Welcome to our blog!

Welcome to the SHEAF Blog.

Despite our best intentions, we're not great at keeping this blog updated with our latest happenings. We are, however, definitely an active group, meeting at least once each week during term time.

If you'd like to make contact with Dunedin home educators, our contact details are in the column, below right.

We send out a weekly email newsletter with details of upcoming events, courses, gatherings etc.

You can also find us on Facebook (page is visible whether you're a facebook user or not)

Have a look through this blog to see the types of events we have organised in the past. You'll also find links to other blogs and articles that we find useful or informative, on the off-chance that you'll appreciate them too :~) (Look for these more general blog-posts under the label "Weekend Reading")

If you're not currently on our email list and would like to contact us, please email us at the address you can see in the column on the right. We'd love to hear from you!

(Last updated May 2013)

Sunday, August 28, 2011

This week's meet-ups

Hi everyone

First this week, a reminder we are meeting at the Edgar centre this Wednesday, from 12.30 - 3.00. Bring bikes, balls, racquets etc. There is a door fee of $2.50 per participating child. Also, remember there will be no Wednesday meet-up next week, with so many members away on the ski trip.


Spanish lessons anyone?

Kathrin has been asking about the possibility of Amadeo doing Spanish lessons for the children. The time he is available is Saturday evening, at John McGlashan school. He hasn't confirmed cost yet, but last time it was around $10 per child, for an hour long lesson.

Please email Kathrin if you are interested.

HEART retreat


Would you be able to pass this fantastic opportunity on to those in the SHEAF support group in Dunedin.

It promises to be the highlight of the Home Schooling Mums' year!

This is the very first HEART Retreat in the South Island. You may have heard of the annual North Island HEART at Totara Springs, Matamata? This is that fantastic weekend for US!

28th to 30th October at Pudding Hill

Our theme is HOPE, and it is our hope that you and a delegation from your support group will be able to attend. We are in the process of applying for funding, so if anyone has special circumstances where cost is a barrier, get them to register and email in their circumstances.

Hope all is well for you all in Dunedin

Nina Wright
The HEART Team

Please reply to nrwright@clear.net.nz if interested.

Note: the HEART retreat is a Christian retreat for homeschooling women.

Monday, August 22, 2011

This week's meet-ups

From Kathrin:

First this week, our Wednesday meet-up will be the Intriguing Dunedin Street Walk, Walk 1, Book 4 (red): Runaway Trams, a Shipwreck and Royalty!
Meet at the bottom of Calder Ave, North East Valley, 12:30pm. There will be some hills (i.e. there is an optional walk up Baldwin St, and a not-so-optional part on surrounding steep streets), so beware!

Also this week, Thursday 25 August 7.30 - Big People's Night out - Nova Cafe, The Octagon. Come along for coffee, dessert and conversation

Remember, if it's raining, our outdoor walks/meet-ups will be cancelled or postponed

Homeschool Art and Design Competition

From Claire:

Have you ever wanted to see your designs feature on the cover of a book?
Well here's your chance....

Put pens and pencils, paints and pastels to paper, or use any computer program that will allow you to convert to PDF, and design a cover for the students' Homeschool Organiser.

The winning entrant will:
· see their artwork on the cover of 'The2012 NZ Homeschool Student Organiser'
· receive a free printed copy of 'The2012 NZ Homeschool Student Organiser'

Winning a competition like this will look great on your CV if you have ambitions towards pursuing a career in some aspect of art or design too!

So get cracking! Entries need to be in by Saturday 10 September.

Small Print
1. The competition is open to any NZ currently homeschooled student who is aged 10 or over.
2. The winning design will be the front cover of the 2012 New Zealand Homeschool Student Organiser.
3. The winner will also receive a printed copy of the Organiser for his/her own use.
4. The words "The 2012 New Zealand Homeschool Student Organiser" need to be in the design.
5. The winning design will belong to The Broad Room and The Broad Room may make slight changes to the winning design to allow it to fit within the parameters of an organiser cover.
6. We are looking for originality and style that will appeal young New Zealanders and make them glad to own the Organiser.
7. The design needs to appeal to both girls and boys. (so no fluffy pink flowers or extreme male sport styles)
8. If you have any questions email: stephanie@thebroadroom.co.nz
9. You can send as many entries as you like.
10. The judges' decision is final and no discussion or correspondence will be entered into.
11. The winner will be announced Saturday 1 November 2011.


