Ever since homeschooling became legal in 1996, over 100 000 children are registered, with the number steadily growing at a rate of 20% each year. This is according to www.sahomeschoolers.org. However, if you're thinking of homeschooling, it is important to understand how the system differs from a conventional classroom set- up as well as its pros and cons. To help shed some light on the benefits and pitfalls of homeschooling, TRUELOVE speaks to two moms who are using this emergent means of education for their kids.
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Together with her husband, Khathutshelo Thusi, a production manager at one of SA's leading women’s lifestyle magazines, chose this route due to financial strain that arose from conventional schooling. “We were made aware that our son might have to repeat a year, and the thought of paying double the cost of a school year did not sit well with us,” she says, adding that they needed to take control and provide a more one-on-one approach for their kids. “The rising costs and additional expenses, like uniforms and transport, made it obvious that we needed to explore other options.”
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RANDS VS SENSE
In South Africa, fees at private schools currently range from R50 000 to over R150 000 per child per year, while an average tuition at a government school is around R19 500–R38 000 per year before factoring in additional costs for stationery, sporting and extracurricular activities.
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According to Old Mutual, a formal homeschooling curriculum approach is estimated at around R4 800 annually in primary school and R1 000 for an informal approach. In high school, it is estimated at R12 000 and R2 000 respectively.