With controversy surrounding the public school system and with soaring school fees for private schools many parents are starting to question if homeschooling is a better option for their child.
Homeschooling is legal in South Africa and has been provided for in the SA Schools Act (SASA) since 1996. It is a fast growing market at about 20% per year. The law defines home education as “education at the learner’s home”. Therefore a child that receives education at the home of someone else is not covered by the protection provided for home education by law.
Will my child still learn the essential social skills needed in life if they are homeschooled?
Developing a child’s social skills in order to have successful relationships in life is a vital part of growing up. There is a lot of misconception about children not learning adequate social skills if they are being homeschooled. Research has proven otherwise.
In South Africa, research done at the University of South Africa (UNISA) by Ms. Dierdre Bester has found that children who receive home education perform much better in academics than learners in government schools. She also found that homeschooled children are very well adapted socially as well.
A University of Florida doctoral dissertation by Larry Shyers found what homeschooling parents already knew. They are cooperative and friendly. Shyers theorized that homeschooled children learn how to behave toward others by modeling their parents, not their peers. Being with friends is a special treat, not a daily dread.
Do you have what it takes to educate your child at home?
It takes a special kind of parent to make the decision to homeschool their child. Do you have what it takes?
- As a parent are you prepared to adjust your current lifestyle and schedule?
- Do you have the emotional energy to balance the homeschool parent / teacher role?
- Do you as a parent have the social skills to develop a social network for you and your child?
- Are you able to handle criticism and perhaps some disapproval from the public?
- Do you have the self discipline, patience and perseverance?
- Are you able to efficiently organize your household? (Sufficient space, materials etc)
- Do you and your partner agree that homeschooling it the best option for your child?
The last point is the most important one. Without the support, love and guidance from your partner homeschooling your child would not be an option. Did you answer yes to most of these questions?