Craig Smith's health, and a request

From our inbox:

Craig and Barbara Smith from Palmerston North have faithfully served the home education community in New Zealand and elsewhere for many years. Some people will know that Craig was diagnosed with a brain tumour in July. Barbara would really like to encourage him with stories of people who have been home educated. Would you please help her? She makes the following comments on their website:

I want to do something special for Craig. He has been involved in the Home Schooling movement since 1985. He has written a History of Home schooling in New Zealand from his point of view. Now I think it would be great for him to hear the history of Home schooling in New Zealand from your point of view.

What is the history of home education in your area from your perspective? Who has inspired or encouraged you? What has motivated you? What has brought you together with other home educators and strengthened you? We would very much appreciate hearing your stories. Please write in or email. Even if you are overseas, perhaps you have a testimony about how Craig, Keystone, HEF* or the home education movement in New Zealand has encouraged you. Do let us know. Thanks

Smith’s e-mail address: mail@hef.org.nz

Smith’s website address: www.hef.org.nz

*(note: ‘hef’ stands for Home Education Foundation)

For those who want to keep up-to-date with Craig’s health, please Google ‘Craig Smith’s health’ and the website details will pop up. Alternatively, go to the Smith website, click on ‘About’ and then type ‘Craig Smith’s health’ in the search field.

Would you please send this note to home educators in your area.

Thank you,

Anna Leech

Home educator in Upper Hutt

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Postponed: Intriguing Dunedin Street Walk

Hi everyone
Today's planned walk through North East Valley has been postponed until next week.
Stay warm!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Wednesday meet-up change of plans

Hi everyone
Due to unforeseen circumstances, tomorrow's meet-up will not be the IDSW walk, rather a meet and play at Mornington Park, Mailer St, Mornington. The IDSW will be held next Wednesday.
See you at the park tomorrow!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Fermented drinks, vinegars etc evening


This will be the third evening of four on fermentation and will cover:

How to make home- made vinegars (catch up from last months evening).

What refined sugars are doing to our health and why we should avoid them.

How you can make your own soft drinks that are probiotic and low in sugar.

How to fortify those sodas with vitamin C, bioavailable calcium and other essential minerals.

An introduction to Milk Kefir and how to make it.

How to make sour dough cakes – a basic recipe you can adapt.

Location: Waitati.
Time: 7 p.m. Wednesday 10th August.

These evenings are free but a small charge ($5.00) will be made to cover costs for any cultures you require . Usual price on internet is around $20.00 so this is a good opportunity to acquire cultures at a low price. Please note that the sour dough evening is now available on youtube (google Dieteasily, Back to basics sour dough).

Please note that the evenings will be filmed.

RSVP Carolyn or Shana as there are limited places. Sour dough cakes will be served for supper to show you that you can serve healthier treats to your family.

Please note we will be having an evening on seaweeds. How to harvest and dry and why they may be essential to your well being. This is an insert evening and will probably cover the making of bone broths and why they were traditionally fed to sick people.

Contact Shana to book

Dunedin Free Event-Finder

From Nicola -
Free events in Dunedin, updated regularly:


Springboard Diving

A free introduction to springboard diving is available with Dive Otago for the 4th term. It is usually on a Monday from 3.30 - 4.30. The only requirement is that participants are able to swim 20m.

A one year diving scholarship is offered to a diver with promise at the end of the term. Dive Otago have been running these classes for the last two years and as far as I know will be doing so next year in case next term doesn't work for you.

If anyone is interested please contact Claire

Intriguing Dunedin Street Walk

This week (August 10th), our Wednesday Meet-up will be one of the Intriguing Dunedin Street Walks, NOT the Caversham Dog Park as was in one of the newsletters. Details are -

Intriguing Dunedin Street Walk - Walk 1, Book 4 (red): Runaway Trams, a Shipwreck and Royalty!
Meet at the bottom of Calder Ave, North East Valley, 12:30pm. There will be some hills (i.e. there is an optional walk up Baldwin St, and a not-so-optional part on surrounding steep streets), so beware!

We don't have any other activities booked in for our Wednesdays, so if you have been thinking about booking us in to do something awesome, now is your chance!

Contact Kathrin or Nicola to book in an outing or meeting.