So with this pandemic, many families have turned to homeschooling and have seen the emotional and psychological benefits of homeschooling- not to mention how much more time there is in a day to spend time as a family!
Financially speaking, when you add up your kids’ school fees, school books, SCHOOL UNIFORM, extra classes, the infamous school events, tuckshop money, even school lunches, stationery, and fuel to take them to school. It makes so much more sense to stay home with my kids and school them for free! CHA-CHING! Well, kinda… we still have to save up for university.
With the growing list of pros that comes with Homeschooling, some are stumped by two points:
- How do I actually home school (legally)
- What curriculum should I use?
1. How do I Register for homeschooling?
Legally speaking, you have to register your child with your Department of Education to say your child is at home with you and you will be providing their education.
Think of it almost like a census. The government simply wants to know where every child in the country is being school. When you register your child at a school, the school will register your child at the department to indicate that your child is receiving an education at their institution, right?
Now, by registering with the Department of Education (DBE) for homeschooling, it is simply indicating on the system that your child will be receiving their education at home. Simple, right?
Keep in mind, these facts are based on the South African Education Department, and parents from other countries can enquire at their country’s Department of Education for more accurate outlines of what is legally expected from a homeschooling parent.
It is not legally compulsory for a child to do preschool-Grade R, so we do not have to register for these phases. I do, however, advise that you still keep a record of their schooling, in case you opt to put them back into formal schooling at a later stage.
How to register for homeschooling:
You apply electronically using the DBE application form, and send it to the Provincial Education Department with these few documents attached:
- Parent/s certified ID copy (foreign nationals can use a certified copy of their passport/study permit/work permit/Asylum document)
- Last copy of school report (in the case that the child was in school before) or a copy of immunization card (if they are only starting school)
- Weekly timetable that indicates the amount of contact time per day
- A breakdown of the terms per year (196 days of school)
- Learning program
- Certified copy of the child’s birth certificate
Below is the link for parents to register their children for homeschooling with DBE completely FREE:
Once you have successfully registered for homeschooling, there are a couple of things the DBE wants from you.
What the DBE expects from a home schooling parent:
- Keep a record of the child’s attendance
- Portfolio of your child’s work
- Up-to-date records of the child’s progress
- Portfolio of the educational support given to the child
- Evidence of the continuous assessment and the examination at the end of each year
- Evidence at the end of Grades 3, 6 and 9 that shows whether your child has achieved the outcomes for these grade
Now that you are registered, we have to decide what path you will take.
2. What curriculum should I use?
This question trips up many parents because there is SO MUCH out there.
The DBE gives us scope for every phase, grade, and subject as a way to know WHAT the child should be learning. The curriculum is HOW a child could go about learning and achieving these objectives.
Each phase’s scope:
Think about a curriculum provider as a service provider that simply helps you with the material and methods you need, and maybe even the timetable, to achieve these objectives outlined by the scope. It is a nice-to-have; a luxury.
So, if the objective is that my child needs to eat (the objectives of the scope), I can either take them to a nice restaurant to eat supper that I didn’t have to cook (use a curriculum provider) or, I can cook supper from scratch at home (create my own curriculum). In both scenarios, my child is eating (achieving the objectives of the scope) but the effort (and price) varies. Well, ha-ha there are even options to buy a box meal if you are willing to do some, but not all the effort.
So, if you as the parent are able to plan, teach, and provide materials to teach, you do not need to buy a curriculum. In other words, HOMESCHOOLING CAN BE FREE, if you just put in the effort. And besides, there is a wealth of free resources online!
What you should know to homeschool successfully
- How to teach?
One factor that I am extremely passionate about is teaching to suit my child’s learning style to give them a fair chance at successful learning.
The four styles of learning is:
- Visual: this is when a person takes in and retains information by seeing it, in pictures, or colorful illustrations, etc.
- Read-and-writing: This is when a person retains information best when they read it and write it down. Like a few of my friends used to re-write their whole textbook when we were studying for an exam, and I thought they were bonkers- but now I see what the process was
- Kinesthetic: The movie Akeelah and the Bee is a brilliant example of this. It’s a movie about a girl entering an intensely competitive Spelling Bee and she uses a technique to learn the spelling of long words by jumping for every letter. At the end of the movie when tensions were high and she couldn’t recall how to spell the word, she started skipping on the stage, and just like that the information came back to her. So yeah, this is when people retain information with movement
- Audibly: This is when people retain information by hearing it. Listening to long lectures or audiobooks are a winner with these folk.
I advise that lessons, subjects, and methods be beautifully blended into one theme.
i.e. Teaching animal names by making crafts (kinesthetic and visual), making animal sounds when the animal name is said (audio), and finally doing activity books to write (read-and-write) and play matching games (visual and kinesthetic).
One theme integrating all the learning styles
What to use to teach?
My favorite way to teach is using a theme, and taking that theme across all the learning areas/subjects. When you introduce your theme, use a story/text that will create the context for that theme and be referred back to when teaching mathematical concepts, literacy, life skills, etc.
I have the PDF of the curriculum I use below:
I personally love to use my Holy Bible as a source for my stories and use them to introduce the preschool themes. And still, carry out the preschool curriculum by integrating all the learning styles.
I’m extremely passionate about every child being afforded opportunities to reach their full potential. For this reason, I provide as much FREE content as I can. I want to help moms provide their children with a strong educational foundation that will give them a strong boost for their schooling career ahead!
Homeschooling is a fun and beautiful experience between parent and child! Have fun!