Home Schooling – certain benefits, legal considerations, learning materials, resources and how we can help…
Worldwide, there is a growing trend towards home schooling, with thousands of families opting to home school their children, for a variety of reasons. Some parents are keen to give their children religious or individualised tuition, while others want to avoid the institutional nature of school life. Here’s more on what it means to home school, where we look at various factors including education in relation to South African law, teacher’s thoughts on socialisation, sourcing learning material and how to go about it the right way.
What does it mean to home school
Homeschooling means different things to different people. For some families, homeschooling means that a parent, or teacher teaches the child or children at their home, which is in essence the school environment, complete with textbooks, report cards and regularly scheduled sports fixtures and extra mural activities.
Reasons to home school – the benefits:
- Family: For many, the deepest and most abiding benefit of homeschooling is the claiming (or reclaiming) of their family. Homeschooling families spend incredible amounts of time together living, learning and playing. They have the opportunity to develop a depth of understanding for one another and to establish a strong commitment to the family.
- Education for individual needs: Home schooling is especially suited to children with special needs, for example, children with an exceptionally high or exceptionally low IQ, or children with special talents, such as those who are gifted in music, sport or chess, or children with special learning needs.
- More Time: It has been found that primary school age children who are home schooled, take on average two to three hours per day to complete all their work (homework included) and secondary school age children take more or less three to four hours. As a result children have more time to practice in sport, play, read, dream and enjoy doing the things they love.
- Reduced Expense: For those who wish to send their children to private schools but cannot afford to, home schooling is a cheaper alternative.
- COVID-19 and the inconsistency in terms of school attendance etc.
Is home schooling legal in South Africa?
South African law makes provision for three kinds of education, which includes government schools, private schools, and home schooling. Although home schooling has been legal in South Africa since 1996, it is not actively encouraged by government, where permission must first be sought from provincial authorities, and various requirements must be met. The Pestalozzi trust, which is the legal defence fund for home education www.pestalozzi.org, offers more information on the rights and obligations of home schooling parents.
According to South African government services website www.services.gov.za, “A parent of a learner who is of compulsory school-going age must apply to the Head of the Department of Education of the province involved to register the learner for receiving education at home”. This involves submitting an application form with a copy of the child’s birth certificate and supplying documentation that outlines the unit standards that the parent will teach.
Materials and resources
There are numerous choices of learning materials available for home schooling in South Africa, some of which have been developed locally, and others which have been imported from abroad. A lot of the material can be downloaded on computer, while other systems make use of textbooks and follow a unit studies approach. For assessment purposes it is required by law that all parents who home school their children must:
- Keep a record of attendance
- Keep a portfolio of the child’s work
- Maintain up-to-date progress records
- Keep a portfolio of the educational support given to the child
- Keep evidence of continuous assessment reports
- Keep evidence of examinations at the end of each year
- Keep evidence at the end of Grades 3, 6 and 9 that shows whether the child has achieved the outcomes for these grades
At Little Sunshines Agency we have a database of qualified and experienced home school teachers who can assist with homeschooling your children, in-line with the above.
We can assist with junior, mid or senior level home school teachers who go to your home and home school your child one-on-one or with siblings.
Our Home Schooling Teachers:
- are qualified with a teaching degree / diploma
- have a minimum of 2 years formal teaching experience – more if required
- have their own car
- have contactable references – we have also checked their references
- have no criminal record – we have checked their criminal status
- have done a first aid course
One can expect to pay the following for home schooling teachers:
- Home School teacher (with a degree / diploma) – R10 000 to R15 000 per month
- Home School teacher (with NO degree / diploma) – R7 000 to R9 000 per month
Our home schooling teachers can assist with the following:
- Pre-School Home Schooling – ECD Home School Teaching
- Grade R to Grade 3 – Foundation Phase Home School Teaching
- Grade 4 to Grade 7 – Intermediate Phase Home School Teaching
- Grade 8 to Matric – Senior Phase Home School Teaching
- Special Needs Home Schooling
Home School Teaching Course
Many parents and those who wish to assist with Homeschooling have done our Home School Teaching Course.