision for where we are going and in the joy of the journey!
  • Good explanation of the logic stage in classical education. Still very down-to-earth and practical. Appreciated finding out about resources.

Some comments in the Wellington Home Schoolers Association newsletter:

  • The Classical Education session was what I enjoyed, especially the reminder that one to the best things I could do for my children was to read myself and also to read to the children more. I like the idea of memory cards for maths facts, memory verses, poems, etc. Kaye
  • I particularly enjoyed the Classical Education session led by Barbara Smith. I realised I have trained my mind very successfully to “forget”, rather than remember. I have instigated the memory card idea in our home, and am now focusing on training minds to “remember”. Jennifer
  • The idea that grabbed my attention in the Classical Education session was that after the children have mastered the basic facts, it should only take 2-4 years to teach them the tools of learning! i.e. how to write an essay, take notes, summarise material, and how to research, etc. Once they have the tools they can then learn whatever they want to, and hopefully you will then have a motivated, independent learner. The other idea that I found helpful is the one about the stages of learning – the age of knowledge when facts are easily learned, followed by the age of understanding, which is then followed by the wisdom age, when things will be applied. Jocelyn
4th Session:
“Home Educating Through Secondary and Preparing For Tertiary Education and the Workforce”
Changing the Heart of a Rebel (For preventing rebellion and dealing with it; Christian presentation)“““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““

There will be a number of stands with books and curriculum on them.

Home Education Foundation



Geneva Books

Second Hand Books


There will also be a second hand books table that is usually really popular. Bring your own to sell as well.

You can come to all the conference or to just some of the sessions. Individual sessions are $5.00 each.

You can bring a baby and quiet children. There will be no children’s programme or creche.

Workshops by Lennie Harrison

The Essential Beginner’s Guide to Home Education
The whole seminar is 10 hours long, delivered in several sessions, but approx. 3 topics can be selected together to make a shorter session. While obviously concentrating on ‘beginners’, this comprehensive seminar is suitable for a wide range of home educating parents. Whether you have not yet applied for an exemption or have to write another one soon; whether you feel you’re not too well equipped for your home education career, or you could do with some better preparation for your ERO review, whether you’re almost lost in an overwhelming sea of information about curriculum choice, or whether you wonder just how much work is enough work – this seminar has many answers, handy tips, ideas and inspiration. It also features a hands-on, practical approach with active participation, and a course manual.
Content areas are:
* Learning styles and teaching approaches
* Curriculum choice
* Creating a learning environment and learning centres
* Unplanned learning experiences
* Unit studies, Charlotte Mason methods, unschooling, and more
* Sequences in teaching reading, writing and maths
* Assessing your child’s learning
* Planning and record keeping (how much or how little, what is acceptable by ERO, etc.)
* Avoiding burn-out
* Motivating reluctant learners
* Homeschooling and toddlers – do they mix?
* Homeschooling teens and looking beyond
* Your application for exemption to the MoE
* Your ERO review
* and more
What others have said:
I would like to thank you for the great course you ran over the past weeks. The information has been invaluable and will help me and my family in many ways. You gave us so much to think about and prepared us for up and coming hurdles which was wonderful! Thanks again for all your help.
What I most valued was learning and being reminded of our wide-ranging freedoms. The final session was especially brilliant. Very practical.
To tell the truth, I could only think that it would be good to go for twice the seminar time. Have thoroughly enjoyed it!
Lennie, you’re a legend – thanks heaps!
You give me so much confidence to believe in myself.
The following workshops are all approx. 2 hours duration and include hand-out notes. As Lennie has a Christian worldview, all workshops could include Christian content.
Charlotte Mason methods of education.
Charlotte was an educationalist who lived in the 19th century in England. Her philosophy is still of lively interest to many home educators today. Her ideas allow for a flexible approach in matters of structure and content, and can be applied tin most home education settings. Contents are:
* An overview of Charlotte Mason methods of education
* What are “Living Books”
* Why narrate and where does it lead?
* Narration in practice.
Educational Games.
This workshop is very hands-on. It will get you familiar with games that are easy to learn, quick to play, cheap to make and enjoyable for the whole family as they are adaptable to age, interest and ability. Contents of the workshop are:
* View a range of games for English, Maths, Social Studies, Science, Music, Art, etc.
* Try some out.
* Design your own and share ideas.
The Teenage Workshop.
Please note this workshop is not directed at teenagers, so attendance is for adults only please.
It aims to provide advice, suggestions, goals, examples, reasons, etc. to equip parents for home educating their teens. Parents will get fresh inspiration and motivation to keep children on the fruitful path of self-directed learning that is based at home. Contents are:
* curriculum choices for teens
* preparing for tertiary study
* moving out into the workplace
* preparing a CV
* working towards good citizenship
* relationship issues
Cutting Social Studies Down to Size.
We will look at the reasons behind teaching this topic, which will logically bring us to what we want to teach and how. Contents are:
* How does the National Curriculum describe Social Studies? Is it useful for home educators?
* Social studies vs. History, Geography & Economics.
* It’s surprising how much we already do.
* How can we start with younger children?
* Where do we lead our older children?
Literature – What’s the Big Idea?
This looks at defining what literature is, understanding and formulating why literature has importance, what place it takes in a home-based curriculum, recognising good quality literature, how it can become ‘alive’, and some practical pointers. Contents are:
* Viewing literature as art
* How important is literature?
* Literature’s place in the home.
* When, where and how to start.
Am I Doing Enough?
This workshop takes a closer look at what standards ERO would apply to this question, and what standards we should consider, quite aside from government bureaucracy. It spells out our freedoms and should do away with that unsettling feeling, that nagging doubt, that tries to tell us that, perhaps, we’re not doing enough.

