Mom’s the word: Home is where the school is
By Graham Wood
Le Cordeur said she found scant resources and little support in 1996 when she began. Shirley Erwee, who lives in Hermanus and has been homeschooling for 16 years, said when she began, also in the late 1990s, she had to rely mostly on resources from the US.
Now there’s a wide range of curricula to choose from, numerous resources, support groups, online help and discussion groups. It’s an R800-million industry, according to Van Oostrum.
Founder of a South African homeschool support website, Kathy Le Cordeur, also points out a lesson learned by homeschool parents:
Le Cordeur said it took her six months to realise that formal schooling’s methods simply don’t apply to homeschooling.
“It’s not a school at home,” she said.
The Times also reports on the estimated growth in South Africa:
In 1995, when he [Leendert van Oostrum] was lobbying for home education to be provided for in the South African Schools Act, he estimated about 50 families were doing it. The 2011 census counted 56857.
Van Oostrum said that even though that figure is almost certainly inaccurate, it is useable, falling squarely within his own estimate of between 30000 and 100000 families. That means that, since 1996, when the act was adopted, there has been 1000% growth in the number of homeschoolers in South Africa. (Some estimates suggest up to 90% of home schoolers are not registered with the Department of Basic Education.)
The in-depth article covered interest-led learning and the mobility of homeschoolers by sharing personal stories, along with different homeschool approaches to education.