The rise of homeschooling in South Africa

Homeschooling has been legal in South Africa since 1996. In recent years we have noticed a marked increase in the number of parents choosing to homeschool their children.

Parents want the best for their children when it comes to education. Many parents feel that their children are falling through the gaps at state schools as the teachers do not have the capacity to provide the valuable attention that their children require due to the ever increasing size of the classes. Private schooling is simply too expensive for most parents to even consider. Homeschooling provides a viable option for these parents as it is far more affordable than private school fees and can provide an excellent quality of education for their children. Once children are in a safe environment at home without fear of mockery from their peers they begin to ask questions and the attention that they now receive from the teacher (parent) means that their understanding, and so their marks, begins to improve, which in turn leads to a growth in confidence.

Many parents often only begin to consider homeschooling their children when faced with no other choice as they do not fully understand what homeschooling means or entails. Perhaps they live in rural areas far away from any schools and so must now choose between boarding school or homeschool. Perhaps their child is steadily becoming more and more dejected and isolated as their confidence diminishes daily due to bullying. More often than not the local schools are full and so parents cannot find a school in their area, or indeed even in neighbouring suburbs, that have spaces available. So they sit on waiting lists and grow ever more concerned about the future of their children. These parents are left with no other alternative but to homeschool their children. Regularly parents receive a call from a school after a year of homeschooling to tell them that a space has become available, and often times these parents choose to turn it down and rather continue to homeschool their children as they have seen far more benefits than they ever thought possible.

Homeschooling does not have to be unstructured or a daunting task. Clonard Education offers the structure that parents often crave when transitioning from a mainstream school. Clonard will supply all the learning material that the parent will need for the year in order to educate their children at home, as well a formal report for each grade thus allowing them the option to return to a mainstream school in the future, as the children have written formal exams marked by qualified teachers. Clonard will also provide support to the parents every step of the way by means of access to qualified teachers throughout the year thus ensuring that any parent can educate their child at home. The Department of Education’s requirements are met by ensuring that the Clonard syllabus conforms to the National Curriculum Statement and the basic CAPS curriculum is also supplemented with additional material thus ensuring a higher standard of education than the children would have even received at their local school.

Whatever the initial reason that parents have to homeschool their children, it is definitely seeing a growth in popularity. Clonard Distance Education has observed a greatly increased demand for an adequate alternative to mainstream schooling. More and more families are seriously considering homeschooling as a viable option for the education of their children. Even sceptical parents begin to see the positive affect that homeschooling has on their children and they never look back.