We were so excited on the 16th January this year when we received my son’s Cambridge, IGCSE exam results. He passed all his subjects and received a distinction for English! I don’t think I’ve ever jumped so high with my laptop in hand. It was a moment of sheer relief and joy! We also received his AS Afrikaans results the week prior, because the AS results are released before IGCSE results. He received a B pass for Afrikaans. We had the help of an Afrikaans tutor which made a huge difference in his results. I honestly wouldn’t have managed without a tutor. This is a great example of how having support of tutor whilst home-schooling can be beneficial.
This is my eldest son’s last year with home-school and I have mixed emotions. He is currently registered to do his Cambridge AS levels with the curriculum we chose, Theocentric Christian Education (T.C.E.). This year he will do four AS level subjects, English, Mathematics, Physics and Business Studies. He will also do a detailed study of the life of Christ as part of his Biblical studies. This biblical course as mentioned in previous blogs, takes the place of Life Orientation. He will receive a certificate for it at the end of the year from T.C.E.
This year we have also enlisted the help of a Cambridge maths and physics teacher. He will attend Glenwood boys high for two hours a day. We’ve had to make a decision mostly because of the lack of Cambridge teachers, as well as for him to achieve a good pass at the end of this year. We were hesitant for him to go to Glenwood daily, because we feel the social influences and pressures, bullying and so many other factors surrounding public schools are quite daunting. In this case we felt the daily lessons which can only be done at the school would benefit him. We sat with him and helped him to realise that he was there solely for the purpose of learning.
I would still need to oversee his maths and physics work and mark it. I also teach him business studies daily and mark his answers to end of chapter questions. With English we analyse weekly poetry, and his set work for the first term is Henry IV which is examinable. In all his subjects he has assignments which we email to the email tutor provided by T.C.E. He will write what TCE calls mini exams in March and August at home under my supervision and these exams will be marked at the T.C.E head office. The final Cambridge exam in November will be written at Glenwood boys High and posted to Cambridge head office in London for marking.
We got through our first week of home-school for 2020 last week. We officially started on the 20th January after a very long festive break. It was a rocky start to say the least. I spent the most part of day one at the doctor and pharmacy with my daughter. I was proud to see my middle son take on his work alone while I was busy. I can see his independence peeking through as he enters grade 7 this year! I was thinking of slowing down his schoolwork this year and therefore writing his June exam in September this year. This will mean postponing his November exam to the following year. I spoke to him in depth regarding this, but he didn’t like the idea. So far, he’s been keeping up and working well, there’s been no need to slow it down. I can see a little more maturity on his part this year. Praying it will continue!
We started our third year of home-schooling and we have no regrets. As a tradition we start day one by creating vision boards, which we use to set our goals for the year. We cut pictures out of magazines or print them online, which are in line with each child’s goal. We paste the completed vision board where we can see it daily. This helps to keep the goals set on their minds each time they look at it.
We were able to take some beautiful pictures at a fellow home-schooling family’s home studio, capturing the start of our third-year home-schooling. We started out with our kids in grade two, grade five and grade ten. They are now in Grade four (senior primary), Grade seven (last year of senior primary) and Grade twelve (last year of school), quite an achievement indeed!
We are grateful to God for His faithfulness. We’ve faced various challenges from moving to a new province, to stumbling blindly through our first year of home-schooling, not knowing if it will work out. But here we stand once again with God on our side entering our third year with our heads held high!
Deborah Pretorius is a mother of 3 kids and a BCom graduate on the amazing adventure of home schooling her family.