Experiences and perspectives of home-schooling in KwaZulu-Natal.
Dlamini, Nonkululeko Mbalenhle Charlotte.
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In South Africa, home-schooling is defined as a programme of academic learning for children outside a formal institution that is conducted at home and facilitated by parents and might include tutor services that attend to the specific interests of the children. A large proportion of learners in South Africa are home-schooled, with KwaZulu-Natal having the second largest population of home-scholars. The overall objective of the study was to broaden the understanding of home-schooling, while evaluating the experiences of home-schooling in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. This study seeks to make a contribution to research on homeschooling in a South African context and specifically it will shed insights into the reasons why parents desire to home-school their own children and their experiences. A qualitative approach was utilized for this study to broaden understanding of homeschooling. The data was collected from 10 participants who home-schooled their children and they were residing in the province of KwaZulu-Natal. This data was thematically analysed. The analysis revealed that parents decide to home-school for a variety of reasons such as seeking a better quality education; the desire to maintain a good moral standing, cultural and value systems; also for medical needs and convenience. Parents removed their children from conventional schools because they felt it was very rigid and does not accommodate to the varying needs of students as individuals. In addition, they pointed out that mainstream schools have a large class size, resulting in a limited focus on the individual in the class situation. They preferred home-schooling because there is greater flexibility as it can be tailored to the needs of each individual. This study confirmed the findings of previous research on home-schooling from the point of view of parent teachers, which generally views home-school in a positive light. This research suggested there be a development of a survey on home-teaching in South Africa, to increase the reliability of information on the subject. In addition, a development of better communication tools between the government and the home-schooling population is encouraged as it might help address the attitudes parent educators have towards registering under the Department of Education.