Phew! The school year is done!  Grade 9 is in the bag.  I can say it’s been one of the most successful school years for my son.

It was in April 2018 that I decided to take my son out of mainstream schooling. He’s always been somewhat of a rebel. He questioned everything. The teachers didn’t like it. But that wouldn’t stop him from arguing with them about everything that he had a strong opinion on.

His wittiness and confidence was dying a slow death in the school system. He became a child I didn’t know. He was not the crazy ray of sunshine I once knew.

I was still working in a job at the time, so I had two options. A full-time tutor or a home-schooling center.  I was amazed at the number of home-schooling centers around the country. These are typically small independent centers with several tutors specializing in certain subjects, grades and/or curriculums. The maximum amount of kids each h tutor will manage is around 8 – although it can differ from center to center.

The first decision I had to make was to decide what curriculum my son will follow.  There are several curriculums available, depending on what your child’s goals are.  I decided to continue with the CAPS curriculum.  The curriculum provider I chose was Impaq mainly because they provide comprehensive support to the parents as well.  They also have an open subject choice in Grade 10 – so my son was not limited to only a few subjects to chose from.

One thing I will mention though is that post degree qualifications are completely overrated. I’ve worked in corporate for over 18 years. I’ve appointed and managed 100’s of staff members throughout my career.  Unless you plan to do a professional degree like medicine, engineering etc, your subject combinations means squat.

Teaching kids the notion that you need to have a perfect subject combination at school, so that your child can study for a degree, even if they are not sure they are going to use it, is underestimating the child’s intelligence. 

Machines are going to take over most existing manual jobs over the next decade. How are you preparing your child for that?  Don’t’ force your child to live out your lifelong dream.  Do something about your own dream, but let your children live their own.

Our kids are clever. Way cleverer than we ever were at the age of 15.  They will question scientists, even without their degrees. They will question policies, even without their degrees.  We better prepare our kids for the industrial revolution.  

Anyway, where were I?

I initially opted for a tutoring center but started to home school my son at home from the beginning of this year. I called in the help of a tutor who mainly helped with subjects like chemistry and maths.

What should you keep in mind if you’re considering home-schooling?

  1. Decide what curriculum your child is going to follow.
  2. If you’re not going to do the schooling, whom else is qualified to educate your child on the content.
  3. Plan your week.
  4. Get help if you need it.
  5. Respect your child’s pace but have firm boundaries.
  6. Use everyday life experiences as learning opportunities.
  7. Let them watch Netflix documentaries.
  8. As much as they learn, as much they should play.

We are done with exams and I can certainly say it’s been a successful school year.  For Grade 10, he has opted for mostly IT subjects.  He has his heart set on becoming a YouTuber.  If that’s his dream, who am I to crush it. Would I’ve felt better if he wanted to become an accountant or doctor?  Hell yes!

But it’s not about how I feel. It’s about me setting him up for success. Whichever way he decides to use his talents.

Happy schooling!