AHE Conference 2017

AHE Learning Together Conference

Saturday 20 May, 9 am – 5 pm
Raye Freedman Arts Centre, Epsom Girls’ Grammar School


Come and join us for an inspirational day of encouragement, ideas and networking to help you in your home-schooling journey.  The AHE Learning Together Conference is a ‘locally produced’ event designed to help parents on their home-schooling journey.  Whether you’re investigating home-schooling as an option for your child, or have been underway for many years – there’s something for everyone!

Home-schooling is a great way to set a family culture.  It’s a way to bond to one another, to hold to each other, to create a kind of community with each other that can withstand even the hardest stuff.

My home-school success is not based on my children’s achievement in maths or writing.  But in my ability to stay connected to the people my children are, not who I hope they will be.  

from Julie Bogart, creator and owner Brave Writer

We will have main speakers, plenty of workshops to choose from, time to talk with other home-schooling parents, and peruse available vendors (see below).


8.00 am  Registrations open
9.00 am  Keynote speaker: Kate Jaunay
Once Upon a Time – a Home-Educating Story
10.00 am Morning tea and Vendors
10.45 am Session 1 – Workshops (1 hour)
12.00 pm Session 2 – Workshops (1 hour)
1.00 pm   Lunch and Vendors
2.00 pm   Keynote speaker: Siobhan Porter
Creating a Community for Yourself and Your Children
2.45 pm   Panel: Dads
3.30 pm   Session 3 – Workshops (1 hour)
5.00 pm   Finish

2017 is the 20th Anniversary for Auckland Home Educators.  Home-schooling is alive and well in Auckland, and AHE is still going strong. We’ve asked founding member, Kate Jaunay, and current Director, Siobhan Porter, to share some of their stories, and insights they’ve gained from learning together with their family and community.


Kate Jaunay is a ‘retired’ home educator from Auckland, now living in Whanganui. She was involved in the early growth of support groups in Auckland and nationally, and was a founding member of Auckland Home Educators. She is an active promoter of home-education still. Kate has a thought-provoking story to tell about their family’s journey into home-schooling and what it gave them.

Siobhan Porter is AHE’s current director. She is passionate about home-schooling as a way of life and learning. Siobhan loves to see parents encouraged in their lifestyle and educational choice to home-educate. Siobhan believes that creating strong community, within and with-out of the home, is an essential part of home-schooling. She will talk about the importance of this – and ways to approach it.

Panel Discussion – Dads:

Popular demand has seen this panel reappear not as a workshop but for the benefit of all attendees.  A panel of experienced home-educating fathers will talk about their participation: cheering from the sidelines to really getting stuck in. This will include Larne Edmeades, our 2015 speaker, and former principal of ACG Parnell College. If you have questions for the Dads’ Panel please email them to conference@ahe.org.nz.


Note: All our speakers are home-educators. The views they hold are their own, and not necessarily representative of AHE. We hope you enjoy the variety of speakers and topics. You may choose one workshop per session.

10.45 am
Mastering Maths
Erin Parkinson
Unschooling for Excellence
Rose Carlyle
Online Learning
Rhys Lewis
& Val Robb
Terrific Teens
Rosie Boom
12 noon
Stay Sane Home Management
Rachael Ayres
Frances Peeters
Let the Music Speak
Stacey Shuck
Te Tiriti o Waitangi
Natasha Hofmans
Home-schooling Solo
Rachael Anderson
3.30 pm
Starting Out
Fiona Taylor
Learning on the Road
Rachael Ayres
Out of the Box
Monica Bayldon-Lewis
Finishing Well
Natalie Donaldson

SESSION 1: 10.45 am

Teaching and learning maths at primary/intermediate level
– Erin Parkinson
Find out fun ideas and valuable information about how to build a solid foundation of mathematical understanding. The workshop will include examples of practical activities, hand-outs, curriculum options, numeracy standards, useful websites, maths-themed books and more!

What is unschooling and how do you do it?
– Rose Carlyle
Natural learning, or ‘unschooling’, is not the same as doing nothing. This workshop presents some ways of learning that look nothing like school. The aim is to give children a magical childhood, but still aspire to excellence in education.

– Rhys Lewis & Valerie Robb
Online learning has some real benefits for home-school families. Find out quality courses that are available across the spectrum (free and otherwise). Val and Rhys will be talking about their families’ experiences with online courses, describing the sorts of courses they have tried, and how it has worked for their children.  They will be looking at the types of learning on offer and the range of qualifications they can provide.  There will be a Q&A and, if time, some hands-on demonstrations of the courses discussed.

