/ 26 January 2022

How homeschooling supports gifted children


The average South African class size is roughly 30 learners for every teacher. In order to accommodate all children in such a classroom, educators pitch the content to the “average” student. This approach can leave many students behind as they struggle to comprehend the coursework, and it can leave other students bored as they grasp the concepts quicker than “the average”. 

Some children may be gifted in academics while others might be musically talented or show outstanding abilities on the sports field. A huge benefit to online homeschooling is the freedom and flexibility that it brings, enabling parents to harness their child’s unique talents and abilities. This is the reason why many top child athletes or performers choose homeschooling over a traditional schooling environment. To professionally compete or to excel in academics, learners need the flexibility to adapt their education to their unique schedules, circumstances and abilities. 

We recently sat down with Louwdine Oosthuizen, a CambriLearn mom who has experienced firsthand the benefit that homeschooling has had on her child Christopher. From a young age, Louwdine identified that Christopher was gifted and this is one of the reasons why she decided to investigate a personalised homeschooling education.  

Q: Why did you start homeschooling?

We have quite a few reasons for choosing the homeschooling route. Firstly, we do not believe that the current school system is the best solution for our family. We want our boys to think outside the box, to think for themselves and to question everything! Secondly, we want to have the flexibility and not be tied down to the school calendar. 

Q. How long have you been homeschooling? 

We have been homeschooling for three years. My eldest son, Christopher, started at a tutoring centre when he was five. He was ready for grade R, but together with the teachers, we decided to skip grade R as he was very comfortable with the work, so he started a homeschooling curriculum in grade 1. 

Q. Could you tell me a bit more about this, why did you choose to skip Grade R? 

Christopher went to a fantastic playgroup from three to five years old; the teachers there really prepped him well. When his grade R teacher did revision work she noticed that he knew everything and suggested that he goes directly to grade 1. He is also good with languages (we are Afrikaans and were originally planning on schooling him in Afrikaans). His average for grade 1 was 98%. 

We originally registered him with another online school, but Christopher became quite bored and would tend to finish the work very quickly. We soon identified that Christopher would be better suited to a self-paced curriculum that would allow him to complete the coursework at his own pace. That’s when I started researching other curriculums and found the CambriLearn British Curriculum. This curriculum is internationally recognised and students can work through the course material in their own time and according to their own schedule. 

We also then decided to have Christopher’s IQ tested, which came to 132. He is now a MENSA member and, as you can imagine, we are super proud of him. Christopher finished Primary Stage 3 in August, but I only registered him to start Stage 4 in January 2022. I want to give him some time to just be a kid. 

Q. Are you involved in any social clubs or extra-mural activities? 

Christopher and his brother, Joshua, both do Soccer, Robotics, Taekwondo and Golf lessons. Christopher is very keen to do ice skating lessons, guitar lessons and dance lessons. Hopefully, we will get to those one day.

Q. What does Christopher want to be when he grows up? 

It changes daily; from a restaurant owner to a university lecturer, to a plastic surgeon! We are encouraging him to do languages or become an interpreter. He is learning Chinese, Siswati and French.

Q. What are your favourite things to do on the weekend? 

Christopher and his brother love XBox and Minecraft. We usually allow them to play on a Saturday, and then on Sundays, we do a family day at Kruger National Park. We enjoy going out for breakfast and visiting markets. Seventy percent of the time you will find Christopher on his trampoline or learning new things by searching for videos on Youtube.

Q. Anything else you want to tell us?  

We absolutely love CambriLearn! The support and content is great, and knowing that my boys are getting an internationally recognised education is amazing!