5 home school myths busted

“Many people say my children will be social misfits, but have you seen society? Why would I want them to fit into that?” says Basheerah Mollagee, founder of Iqrah Independent in Lansdowne.

Basheerah home schools her kids along with Rashiedah Allie and her two daughters. She is a trained teacher but when returning from the UK, she was not happy with the education system in South Africa and decided to home school instead.

She helped us to bust some of the common myths about home schooling.

1. There's no social interaction

Home schooled kids will often be taught alongside children from other families, explains Basheerah. So they are not just surrounded by their siblings all day. While you are only allowed to teach your own kids, sometimes parents will come together to take on this task.

Homeschooled kids find additional social interaction through extra mural activities such as swimming, sports or art classes. Excursions are easier to arrange as you have a smaller group to work with rather than the +- 40 kids in most public schools.

While it's true that an effort must be made to provide the social opportunities that would occur naturally in school, these interactions are available.

2. There's no structure

In order to home school your kids you have to register with the Department of Education.

There are requirements that need to be met in order for you to home school your kids. These include that the study area needs to be conducive to learning: they need the basics of a desk and a chair but also need to be surrounded by learning material and environment.

You can structure the day any way that suits the children best as long as they get at least 3 hours of learning a day. The children have to be assessed regularly and an attendance sheet must be kept.

3. Parents make poor teachers

Basheerah feels that parents make the best teachers. “No one is more passionate about a child’s education than his own parent. And if you are willing to put in that effort for something as valuable as education your children will be better for it.”

“There’s more opportunity for one-on-one interaction with home schooling whereas in public schools children have to vie for the attention of the teacher with 30 other kids.”

4. Home schooled kids get a poor quality education

Home schooled kids don’t have to follow the OBE system set by the Education Department. Because of this, parents feel that they can provide a better education for their kids. They follow the basic guidelines but can tailor the curriculum to their needs.

The OBE curriculum doesn’t need to be followed and this is why most parents opt to home school. The basic is covered but with homeschooling the sky is the limit, where you can control the curriculum.

The child can also progress at his own level. Because home schooled kids are in a family grouping environment they aren’t pressured to feel like they are “stupid” because the 30 other kids in the class are getting it.

5. They’re all just religious fanatics

Reasons vary from safety, religious to wanting a better education for their kids. Parents aren’t happy with the 1:33 ratio of teacher to student and prefer to take their education into their own hands.

Some families do feel that their children are losing out when it comes to religion and home schooling gives them an opportunity to instill morals and values in addition to formal education.

What do you think of home schooling? Have you ever tried it?

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