A home away from home
Weekly event unites homeschooled kids
Source: Nelson Mail
By: Emma Beer
May 3, 2012
If you think homeschooled children aren't getting socialised, think again.
The Homeschool Hub Club is a new weekly event where homeschooled children and their parents can get together in Nelson.
Ben Harrison, 11, attended the first meeting of the club last Friday at youth centre the New Hub.
"I loved it. It was great, being with my friends, playing around, it was really good.
"I didn't think there was many homeschooled kids in Nelson, but there's lots."
Ben's father, Stewart Harrison, is organiser of the club that is open to all home educators, including Tasman Home Educators and Nelson Christian Home Educators.
More than 250 children are homeschooled in Nelson.
After taking his daughter to ballet at the New Hub, Mr Harrison realised the potential to use the space during the day.
It was an opportunity for parents to meet and share ideas, and for kids to play together, he said.
Danyon Puklowski, 11, said he enjoyed "hanging out with mates and stuff, playing lots of things and using the musical instruments" at the club.
His mother, Victoria Puklowski, said the club was an opportunity to meet like-minded people.
"You can talk about ideas and different curriculum with people in the same situations."
She said many people thought that homeschooling children could be less social, but that wasn't true.
"I've got four children, so there's no problem with people being around.
"Then there are things like football and ballet and music groups."
There were many different reasons for her choice to homeschool, Mrs Puklowski said, but mostly it was about family.
"[My husband and I] found they were tired and grumpy in the mornings before school, and they were tired and grumpy in the afternoons after school.
"We felt we were getting the worst of them, so as a family it's a much better situation.
"I've asked them [the children] sometimes if they want to go back, but they say they love homeschooling." Ben said he also enjoyed being homeschooled.
"You don't get homework, well actually, all you get is homework.
"But it's easier, because if I get stuck with something like maths or writing, my dad can help me," Ben said.
The Homeschool Hub Club is held every Friday during term time, 1pm till 3pm at The New Hub, 23 New St, Nelson.