Advice Column, Education, Home Education, Impaq

Is Home Education Right For You?

  • Impaq
  • Category Advice Column, Education, Home Education, Impaq

Perhaps you live on a remote farm or your child is not receiving the individual attention he deserves in a crowded classroom. Maybe you don’t agree with the ideological, cultural or religious point of view of the schools in your area, or perhaps you’ve simply had enough of the daily school run…

Whatever the reason, if you have considered educating your child at home, you are not alone. In fact, an increasing number of parents are taking on the role of “teacher”. According to the Homeschooling Curriculum Guide, the home education market is growing at a rate of 20% per year!

Five reasons parents choose home education:

Investing time in your child’s emotional, social, physical and intellectual development: If you choose home education, you take complete responsibility for your child’s education and development. You will be there every step of the way on their journey to adulthood.

Flexibility to accommodate your child and your family’s specific needs: Home education allows you more freedom to accommodate a wide range of needs or to simply deal with life as it happens. Perhaps you have to travel frequently for sport or performance commitments, live far from school or suffer a tragedy in the family. It also helps a child who has trouble dealing with peer pressure, is struggling with language barriers or who cannot fit into a rigid school system.

Control over the quality and content of your child’s curriculum: A key feature of home education is that children can progress at their own pace, in their own time. It also offers you the opportunity to make decisions about the content of your child’s curriculum. Research the various curriculum providers and choose the one that best suits your circumstances, expectations, norms and values. A good curriculum provider will offer you the necessary material and assistance to guide your child from Grade R to Grade 12.

Creating a safe environment for your child to thrive: To be educated in the safe and familiar environment of the home is a wonderful experience for children. No more negative peer pressure, bullying or compromise on religious or moral beliefs. In addition, children who are educated at home work individually, measuring themselves against their own performance and not a class average. As such, these children learn to 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.

Have fun! It is such a privilege to spend the day with your child, to 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 have fun in your lessons. The opportunity to explore your child’s interests and strengths is a fascinating journey – treasure it.

What about children with special needs?

Home education is a viable option for successfully teaching children with special needs, and parents choose this option for a number of reasons. They may be frustrated that schools are unable to provide the services their child needs, they may be discouraged by the way their child is treated by classmates, and in some instances teachers, or they may simply want to create a more ideal learning environment.

Whatever the motivation, the benefits of educating children with special needs at home are varied and include:

  • Guaranteed one-to-one instruction.
  • Effective control over the environment to minimise distractions.
  • Tailored instruction based on a child’s unique learning needs.
  • Flexibility to adjust the daily schedule.
  • More pertinent and productive learning.
  • Greater opportunity for teaching real-world skills.
  • Opportunity to tend to a child’s sensory needs.

What does the law say?

According to Section 51 of the South African Schools Act (Act 84 of 1996), home education is a legally recognised alternative to education at registered public and/or private schools. Parents of children in Grade 1 to Grade 9 (ages 7 to 15) have to apply to the head of the Provincial Department of Basic Education to register for home education. Grade 10 to Grade 12 learners, or learners older than 15 years, are not required to register.

About Impak 

Impak was established in 2002 as a curriculum provider to home education learners. We have, however, experienced remarkable growth over the past 14 years and in 2014 we expanded our offering to include a broad range of educational products and services for schools and tutors. We currently serve approximately 10 000 learners and more than 400 schools and tutors across

South Africa.

We offer a CAPS (National Curriculum and Assessment Policy Statement) aligned curriculum for Grade R to Grade 12 that is designed to ensure holistic learner development. In addition, we provide parents with all the products and services they need to successfully educate their children at home or with an Impak tutor. This includes step-by-step guidance in every subject, as well as online subject forums and other subject support services.

We believe that a sound, comprehensive curriculum is more than a general guide of ideas and activities; it is a resource designed to meet each learner’s needs and to assure learning and development in all areas, including social, emotional and physical development, language and literacy skills, and creative expression.

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