Here are what some of our home education ‘graduates’ are up to :
Ariel Middlemiss was home educated in the Wellington North area. She studied through the ACE system and achieved a Year 13 Academic Certificate (equivalent to NCEA Level 3). She holds a NZAMD Licentiate, and the post-nominal letters ARAD, from the Royal Academy of Dance.
Ariel is a director, producer, choreographer, dancer and teacher. She is currently teaching dance at Tawa Intermediate School and Tracey Odell School of Modern Dance. She has recently formed the ‘Ariel Middlemiss Dance Collective’ and they will be performing in the 2014 Fringe Festival.
I started homeschooling when I was seven after learning in Montessori preschools since I was three. I homeschooled until I turned sixteen and started studying with Te Kura, the Correspondence School. I studied at Te Kura to gain University Entrance and just did the subjects and standards I needed to get into the courses I wanted to do at university. While I studied with Te Kura I kept in contact with the homeschooling community and attended some events like the chemistry workshops.
I have now finished my secondary school education and am starting study at Victoria University of Wellington. I am doing a Bachelor of Science majoring in Computer Science and Mathematics. I am passionate about both of these subjects. Ever since I was a little kid I have enjoyed maths, how it is logical and simpler than other subjects. I like the problem solving part of maths, and how you build on proofs you already know to find a new proof. I like programing because it is combines creativity and puzzle solving and the feeling I get when I finish a project and have a cool, functional piece of software.
For the last seven years, my life has revolved around rock climbing. Competitions, training and outdoor trips have been my main focus, and schoolwork has taken second place. I really enjoy climbing. It is a sport that involves puzzle solving as well as physical strength. I enjoy the movement of climbing and pushing myself physically, but my favorite part of climbing is first working out how to get to the top of a boulder or route and then making it there.
One of the best things about homeschooling was that I could make a day trip to my local bouldering area during the week as well as on the weekend! While I was homeschooling and doing correspondence school, I went to Europe three times to compete in the Climbing World Youth Championship. Since I finished correspondence school, back in October, I have been doing even more climbing. First I made a four week trip to the Blue Mountains in Australia. In December I had a five week trip to the Darrans in Fiordland and pushed my climbing up a level, doing a grade 33 route, three grades harder than my hardest route before the trip. (The world’s hardest route is grade 38.) Since then I have made a few more shorter climbing trips.
I start university in March, and while this might mean less time for climbing and fewer trips away, I am really excited, and look forward to entering a new phase of learning, developing my mind and expanding my horizons.
I homeschooled most of my school years. I went to a Montessori high school for Year 9 then returned to homeschooling until Year 12 when I joined a correspondence school to get NCEA credits.
Instead of continuing on at the correspondence school for Year 13, I am going to Masterton to do a level 3 equine certificate at Taratahi Agricultural College, after which I might go on to study equine at level 4 and 5. After I have finished my study, I hope to get a job bringing on young horses or travelling with horses around the world.
In 2012, I went on a three month student exchange to Canada, with Youth For Understanding, where I attended a public school. I was there over Christmas and the northern hemisphere’s winter months, so I was lucky enough to go dog sledding for three days in the Canadian wilderness. Walking out onto a frozen lake and seeing the constellations of the milky way upside down was an incredible experience.