Thursday, 28 May 2020

Homeschooling- Please think first

I have said it at least a dozen times on this platform and I will say it again I do not believe that education is a one size fits all thing, I do not believe that home-schooling is the better option or private schooling or government schooling, I believe that every child is different and that their education should be adapted to what will help them achieve their best form of themselves for some kids that may be conventional schooling for others maybe not.

I am writing this post after seeing the massive influx of moms in particular flocking to home-schooling pages wanting to pull their kids out of school and either home-school for good or temporarily and this is a huge concern for me as a parent who has literally been through every form of schooling and now has 2 children in a tutor centre and one who is home-schooled.

Listen to me clearly now DO YOUR RESEARCH, make INFORMED decisions, SPEAK TO YOUR CHILDREN – THEIR OPINIONS MATTER and lastly it isn’t as simple as just removing your child temporarily and quick stix registering with the department.

I am going through this myself with my eldest son at this very moment, first things first whilst they are accepting applications they are not processing applications currently, the process in general away from a pandemic can take up to 6 months and this includes a home visit to check that you meet the criteria of the department for a home-schooling environment, you also need to state in your application why it is you are wanting to home-school and need to supply a schedule as well as which curriculum/s you are using, the department does not have to accept your application or your reasoning and this whole process is why many home-schooling families choose not to register and to rather pay the Pestalozzi Trust for protection should the department come a knocking.

If you form part of the other side of the coin ie parents who want to remove their children temporarily please please PLEASE keep in mind that once you have removed your child you will need to re-apply for placement within the schooling system when you want them to go back; you are not guaranteed a placement just because your child was there beforehand, the schools are already overladen and the waiting lists are long think before you make a decision that you may regret in a few months’ time when this is all over, rather approach your child’s school to continue on with them whilst teaching your child from home yes you will be liable for school fees hopefully at a reduced rate but unless you are willing to fight in the long run I would suggest that you take this route.

Lastly as a member of home-schooling groups most not all but most are very quick to say it is easy, it is cheap anyone can do it etc, I will repeat what I have said before just because anyone can doesn’t mean anyone should and what may be feasible or make sense now may not be the most sensible decision long term and may not even be what your child wants or feels is best for their own well-being.

I am one of those parents who at a point believed anyone could and should home-school, it would be easy and wonderful and the best thing I could ever do for my child; it takes work and preparation and some form of structure especially if your child has special needs if you register with the department there are criteria that your child needs to meet and processes that need to be followed, there are many curriculum's to choose from and they can be expensive and again are not a one size fits all thing, if you plan on getting a tutor keep in mind they are costly and not always easy to find, you also need to ensure or keep in mind social interaction post the lock down period can you afford to enroll your child in extra mural activities or do you have a home-schooling support group or network in your surrounding area that you can join that will help you and help create a social network for your child…..

I know that I am far from an expert in the schooling field, I can only speak from my personal experience and I may garner a lot of flak for this post but this has been weighing on my mind for a while now already and I think people just need to keep in mind that every group will have an agenda and I don’t see it as intentional or even hurtful agenda but anti vaxers will always put their opinion first the same goes for those who cloth diaper or home-school anyone who feels strongly about a cause will of course embrace those who show an interest in or want to take up their cause again it is not with bad thought and I have absolutely nothing against the home-schooling community as I have received so much advice great and solid advice and help I just think people need to be more mindful because if they aren’t this in my opinion could do more to hurt the home-schooling community than help it.

28 May 2020

I am sure that if you asked around every person will have their own say or opinion about what they feel is the greatest travesty/ trauma/ downfall/ issue that has come about as a result of Covid 19; for some it is the ciggie and alcohol ban, for others the exercise restrictions and for others it is the fact that they cannot work/run their businesses etc.

From my side whilst all of these things are varying levels of irritating, terrible or terrifying what I think has impacted my family the most is seeing the effect this had had on my children especially my middle son Gabriel.

Gabriel is probably my most social child and without a doubt an extrovert and thus this lock-down period has left him feeling down and isolated, emotionally he has regressed and even with a firm and structured routine and although he has his brothers you can still see the change in him, in all of my kids and speaking to other parents especially those with only one child the feelings are mutual- it begs the question of how our children will fare and cope once all this is over when it eventually ends and how much or how greatly will they be affected, lastly is the effect and trauma placed on our children because of this period and pandemic worth it.

I am not one of those people that believes Covid does not exist, my father works for a hospital so I know it does but at the end of the day with all death cases being classified as Covid, proper testing not taking place in every province and inaccurate numbers and testing how can we be sure that the number of deaths is not actually 2 or 10 if many of the cases were not actually Covid cases and statistically we know that more people in our country lose their lives to TB than Covid, are we putting our economy into collapse and putting our people through all of this trauma for something that could have been dealt with effectively without all of this chaos.

Our homes have become classrooms and office spaces, our children are confused and isolated and people are starving and losing their jobs and livelihoods left right and center.

In the beginning things made arguable sense but now it seems more to do with politics, money and power than our health and the people and I for one am tired, my heart is tired, as a mom, as a South African; Mr President one could argue that you are not completely to blame I would argue that you are just as responsible for the decisions made as you are for your cabinet members and your choice of cabinet members.

If one is pressured as a government official to make decisions that are not right, that are not in the best interests of the people one has the responsibility to stand firm and speak up even if it costs the person their position they will have the respect and support of the people, those who have entrusted their safety, well-being and best interest to you. You have been undermined several times, you have lied and allowed your members to lie and scheme, to make money from illicit alliances by creating bans that do not make sense until you see that it is due to money exchange and the sole benefit of those making the decisions- your family is not and will not starve even with a salary cut what you have is far above what the majority of South Africans have- your cabinet continue their lives without the standards that the people have been forced into…. Enough is enough when will you stop it all or will you continue to hide until there is no respect or support left for you and you are then replaced by another.

You talk about hard decisions and the time to make them, now is that time, now is the time to stop being a coward and to put the people first…. Now is the time!