Lockdown restrictions around movement resulted in many schools closing down and a need for extensive use of technology for learning based at home.
As the lockdown became our new normal, parents began to take their children's education into their own hands.
Stats show that 60% of local parents inquired about homeschooling during the lockdown in 2020, while only 2% of parents decided to wait until schools reopened for their children to learn.
This goes to show just how serious South African parents are about their children's education.
Parent24 chatted to a mom who has homeschooled her ten children, since way before the lockdown.
Despite facing various challenges caused by the pandemic, homeschooling was not an issue for mom of 11, Pearl Osa, during the lockdown.
"The pandemic found us already doing the things that other families had to adjust to - homeschooling, working from home and spending loads of family time together," she tells us.
The kids come first, and business has to wait
Osa was busy with her application to the Mrs South Africa 2020 pageant during the lockdown, but she never neglected her role as her children's mother and teacher.
"They come first, and business has to wait," she stresses.
On busy days, she would ask her mother to take care of some of the house duties while homeschooling her ten other children.
Osa has a huge family, and she says there is never a dull moment with her children "with different personalities make for unlimited entertainment. I love that I have a tribe that I get to celebrate with and be vulnerable with."
Enjoying reading by the age of five
Since Osa took over her children's education, her children have learned to read as soon as they turn five years old. She says, "They look forward to it because it is a big deal and is celebrated with a lot of excitement."
She says that considering the intensive one on one attention she usually gives during this process, she was glad that the child who turned five the past year did not miss out on that milestone.
Her four-year-old has also started reading, and she says that she is making remarkable progress.
Osa also assists other homeschooling parents through her Instagram page, offering her tips and tricks on homeschooling.
Opening her own school or having her own curriculum is still a distant dream, but she says that "there are also plans under way to capture my methods in books and maybe an app to help other parents further out there."
Making it to university
Osa is exceptionally proud of her children, as they set their own goals.
"While I might have encouraged, taught and held their hands through the process, they are the ones that showed up, rolled up their sleeves and put in the work," she says.
She reveals that her eldest child is in university, aged just 16. "This in itself is a remarkable story because no South African institution enrols students younger than 18," she says.
She notes that "it was in the spirit of possibilities that we waited till he turned 16 to enrol him for his guest degree in an online university."
This shows that there are endless opportunities when you put effort into your children's education.
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