Nationwide contact for home education enquiries – homeschooling NZ

Needing help for your home schooling journey:


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

Contact details:
Craig and Barbara Smith
06 357-4399
Greetings all,
There have been a couple of requests lately for people willing to give exemption advice and encouragement.
Just a reminder that this is precisely what we at the Home Education Foundation are here for!
We help with preparing for exemptions and ERO reviews, how to understand and answer the exemption questions, we sit in on ERO Reviews with people, and I’ve even been a witness at a court case involving home education and socialisation. We have tons of material on socialisation, research results in both academic and social areas, ideas on curriculum development and getting into university and links to other information that we send out for free. We have 22 years of experience in teaching our own 8 children aged 28 down to 3 (yes, we’re still at it) and running conferences and speaking in nearly every corner of the country. Barbara just talked a mum who was full of panic through her ERO review preparation, and the mum passed with flying colours! I just wrote a letter to the Hamilton office of the MoE about what I thought was unfair treatment in an exemption application…the mum emailed today to say the exemption just came through!
Being a charitable trust, we do not charge for anything we send out or for our advice, even though most phone calls last between a half hour to a full hour or more. We trust the Lord to move people to make donations as they see fit and to subscribe to Keystone and TEACH Bulletin Although we personally are committed to the Lordship of Jesus Christ, the Home Education Foundation is committed to rescuing ANY children out of state schooling institutions and to giving as much help and encouragement as we can to any and all parents and grandparents wanting to have a go at home education.
So don’t hesitate to get people to ring us or send an email. We don’t have an 0800 number but if people ring us on a landline, we can ring them back so we pay for the call since it costs us next to nothing.

Applying for an Exemption to Home School

in New Zealand

Here are two very helpful  links

The first is a cut down version of the exemption application, showing you exactly which comments the Ministry of Education (MoE) expects you to reply to:

The second is a lengthy letter giving all kinds of tips on how to answer the comments:

I’d suggest reading those two, having a go at answering the questions, then give us a ring (06) 357-4399 or emailing your phone number and we will ring you (email

It seems complicated at first, but it really isn’t that bad at all. We can talk you through it. All free of charge. That’s why we’re here.

Websites and blogs:

If you have a website or blog then please feel free to repost this on your website or blog and/or to link to these pages on your website or blog.