More and more people Homeschool in South-Africa or are considering homeschooling:
Why more parents consider homeschooling is South-Africa:
- Because Government schools became too expensive for most parents to be able to pay.
- This happens because of poor class living becoming poorer and middle class moving down to poor class, as well as affirmative action, joblessness and school fees going up too much.
- Government gives some subsidies to children, but not all are approved.
- There are too many bad influences in the school’s these days, like drugs, fighting, sex and alcohol.
- There is no more discipline.
- Christians don’t get Christian based education in schools anymore.
- Children coming out of Grade 10 can’t even spell anymore, so schools are not bringing results for all the money paid.
What you should know before you start to Homeschool in South-Africa:
Integrity is the main keyword. You can’t start homeschooling your children and then they just sit at home everyday and do no work. You must have a curriculum and you must be honest with your children and yourself.
You must be consistent with your children. You can’t say today that something is OK, and tomorrow it is not. What is right today is right tomorrow, what is wrong today is wrong tomorrow.
You must be able to be strict. Because you will be the one marking the papers and giving the grades, depending on what source of teaching you choose, you cannot be too soft, because it is in the children’s best interests.
You must be able to give most of your day to the school, because you cannot teach the children and go do something else. They need you there in the classroom at all times. Don’t be busy with other stuff, not even Facebook or Twitter while teaching class. At least from 7h30 untill 15h00 belongs to your children and their school work. This sounds like they are going school the whole day, but if you take into consideration that they came home from school at about 14h00 and then started with homework right after lunch until (if they are lucky) 17h00, this is not too much. (or even starting homework after dinner and continuing till way after bed time)
You must be consistent with your time as well. You can’t start at any time when you feel like it, you must start the same time every day.
You must be honest in their tests. You can’t give them marks they do not deserve. Sadly, “sometimes you have to be cruel to be kind.”
Take care that they don’t start changing their normal routines, like bath time and bed time, it must stay the same.
It will be good if you register at Pestalozzi trust to protect you, you can pay them monthly or annually. You can contact them and ask about the application for homeschooling or about the forms that can be obtained from any provincial Department of Education for registering your children for homeschooling.
If one of the parents are going to do the homeschooling, there might be loss of one income, if that parent is working.
It will depend on you which curriculum you use, but do your research. Some are more expensive, but there must be a reason for that. If you compare it to your current school fees, school uniforms and book cases (which I had to buy every second term) I am sure it will still cost you less, but you must decide for yourself, because I am not in your situation. Impak and Kenweb are good places to start.
If you get someone to homeschool your children, where there are homeschooling groups of children, make sure that they are registered as a school with the department of education or registered as a help centre with Impak (they must have certain criteria in place before their application will be granted, make sure they are really registered if they say so.)
Don’t just take your child out of school without doing your homework and knowing which curriculum you are going to follow and where (if not by mother or father) they will be homeschooling. There are apparently groups or institutions that asks allot of money to teach children and they are not qualified or registered and on top of that they don’t have the learning materials. If you are paying, know what you are paying for. If they have more than 20 learners, they must be registered as a private school.
Although it is prescribed that a parent of a learner who is of compulsory school-going age (7 to 15) should apply to the Head of the Department of Education of the province involved to register the learner for receiving education at home. This is in fact not the case. The Constitution of South Africa allows for homeschooling without registering with the Education Department again please contact Pestalozzi trust. There are steps in place to try and amend this, but no new laws have been promulgated as yet. The following are compulsory phases of education:
The foundation phase (grades 1 - 3)
The intermediate phase (grades 4 - 6)
The senior phase (grades 7 - 9)
A parent of a learner who is no longer of compulsory school-going age or grade does not need to apply for registration for home schooling.
It is 'prescribed' by the Education Department that after the learner has been registered for home schooling, the parent must do the following:
- Keep a record of attendance.
- Keep a portfolio of the learner's work.
- Maintain up-to-date records of the learner's progress.
- Keep a portfolio of the educational support given to the learner.
- Keep evidence of the continuous assessment of the learner's work.
- Keep evidence of the assessment and or examinations at the end of each year.
- Keep evidence at the end of Grades 3, 6 and 9 that shows whether the learner has achieved the outcomes for these grades.
Steps you should follow if you want to Homeschool in South-Africa:
It is suggested by the Department of Education that a parent must: (again, contact Pestalozzi trust before doing this)
- apply to the head of the Department of Education of the province where they live to register a child (learner) for home schooling;
- submit the application form with a copy of the learner's birth certificate;
- supply documentation that outlines the unit standards the parent will facilitate (teach).
The majority of homeschoolers in South Africa have chosen not to register with the Department of Education but choose instead to register with a homeschooling defensor organisation that protects their constitutional rights like Pestalozzi trust.
There are a number of curriculums available for purchase in South Africa, covering a variety of homeschooling methods. With Kenweb http://www.kenweb.info/winkel/home.php you get your programme according to what work must be done for the specific grade The work for the week is set out and you must see to it that your child follows these guidelines. This also counts as your record of progress. You can order your exam papers from them and you get the memorandum as well, so you can mark the work yourself or you can let them mark it (at a small cost) for you. You order and pay these over the internet and then when they received your payment, you download your exam papers. This happens within two days, depending on which method of payment you choose.
You can also send your child’s progress report for each term to them at the end of the year and they (at a small cost) give you your certificate to continue to the next grade. This is why you as a parent must have integrity and not just give good grades when they are not achieved. The downside, depending on where you are and what language background you have, is that their curriculum is in Afrikaans. The other downside is that they only go up to grade 9, but after that you can go to Impak or other curriculum suppliers.
Whichever method you decide on, as a homeschooling family, the important aspects are that the child or children get a one-on-one interaction with their educator/parent in a loving, safe and secure environment and the child is allowed and in fact encouraged to develop at his or her own pace.
There is also a popular belief amongst professional educators in South Africa, that there is a lack of socialization, but this is rarely a factor when considering homeschooling your children as they have constant interaction with the family.
Very often close support groups are formed within communities that enables the child or children to interact with individuals of all ages and then developing their own social skills whilst allowing them to actually enjoy their learning experience.
There are also lots of groups they can join, like a tennis club, gymnastics club, music lessons, art classes or even singing lessons, where they can interact with other people as well as grow in their own choice of sport or activity. These are out of school activities in any case and if children want to do these activities while in a public school, the parents have to pay extra for it as well.
There are great books you can buy from Amazon, educational as well as for reading to improve reading and writing skills.
I hope if you are considering homeschooling and you live in South-Africa, that this information was helpful.
If you feel there is someone who needs this information and it will help them, please tell them about this website.