The changing face of home education in New Zealand : motivations and challenges : a thesis presented as partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Education, at Massey University, New Zealand

Thumbnail Image
Open Access Location
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Massey University
The Author
A lack of research looking into home education in New Zealand was apparent. With this educational option more popular than ever, a need for research in this field was clear. A survey was conducted with 151 home educators within New Zealand to determine who was home educating, what motivates them to do so, and to identify any challenges they may face as a result. In addition to the survey, follow-up interviews were conducted with four of these participants to elaborate on their responses, providing a deeper understanding of the areas of interest. It was found that home educators were mainly female and commonly of New Zealand European descent. On average, they were educating between 1-2 children throughout multiple regions of New Zealand. The most frequent motivation for home educating was the ability to teach at a child’s own pace and tailor to their requirements. Dissatisfaction with teaching in public schools was also common. The biggest challenge home educators faced was financial strain, followed by time management. Three themes were identified in the follow-up interviews regarding motivations for home education. These included: control over child’s education, dissatisfaction with public schooling, and lifestyle factors. Three themes were also identified for challenges home educators faced. These were: judgment from others, financial strain, and lack of government support. Some aspects of who is home educating, motivations for doing so, and challenges faced as a result of this, remain unchanged over the years. Although, there was some evidence of shifts in these areas over the past decade. It is hoped the research will provide a more up to date understanding of home education in New Zealand in the current era. This will be useful for those considering home education, policymakers, teachers, and for the general public.