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What are my legal obligations in NZ for homeschooling?

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 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 opportunities will you provide for you child to: think, problem solve, self-manage, participate, contribute and relate to a diverse range of people in a variety of contexts?
  • How broad will your curriculum be: English, Mathematics, Social Sciences, Health, Sciences, Language, Technology and the Arts?

What resources do you intend to use?

What are your educational goals for your child?

  • Progress being made in specific learning areas
  • Assessing how well your curriculum is working
  • Monitoring progress towards goals
  • Record keeping

What is your vision, your goals for your child’s long term educational achievement?

  • Your child’s interests
  • Their skills and competencies
  • Whether or not you wish for them to be able to attend a tertiary educational institution

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.

Homeschool the easy way - with Functional Education!

Up to 2 hours of lessons a day, plus hands on activities means you can easily give your child a quality education at home.

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