When first seeing the application for Exemption, it can be a bit overwhelming. However, if you break it down into sections, it is much easier to focus on what you wish to convey in your application documentation. Especially if your child is struggling with anxiety, sensory issues and being bullied, and you want to get it done as as soon as possible.
I researched for a year into home educating, and my husband and I discussed all of our options, then we decided we would go ahead with the application. During this time I was also suffering from a concussion and the post concussive syndrome, so I am sure that added to my brain fog, self doubt and stress. We decided to wait until I was better to begin the process. This was the right thing to do, but it came to a point where we could no longer wait so we went ahead and got started.
I highly recommend that you research as much as you can, and join ‘Homeschool’ and ‘Unschooling’ (and in our case ‘AS Homeschooling’) groups, in order to find out what you want to do, as well as what others have done. Be sure to scroll through past posts as well as there is a wealth of information in the group pages.
This helps you not only in taking the right steps, but also formulating what your own schooling style is. It is also great for support and for learning through observing what others have had success with. Networking with other home educators is excellent for resource sharing as well.
We had some help with our exemption application from a lovely woman who has been home educating for 20 years. I found her through our local ‘Homeschoolers Group’ some of my friends told me about. She not only helped me with my paperwork, by providing examples, suggested edits and additions (for clarity) in my application, she also helped me with moral support.
Cynthia also spoke directly with the Ministry Of Education on my behalf and monitored my process. I will be eternally grateful to her for all of her support, as well as her dedication to Homeschooling families. Here is the link to Cynthia’s Website, just in case some of you are in NZ and considering home education for your family.
During the Exemption application process, your child must remain enrolled in school, but there are ways around that in extreme cases like ours, where the child is self-harming or ill due to the the stress of school. Our GP (General Practitioner aka Family Dr.) wrote an exemption certificate for 3 weeks for Sophia to miss school, based upon her levels of anxiety and stomach issues, relating to the anxiety and stress.
This worked well for us as I was not sending her to school in the shape she was in. Luckily, the exemption process only took 9 days from submission to acceptance or approval. I have never been so happy to have a piece of paper (except for my wedding day.)
If you have a child like mine, who struggled in school due to sensory overload, bullying, self-harm, a lack of support services, or even school staff lacking an understanding of Autism, or any reason at all; then I would suggest you look into home education, it has made a world of difference in our child.
Our official date to begin was 28 May 2015. This is her face when she found out…
We have our Exemption Certificate!
Yes, Kit, you are now an official Homeschooler! Are you Happy?
“OMG, OMG, OMG! YES!”
Me too baby girl, so very happy.