Requirements And Guidelines For Homeschooling In South Africa

Home schooling is a programme of education that a parent may provide to his or her child at home.

It is prescribed that a parent of a learner who is of compulsory school-going age should apply to the Head of the Department of Education of the province involved to register the learner for receiving education at home. This is in fact not the case. The Constitution of South Africa allows for homeschooling without registering with the Education Department. There are steps in place to try and amend this, but no new laws have been promulgated as yet. The following are compulsory phases of education:

The foundation phase (grades 1 – 3)

The intermediate phase (grades 4 – 6)

The senior phase (grades 7 – 9)

A parent of a learner who is no longer of compulsory school-going age or grade need not apply for registration for home schooling.

It is ‘prescribed’ by the Education Department that after the learner has been registered for home schooling, the parent must do the following:

Keep a record of attendance.

Keep a portfolio of the learner’s work.

Maintain up-to-date records of the learner’s progress.

Keep a portfolio of the educational support given to the learner.

Keep evidence of the continuous assessment of the learner’s work.

Keep evidence of the assessment and or examinations at the end of each year.

Keep evidence at the end of Grades 3, 6 and 9 that shows whether the learner has achieved the outcomes for these grades.

Steps to follow

It is suggested by the Department of Education that a parent must:

apply to the head of the Department of Education of the province where they live to register a child (learner) for home schooling;

submit the application form with a copy of the learner’s birth certificate;

supply documentation that outlines the unit standards the parent will facilitate (teach).

The application forms can be obtained from any provincial Department of Education.

The majority of homeschoolers in South Africa have elected not to register with the Department of Education but choose instead to register with a homeschooling defensor organisation that protects their constitutional rights.

There are a number of curricula available for purchase in South Africa, covering a variety of homeschooling methods. Some families choose the unschooling or eclectic approach.

Whichever method is decided upon by the homeschooling family, the important aspects are that the child or children get a one-on-one interaction with their educator/parent in a loving, safe and secure environment and the child is allowed and in fact encouraged to develop at his or her own pace.

Contrary to popular belief amongst professional educators in South Africa, a lack of socialisation is rarely a factor when considering homeschooling your children as they have constant interaction with the family, and very often close support groups are formed within communities enabling the child or children to interact with individuals of all ages, thus developing their own social skills whilst allowing them to actually enjoy their learning experience.”

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