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Since its inception in 1992, the Association for Homeschooling has promoted the recognition of the right of parents to educate their children within the family in South Africa, as it is recognised in art. 26 of the Universal Declaration of Human Right which states: “Parents have a prior right to choose the kind of education that shall be given to their children.” Since 2010, the Association also promotes these parental rights in the larger Southern Africa region.

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Want to support homeschooling? - Participate in research

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Homeschooling parents often have mixed feelings when faced with a request to participate in a research being done on homeschooling. One the one hand they feel that research can be beneficial for home education. The fact that research is being done is an acknowledgement that home education is viewed as important. The results of research can be used to protect the right to homeschool. For example when the results of research are used in court to provide objective proof that the education received by homelearners is not inferior to the education provided at public schools.

On the other hand there are people that are concerned that proponents of increased regulation can use research to bolster their argument that home education must be more regulated. There are however no examples of research that was used to justify increased regulation. There is therefore little reason for parents to be distrustful of research on home education.

A significant amount of research has been done on home education in South Africa. Click here for a list of links to this research. In line with research in other countries, South African research has also confirmed that “home learners attain better results than learners in government schools in the achievement test and that they are therefore not academically disadvantaged; the level of socialisation of home learners compares favourably with the standardised norm."

The Association for Homeschooling has received a request to support a research project. This research is performed by Michelle Sansom-Sherwill for her BA(Ed) Honours in Education and the purpose of the research is to find out from parents what the different options are to gain a matric without going through the normal school channels. The results of this research should be of great value, because there is a great need under homeschooling parents to find ways of gaining a matric outside the normal school channels. The survey that parents are requested to complete is totally anonymous and will not intrude on their privacy. It will take a maximum of 10 minutes to complete the survey.

Parents are encouraged to participate in the survey for this research, because the results will be beneficial for the homeschooling community. Click here to complete the survey. Parents that would like to participate must please note that this survey is mainly relevant for parents with older children.

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Comments

  • LINDY GREAVES Tuesday, 11 February 2014

    Thank you Bouwe, a good article as always. I have also found that HS parents are not keen to take part in research, and yet, there is much positive research about homeschooling. I think it is wonderful that more scholars are taking up this topic of study for their thesis in South Africa and I am sure we will see the results speak for themselves. Personally, I have found researchers to be very careful in guarding our identity and you can easily remain annonymous when answering.

  • John Brandow Tuesday, 13 May 2014

    My interest in homeschooling comes from my children where the mom is homeschooling all three her children and there is a fourth one on the way ( By choice as the first 3 were boys and they were going for a girl- this has now been confirmed that it will be a girl). The national curriculum which the Western province are looking to make law creates serious problems for homeschoolers. Why I am commenting on that here is that research again comes up. Research in this instance are those things that Home school parents have serious doubts about in the National curriculum. Things like evolution and the issues of interfaith. Simple research I have done (about 2 hours on the internet) has shown that evolution for one has so many flaws that someone gave it the definition of : it is just another religion - You just have to believe the story because there is no real evidence and as science progresses and are able to query anything in the process it is very evident that this quote is the truth. What I am on about is that parents like to get on a bandwagon but no one likes to initiate something like this. Shouldn't we set up a research project researching the specific issue of the lie that is evolution ?

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