Planning a Curriculum for Homeschooling in South Africa

The rapid increase in the number of homeschoolers has resulted in a wide variety of available curricula and resources. Catalogues are filled with a plethora of options based on different educational philosophies, learning approaches, the amount of time a homeschool teacher should devote to daily instruction, and so on.

Subjects typically taught include the standard disciplines followed in a traditional school program as well as those that capitalize on the child’s interests. In his best-selling book The Element, Ken Robinson writes that “the key to [educational] transformation is not to standardize education, but to personalize it, to build achievement on discovering the individual talents of each child, to put students in an environment where they want to learn and where they can naturally discover their true passions.” A homeschooling atmosphere provides a natural setting in which parents can deliver an individualized method of instruction that matches the child’s unique interests, ability, and learning style.

Families that homeschool often combine certain subjects that are not necessarily grade- or age-specific, such as history, literature, and the arts. For example, children of various ages might study the same historical time period together, and then be given assignments that reflect specific age and ability. For studies in other subjects, such as math and reading, a homeschooling parent might tutor each child one-on-one to meet the student’s individual needs. Meanwhile, depending on each child’s age, the other students may be working on solo assignments or playing in another room.