So you have made the decision to homeschool NOW WHAT?! I know from experience and can be really daunting to try and figure out where to start, stick with me I'll walk you through it... It really is as easy as 1,2,3!






If you want to home school in New Zealand legally the first step is to apply for an exemption.  In NZ all children between the ages of 6 to 16 need to be enrolled in and attending a registered school, this is the reason behind having to apply for an exemption.  It sounds scary but with a bit of preparation you will get through it and the great thing is this is just a one off thing, you don't have to reapply each year so once its done you can exhale and check it off your list!  After you have been granted your exemption you can teach your child as you wish.

After you have been granted your exemption you will be sent a form to return and sign every 6 months, this is just to confirm that you are still are home schooling and there will be another page that is if you are wanting to be paid the homeschool allowance.


In June and December an allowance is paid to homeschool families the allowance looks a little like this (as of 2024)

* First child $384.50 twice yearly ($769 p/y)

* Second child $327 twice yearly ($654 p/y)

* Third Child $269 twice yearly ($536 p/y)

* Any subsequent children $192.50 twice yearly ($385 p/y)


Right oh now we have all that out of the way lets take this step by step and get you on your way to homeschooling



Firstly you are going to need to sit down and do some planning and organising, what does homeschooling look like for our family? What do I need to cover? Where do I find lessons? etc... You can find some useful links in my Resources page including this one for the Ministry of Education, this site is really the best place to start in NZ as it covers off a lot of  what you may be questioning 

While you are in your planning stage you will need to consider how you are going to approach your childs education, do you feel your going to use lots of different tools to teach or are you more comfortable with a structured approach with a definite curriculum?  If you are leaning towards an unstructured approach you can find lots of different resources on line (I have also linked some in my resource section.  If a structured curriculum sounds best I recommend Te Kura as a great alternative, there are different pathways you can take with Te Kura from fee paying through to funded (if applicable).  I have a link to Te Kura under resources also.

You need to really consider how your child learns as well as how you think you may teach, it has to work for both of you.  You need to be really honest with yourself and identify your own strengths and weaknesses and work out how that is going to work for your homeschool curriculum.  For example I have always been strong in English but I SUCK at Maths, initially we got through it with the support from Te Kura but as the work got more complex I knew I was WAAAAY out of my depth. So its really important to ask for help when  and where you need it, this help can be in the form of online forums, friends or family members who are whizzes in different areas or tutoring.  Tutoring is a great option where possible, there are many different options either online or in home, another option is to advertise on local FB pages or notice boards as some retired teachers or older students are keen to offer tutoring.  It all depends on what you are looking for and your budget.  (I have linked my favourite tutoring company in my resources).

The biggest thing I can suggest is don't go throwing yourself at one thing straight away, but rather sample bits and bobs by buying one or two books first or asking to view curriculums, it has to be the right fit for you and your family.

Its also super important to know where your kiddo is with their learning, you will need to provide this information in your application to the MOE.  Have a good understanding or what your childs strengths and weaknesses are.  Te Kura has diagnostic testing so you can figure out where your childs learning is at.



This is probably the bit that gets most people a wee bit sweaty to be honest, just take a deep breath, have plenty of coffee (or something stronger) to hand and you'll be fine!

Preparation is key here so write a draft of your application form.  I have linked the application form here: 

You have a couple of options, you can either fill the form in as supplied or to write your own application in a word document, just note that the supplied forms can be a bit of a faff on line and have limited space.  I went with printing out the forms, scanning and emailing (I'm old fashioned and like pen to paper).

A really important point to remember is that section one of the application form (pages 2-4) must  be included in your application no matter the format.  If you decide to do your own document you need to print out pages 2-4 and fill them in and ensure there is a parents signature on it, and then include this with the rest of your application.

If you are writing your own application you need to make sure that include all of the headings/sections on the form, also ensure that you detail major core subjects like Science, English and Maths.  Its key to remember you go into detail on literacy.

Then comes the requirement of your childs birth certificate it doesn't have to be an original just a copy.

After your exemption is completed, double check that you have all your supporting documents:  pages 2-4 section one, birth certificate.  Scan it all and then email it off to the Ministry of Education in your area, don't panic if you don't know it there is drop down menu with a list of offices for you to choose from along with the postal or email address.

The most important thing is to not get overwhelmed by the process and don't freak out if someone calls to ask for more information they sometimes just want some clarity on what you have supplied.


There are some great sites out there that offer examples of exemption applications that I have listed in the resources section.



Once all the paperwork is sorted and you have your exemption in your hot little hand it's a good idea to scan a copy of the certificate and keep it on file on your computer as you need to provide it as proof of exemption each year if you go through Te Kura.


As the title of this section suggests a support network is extremely important not only for your child's social development but your mental health!  Don't get me wrong homeschooling is awesome (I wouldn't be here if it wasn't) but its great to be able to connect with other parents that are walking the same path, to share the highs and lows and get different perspectives.

Head on over to facebook and search for homeschooling groups, theres bound to be one in your area that meet regularly.  


And there you have it! As I said before it can be a wee bit daunting but give yourself plenty of time and just go through it step by step, once you start you'll be surprised how doable it is.  Especially if you take a look at my resource page and use the links provided to give you useful info and assistance.


Good luck!