We are extremely fortunate in New Zealand where home education is legal.
A child must be registered in a school from age six, so if a family wishes to homeschool, they need to go to the Ministry of Education website and complete the Home Education Application form before the child turns six.
When the Ministry have approved your application then you are free to legally home educate your child.
If you have an older child (6-16 years) currently attending a registered school, you are able to withdraw (un enrol) your child from their school if you choose to begin homeschooling after you have been approved for an exemption. The process takes 4-6 weeks for approval and your child is legally required to remain at school during this time.
You do not require anyone’s permission to do this, you are legally allowed to home educate your child as long as you meet the Ministry guidelines. The Ministry will contact the school to speak with them regarding your child’s educational progress as part of the application approval process.
In New Zealand you have to prove to the Ministry of Education that you are able to educate your child as regularly and as well as a registered school. You do not have to follow the national curriculum, but you do have to prove that the end outcome will be a child that is educated to Ministry requirements. The link below will take you to the Ministry website.
Ministry of Education Requirements
Below are a selection of the types of questions you will be asked to answer by the Ministry in your application for homeschooling. The government produces a guide to assist you in answering these questions and there are a number of homeschooling Facebook groups and advisors providing guides to assist you with completing this application. Here at Functional Education, because we are providing you with a comprehensive education program which consists of all the lessons and planning to meet New Zealand curriculum standards, we are able to provide you with an application form to go directly to the Ministry of Education for you to request an exemption.
How will you meet the requirement to teach at least as well as a registered school?
What resources do you intend to use?
What are your educational goals for your child?
What is your vision, your goals for your child’s long term educational achievement?
Provide details of projects or topic plans and how you plan on delivering the learning
How will you meet the requirement to teach as regularly as a registered school?
These might seem like big questions to answer but the beauty of using Functional Education is that we've already thought of all these questions and are setup to help you answer them easily. When you choose Functional Education, we can help you work through the exemption process and you can be sure that you're providing a comprehensive learning experience for you children.
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Enquiry learning is the third piece of the puzzle that fits seamlessly together with Waldorf and Montessori to form our comprehensive education program.The role that Enquiry learning plays is to develop the children’s learning from the ‘Teacher Led’ end of the scale, through to the ‘Child Led’ end. How a child learns is incredibly important to how they approach life and learning opportunities later on in life.
At Functional Education we make an effort to reflect Waldorf, Montessori and Enquiry learning principles. Last week I wrote a post on how we reflect the 8 guiding principles of Montessori into our every day learning. This week I will outline how we incorporate that with the Waldorf aspects of our curriculum.
Montessori and Waldorf learning are closely aligned through the younger years. Each focuses on children learning with their heads, their hearts and their hands.
Preparing our children to attend school can be a daunting experience. It doesn’t matter if we are thinking of enrolling them in a local public school, a private school, an alternative school or considering keeping them in the home environment to school them. All learning environments come with their own challenges and successes. These days it’s more about shaping our children’s educational journey to meet our expectations rather than conforming to societies norms.
Functional education can deliver a quality education anywhere you have an internet connection.
It is a privilege to be able to educate your child at home in a school without walls. You have absolute say in how you would like your child to receive their learning in an environment you love.
One of the greatest benefits of educating your children in a school without walls (at home or on the road), is the ability to spend a significant amount of time outdoors. There is no need to organise a massive field trip and fill out copious amounts of Health and Safety paperwork. Just open the door and go.
This excerpt is from the book ‘The Homeschooling Handbook’ by Lorilee Lippincott, 2014. It is an excellent reference for all things homeschooling, and contains lots of lovely case studies from families who have successfully embarked upon this journey.