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By Elmien Ackerman, a self-proclaimed “wordaholic” who loves words and language and cringes at the thought of a missing apostrophe. She works as a copywriter for Impaq Education, a curriculum provider for home, tutor and school education. 

Homeschoolers & extracurricular activities

Can homeschoolers participate in extracurricular activities? This is often asked when considering home education. The answer is a resounding yes. In fact, homeschoolers have more time to take part in extracurricular activities. They can plan their daily lessons around their interests and/or hobbies.

We chatted to three homeschool learners to find out how home education has allowed them to excel, both academically and in their extracurricular activities.

Homeschooled learners share their extracurricular activities success journeys:

  • Dancing – Carl Antonio Caroto

Last year, Karen Caroto decided to home educate her son, 16-year-old Carl Antonio. Carl dreams of becoming a professional dancer and needed a flexible schedule to accommodate his dancing.

Karen explains: “Moving Carl to Impaq is one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. Impaq’s flexibility makes it possible for Carl to improve his dancing career. Many dance examinations and competitions are during the day. With homeschooling, I know that I don’t have to stress about trying to arrange with a school to give him those days off.”

As a result, Carl qualified for the Dance World Cup in Braga, Portugal in July this year. He performed two solo numbers, one duet and six group numbers. “Impaq made this possible due to being so flexible and my child’s grades have improved so much,” Karen adds. “I would like to take this opportunity to thank Impaq for making it possible for my son to follow his passion and still do well in school.”

Dancer homeschooler

  • Karate  – Zandre de Bruyn

Another Impaq learner also benefits from the flexible schedule that homeschooling provides. Grade 8 learner, Zandre De Bruyn, started studying through Impaq at the beginning of the year and has since excelled in karate. His mother Natachia explains: “Through Impaq, he had the advantage to plan and complete his work ahead of time to be able to attend the SA Championships”. Zandre attended the SJK Shotokan Championships in Gauteng at the end of May and received a gold medal. He now qualifies to attend the World Championships in Poland next year representing South Africa.

“In the past six months, we have seen a major improvement in Zandre’s overall self-confidence,” Natachia says. Zandre is doing well in academics and the exposure that he received in the new home education environment has also contributed to his achievement in karate.

  • Fishing – Jahnu and Zandre de Bruyn

Zandre not only had time to fight his way to the top in karate but also represented the EP Deep Sea Angling Association in East London to compete in the Junior Nationals. Zandre has been selected for the under 16 team, and his brother Jahnu for the under 19 team.

“The flexibility and individual support we received from the PE Academy and Impaq has contributed to their success,” Natachia says. They plan around important projects to ensure that Zandre and Jahnu can take part in the fishing competitions, which are not always held during school holidays.

Related: Help your child develop with a balanced lifestyle

  • Swimming – Simone Mare

Grade 12 Impaq learner, Simone Mare, is a 12 times South African record holder in swimming and bagged 9 gold medals in the SA Nationals. Simone has cerebral palsy and is classified as disabled. When she was 10 months old, she started water therapy and swimming classes in the hope of improving her condition and muscle tone. Her mother, Cusilia Swart, says that it was then that they realised Simone was a water baby – “she could swim before she could walk”.

  • Entrepreneurship – Armand and Juan Potgieter

The flexible schedule that homeschooling allows can also be a valuable asset to any young entrepreneur. Armand and Juan Potgieter, who completed their matric through Impaq in 2017, enjoyed the freedom home education afforded them. They started their own business while still busy with their studies. “We could work ahead and that’s the reason we could get time to bake and follow our passion.”

They opened Bakery Co. in Polokwane early last year and serve unique cakes, cupcakes and macaroons. Their advice to other young entrepreneurs is to work hard and follow their dreams. “With hard work, lots of coffee and the right attitude you can overcome anything that’s in your way.”

Homeschooling offers a flexible schedule, for extracurricular activities

Homeschoolers have the option to pursue unique opportunities as they can manage their time to suit their needs. It doesn’t mean that homeschoolers have unlimited time and that academic work should take a back seat. It simply means that with careful panning homeschoolers can adjust their schedule around their favourite extracurricular activities to pursue their dreams.

How Impaq works?

Impaq offers learners a distance-learning homeschool model with:

  • CAPS-aligned lesson material
  • Detailed facilitator guides
  • Access to education specialists
  • Online Guided Learning platform

This article was supplied by Impaq Education which provides all the products, services and tools you need to educate your child at home from Grade R to Grade 12.

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