An online article published in April 2018 estimated then that there were at least 100 000 homeschoolers in South Africa. Eighteen months later, without using any substantiating evidence other than the rate at which new moms are joining HS social groups here in Port Elizabeth (and assuming this rate is being mirrored in the country’s bigger cities), we must be way over the 100 000 number by now!
Why mention this? Well, I often wonder what stories all these families have to tell!
We are in the process of setting up a “My Home ED Journey” section on our website, and would love to hear from EC homeschoolers: here is an opportunity to get your interesting, challenging, sad, happy, funny and unique story published, for the benefit and encouragement of the rest of us!
There are families along all stages of this journey – ranging from those who have only ever known homeschooling, to families with a 9th Grader who started yesterday… That’s why we believe starting a collection of your stories is going to be so valuable! Everyone needs to find an anchor point to relate to, and as this body of experiences grows, it will not only serve Homeschooling here in the EC, but we hope that families from all over the world will gain from it!
I thought I would kick things off by sharing bits of our story; I have alluded, in a previous post, to the immediate changes we experienced when we started homeschooling, but here I would like to share some more Moments on the Journey:
All homeschooling parents worry about whether they are “pacing” their children according to “acceptable” rates of advancement. Our two boys are as different from one another as in any normal family out there – I am sure all parents can attest to that! Our elder son started talking at 8 months – and only started walking at 13 months. He has an academic bent. Our younger boy was up and about at 8 months but only started vocalizing words properly at about 13 months. So he is the more physical, active, outdoors one of the siblings.
While our elder boy took to reading and writing quite naturally, and had had a good grounding at school up to grade 6, I was concerned with the rate of learning of his younger sibling, who was in grade two when we started homeschooling, and had not had as much of a “platform” as his brother. He was still getting into the fundamentals of “the three R’s”, as it were…
The first “defining moment” I remember experiencing as a rookie homeschool dad, worried about whether what I was teaching my kids was OK, was when I walked in on our younger boy trying to text a message to one of his friends with a dictionary on his lap! In an instant, it dawned on me that he was quite capable, even at this age, of achieving anything he set his mind to! Yes, they are still kids, but in the homeschooling environment as nowhere else, we quickly realize that they are, in fact, very intelligent sentient beings with incredible potential! He has gone on to demonstrate his natural aptitude for mechanics, and at age ten, he is the designated clock and other appliance one-man maintenance crew in the home!
His brother, while sometimes difficult to drag out from behind his pc, was the one, about a year ago, who introduced his dad to Grammarly, and more recently, was the one who delved into the family WIFI router and improved the data exchange rate by a significant factor – at age 14! He has also graciously accepted some cooking duties on weeknights, due to his culinary skills. In fact, both our boys can whip up a decent brunch, served to parents who like to lie in on the occasional Saturday morning.
There are many more such defining moments which have enriched our homeschool journey, and I am grateful that homeschooling affords us the opportunity to raise our mini-humans in a manner as described by Robert Anson Heinlein:
“A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.”
Homeschooling my two lads – Loving it!!
How about you? Contact us to share your Moments on the Journey!