​Home education – is it a possible solution?

There’s a scrimmage of 40 Grade 1 learners in front of their new class. They bundle in and sit on their chairs. There is good discipline in the class, but there are so many learners that it’s impossible for the teacher to give each of them the necessary attention. Only the smartest learners will do well, while the average child may miss a number of important building blocks and, eventually, it will become more and more difficult as they struggle through the grades.

There are many learners who get lost in the school system. They struggle with the work pressure and the lack of attention, and do not reach their full potential as they do not receive individual attention. There is also the pressure to participate in sports and to maybe not be chosen for a team — and you just hope that your child is not bullied.

Home education, on the other hand, is frequently seen in a bad light. The picture people often have is of a mother giving classes at home. The child sits at a table and lives a lonely, reclusive existence without socialising.

With teaching in the 21st Century, however, the picture may look very different. Home education can be done in many different ways.


Parents can teach learners at home; they can ensure that all the necessary concepts are properly embedded and can monitor progress themselves. To make it even easier curriculum providers such as Impaq give parents the tools they need to educate their children at home. Parents can now join groups of other parents who also home educate their children via social media. Playing opportunities, excursions and social events can be planned so that learners can enjoy private education as well as social opportunities vital to their development. Often parents also take turns to teach, and work on a rotational basis. Children do not lose precious time in classrooms waiting for discipline or individual attention.

Tutor centres

There are many tutor centres across the country. Some centres only focus on one subject; others offer all subjects. Where the parent does not want to teach their child themselves or may not want to take a subject to the next grade, a tutor can be used. Tutors give each learner the individual attention they need, and help them understand difficult concepts, but the primary responsibility to educate the learner remains with the parents.

Home education schools

It often happens that tutor centres are in such great demand that they become small private schools. They still use a home education curriculum, but the school takes responsibility for the learner’s education.

Hilda Erasmus is a specialist in the Foundation Phase at Impaq

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever. But it comes at a cost. Advertisers are cancelling campaigns, and our live events have come to an abrupt halt. Our income has been slashed.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years. We’ve survived thanks to the support of our readers, we will need you to help us get through this.

To help us ensure another 35 future years of fiercely independent journalism, please subscribe.


‘Frustrated’ police resort to force

Regulation uncertainty leaves slap-happy police and soldiers to decide when people should or shouldn’t be allowed on the streets

Mail & Guardian needs your help

Our job is to help give you the information we all need to participate in building this country, while holding those in power to account. But now the power to help us keep doing that is in your hands

Press Releases

New energy mix on the cards

REI4P already has and will continue to yield thousands of employment opportunities

The online value of executive education in a Covid-19 world

Executive education courses further develop the skills of leaders in the workplace

Sisa Ntshona urges everyone to stay home, and consider travelling later

Sisa Ntshona has urged everyone to limit their movements in line with government’s request

SAB Zenzele’s special AGM postponed until further notice

An arrangement has been announced for shareholders and retailers to receive a 77.5% cash payout

20th Edition of the National Teaching Awards

Teachers are seldom recognised but they are indispensable to the country's education system

Awards affirm the vital work that teachers do

Government is committed to empowering South Africa’s teachers with skills, knowledge and techniques for a changing world

SAB Zenzele special AGM rescheduled to March 25 2020

New voting arrangements are being made to safeguard the health of shareholders