Sunday, February 27, 2011

Homeschooling in South Africa in the Media

A recent letter wrote by a homeschool mother.  We need more similar exposure to Homeschooling:

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Taryn Hayes <cr.......>
Date: Wed, Feb 16, 2011 at 11:41 AM
Subject: Letter to the Cape Times: Regarding the Homeschooling article
To the editor: Cape Times

I'd like to commend Michelle Jones of the Cape Times on her refreshingly balanced article addressing home schooling in South Africa (14-02-2011).  Home schooling families are often misrepresented as kooky misfits.  The reality is that, generally, home schoolers are normal people who have simply chosen a different educational experience to the mainstream choice.
Our home schooling experience is similar to the Baker family.  We enjoy this lifestyle choice and the freedom it allows us.  We get together weekly with four other families where our children enjoy play time, music, art and Xhosa lessons together.  And we benefit from a large, growing support system of home schoolers which includes the Cape Home Educators who provide us with Sports Days, Prizegivings and Eisteddfods.  

Home schooling in South Africa is definitely growing.  Which makes me wonder if the figures mentioned are not representative of the actual number of Western Cape home schooling families.  From what I understand, many home schooling families feel reticent to register due to the lack of clear, constitutional policy documents in the Western Cape. Also, some feel that they cannot, in good conscience, register as they would be required to follow the government curriculum and not the educational method of their choice. These factors perhaps explain the decline in the numbers of Department of Education registered home school families, but the massive increase in home schooling families each year.  

Essentially, however, home schooling is legal and more families are choosing this path.  The commitment is huge, but so are the rewards.  While we've not formally determined how far into the future we will walk this path, I am greatly encouraged by the many South African home school students who have matriculated well and are currently being lauded as well-rounded students who excel in all aspects of tertiary education.

Taryn Hayes
Plumstead is in Cape Town, South Africa.    To read more about Tary Hayes, visit her blog.

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