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At one time homeschooling in South African was only considered as an option for children who lived in areas where schools were not easily accessible. It also allowed parents to focus their children’s schooling around religious studies or other subjects not offered in traditional schools in South Africa. These days its an entirely different story – homeschooling is becoming popular throughout the country, in cities just as much as in rural areas. The homeschooling industry has grown to such a degree that dedicated homeschooling organisations now exist to help parents teach their kids from grade R all the way to grade 12.
However, homeschooling requires a dedicated parent and/or tutors who can teach and assist the student. Unlike with correspondence studies at tertiary level, homeschooling requires actual teaching albeit in the home environment. The Department of Basic Education recognises homeschooling as a legitimate form of schooling but there are certain requirements that are placed on learners and their parents. With regard to tutors, the primary teacher has to either be a parent or at least a dedicated tutor for the child or a small group of children who are being homeschooled.
Not all parents can afford the time to homeschool their children but still prefer the homeschooling option. Many educational development centres now exist that provide dedicated tuition for homeschooled children. Then there is the option of private tutors who will either travel to your home to teach your child or use a common venue for a small group of homeschooled learners on a regular basis. An individual tutor who will solely teach your child at your home is often the most expensive option but offers all the benefits in line with homeschooling.
Remember to select tutors carefully – be it private tutors who will teach at your house, tutors offering group sessions or education development centres in the area. Ensure that the tutor is adhering to the curriculum for your child’s grade. If you have opted to homeschool through a dedicated homeschooling organisation in South Africa, then the entire curriculum along with workbooks for the grade is provided at the start of the year. The tuition should follow the curriculum and workbooks closely to ensure that your child can pass the assessment and exams at the end of the year.
But it is not only about the level of teaching. A homeschooling tutor should also be assessed on the basis of individual character as he/she is going to be in close contact with your child and spend time in your home.