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Expat Exchange - Homeschooling in New Zealand
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Auckland, New Zealand


Homeschooling in New Zealand

By Joshua Wood, LPC

SJB Global
SJB Global

Summary: If you're moving with kids to New Zealand and homeschooling is something you're considering, it's important to do your research and learn about homeschooling in New Zealand.

As the world becomes increasingly globalized, more families are considering alternative education options for their children. One such option is homeschooling, which allows parents to tailor their child's education to their individual needs and interests. In New Zealand, homeschooling is not only legal but also supported by a range of resources and communities. This article will explore the legalities, prevalence, requirements, resources, university admissions considerations, and pros and cons of homeschooling in New Zealand, with a particular focus on foreign residents or expats.

Is it legal to homeschool in New Zealand?

Yes, homeschooling is legal in New Zealand, including for foreign residents and expats. Parents or guardians who wish to homeschool their children must apply for a Certificate of Exemption from the Ministry of Education. This certificate confirms that the child will be taught "as regularly and as well as in a registered school". Once granted, the certificate remains in effect until the child turns 16, the legal age for leaving school in New Zealand.

Is Homeschooling common in New Zealand?

While not as common as traditional schooling, homeschooling is a growing trend in New Zealand. According to the Ministry of Education, there were over 6,500 homeschooled students in the country as of July 2019, representing about 0.7% of the total student population. This number has been steadily increasing over the years, indicating a growing acceptance and interest in homeschooling.

What specific requirements are there for homeschoolers in New Zealand?

In addition to obtaining a Certificate of Exemption, homeschooling parents in New Zealand must provide a suitable learning environment and curriculum for their child. The curriculum should cover the same essential learning areas as those in registered schools, including English, mathematics, science, social studies, health and physical education, arts, and technology. Parents are also required to keep records of their child's progress and work, which may be requested by the Ministry of Education for review.

Are there groups or resources for families who homeschool in New Zealand?

Yes, there are numerous groups and resources available for homeschooling families in New Zealand. These include the National Council of Home Educators New Zealand (NCHENZ), which provides support and advice to homeschooling families, and the Home Education Foundation, which offers resources and legal advice. There are also numerous local homeschooling groups and co-ops that offer social opportunities and shared learning experiences.

What should homeschooling parents take into consideration for university admissions in New Zealand and internationally?

Homeschooled students in New Zealand can apply to universities both locally and internationally. However, they may need to provide additional evidence of their learning, such as portfolios or standardized test scores. Some universities may also require homeschooled students to complete a foundation course or sit for an entrance examination. It's important for homeschooling parents to research the specific admission requirements of each university their child is interested in.

What are the Pros and Cons of homeschooling in New Zealand (for expat families)?

Homeschooling in New Zealand offers several advantages for expat families, including the flexibility to incorporate their home culture and language into their child's education, and the ability to tailor the curriculum to their child's individual needs. However, there are also challenges to consider, such as the responsibility of providing a comprehensive education, the potential lack of social interaction with peers, and the need to navigate university admissions as a homeschooled student.

About the Author

Joshua Wood Joshua Wood, LPC joined Expat Exchange in 2000 and serves as one of its Co-Presidents. He is also one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. Prior to Expat Exchange, Joshua worked for NBC Cable (MSNBC and CNBC Primetime). Joshua has a BA from Syracuse and a Master's in Clinical and Counseling Psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Mr. Wood is also a licensed counselor and psychotherapist.

Some of Joshua's articles include Pros and Cons of Living in Portugal, 10 Best Places to Live in Ireland and Pros and Cons of Living in Uruguay. Connect with Joshua on LinkedIn.


SJB Global
SJB Global

SJB Global
SJB Global

Auckland, New Zealand

SJB Global
SJB Global

SJB Global is a top-rated financial advisory firm specializing in expat financial advice worldwide, offering retirement planning & tax-efficient solutions with a regressive fee model.
Learn More

SJB GlobalSJB Global

SJB Global is a top-rated financial advisory firm specializing in expat financial advice worldwide, offering retirement planning & tax-efficient solutions with a regressive fee model.
Learn More

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