What are your options if you aren’t sending your child back to school this year?

So you’ve made the decision not to send your child back to school this year. What does that mean? We spoke to the BrightSparkz Tutors team who break down your options.

  1. You’ll need to register with the Department of Education (unless your child is continuing to learn online using the platforms provided by their school)
  2. You’ll need to support your child’s online learning

Reasons for homeschooling & your options

You can choose not to send your child back to school during the national state of emergency for these reasons:

  1. Your child has a medical condition, including co-morbidities
  2. Your child is anxious or fearful of COVID-19
  3. You are concerned about risk to family members that live with you, who are over the age of 60 or have co-morbidities
  4. You would prefer to have your child continue learning through the online or virtual platforms provided by an independent institution (not your child’s school)
  5. Your child prefers to learn through the online or virtual platforms provided by their school
  6. You want to apply for homeschooling and de-registration from your child’s current school

Exemption: Reasons 1-4

If your reason for wanting to keep your child at home is one of the first four reasons listed above, you’ll need to apply for a full or partial exemption. To do this, you’ll need to ask your child’s school to apply to the Head of Department. What does this entail?

  • There will be a few forms that you’ll need to fill in
  • The HoD will arrange that your child’s school continues providing you with learning materials
  • You’ll need to ensure that you receive these, and that your child puts in the work and submits any assignments on time

Online Learning: Reason 5

If you have decided not to send your child back to school for reason (5), you don’t need to do anything! You don’t need to apply for an exemption, and your child can continue to learn online if their school provides this option. You will be responsible for ensuring that your child puts in the work and submits any assignments in time.

What are your responsibilities?

As your child is still an enrolled learner of the school and receives regular input and support from their teachers, you will need to continue paying school fees. You are also responsible for:

  • Creating a conducive environment for my child to learn at home;
  • Accepting the  responsibility  to  oversee  the  daily  learning  of  my  child  at  home, including the daily work and assessments;
  • Accepting the responsibility of ensuring that my child is informed of what work must be learned and what work must be completed on a daily basis; and
  • Ensuring that  all work  and  assignments  are  collected  and  delivered  at  school,  as required and agreed to by the school.
  • Getting online tutoring support from BrightSparkz, as and when required.

Homeschooling: Reason 6

If you have decided not to send your child back to school for reason (6), you’ll need to register your child with a homeschool organisation by applying electronically: https://www.education.gov.za/Programmes/HomeEducation.aspx

You will need to provide:

  • A weekly timetable indicating contact (class) time per day: at least 3 hours per day of “class” time
  • A breakdown of terms per year (196 school days per year): we suggest following the public school calendar
  • A learning program: a statement of what you’re going to teach, when. Homeschool providers such as Brainline will also be able to provide you with this, if you sign up with them

The last step after your application is a home visit with an official to verify your information, provide guidance and complete the final forms. You can find more information on homeschooling here.

Whatever your reasons for keeping your child at home, BrightSparkz can help you navigate this change, and support your child’s online learning, with their fantastic online tutors and [email protected] facilitators. Find out more about how they can help you.

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