Thinking about Homeschooling in NZ?

353px-Monarch_Butterfly_Cocoon_6708Ministry of Education recommend you avail yourself of the NZ National Curriculum. But nah.

YOU have the freedom to decide what you want your children to learn know act like, by say 18 years old.

No formal curricula (nor big bucks) is actually needed – such is the freedom of home education in NZ.

Children CAN’T NOT learn – create an interesting home – music, science, art corners spotted around your home.

Maybe by 13-15 you want to be more formalised.

But I have been stunned what my kids have learnt “driving their own bus” all the way through, guided in discussion with me and the other children.

Each term a special interest to find out about and pursue – observational drawing, learning to play guitar and write songs, learn 3D animation skills, do some baking soda experiments …..

What is your educational philosophy – think and read for 6 months is my recommendation … before launching into any boxed program – often from outside of NZ,

Gather around our Bankwhitt Table

Check out the variety in our feast of Life.

Banquet Table(- these links open in new screen) – and keep scrolling down

 1.  Church

– includes gathering, assembly, following Jesus 

2. Mother’s Encouragement 

– includes mothers, children, parenting, family

3. Recipes

 – some of our family’s favourites

4.  Migraine + Health

– triggers, acid vs alkali, nutrients, food groups …

5. Homeschooling

We call ourselves “BankWhitt Academy”. 

 – also check out for New Zealand homeschooling information and helps)

6. Lapbooking

 – creative topic study presentation folders

My family’s web presence:

7. The Counsellor

– husband

8. Kiwikids

– children (untouched lately)

Remember Your Old People

All Saints Day is 1 November

  • Opportunity to remember your grandparents and those that went before you.
  • What is your family’s Christian heritage?
  • Chance to retell the family stories and oral traditions of your family (whanau).
  • Better than Halloween! – The Spirit of Tio Fernando by Janice Levy, picture book

– pdf includes lapbooking ideas, suitable for mini-unit study, for homeschoolers – home educators

~ Enjoy!

WW : Parts of Me

Here are the various parts of my life: – Lapbooking – presentation folders for school projects or unit studies. Also resources and webquests. – general homeschooling info for NZ – forum for women who have migraines

My Husband’s site:

My children’s (neglected) blogsite:

I’m president of MOPS NZ:
mother organisation’s huge website:

MUM-e-Mail – free twice-a-month encouragement for mothers of under 6s and their supporters:

This is gathered with some other interesting sites I like
at Crayon “Banquet Times”  – click items down the LHS

Create your own newspaper :

Keeping occupied!

WW : Lapbooking Blogs 2

This is some of what google alerts delivers for “lapbooking”. – Dear Bored Stiff – file crates and specials from the Sunshine State, USA – zoology – from Montana – wish they knew about lapbooking sooner – Wizard of Oz – just getting started – write and encourage her in lapbooking. “The 2-shelf bookshelf just doesn’t cut it any more” – hey! they must be homeschoolers!! – folder-booking (22)

Happy Reading! Better still, Happy Lapbooking!

We’re studying Germany this term – language, food, music, culture, geographic features, WW history.

WW : 10 things about NZ Maori

Kia ora!  


History overview :


Culture – protocols  (on marae etc) : – overview



Te Reo – language :


Iwi – tribes :


Waiata – songs :
Stick game with music : 


Unit Study overview : 


Whale Rider :  –   music
The haunting sound in the movie is made by synthesizer but mimics in part a Maori woodwind instrument.
movie synopsis  –


Google images : “nz maori” – takes you to some interesting pages 


Maori astronomy : – star charts, lunar months, Matariki (new year)


“Maori” in NZ Herald, New Zealand’s largest newspaper – sports and tribal settlements

ALSO … a webquest …


Lapbooking Blogs

Lapbooking is a fantastic way to present unit studies or projects.


Lapbook folders, ideas, and photos from last week: – first lapbook – Johanna’s blog

Digital lapbooking is relatively new and emerging.
Here are some examples of different styles : (by 3x 9+10 year olds) using a tumblr blog  (8yo) using wordpress with linked through files (16yo) using macromedia shockwave flash (swf movie) – the original site – add your digital lapbook link in the Comments

WW : Unit Studies

Unit Studies

can take less than a week or as long as you like.
We thought one month was a good time, but that seems to draw out to a term (10 weeks) with all the usual homeschooling “interruptions” like trips to Grandma’s, swimming lessons for a week, or …

Choose a topic – define it. Learn about mind mapping or concept webs.
Get your hands on some Graphic Organizers-Organisers (GO). – click & print away! – need pdf reader – scroll down to GOs that help to plan and layout ideas. 7 pages!

Do a plan.

Ask questions: what you Know?   Want to know?    Learnt from the study?
I think visually so the type of chart below suits me.
The titles can vary – add in more like : Technology; Physical Activity; Foreign Language …

Cover all elements or subjects, but not necessarily all in one Lapbook!
Some topics are more Science focussed, and others more Literary.

xx (wanted to put in planning sheet – but… another day)

Unit Study Links(right click and ‘open in new window’) – overview Lapbook Lesson Plan Guide – no pics – books – lesson planning – excellent - visual learning – Use this to search for unit study topics, teaching extras. – unit studies! some broken links though - Excellent site! Worth becoming a member. – click away for units! – graded units – Thematic units, e-books, activities etc  A unit study directory of free online unit studies Find a unit – click the area/grade needed!

Subjects – timeline! - Good for ideas, click Literature, Social Studies or Thematic to view entire books with pockets. – scroll down for alpha list – Geography atlases, global info

Google “unit studies” <put topic here>



here’s something I hadn’t tried before in google:
[of course after the colons, you can put any word you like].
It brings up all the websites with lapbooking in the URL.