Let’s Explore Home Schooling

In South Africa’s current educational climate, with service delivery and comprehension standards rapidly dropping, it’s no wonder that parents across the country are reaching out for alternatives.

According to this mind-boggling report found on IOL, to get what qualifies as a CAPS matric level education in the near future, you will no longer require mathematics as compulsory subject, you’ll only need to pass with 40% in your home language, and a measly 30% in just 3 other subjects. Internationally this standard will see your child doing a further two years of study to get into a certificate or diploma course, never mind university. It’s a brazen and disastrous attempt to fluff up governments ability to say, ‘Look at the results, our matric pass rate is up’, and pat themselves on back. This level of requirement, leaves employers and tertiary institutions hurling backwards as they need to rethink their minimum requirements, no longer will matric be the minimum requirement, even at Sitters4U, post 2018, for anyone graduating thereafter simply having a matric pass will no longer be enough in terms of our minimum requirements. You’ll need to show you meet minimum international standards. The many children who do work hard and pass with excellence will be put to a distinct disadvantage having to prove their scores for consideration in the same way an organic farmer needs to prove his goods are organic while those producing using herbicides and pesticides need do nothing. What are the solutions available to this dilemma for our children?

Having run Sitters4U for 10 years and being involved in a number of NGO and NPO projects in that time, with my own mother being an educator, my grandfather having filled a role as a university professor of engineering and my great grand father that of a high school principal, I have a family history and an absolute passion for education. I believe as so many others do that access to education can positively change the world. The trouble for South Africa now lies in its quality and the delivery of education. In the last 10 years I have heard horror stories told by staff as they move from the public to private sector. I won’t mention those stories, but from a personal capacity, as an example I know of one incredible foundation phase teacher who used to work in a government school until she literally had a nervous breakdown. She was the grade 1 teacher for the school based in Cape Town. She had 50 children in her class, no support teacher and dealt with numerous social issues as well as poverty induced issues. One cannot teach a hungry child, and even if a child in this scenario was not sent to school without breakfast the chances of learning a thing with a 50:1 ratio of 6 year olds, is close to zero. She was also the school art teacher for 3 higher grades and had to assist as an invigilator with other grades. How she managed as long as she did is still a mystery to me, although I think it may have a lot to do with grit.

So how do we resolve this situation? For many, private schooling is an option, but with limited capacity, fees souring and waiting lists 6 years long, the fight for a spot is a competition many parents don’t have the luxury of getting involved with. We need better alternatives. Another option is of course home schooling.

The idea for many is daunting. There is very little direction provided by government, parents themselves know little about it and gathering information is daunting. It leaves parents standing back 10 steps, peering in with a bit of a glazed look in their eyes, frozen, with thousands of questions running through their minds. Where do you start? What curriculum does one choose? How are the children tested? What happens to your child’s social life? Isn’t it really expensive to home school? I don’t think I’m able to institute this… the list of questions and statements goes on and on. Stay tuned over the next few weeks as we investigate the advantages, the disadvantages, the options  available to you and how to manage and implement courses should you decide to take this journey.

homeschooling, is it an option

In the interim, if you are interested in home schooling services for 2018, 2019, or even 2020 and beyond, why not complete our home schooling enquiry form by clicking here. Sitters4U is in the process of putting together homeschooling groups of up to 5 children across our coverage areas, which are in the same grades. This brings the cost of having a qualified teacher available to implement chosen curriculum’s in the privacy of your home down to below that of the average private school, ensures  one on one attention and secures social life does not come to a standstill in those few educational hours each morning. It also leaves more time for play, more time for exploration and outings in the real world.

Next week we will take a look at the benefits of homeschooling as a starting point. If you have home schooled your children and have any advice for parents who wish to pursue this route, please comment below or if you have a specific question relating to this topic, drop us an email at homeschooling@sitters4u.co.za

Written By: Bianca Steyn

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