A mother teaches her child using home schooling methods.

Home schooling, also known as home education, is the education of school-going children at home or somewhere other than a public school or independent school.

Patience, honesty and discipline are three key ingredients parents need to put in the mix if they decide to home school their children.

That’s the advice of Durban parents Amina and Zoubair Ayoob, who had enrolled their children for three years of home schooling.

Apart from teachers not having the resources or time to give learners individual attention, the most important factor that prompted the couple to take this decision was the violence and drugs at schools.

“We felt that they would be safer at home and away from peer pressure to try dangerous intoxicants,” said Amina.

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The children were registered with Alpha Education SA, which is recognised by the Department of Education. Choosing a DBE-recognised home schooling provider means that if parents decide to put their children back into mainstream schooling again, the transition should be smooth, provided they’ve achieved the necessary results, since the syllabus is identical.

“Home schooling is very structured and a proper timetable is drawn up and followed,” said Amina.

She gives full credit to all the teachers at Alpha Education SA because a lot of paperwork is undertaken for every assignment, project, test and exam – and this requires dedication.

Home schooling proved to have many benefits for the Ayoob siblings, including receiving more individual teaching time as well as being more relaxed and focused. In this way, more time could be dedicated to subjects where more attention was needed.

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The Ayoob siblings are now back in mainstream school for two main reasons: “Firstly, they were limited in the courses that they could choose to study for grade 10 to grade 12.

“Secondly, as they progressed in their grades, the subject matter became more complicated for me to teach as I couldn’t understand it well enough and I didn’t want them disadvantaged by this,” said Amina.

Amina’s advice to parents who are considering home schooling is to take into account the need to balance their day with the needs of the children, while maintaining discipline and being patient in the learning process.

Her final words to parents going the home school route: “Be patient with your children, it will be a new experience and one that you will want to remember fondly, as I do.”