I’ve had a strong desire to home-school my eldest son since he started Grade 1. His first year at school wasn’t an easy one, and eventually I was told he needs an assessment and needs to be on Ritalin.
I took him to a Pediatrician who completed an evaluation and disagreed with the school’s opinion. I was also told by his teacher that my son would not complete his work in class and I had to help him at home. We spent hours after school doing classroom work besides homework. It left my son feeling despondent and I felt hopeless.
This led me to believe there must be another way and so began my desire to home-school. I was working full day at the time and couldn’t afford to leave. So, I continued working with my son after school much to our frustration.
My second son’s school experience was a little different, he taught himself to read at the age of 5 so I thought I would have no major issues with him, but I was wrong. When he started grade 1 already reading his teachers were amazed, but he started to develop anxiety with regards to mathematics.
Every Monday (Maths Monday) he would not want to go to school, he would complain of severe tummy cramps until eventually He opened up and told me. So again, I knew the drill, I started tutoring him every day besides his homework. This left little time for play. It made my heart sad, because kids need play to learn and grow.
By this time, I had my eldest in Grade 5, My 2nd son in grade 1 and my daughter starting preschool.
My eldest had also started in a new school and I was told yet again that he needs Ritalin and wasn’t coping with the day to day work. Again, the school suggested an educational psychologist who performed a full evaluation and could not conclusively say that my son needed Ritalin, in fact he said in certain subjects, especially English, he was above average. The educational Psychologist advised he start on a month’s course of Ritalin to see if he will perform better at school. My son’s marks improved, and his teachers stopped complaining, but Ritalin completely changed his personality and when it wore off at a certain time every day, I actually looked forward to seeing him happy and smiling again. I missed my bubbly happy boy but I felt I had no choice.
My second eldest son was also put on Ritalin eventually in grade 3. And again, I saw his personality change completely. I knew I had to do something. And continued to research my interest in home-schooling.
My daughter eventually started Grade 1 and had to go for Occupational Therapy. I held my breathe thinking not another one of my babies to go on Ritalin. Fortunately, this wasn’t the case. A few months of occupational therapy and she was good.
My second reason for home-schooling was my that my middle son and my daughter were also bullied at school on more than one occasion, and I had very little support from the teachers with regards to the manner in which the situation was handled.
My third reason for home-schooling was the fact that my husband often travelled for work purposes and I was exhausted trying to do it all alone, so when he was offered another out of town position, I knew this was my chance to take the dive and start home-schooling. We had long discussions on whether it was the right decision for us as a family and concluded that it was. With hours of research and with my husband’s help we narrowed our search to which curriculum would suit our family. My eldest now in Grade 10 needed structure for his senior phase (Yes, that’s how long I took).
I specifically wanted a higher standard of education preferably Cambridge and a Christian based curriculum. Eventually we decided on Theocentric Christian Education.
#homeschoolsouthafrica #tce #add #adhd #bullying #learningdifficulties #homeschoolcurriculum
Deborah Pretorius is a mother of 3 kids and a BCom graduate on the amazing adventure of home schooling her family.