Our family's story of homeschooling in South Africa
Looking back on the past twenty years, I have an enormous sense of gratitude for the 180° turn my life took. Homeschooling our two extremely active boys taught me a host of skills I would not have acquired otherwise. When the boys were born I owned and managed a custom software development corporation. It soon became evident that raising two boys and running custom software development endeavors were impossible balls to juggle! The decision to just focus on the boys was greatly accelerated by an unfortunate event, which compelled us to leave our home. We travelled to the Western Cape Province, via a waypoint called Elands bay. This minute fishing village is situated on the spectacular rugged West Coast of South Africa. We spent just over a year in this pristine environment. Our family's arrival augmented the population of this fishing village from 23 to 27! This was a profound experience! Our memories include long walks on endless beaches dotted with rock pools, abundant with life, a whale rescue, lobster walkout due to red tide, and witnessing several daring ocean recoveries. Some of the villagers had interesting stories to tell about how there forbears washed up on shore after being shipwrecked. My personal favourite was he gossip of how one of the oldest inhabitants was the first on the scene of a aircraft accident, which supposedly carried diamonds destined for the Queen, but the cargo was never found.
Our next destination was the foothills of the lovely Hottentot-Holland Mountain range. We lived in rural Stellenbosch, the headquarters of the South African wine, and fine cultured living. By this time we had 2 years learning the KONOS™ way, a Christian based Character Curriculum. In Stellenbosch we found solace with like-minded families who were all using the same curriculum. Our group continually varied in size, depending on which character traits were studied, we had more or less participants. All the families embraced the 5 D’s philosophy of KONOS™, which are Do, Discover, and Dramatize, Dialogue, Drill. Co-operative classes were planned, prepared and hosted in one of our houses. Field trips and monthly picnics were planned as to enhance the experience and the material at hand. Our family was richly endowed with many travels throughout Africa and her islands. Homeschooling have blessed and educated all of us, far beyond what my husband and I could have imagined at the outset. An expatriate, US based career opportunity was presented to my husband.
Meeting African Giants!
Upon moving to the USA in 2010, our family settled in Texas for one year. We seamlessly connected with other KONOS™ homeschool families. During this time, the boys and I embarked on a writing journey with the Institute in Excellence Writing™ (IEW). We completed IEW Structure and Style Curriculum™, with profound results. Yatri is reading Aerospace Engineering at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical Engineering University, Daytona Beach, FL., and Kahlil is at Florida Polytechnic University, Lakeland, Fl., focusing on Computer Science: Big Data Analytics. Having studied the Latin language, Classical literature and Mr. Andrew Pudewa’s stylistic techniques have positioned both young men to pursue rigorous academic fields. Both young men have mentored their peers who were somewhat ill prepared for college level writing challenges.
I am a proponent of keeping the HOME in homeschooling, as the ‘drop off’ culture resembles exactly what I as a homeschool parent wanted to distance myself from. The benefits from choosing a curriculum, centered on first hand experiences and real discovery, helped us raising two independent thinkers who have empathy and compassion. The non-competitive environment they were afforded eliminated fear and uncertainty, allowing for optimal learning experiences. Our family was truly blessed by the community and support from our fellow KONOS™ families.
Some of the pictures below is a glimpse into the hands-on discovery, farm day picnics, field trips.