You may have known from day one that you want to educate your child at home, but in other cases circumstances led parents to come to this decision. Often children bring home so much homework that parents might as well do the work with their children at home themselves. Sometimes the learners can’t keep up with the teacher’s pace, or the learners are bullied, or stay on farms that make it difficult to attend a school. Whatever your reason, there are some aspects that you should consider when choosing a curriculum for your children:
For how long do you want to educate your children at home?
In South Africa, the Curriculum and Assessment Policy Statement (CAPS) is used in public schools and most private schools. If another curriculum is used, the child may experience problems adjusting should the parents decide to send the child back to school. It often happens that circumstances change and that parents can no longer educate their child at home themselves. Remember, it is very important that the child is registered for home education with the Provincial Department of Education.
Choose a good curriculum provider
You have the choice to go to a bookstore and purchase books for the right grade or to use a curriculum provider. Curriculum providers will supply the entire package required and by the time the child is in Grade 10, the provider will also register the child with an examination board so that the learner can obtain a National Senior Certificate (at the end of Grade 12). A curriculum provider facilitates the process for the parent. There are providers who also offer an after-sales service so that parents can use the provider’s academic knowledge to answer their questions.
Consider your child’s learning style
It is important to take your child’s learning style into account. If your child is stronger in one subject and learns more slowly in another, the curriculum must be flexible to suit your child’s needs. Some children learn by spending hours behind the books, while others prefer a more practical approach. You as a parent will also have a certain preference in the layout and manner of presentation.
At the end of the day there is no right or wrong way, you have to choose a curriculum that will work for you and your children. You can always try something else if you did not find what you were looking for the first time. It is always good to chat to other parents who already teach their children at home to find out what works for them. Just remember that everyone has unique needs and what worked for one will not necessarily work for another.