What Parents Need To Know About Registering For Home Schooling
Amid the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and school closures around the world, digital technologies are increasingly being used to deliver lessons to children at home. The pandemic has been a catalyst for families for who were already sceptical of the traditional school system and are now thinking of leaving for good. In South Africa, parents are still required to apply for exemption from school attendance by registering their children for home schooling. Brainline CEO, Coleen Cronje, says the process is not as daunting as it might seem.
‘Last year we have seen a surge in the number of families opting for online schooling. However, many parents who would like to go for home education or e-learning are deterred by the notion of having to apply for exemption to have their children home schooled. This is, however, not such a complicated process. Parents who would like to home school their children only need to apply to the head of the Provincial Education Department,’ she says.
Cronje says the application can be made electronically without any additional cost.
‘The application process might take up to 30 days to be processed but learners are allowed to continue home schooling during this period. There is also no cost involved in registering your child,’ Cronje explains.
Parents need to submit the following documentation during registration:
- Parent/s certified ID copy
- In case of foreign nationals certified copies of passport /study permit/work permit/Asylum document is required
- Last copy of school report (if the child was in school before, but if the child is only starting school now you must attach an immunisation card)
- Weekly timetable which includes contact time per day
- Breakdown of terms per year (196 days per year)
- Learning programme
- Certified copy of child’s birth certificate
Cronje says to home school parents need to ensure that they adhere to a number of requirements including that the lessons offered to the learners fall within the scope of the compulsory phases of education. (https://www.education.gov.za/Programmes/HomeEducation.aspx)
‘This is the foundation phase for Grade 1-3, the intermediate phase for Gr4-6 or the senior phase for Gr7-9. There is also a list of records that the parents need to keep as portfolio of evidence which include amongst others, record of attendance, portfolio of work, portfolio of the educational support given to the child, evidence of the continuous assessment of the child’s work, evidence of the assessment and or examination at the end of each year, and evidence at the end of Grade 3,6 and 9, that shows whether your child has achieved the outcomes for these grades.’
Cronje says when learners enrol with home education providers such as Brainline, these requirements are already adhered to within the annual curriculum. She says Brainline, who has already adapted to the need for a virtual classroom, has seen record numbers of new enrolments since enrolments opened late in 2021.
‘Brainline continues to bridge the gap to accommodate the digital age through innovative technology. Our teachers present online classes in innovative ways, challenging the status quo of blackboard teaching. These online classes are essentially breaking down the invisible walls of traditional teaching, by presenting the curriculum in new and exciting ways, bringing the classroom to life, and invigorating the lesson material. In this way, Brainline is revolutionising home education for today’s learner,’ Cronje explains
But how involved should working parents be once they’ve enrolled their kids for home schooling?
‘While our Junior School provide excellent support, it should be noted that Grade R – 7 learners achieve the best academic result if the parent or guardian are also actively involved. Our Gr 8 – 12 Brainline Cloud School learners flourish on regular positive affirmation, parent interest and involvement. We do, deal with these questions on our website: https://brainline.com/faq.’
And can parents registering for home education as a temporary measure return to a traditional school?
‘Learners who are enrolling for home education can definitely return to a traditional environment as Brainline is registered with the IEB, assuring you of quality assessment in accordance with standard policy. Therefore our curriculum is the same as other IEB aligned institutions and learners can expect an almost seamless transition.’
Brainline is IEB recognised, which means that learners follow the South African National Curriculum (similar to the curriculum offered in South African schools) resulting in the National Senior Certificate (NSC) upon successful completion of their matric exams.