By Willemien von Solms, mom to 2 sons who loves travelling, has worked as a journalist, editor and communications specialist. Currently works as executive head: Products at Impak Education, curriculum provider for homeschooling parents and centres.
A sound education offers the best springboard into the future. Therefore, the choice of a school is one of the most important decisions you as parent will ever make. In South Africa, a growing number of parents are choosing homeschooling over private or public schools. This choice is protected by law, as the South African Schools Act (Section 51 of Act 84 of 1996) gives parents the legal right to educate their children at home.
Let’s have a look at some of the reasons why you should consider homeschooling.
1. Investing time in your child’s emotional, social, physical & intellectual development
“Spending time with children is more important than spending money on children.” – Anthony Douglas Williams, Inside the Divine Pattern. If you choose homeschooling, you take full responsibility for your child’s education and development, and accompany them on their journey to adulthood every single step of the way.
2. Flexibility to accommodate your child and family’s specific needs
A key feature of homeschooling is that children can progress at their own pace, in their own time. This allows you to accommodate your child’s and your family’s specific needs – ranging from frequent travelling for sport or performance commitments, language barriers, long distances to travel to and from school or a tragedy in the family, to a child who has trouble dealing with peer pressure or fitting into a rigid school system.
3. Control over the quality and content of your child’s curriculum
Homeschooling offers you the opportunity to make decisions about the content of your child’s curriculum. Research the various curriculum providers for homeschooling and choose the one that suits your circumstances, expectations, norms and values the best. A good curriculum provider will offer you the necessary material and assistance to guide your child through the education process, from Grade R to Grade 12.
4. Creating a safe environment in which your child can thrive
Receiving an education in the safe and familiar environment of the home provides a great educational experience for children – there is no more exposure to negative peer pressure or bullying, and no compromise is necessary on religious or moral beliefs. In addition, children in a homeschooling environment work individually, measuring themselves against their own performance and not a class average. As such, homeschooled learners identify their own strengths and weaknesses. They always have to take responsibility for their performance and they quickly learn that the outcome of their work equals their input.
5. Have fun!
It is such a privilege to spend the day with your child, be a part of their learning process and see the awe on their faces as they discover more about the world. Enjoy this time that you have together and keep your lessons fun. The opportunity to explore your child’s interests and strengths is a fascinating journey – treasure it.