Lock down schooling vs Home education

Welcome to the Homeschooling in South Africa website!

What will become one of the most profound historic health events across the globe, has catapulted children, their parents and their teachers into what we now know as “Remote Schooling”. There are many names given this phenomenon we have come to know as our new normal, but I choose this particular name for its all-encompassing and definitive description.


Traditionally, home education/schooling has been more of a lifestyle than an academic choice. Parents bring their children home, or decide early on that they want to educate their children from home, for the sake of preserving the sacredness of the family unit. In fact, homeschooling predates any other kind of education, and mainstream schooling as we know it is a relatively new beast in the greater scheme of things. That is not to say that it’s simplistic or minimal in any way.

Mainstream schooling is a complex and deeply intricate and it takes an educator years to learn and master the tools they need to wield in a class of 30 or more children. It is not for the feint of heart!  For this reason, Homeschooling is set apart from regular schooling, and is listed and understood as an alternative to what society around us accepts as the ‘norm’. 

Right now, the fringe has become the norm and parents everywhere in South Africa are learning how to be home educating parents. WELCOME to our world! You will find that it is as difficult as you imagined, yet easier than expected. You will find that you have a secret well of inner patience and peace as you watch your little ones flourish in their homely environment, and then you will look for an escape from the incessant responsibility as you protect this new territory of yours like the proverbial momma bear! 

Bitter sweet may not be the exact term to describe this, but let’s use that for now, because it is kind of accurate. 

Since you don’t plan to keep this up for years on end, let’s start by setting a time limit.  I know this is ambitious given that we have not even heard from our President for over a month now, and we are clueless as to when our “new normal” will begin)

In the following weeks, we will explore possible scenarios you may encounter. For now, start thinking about where you want to see your child end up in terms of education – what will suit him best and what can you afford?



WELCOME to (remote) Home Schooling! – Rebekka Liebenberg

The genesis of my brand of a home education website predates Covid19. I started putting together a homely space for my online community where we could establish a more private forum, away from prying eyes and opinionated commentary. It was an idea born out of missing the cosy, and friendly, and safe space we used to have in private groups on various social media.

The homeschooling landscape has grown and changed so quickly over the last 10 years especially, and one would think another big change wouldn’t really be a stretch for us. Yet our world has changed so quickly in the last few months as to make much of what has gone before, suddenly virtually irrelevant.

Home education is when a parent (or sometimes another kind of guardian) educates a child in their own home rather than sending them to a place of instruction each day. The law provides for homeschooling as an alternative to Private and Public schools that are registered as such. Anything else is not homeschooling/home education.

Over the last 15 years or so, the face of home education has morphed many times, and as of today (2020) we have a plethora of non home education activities that have congregated under this banner, for lack of any provision by the law, the government, society at large, and public opinion. Its not anyones fault. It evolved this way. Now, we find ourselves going through yet another change as the entire country is placed in lock down. Our movement is restricted, our ears at high alert and our thinking deeply guarded for fear of saying or doing anything wrong, which may bring more attention onto our already seemingly fringe lifestyles

Now that everyone has to work and school from home, we are said to be in the same boat, to be ONE in terms of having to home school our children. For some this feels like an insult, for others a relief. Yet more are confused and so many have made mention of being defined within terms they neither want or deserve! Quite frankly, its a bit of a mess!

Since we are all at home, working and teaching and learning, the truth is that we are indeed all in the same boat. However, in this boat we have at times called the floating turd, the sinking ship and other superlatives I dare not mention, our souls still hold out hope of survival. Economic survival, social survival, emotional survival, and for our purposes, educational survival. This new form of “education” that the whole of South Africa has been forced into is not home schooling, distance learning or online schooling. Remote schooling is probably the most accurate term I have come across yet, and while its not ideal for any of us, we need to admit that we are all in the same boat of living remotely for now. We are conducting all the usual activities from one place and for the sake of expedience, our lives have shifted to an online space that most of us are unused to. Its a learning curve for everyone and we should embrace the change insomuch as trying to function as best we can given the tools we have.