Expert answers to your burning questions about home-schooling

Homeschooling 101
Homeschooling 101

Find out what you need to do, how to do it and what else to keep in mind to educate your child at home

WHAT will happen to my child’s education if they can’t physically be in school? When will the education department sort itself out? The questions keep coming thick and fast as parents try to decide how to deal with Covid-19’s effect on their kids’ education.

And one that persistently crops up: should I home-school my children?

Increasingly the option is becoming attractive now that the education department has done yet another U-turn on when and how kids can return to school due to the expected peak in Covid-19 infections in South Africa. President Cyril Ramaphosa announced public schools will close from 27 July to 24 August – however Grade 12s will return on 3 August, and Grades 7s will head back to school on 10 August.

Parents are notably distressed, but there are plenty of factors to keep in mind, experts say.

That’s why YOU and DRUM are bringing together experts to cover various aspects – from legal and practical challenges to social ones – to help you make an informed decision.

From a legal point of view alone there are many factors to take into account, says Christopher Cordeiro, a consultant for the Pestalozzi Trust, an organisation that helps people with legal issues related to home-schooling.

“The most critical element is that parents are taking on more responsibility for their children's education and therefore more legal responsibility,” adds Christopher, who himself has home-schooled his five children for 18 years. “There’s a lot of misinformation and, therefore, confusion at the moment.

“Getting advice from a reliable source is vital.”

Christopher will unpack the major legal obstacles at the YOU and DRUM Home-schooling 101 virtual event on 8 August.

Covid-19 has also created a situation where siblings in varying grades are now all hunched over the kitchen table, trying to learn at different levels. Is it possible to home-school if you have more than one child of different ages?

Yes, says Home-schooling 101 speaker Mantše Tshikhovhokhovho, who has four children between the ages of one and seven. “I’ll be sharing what it’s like home-schooling my four children and how learning as a family can be enjoyable for everyone,” says Mantše, who also works full-time as a software engineer. 

There are also plenty of practical things to keep in mind, says Wendy Young, who’s home-schooled her four children for more than 20 years. “What’s the best home-school curriculum? Do I really have to de-school? Will I be able to have time for myself? I’ll be answering some of these and other practical questions for new home-schooling parents.”

Dr Renuka Ramroop will share her experience and findings on the natural-learning approach. “The learning that takes place is seamless because children have an innate desire to learn and they’re able to direct that desire and manage their learning growth,” she explains about the teaching technique.

“Since learning isn’t separated from life, the learning is authentic, enjoyable and enduring,” adds Renuka, who’s an author, research associate and home-schooling mother of two.

The event will also cover home-schooling kids with special needs.

“I’ve found that timelines are relative and that our children flourish when they’re given the time and space to develop at their own pace, and will expand on this at the event,” says speaker Shaamiela Safodien, who has experience in this area after nearly three years of teaching her two children – she decided to home-school after her youngest daughter was diagnosed with selective mutism.

“I’ve learnt flexibility in approaches to learning, and knowing where my child is at is fundamental to how she experiences education and her own unique talents.”

Several other aspects will be covered, including how to register for home education, how to juggle tasks, how to manage when things get tough, various learning options and how to keep kids entertained while teaching.

You’ll also be able to ask questions in real time so the experts can help guide you to your crucial decision.

More about the online seminar:

Name: Homeschooling 101

Host: Jane Vorster, YOU Assistant Editor

Date: Saturday, 08 August 2020

Time: 11am to 12:30pm

Tickets: R80 via Computicket

Meet the speakers:

Homeschooling 101
Wendy Young is a veteran homeschooler who home-educated her four children for more than 20 years.
Homeschooling 101
Shaamiela is a registered psychological counsellor in private practice and home educates her two daughters, aged 10 and 8.
Homeschooling 101
Mantse is a mother of four: two daughters, aged 7 and 1, and twin boys, aged 3. She homeschools her children while working full-time as a remote software engineer.
Homeschooling 101
Christopher is the father of five children and has been homeschooling for 18 years.
Homeschooling 101
Renuka Ramroop worked in the non-government sector providing training and development to rural schools in Limpopo. After the birth of her first child she chose to be a stay-at-home parent which naturally progressed to the decision to home educate her two children.
Homeschooling 101
Jane Vorster, YOU Assistant Editor
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