Friday, October 17, 2014

The Common Questions

The most common question I am asked is :

'How do you know that they are learning what they need to learn?'

Let me ask you guys the same question…how do you know that your kids are learning what they need to know at school? Do you trust 'the powers that be' to to make those decisions for you? Are you completely sure that the teachers are committed and proactive in teaching in a way that is engaging and relevant? Are you fully aware and supportive of all the content that is classed as necessary and examinable?

This excerpt sums it up quite succinctly:

The problem with this question is that the answer is completely subjective…It’s open to interpretation. If you take a public school teacher, and a private Montessori school teacher and a private parochial (i.e., Catholic school) school teacher and a private Waldorf school teacher and a homeschooler following the unschool approach, or a homeschooler following the Enki approach, or a homeschooler following the Charlotte Mason approach….you will get completely different answers as to what children “should” be learning, how and when. There simply is no cut and dry answer when it comes to education. (The Homeschool Realm)

There are many, MANY brilliant curriculums for home education. Many are boxed curriculums - this is an all-in-one kit with all subjects, following a very structured daily schedule. This is often referred to as 'school at home' as it essentially is structured like a typical school day with typical school subjects, projects, all textbooks and exam dates. 

In my (limited) experience I find most home educators prefer what is called an eclectic approach to curriculum. This is where you shop around and choose your subjects, from different suppliers, based on the learning style that best suits you and the child(ren) being schooled. 

We have a set math curriculum that we use - there is a specific order in which math is taught and for this reason I don't mess around! We use Math-U-See and each of my kids thrive using this system. 

For all other subjects I have bought beautiful, living books (you will never find a dull, black and white text book in this house!)  and created my own, tailor-made curriculum for each of my three children. Yes, it takes time and considerable commitment but the rewards are ridiculously worth it. 

Right now, homeschooling in South Africa is under real threat as the government realizes that this is a growing community of people (and an untapped source of income!) who will not be silenced. Day 3 of negotiations between the Department of Education and Homeschool Association is in session as I type. There is a very real concern that government will attempt to regulate the homeschool sector although talks to date have been extremely amenable. 

No comments:

Post a Comment