If you’re struggling with homeschooling in New Zealand, you aren’t alone. Many parents experience a combination of busy work schedules and supervising distance learning. Rachel’s situation is typical of many New Zealand households. She works long hours and supervises her children from home.


Optimising your child’s physical health from the home

There are many ways to encourage your child to participate in physical activity. You can do this by taking your child for a walk or enrolling him or her in a physical activity class at school. It’s important that your child has at least thirty minutes of physical activity each day, and you can make the experience fun for them by including games or music. This way, they will be more willing to participate and stay healthy.

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Optimising your child’s mental health from the home

The best way to support your child’s mental health is to talk to him or her frequently. Even if you’re frustrated by your child’s behaviour or inability to understand you, talking to him or her regularly will help to improve his or her mental health. For example, if your child has been dealing with depression and anxiety, it can help to talk to him or her about the causes of the disorder.

It’s also helpful to develop an attuned relationship with your child. Developing empathy and closeness with your child is a great way to support them and encourage positive behaviour. Having a good relationship with your child will make them feel more comfortable coming to you with problems.

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Avoiding comparisons between peers

Homeschooling is an alternative educational practice that caters to the unique needs of children. It has a wide range of benefits, including the fact that children can be taught by the child’s parents or another caregiver. It can also be a good option for neurodivergent children, anti-vaxxers and evangelical Christians. Increasing numbers of Kiwi parents are opting for this alternative schooling method, which may be in part due to the global pandemic. According to a recent RNZ report, parents are concerned about masks and vaccinations for their children because of the recent outbreak of the Covid-19 virus.

Research indicates that children with high levels of home-school-dissonance (HSD) tend to perform poorly in traditional school settings. They also have poorer general adjustment. The study included 476 Maori adolescents and 1,000 European adolescents from New Zealand and included measures of HSD, connectedness, aspirations, positive relations with teachers, and self-reported schoolwork quality. The researchers found that Maori children were more likely to experience HSD than their European counterparts. A latent growth curve model also showed that children who experience HSD are less likely to achieve better outcomes in mainstream education.

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