Enjoying and staying connected with your teenagers
– Rosie Boom
The years when our children change from boy to man, girl to woman, are both exciting and challenging times. As parents we wonder if we’re doing enough to prepare them for adulthood – teach them life skills; navigate relationship turmoils; ensure they succeed with their studies; find the right career; make their bed… Rosie will offer tips on how we can do all these things, stay connected and enjoy our teens.

SESSION 2: 12 noon

Keeping your head when your home is a disaster zone
– Rachael Ayres & Frances Peeters
This interactive workshop will apply four simple principles to managing time, stuff, food and money – and teaching your kids to do the same. Pick up some new strategies and share your own. Be encouraged – you can find ways to make your home manageable.

Bringing music into your home-schooling
– Stacey Shuck
Learn about the value of music in learning and life.  Stacey will talk about how to approach structured music learning in a positive manner and give ideas for spontaneous music making on a day to day basis. You will learn how to encourage your children’s musicality and their enjoyment of beautiful music.  Any child can benefit from exposure to music and music learning. Come and hear more!

Why, how and what does it mean for home education?
– Natasha Hofmans
Through this interactive workshop you will better understand the Treaty, develop ways of talking about it with your children, and come away with tools and resources to integrate Treaty knowledge into your own cultural identities, daily life and home-schooling. No ‘prior knowledge’ needed, and your ideas welcome.

Encouragement for those who are home-schooling alone
– Rachael Anderson
Yes it can be done – well!  In this workshop you will hear Rachael’s story, glean advice and ponder solutions to potential problems.  There will be the chance to ask questions and discuss issues.

SESSION 3: 3.30 pm

Essential Tips for those beginning the home-school journey:
Knowing your ‘why’ so you can be confident about your ‘how’
–  Fiona Taylor
If you are clear about why you have chosen to educate your children at home and what your goal is, then the details are easier to put together. Choosing books, activities, planning your time and coping on the ‘hard’ days is achievable when you have a path to guide you. We will discuss some key questions to help you clarify your own ‘why’ so you can work out ‘how’.

Real learning in the real world
– Rachael Ayres
Once upon a time a couple travelled overland from Singapore to Istanbul – they took 15 months and eight kids from toddlers to teens. This workshop will NOT tell you about theme parks, resorts or hotels with star ratings, but budget adventures and great learning experiences… including how one son learnt to read in Mongolia – without any books.

Home-educating a child on the spectrum
– Monica Bayldon-Lewis & Andrea Darroch
Home educating is a great option for many children on the Autistic Spectrum (AS).  It provides them with an environment in which to thrive, away from the anxiety and prescriptive learning they often experience at school. However, it presents challenges for families as well.  Monica will share her personal story of how moving from school to home has helped her Asperger’s child. Andrea will share her initial struggles and subsequent break through unlocking communication with her verbally dyspraxic AS child.  They will also draw on the experience of other parents and provide lots of time for discussion.

Overview of Secondary Options
– Natalie Donaldson
Considering home educating during high school?  There are a myriad of options for home-schoolers in the secondary years just as there are through the primary years – but it can be daunting to work out which to follow and how they work. Come and hear about learning at home via both exam and non-exam options (NCEA, Cambridge, Vocational Pathways, A.C.E., IB, and more!)
Please note: AHE runs a Parent Forum in Term 3 which covers all the options in greater detail.

Click here to find out about SPEAKERS…



Lunch and Morning Tea will be provided. We can accommodate some dietary requirements (GF and vegetarian).

Please make other arrangements for your children as we are unable to provide child-care. Breast/bottle-fed babies are welcome, though we would ask that you are sensitive to others if your baby is getting too noisy 😢.

A number of vendors selling home-school curriculum and resources will be attending the conference including, Engaging Minds, Learnex, RIC Publications, RightStart Mathematics, CES, Creation Ministries, Brave Writer and Rosie Boom.

There will be a number of prizes given on the day from our vendors and other sponsors (see below).


Because it is AHE’s 20th year to celebrate we are subsidising conference costs. If you are an AHE member, you receive a concession for the conference (and other AHE run events). If you would like to become a member, please click here to join.  (Membership subscription is $20/year or $35 for two years per family).

Pre-registration has now closed.  If you would still like to attend you may register on the day (lunch not included).

The following prices now apply for on-the-day registrations:

full day $55 (members), $75 (non-members)
half day $30 (members), $40 (non-members)

full day $95 (members), $120 (non-members)
half day $50 (members), $60 (non-members)


Please pay to AHE a/c 12-3011-0543821-04  (Ref ‘name’ and ‘conference’)


If you have queries about registration or other questions feel free to email Irene at conference@ahe.org.nz.




Many thanks to our sponsors: