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Homeschooling - GRADE 1

Homeschooling in South Africa

Homeschooling in South Africa - Grade 1

Homeschooling in S.A – Grade 1

Homeschooling in S.A - Grade 1

As the traditional education landscape continues to evolve, more parents in South Africa are exploring the option of homeschooling for their children. Homeschooling offers a unique opportunity to tailor education to the specific needs and interests of each child, especially for those entering Grade 1. This pivotal year sets the foundation for future learning, making it crucial to approach it with care and intentionality.

Setting Up Your Homeschool for a Grade 1 Learner

  • Curriculum Selection: You may choose a curriculum that aligns with the South African National Curriculum and Assessment Policy Statement (CAPS). There are various homeschooling curriculums available that cater specifically to Grade 1 learners, focusing on foundational skills in reading, writing, and maths. Personally, I am not a fan of online school for the early primary years and would recommend a hands-on, activity-based curriculum. I avoid worksheets as much as I can and keep lessons short, engaging and fun. A favourite in our classroom are the Learning Language Arts Through Literature books. They are divine! A lovely literature-rich English curriculum (available on Bob Shop). A few of the sections here and there are more American based, but we just skip past that and fill it in with something more relatable to us. We have been using the Footprints on our Land by Shirley Erwee and Wendy Young since we completed the Little Footprints (and prior to that, the ABCs). I have absolutely loved using these! They really are beautifully put together with a strong focus on Christianity in the classroom with a rich South African history. We have also been using the ANT Books by Sue Parfitt for many years now. They are affordable, relatable to South African children and are a fabulous resource for revision. Reading aloud to your child is a fundamental element in literature learning. Read, read read! The Fun on the Farm Readers (by myself and available in my online store) were created for grade 1 learners to help instill a love for reading. They are fun, relatable and focus on letter recognition and sight words.
  • Learning Materials: Invest in quality learning materials (Kids Corner KZN have a beautiful selection of wooden educational sets). Interactive and engaging materials can make learning more enjoyable for young children. Puzzles are an absolute must-have (you can never have too many).
  • Daily Routine: Establish a daily routine that includes a mix of academic learning, play, and physical activity. A structured routine helps children understand expectations and develop good learning habits. Your routine doesn’t have to revolve around set times, but, rather a set order of events. We don’t necessarily follow strict times, but follow the order of the day. For example; wakeup, breakfast, feed the animals, start school, teatime break, finish up school, clean the classroom, lunch, play for the rest of the day (or sport), an afternoon farm walk, reading in the evenings before dinner and then wrap up the day with stories and prayers in bed.
  • Learning Space: Create a dedicated learning space in your home. This could be a corner of a room or a separate area equipped with a desk, chair, and necessary supplies. A consistent learning environment helps children focus and take their education seriously.
  • Find your people: Join homeschooling groups.(also, I’m your people).

Tips for Successful Homeschooling

  • My top tip is to fully remove your idea of traditional school from your mind. Homeschooling is not that. You don’t need hours and hours of sitting at a desk and millions of worksheets. You go at your child’s pace and abilities. For a grade 1 learner, the average time you will spend on ‘school work’ will not be longer than 1.5 hours. My little one is in grade 1 this year and is a serious academic, so she begs me for, “More school please Mommy”. She will do a rather lot in the morning and even then, after 2 hours, she’s done.
  • Be Patient and Flexible: Understand that each child learns at their own pace. Be patient and willing to adjust your teaching methods as needed. That is the joy of homeschooling, you can focus on areas where your child is struggling to ensure they fully grasp that concept or skill before moving on. In the same breath, if they grasp a concept and are getting bored by the repetition, move on.
  • Incorporate Play and Interest-led Learning: Learning through play is vital for young children. Incorporate educational games and activities that make learning fun and engaging. Focus on what your child enjoys. If they are really into insects at the moment, go with it. Learn all about insects. Keeping learning fun is the best method of gaining knowledge and developing a love for learning.
  • Build Confidence: Acknowledge and celebrate your child’s achievements, no matter how small. Positive reinforcement builds confidence and motivation. Personally, confidence is a HUGE factor in a child’s development. Homeschooling is the perfect environment to boost your child’s confidence. There is no competition, no grades, no peer pressure. Having the confidence to tackle new concepts and skills makes learning ‘hard things’ so easy. I am a firm believer that confidence is key when it comes to learning.
  • Stay Informed: Keep up with homeschooling trends and best practices. Attend workshops, join online forums, and connect with other homeschooling families.
  • Seek Support: Don’t hesitate to seek support from homeschooling networks and educational professionals. There are many resources available to help you navigate the homeschooling journey.

Homeschooling a Grade 1 learner is a rewarding and enriching experience. By providing a tailored and nurturing educational environment, you can lay a strong foundation for your child’s lifelong learning journey. Embrace the flexibility, creativity, and joy that homeschooling offers, and watch your child thrive in their personalised educational adventure.

Love, Kayleigh

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