This week we conclude our homeschooling series, so I will attempt to answer all the FAQs based on the emails you guys sent throughout the series.
Homeschooling differs from family to family and child to child, so it's always difficult to give general answers.
There isn't any law that says you must inform the Ministry of Education. Your level of interaction with the ministry all depends on the level you are at and your plans as it relates to secondary school and UWI. In our case, she may sit SEA, there will be absolutely no pressure. She won't even understand what all the fuss is about. I will register her as a private candidate when it's time and we will decide if we take the spot or not when we cross that bridge. We probably will homeschool all the way through to university but sitting SEA gives her another option.
Yes, most recognised homeschooling curricula will adequately prepare your child for SEA. There are over 3,000 curricula from which to choose, all available online. You can use the MOEs but this is not set out for homeschoolers, so it can be difficult to follow. The prices can range from US$20/month to as much as US$2,000/year. We use "My Father's World" which costs us at 2nd grade level US$2,000/year. Some curricula are online based, some are reading intensive, and others are more hands on. There are those that are heavily Christian based, and I am sure there are those less spiritually based. Most sites offer samples that you can view to help you make a more informed choice.
Even at high school level most of my homeschooling network would agree that the average school day ranges from two to five hours a day and curricula do not include Fridays. This is the most attractive part in my opinion…the flexibility.
Just like traditional school, the success of the experience depends on you. If you currently do not sit with your child to do homework or have any involvement in your child's education other than dropping them off and picking them up from school, then you may not want to consider homeschooling as an option for your family. Some people consider using a tutor. In my opinion that is school at home, not homeschooling. Homeschooling is much more than reading and writing. It is an experience that lends itself to bonding and greater family connection. There is something magical that happens when we do a science experiment together. Most curricula, in fact, are designed for families, not for tutors. As you will often see projects that are scheduled during dinner time. This is a crucial aspect of the development of an all-rounded child.
Yes, I think a working mother can homeschool her child—I work. The mom that advised me when I was considering the option, has three businesses and six children, her husband works and travels, and she homeschools all of them. Her children have businesses as well and they do not have a maid at home. It is a team effort, it encourages organisation, control, and focus but the rewards are priceless.
If you work an eight to four job in an office, then you must consider who will look after your child during the day. Will they be committed to taking them on outings, spend the day at the park versus being in front of the television etc? We do school at night, so there is no reason you cannot as well, but Jess entertains herself using craft projects, playing outside and helping at various neighbourhood businesses. Her daytime schedule is by no means filled with screen time.
I hope this series has shed some light into the entire business of homeschooling.
Since this article was published two years ago, CARE has done several interviews with other homeschooling families and with the association, you can visit these links for more information.
YouTube Playlist on Homeschooling: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLAek9Fu5rob0Vl7HgBixa8PyOrvgVlHG5
Homeschooling Association's Website FAQ Page: https://www.homeschool-life.com/1450/faq/?public=1&private=