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Homeschooling Federation of NZ

Homeschooling is taking care of your child's right to education, without enrolling them in a registered school.

Homeschoolers use a variety of available resources including excellent educational texts, teaching and learning aids and equipment community resources, educational advisers and an abundance of incidental assistance and support.

The Homeschooling Federation through its registered consultants can offer its members guidance in all aspects of homeschooling.  Visit our website for more information which aims to help answer your questions about Homeschooling so you can make an informed decision.

What are some of the benefits of homeschooling for children?

  • A more relaxed lifestyle.
  • Positive socialisation
  • No peer group pressure
  • Full interaction with the community
  • Richer experience with the community
  • Richer experience of family
  • Closer sibling relationships
  • Independent thinking
  • Individually designed education
  • Learning at their own pace
  • Time to follow their own interests
  • Time to think
  • Time to observe
  • Time to imagine
  • Time to know themselves

What are some of the benefits of homeschooling for parents?

  • A more relaxed lifestyle
  • Increased family bonding
  • Intellectual stimulation
  • Learning with your child
  • Learning about your child
  • Time for a closer relationship with your child
  • Time for deeper communication with your child
  • Time to parent
  • Peace of mind.

Is homeschooling legal?

Yes! From the age of six you can apply for exemption from enrolment in a registered school.

Do I have to be a teacher?

No. Although many teachers do homeschool their own children, the vast majority of homeschooling parents are not professional teachers.

What about teaching subjects I know nothing about?

As a parent you are a facilitator, helping your children seek out information and hook up with other people who can answer their questions. Most families gather excellent texts and teaching aids which make the homeschooling experience fairly straightforward. A Homeschooling Federation registered consultant can assist with this.

Do I need a packaged curriculum?

No. Many families prefer to select their own resources from the huge range available in New Zealand.

Do I need to spend a lot of money?

No more than you would ordinarily spend on a child's interests and activities.

What about socialisation?

Homeschooling provides unlimited opportunities for real socialising and learning together, not only with one's age mates, but with people of many different ages, abilities and backgrounds. Contrary to popular myth, children do not need large groups of peers to be socially content. One or two very close friends and a wider circle of friendly acquaintances can provide much more meaningful socialisation and learning.

International research consistently shows that homeschooled children are socially more mature, have greater leadership skills and display fewer behaviour problems than their counterparts who have been educated in schools.

How do homeschoolers keep in touch with each other?

Through local support groups.

Does homeschooling work for teenagers? Can they get into university?

Yes and Yes. Many teenagers are able to study subjects in depth and learn from apprenticeships work experience and travel. It is definitely possible to pursue a tertiary education and homeschoolers are doing it now! Employers are actively recruiting young people with the skills which homeschooling fosters.

How do home-schoolers rate academically?

American research consistently shows that against a national average of 50%, homeschoolers score on the average in the 80th percentile.

Can I homeschool a child with special needs?

Yes you can, both legally and practically. Some of the greatest achievements in homeschooling have been by parents of special needs children.

What kind of people homeschool?

All kinds. The only thing many homeschoolers have in common is their commitment to their children.

What can I do if my spouse/parents/friends are sceptical about homeschooling?

Many concerns about homeschooling are based on ignorance and misinformation. Often, with time, as sceptics have a chance to see how homeschooling works, their fears lessen. A Homeschooling Federation registered consultant can provide you with information which can help you with this.

Can I get support from the government and special agencies?

There is a supervisory allowance of around $15 per week for the first child and a little less for each subsequent child.

How do I start homeschooling?

You need to apply to the Ministry of Education for an "EXEMPTION CERTIFICATE". Don't let this process intimidate you, most people are successful and the Homeschooling Federation of New Zealand is here to help you if you encounter serious difficulty.

Contact your local Ministry of Education office and ask them to send you the homeschool application information. When compiling your application pay regard to the following:

  • You are under no legal obligation to adhere to the National Curriculum.
  • The Homeschooling Federation of New Zealand recommends that you do not include a formal and/or specific timetable as part of your intentions. Your application should be a carefully considered, full and honest statement of your intentions for the education of your children. Simply "giving the Ministry what they want", without it being a true reflection of your homeschooling intentions, can ultimately put your exemption at risk.
  • Keep copies of all correspondence.
If you would like assistance with either your exemption application or gathering resources, you may contact: Homeschooling Federation of New Zealand approved homeschooling consultant Claire Aumonier. Phone and Fax (09) 849 4780 or
    Homeschooling Federation of New Zealand. Phone: (09) 376 6225 Fax: (09) 473 1950 PO. Box 41 226, St Lukes Auckland New Zealand.
    Reproduced with the permission of the Homeschooling Federation of NZ