Homeschool, Kiwis.

This is a post from Alwyn Poole who has generally worked with high acheivers. He starts by listing the people he’s worked with, in this case, musicians.

The key thing about these people is that – to a very significant degree they have mastered their skill set through many, many hours of significant purposeful practice. They are worth learning from. Some of them – e.g. Matthew Bellamy of Muse – has several instruments at the highest level.

It now appears that NZ is locking our young people into a learning spiral that is opening out towards terminal velocity and has very little about it that could be regarded as aspirational in any form.

“New Zealand’s 13-year-olds have recorded their worst-ever results in a major international maths and science test.

It found New Zealand had one of the biggest achievement gaps in maths based on the number of books students had at home with 90 percent of students with lots of books meeting or exceeding the study’s benchmark for low performance, while the figure for students with few books at home was around 60 percent.

McNaughton said the TIMSS report showed where New Zealand students were weakest, such as biology and statistics, and that would help with targeted solutions.

“These are really tough challenges and to be honest we should have solved them but we’re now in a better position to do that.”

He said the Year 9 scores were the cumulative result of teaching in Years 4-8.

Compared to other countries, New Zealand’s scores ranked as follows (with the previous 2015 ranking in brackets) Year 4 maths 40th (34th), Year 4 science 34th (32nd), Year 9 maths 23rd (21st), Year 9 science 19th (16th).

Last year, New Zealand’s 15-year-olds recorded their lowest scores ever in the OECD’s Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), which tests reading, maths and science. Of the 79 participating countries in PISA, New Zealand was 11th equal for reading, 12th for science, and 27th for maths.

This appears to be slowly taking off here. The issue, sadly, is economic.

The jump to a total of 7192 children followed several years in which home education has been rising by about 200 per annum.

But home educators told RNZ they had expected a much bigger jump following the national lockdown, which forced 800,000 school children to learn from home.

Auckland Home Educators group director Adrian Koit said he thought the lockdown would prompt a lot more people to start educating their children at home.

“I was quite surprised because we were expecting a tsunami of enquiries coming through and a tsunami of people wanting to find out more about home-schooling, but we didn’t actually,” Koit said.

He suspected many of the families that switched to home-schooling this year were probably already on the cusp of doing it anyway.

“If they were for example considering home-schooling but weren’t quite sure and then Covid came along and gave them a little push if you like and found the scenario worked for their family and for their children and then decided ‘hey, I can make this work’.”

Christian organisation Home Schooling New Zealand principal Todd Roughton said the pandemic drove a big increase in enquiries, but a much smaller increase in enrolments.

“We actually looked back and we saw that there was a 64 percent increase in enquiries compared with the same period over the last two years and probably for us about a 10 percent increase in our actual roll,” Roughton said.

A lot of people were interested in home-schooling but it was difficult for many families to actually follow through and do it, he said.

“I’m not so surprised that there weren’t more who went though because of the situation in New Zealand where so many folk are now locked into a two-family income requirement that they’re not able to make other choices. We have a lot more people wanting to go home-schooling in the long-term than are actually able to do that.”

As a recovering Aucklander, I can recall when I sweated over being in the suburbs with the “good” schools and the price differential — measured in hundreds of thousands of dollars — that went with being in that zone. Ironically, for many, you will save if you move the hell out and one of you stays home. For this is no longer about economics. Is is ensuring your children are not credentialed idiots.

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10 months ago

So the obvious conclusion is that we need a program that will deliver boxes of books to all homes, at which point the kids will become good at math. As a math teacher, I support this message.


We have that. But now on screens, and the books are unread. Parents who read with their kids and teach them to write and do sums rock.