Advice Column, Child, Education, Parenting, Syllabis, Tween & Teen

Advice to the parent who is undecided on Homeschooling

  • Syllabis Learning
  • Category Advice Column, Child, Education, Parenting, Syllabis, Tween & Teen

Are you one of those parents who have been toying with the idea of homeschooling your child? You want to do it…but you don’t want to do it! You find yourself wishing you were a fly on the wall in your colleague or friends’ house to see what homeschooling is really like and how it is done. You must be wondering things like whether it is true that homeschooling takes so few hours a day, do the kids enjoy it more than traditional school? Are they miserable? Do they love the freedom? Do they miss seeing other kids? Are they geniuses? Are they behind in schoolwork compared to other kids their age? 

There is no need to wonder, we are able to enlighten you with some valuable knowledge.

Answers to All Your Home-schooling Questions:

I am a parent and I do not know how Homeschooling works.

Conventional home-schooling is essentially doing school-at-home, using similar methods to those used in public or private schools, where a parent, in-home tutor or online tutor take on the role of the teacher. However, in today’s day and age, very few families can afford the luxury of employing personal or online tutors and in most cases both parents are employed to make ends meet. Most SA Home-school curriculum providers, offer a conventional home-schooling curriculum, which even if done ‘online’  is actually already outdated, and of little consequence to today’s learner. Syllabis Learning has taken the Lead in modernising learning and our new Independent Learning curriculum is by far the best solution for the modern-day learner, which requires virtually no input from parents, teachers, or tutors.

Independent learning is a modern form of learning. It has been proven to be effective, convenient, and fast, thanks to the rise of the internet. Nowadays, you can learn how to do almost anything through a simple Google search, by watching a YouTube tutorial, or by simply reading instruction manuals. Self-learning is the new form of learning that is equipping people with skills that are relevant to their daily activities.

Testimonial of a working Mom- “I will tell you that I was very skeptical of how this was going to work out. I have been so pleasantly surprised to find out how simple the Syllabis Independent Learning curriculum really works with extraordinarily little input from me. My daughter adamantly says she never wants to go back to a public school again!”.

How expensive is homeschooling  going to be?

You will most probably be surprised at the affordability of such a comprehensive platform! The yearly cost of the Syllabis Independent Learning Curriculum, at the date of this publication, starts from R 3590 for Grade R to R20990 for Grade 12. Discounts are offered for multiple learners from one family. Payment plans are  available on request. Prices quoted are subject to change without notice.

How many formal home-school hours should home-schoolers do per day?                                                  

Research has shown that on average, home-schoolers study about two to three hours a day. Take away trips to and from school, moving from class to class, taking pre-determined breaks and the delays that slower learners in the class create and what you have is the freedom to work at your own pace and schedule. The Grade 1-3 curriculum can take as little as 2 hours of work per day, Grade 4-9 from 3-5 hours per day and an estimated 7 hours for Grades 10-12.

We already battle over homework! How am I going to get them to do all their schoolwork at home?

This is the game-changer…when kids get home from school they are exhausted. School is a is a full-time job for a child, 7-8 hours spent concentrating and working, all they want to do when they get home is chill out. Traditional schools demand at least 2-3 hours of homework to be done every single day. With home-schooling there is no homework. 

Are my kids going to be weird?

This is one of the biggest fears of most parents who are considering home-schooling. The socialisation issue. This is the biggest myth of all about homeschooling. Going to a conventional school does not mean that you are going to be super suave and develop awesome social skills. Going to a conventional school does not make you cool and home-school does not make you weird. There is data to back this up. This amazing paper out of Stetson University examines and compares many studies of social skills of home-schooled children. Here are some striking findings.

Children attending conventional schools showed more than eight times more behavioral problems than home-schooled children. Shyers described the traditionally schooled children as “aggressive, loud, and competitive” (1992b, p. 6). In contrast, the home-schooled children acted infriendly, positive ways. He noted that they introduced themselves, initiated conversation, co-operated with others, invited uninvolved children to join them in play, took turns, let others know it was alright if they lost a game, and even “exchanged addresses and phone numbers for future contact”.

The homeschoolers had better social skills? This must be one isolated study, right? Nope. There were many other studies in the paper that showed the home-schooler to be equal to or more advanced than their peers in this area. 

How is my child going to make friends?

Home-schoolers have more time to spend with friends and get involved in social activities such as sports, scouts, and church etc. Your child will have time to find things they are interested in and sign up and get involved in external activities, in turn they will make friends and meet new people. With Syllabis Learning you child will have the opportunity to connect with fellow home-schoolers in their grade, this can be arranged with permission from both sets of parents. A few good reasons to have a study-buddy:

Two Heads are better than one.Having a Study Buddy can make learning easier and more fun. You will be studying the same course and doing the same quizzes and assignments, so pooling your knowledge, resources and skills will only increase your success rate. 

You can teach each other.Your study buddy may be able to teach you concepts that you do not necessarily understand as well as show you new research skills and methods. Explaining concepts to someone else is a great learning method as it allows you to consolidate what you have learnt. Sharing your strengths and complementing each other’s weaknesses will improve the overall outcome for both of you.

You will be able to share the resources you come across, such as useful websites, articles, books etc. This means you may have access to resources you did not know about and you can also recommend ones you find helpful. 

Will my kids fall behind academically? How does home-schooling stack up against public or private schooling?

The Washington Times published this article which stated, “the average home-school test results continue to be 30-plus percentile points higher than their public-school counterparts. There are two main factors for these outstanding results: the educational environment where learning takes place, and the individualised, one-on-one instruction or independent learning . In a sentence, home-schooling is a recipe for academic success”.

How do I go about registering my child with the Department of Basic Education (DBE)?                                            

As in most countries around the world, home-schooling is 100% legal in South Africa, and only grade 1-9 home-schoolers are required to register with the DBE. Simply complete the online form for your province on the DBE website and when asked for further information relating to the curriculum, one of our consultants will assist you with this. There is no need to wait for permission before getting started.

What about tertiary education for my child?

SACAI’S candidates (Syllabis Learning) who write and pass the NSC examination in Grade 12 are issued National Senior Certificates by Umalusi, the Quality Council responsible for the sub-framework General and Further Education and Training of the National Qualification Framework (NQF). Candidates that meet the relevant requirements are accepted by South African tertiary Institutions for further study.

Independent Home-schooling is a most suitable way to raise and educate children. Trust the children. Trust yourselves. Embrace the Magic, after all the Magic is in the child.

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