Five reasons why homeschooling is first choice for many families

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"Homeschooling route doesn't mean that your child misses out on social activities." Photo: Getty Images
"Homeschooling route doesn't mean that your child misses out on social activities." Photo: Getty Images

The number of homeschooled pupils jumped from 19 000 to 30 000 during the hard lockdown in 2020, according to a News24 report.

This is because parents have seen great results from homeschooling during the pandemic, and it is indeed a cheaper educational option than traditional schooling.

Read: Is homeschooling really cheaper than other academic options?

If you're exploring this option for your child then read on.

Here Louise Schoonwinkel, MD of Optimi Home, shares five key reasons why homeschooling has become the first choice for many families in South Africa. 

Pathway to matric

One of the reasons she provides is that credible homeschooling providers follow the same CAPS-aligned curriculum that every school adheres to.

These providers are registered with the South African Comprehensive Assessment Institute (SACAI), one of the three examination bodies recognised by Umalusi, says Schoonwinkel.

She further stated that once pupils register with SACAI, they write the same exams as every other school child in the country and receive a National Senior Certificate upon completing their matric successfully. Bachelor pass holders are eligible to pursue their studies at any university in South Africa.

Must read: Not sure where to start with homeschooling? Here are a few tips

Choice

Homeschooled pupils have access to more subjects than those typically offered in schools, according to Schoonwinkel.

At the same time, their peers in Grade 10 to 12 in traditional schooling are restricted to choosing only a certain number of subjects or subject combinations, depending on the resources available.

Schoonwinkel notes that such limitations do not apply to homeschooling pupils.

Homeschooled pupils have an added advantage as they have access to many more subjects that aren't available at many schools, such as Hospitality Studies and Visual Arts, says Schoonwinkel.

Other credible homeschool providers allow pupils to take their subjects in Afrikaans or English, and they allow newer subjects such as Robotics and Coding to be available, she added.

Sociability

Schoonwinkel says that pursuing the homeschooling route doesn't mean that your child misses out on social activities.

Instead, homeschooled children can have more time to engage in several extra-curricular activities and interact with various peers.

She says that there are even homeschooling communities that organise sports and other activities such as debating across South Africa.

Also read: Here is what every parent needs to know about homeschooling

Support

Schoonwinkel says that homeschooling parents get access to very detailed facilitator guides that inform them on how to teach a subject.

She added that they can also access step-by-step instructions, lesson planning, assessment materials, and other learning resources through the homeschool provider's online platform.

Homeschool providers also have education specialists who can support parents and pupils with academic queries.


Flexibility

Schoonwinkel says that the highly flexible aspect of homeschooling makes it well-suited for children who pursue their talents at a higher level, such as professional athletes and even entrepreneurs, from teenagers training to become international racecar drivers to ballet dancers.

Schoonwinkel adds that parents can further seek out the assistance of a tutor in specific curriculum areas when needed as there are hundreds of tutors across South Africa they can choose from when required.

Schoonwinkel says that there's no doubt that homeschooling has come to the fore over this period and will become a more significant part of the education landscape in years to come.

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