May the following be helpful and encouraging, if you are new to home education here in Aotearoa:
There are LOTS and lots of people who have been successfully home educating in Aotearoa New Zealand FOR DECADES!
As a result, there ARE multiple diverse, successful, wonderful fellow kiwi citizens and human beings that have all become successful in their fields of choice, right here in Aotearoa and internationally, as a result of being home educated in Aotearoa New Zealand.
So, take courage Mamas and Papas of Aotearoa who are considering home education... it will all fall into place and you and your child, your whanau. are about to start a fabulous learning journey together!
Those that are feeling a tad anxious, unsure and stressed can relax.... others HAVE written an exemption application before, AND SO CAN YOU 😊.
Here are some practical tips which can be handy as part of the 'let's-start-writing-our-exemption-application-scenario 😊:
1. SPEND TIME getting to know your own child that bit more for a time.
FIND OUT what are their specific strengths and areas of interest are.
FIND OUT what makes them tick. Observe, take notes, ask questions.
ENGAGE directly with your precious individual child..... AND watch for the light & sparkle that comes into their eyes when it comes to certain subjects/activities/areas of interest to them, in order to see firsthand what makes them keen, enthusiastic, passionately engaged learners.
2. FIND OUT ABOUT LEARNING STYLES.
Forget about 'teaching styles,' and instead get to know HOW your individual child best learns.
YOU need to learn how to 'speak' the 'language of learning' that best suits YOUR child, NOT what best suits you in the role of the teacher.
Try and move away from the fixed mindset of what you think schooling must look like, to what works FOR the very child in front of you.
The key to successful communication throughout the entirety of THEIR learning journey is to know HOW THEY LEARN and therefore HOW they take in information, how THEY take onboard skills and absorb knowledge best.
3. OBSERVE what times of day your child is most receptive to learning about new things/able to put in some quality time on the concentration and motivation front.
TIMING is often everything.
The 9am to 3pm window that is conventionally followed just may not be what works best for your lad or lassie.
QUALITY time is best when it comes to learning.
A horse is gentled best by spending time in the lunge AND THEN having TIME OUT, freely frolicking on the hillside pasture for a block of time... it is sure to be the same for that fabulous learner in your care. They each need TIME to have TIME-OUT to do the processing needed, as follow on, from the concentrated learning time.
4. CAST ASIDE your own experience of schooling.
Some of us adults need to get real about the need WE actually have to 'de-school.'
We need to take care that we are not consciously or unconsciously creating a false learning environment for the very child we are wanting to be journeying alongside.
5. VIEW THE EXEMPTION APPLICATION AS AN OUTLINE. It is an outline you are putting together on paper, for the next 12 months, to put in place a positive learning adventure... because learning IS a wonderful adventure,
If joy leaves the experience, your child will be wasting valuable time that could otherwise have been used far more productively, had joy and enthusiasm for learning been allowed to be present.
Keep a finger on the pulse of how much joy and enthusiasm is able to be kept present, in order to oil the wheels of learning.
6. CAST ASIDE FEAR and ANXIETY about keeping up with the Joneses and the alleged progress THEIR child is making.... just drop it, Mama and Papa.
It is all about YOUR CHILD, YOUR CHILD's interests, YOUR child's strengths, YOUR CHILD's present and future..... and you will be amazed at just how successful your child really is, when they are allowed to be the best them.
7. TAP INTO YOUR LOCAL HOMESCHOOL NETWORK.... there are many across on the whole of Aotearoa New Zealand. We are a diverse bunch of people, us kiwis, and within the communities of homeschooling folk there is a wonderful lot of diversity also.
8. TAKE COURAGE as you set out on this home education adventure. Those of us a little further along the track of already being on the home education path can encourage you. We can say that it is truly wonderful because our children are all doing exactly the right journey for them, by being home educated.
My hope, in sharing this post is that it proves to be encouraging, and also a source of practical help, for those who perhaps needed it at this time.