The Covid-19 pandemic has forced us to break free from our normal routines. One morning we’re packing lunches, dropping the kids off at school and rushing to be in time for meetings, the next we’re stay-at-home parents and teachers of subjects we don’t even recall having when we were still in school.
The struggle has been real, but with a little (actually, a lot) of patience, perseverance and the help of our electronic research friend, Google, somehow, we have managed to survive since lockdown was first announced.
Now the time has come for us to release some of our children back into the public domain, hopefully into well-sanitised and hygiene-controlled school grounds. We have prepared them with proper handwashing lectures, provided them with enough sanitisers to last for a year and spent hours making masks for every day of the week. It’s all systems go, until hesitation strikes and suddenly, you find yourself considering homeschooling.
Before you make any drastic decisions, familiarise yourself with the pros and cons to make a well-informed decision which will have a direct impact on your child’s educational future.
- You can choose a curriculum that more closely matches your child’s interests and learning style.
- Fast learners will flourish, and slow learners will feel less pressured to perform as they can work at their own pace.
- Schooling hours are flexible, and learners have more time to enjoy other hobbies and sports. They can even take on piano or fencing lesson in their spare time, the possibilities are endless.
- The homeschooling environment is safe and your child has a comfortable space in which he/she can develop without the threat of being bullied or falling victim to peer pressure.
- You and your kids will grow closer as they enjoy more bonding time with you. Aww, now that sounds like a win-win situation!
Now, let’s have a look at the possible downside to homeschooling.
- You may feel overwhelmed as a parent. Being fully responsible for educating your kids can be quite challenging.
- Others might harshly judge your approach. Homeschooling is not the norm and therefore it could place you under a microscope when discussions amongst friends and family head in this direction.
- Homeschooling parents need to be present 24/7. Scheduling alone-time or completing other household tasks can be challenging amongst the projects and books lying around and in-between tutoring sessions.
- Parents have to arrange and accommodate social activities on a regular basis as kids still need to socialise with friends in order to develop interpersonal communication skills and relationships with their peers. Often children who move over to homeschooling miss having their fellow classmates around, for example when they take a study brake during the day. Managing these feelings and frustrations is yet another role that homeschooling parents have to deal with.
- Some children might become completely dependent on their parents. This makes leaving home for College or University after matric just so much harder.
Parents may find it difficult to source the relevant materials and curricula to properly home school their kids. Here’s a list of a few providers, associations, and support groups you can reach out to for material and guidance:
Programs and curriculum providers
- Homeschooling South Africa… behind the scenes.
- Homeschooling Special Needs in South Africa Facebook page
- Home Education in South Africa
Now that you know what to expect from homeschooling and where to find curricula, advice and support, you can make an informed decision. “While the system is attractive for its advantages, parents should deeply assess their capacity in the attainment of holistic education for their children,” Briefly concludes. If you’re still undecided, speak to other parents and make sure you do what’s best for your child’s future. Remember to also involve your kids in the decision-making process, as their lives will also be heavily affected.
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