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,

4Cs – 21st Century Skills

These competencies — known as 21st-century skills — are summed up as the “4Cs”).

They include the following:

Students are able to work effectively with diverse groups and exercise flexibility in making compromises to achieve common goals.

Students are able to generate and improve on original ideas and also work creatively with others.

Students are able to communicate effectively across multiple media and for various purposes.

Critical thinking:
Students are able to analyze, evaluate, and understand complex systems and apply strategies to solve problems.

3 (or is that 4?) First Thoughts on Home Education

1. Relax and enjoy family life.bigstockphoto_Our_Mum_624059

2. Don’t worry about spending big lots of money in your first years – by then you’ll find out that you don’t need to spend heaps of money.

3. Decide what your family’s priorities/mottoes are and then put the time in to your top priorities.
Ask yourself: what do we want our children to “look” like by age of 16-18 yo? what qualities do we value?

4. Relax and enjoy family life.

Homeschool Encouragement

As a species we are NOT created to function alone. We are made for community. We need each other to support, build up, correct, give hope.  And God IS with us.

Mothers, Home educators – I pray that each of you are released from the burden of thinking that you have to homeschool and train up your children alone. yay!
You are not alone.
“You don’t have cos you don’t ask”

Draw people in to your family life/school/work :
Pray in or seek for pretend-grandparents, if yours aren’t in town.
Pray in a ‘big sister’ for yourself, someone about 15 years older who is at a different stage in life to you.
Get your child/ren surrounded with aunties (real or adopted) and  other homeschooled families.

Organise low-key outings/events for the purpose of engaging, inspiring, and encouraging each other.


Homeschooling Under Fives

A lot of learning happens without pens, pencils, felt pens, books even (shock, horror). Mix up whatever you do, working with the stages of your child/ren.foundations of faith child tree

Homeschooling is nothing mystical or special – it’s just enjoying running in the park, turning over leaves, window-shopping, engaging with the world around you like a happy (I’d like to say, normal) family. Books and desks are not the only way to learn reading and writing (that’s what schools do and it kills the pleasure of learning often) – enjoy life around you doing ordinary everyday life stuff.

Lego, cars, blocks, balls, boxes, being mother’s little helper are excellent imagination starters for 2-3 year olds. Remember you are the mother and if you want them to sit and ‘read’ a book with you for a few minutes, then that is what you work towards.

Choose what is really important to you and your family in life (your priorities), then pursue those. You are answerable to God, your husband and child/ren, and yourself for the choices you make. If your child isn’t speaking and reading by the time he’s 10-11 yo, then come and see me. (But you probably won’t need to)   🙂 

Don’t buy in to others’ comments. Comparison is a killer – it leads to pride or shame/ rejection/ depression. None of that stuff you need on top of the responsibility of being the fantastic mum + helpmeet that you are.

The best thing for your child’s mind is you smiling, chatting, touching, engaging – even for short bursts throughout the day.


Almost …


Source: via Aaron on Pinterest

A bit of a homeschooling joke.


HS Science links

This in NO way is a comprehensive list. I’m not a scientist, but a curious home educating mother.353px-Monarch_Butterfly_Cocoon_6708

These are some of the what-I-think-interesting sites that I’ve stumbled on in my 10 years of homeschooling.


General or All – more than biology, science in general (high school level)

How Stuff Works – also

Science from the Beeb – 4-11 yo
+ Teacher resources – 9-10 yo
Teacher’s (or home educating parents’) resources : scienceclips

+ teachers : 3 pages of lesson plans and worksheets

3D Papercraft – see the Science section

Krampf Experiment newsletter –

Exploratorium –

Science resources –

Janice VanCleave’s Science Fair Handbook (Scientific Method, topic research, sample project/report, display, presentation and evaluation) –

(thanks to Gin at Bryant Academy –


Biology for kids

Some anatomy printables


NZ Science Learning Zone – earthquakes, volcanoes, ice house – GNS Science channel : earthquakes, volcanoes, tectonic plates, ice + snow, fossils

Physics – Jimmie

Life Sciences

Life Science downloads – parent and student copies – – extra resources, mainly BBC
parent and student copy – better on dsl for 2-10 MB download.
Great resources for topics like: sense, human body, classification etc.

Dinosaurs –

Chemistry– click through to further info on each element

Can sign up for ‘Elements’ email at: – Teresa

webquest –

Science Fairs

Don’t know where to start?  (by UGA)  –

Science Fair help

More project ideas for elementary projects –

Middle School Science Fair basics –

Discovery Channel Young Scientist Challenge  –

Discovery Channel Schools (Science) Curriculum Center –

NASA lesson plan search –

Newton’s Apple teacher’s guides –

Cyber-Fair (a resource elementary students) –


Freaky Ice Hand

I know my DS8 will enjoy doing this!  Check out the rest of the website – for budding scientists or the plain inquisitive.