For starters, I’m NOT superstitious, and I don’t believe in lucky or unlucky numbers. If I did, though, I’d pick 13 just to be contrary.
That out of the way, happy new year! The new year and new month and new week are all here, and with them come some goals:
- This year I will break through the 5km run barrier – running non-stop for 5km (instead of about 1/3 of that, as I do now). And I will run it in 30 mins or less.
- This year I will be more organised – in EVERYthing. School. House. Work. Exercise.
- This year I will have a weekly date night with my husband.
- This year I will keep my blogs updated more regularly.
This last one may result in some rather short, “light” posts, but I do want this blog to serve as a journal of our frugal home education journey, and it can’t do that if I never update it.
So there it is: 2013’s goals formalised and announced. The rest of today is dedicated to itemising the plans in detail – in spreadsheets and my diary. After that, all that remains is to follow through!
- Gen. 1-3 (creation and the fall of man – a sobering way to start the day).
- Phil. 4:
4 Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice.
8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.
The message was: “choose a positive attitude and focus on the good God does in your life each day”.
It seems to me that fewer people are willing to take responsibility for themselves and their families than ever before. When I read the news (which is hardly ever, if i can help it), I am astonished by the problems people cause themselves – especially when God’s Word, which they reject as boring and judgmental, has the answers to each of their problems.
Here are the few that took my breath away today, before I closed my browser window:
A 33-year-old Tennessee man has managed to father 30 children with 11 different women. Having only a minimum wage job, he is unable to support himself, let alone the children he is legally responsible for. As a result he is appealing to the State for financial aid. Some principals come leaping to mind. For instance, be the husband of one wife (Titus 1:6); don’t commit adultery (Exodus 20:14); take care of your family. And of course: live within your means.
Proverbs 5:15 KJVDrink waters out of thine own cistern, and running waters out of thine own well.
Proverbs 6:32 KJVBut whoso committeth adultery with a woman lacketh understanding: he that doeth it destroyeth hisown soul.
Proverbs 25:28 KJVHe that hath no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down , and without walls.
A doctor in Spain performed an abortion on a lady who returned, just three months later, for another abortion, thinking she was pregnant again. However, it was the same pregnancy as the first abortion had failed. The baby was born healthy and the courts insisted the doctor pay for the bills, refund the abortion, and pay child support for the baby.
This one is particularly horrifying to me. Whatever the circumstances, murdering an innocent baby is never acceptable. Give it up for adoption if necessary. Or, better yet, don’t perform actions that could cause you to fall pregnant if you don’t want to fall pregnant. Surely this isn’t a difficult concept?
Exodus 20:13 KJV Thou shalt not kill .
- Status: Multiple
Homeschooling is legal according to South African national law, but individual provinces have the authority to set their own restrictions.The SA Schools Act requires parents to register their children for education at home. In practice however, most provincial departments do not have the administrative capability to register children for home education. Some of the larger provincial departments have limited administrative capabilities to register children for home education. Unfortunately the officials in those departments have a limited understanding of home education and the law on home education. Due to this, these officials often require parents to meet all sorts of requirements that are not stipulated by the law. As a result of this situation, more than 90% of homeschooling parents do not register with the department.
The South African Home School Curriculum Guide has the following to say:
In South Africa, research done at the University of South Africa (UNISA) by Ms. Dierdre Bester has found that children who receive home education perform much better in academics than their school counterparts and that they are very well adapted socially as well.Her comprehensive research paper is called “The effect of home schooling on the social development and academic performance of the pre-adoscelent”.She also found that there are a lot of positive effects on children who are home educated in that
Home educated children have :
- · a greater sense of responsibility
- · a positive self-image
- · improved self confidence
- · a positive outlook on life
- · better time management skills
- · own opinion formation and better decision making ability
- · the ability to define and pursue own goals
- · an independent work attitude
Bester also stated that one must never assume that positive socialization happens in schools – in fact quite the opposite can be true.
Homeschoolers can usually :
- · relate better than average both horizontally and vertically
- · take leadership positions often
- · has positive role models
- · have the tendency to build quality friendships and
- · their self image is not dependent on group pressure
Now, I realise that I said I wouldn’t blog about the state of education any more, but this article can’t really pass without comment.
To read the full article, click here.
“… academic and struggle heroine Mamphela Ramphele said that South Africa’s education system is worse today than the “gutter education” the country had under the apartheid government. … She lashed out at the 30% pass benchmark, saying it degraded education standards and was used for political purposes.”
How can 30% be an acceptable pass mark? People question how my kids will get into university without a conventional matric. My question is, how would they get into university WITH a conventional matric?
Nope, no doubt about it, this life choice is giving the girls the best possible chance in life.
I actually think I won’t post stuff like this after today. Any and all reservations I’ve ever had about my decision to home educate my children has gone completely. So I’ll end this series of thoughts on this sad news note, posted on News24 on Wednesday the 21st of March.
DA leader Helen Zille described a situation in which a teacher’s right to strike was more entrenched than a student’s right to learn as a “human rights scandal”. Zille was speaking at a Human Rights Day march in Port Elizabeth on Wednesday.
In a separate news article the ANC countered that she was overreacting, which just goes to show the extent of the problem, I suppose.
This blog is in no way intended to be politically driven or motivated or focused, so I won’t way more on this, You can read the full article here: http://www.news24.com/SouthAfrica/Politics/School-disruptions-a-human-rights-scandal-Zille-20120321
Whenever I find articles that used to keep me up at night, worrying about my kids, and now lull me to blissful, tranquil sleep as I know I’ve done the right thing, I try to share them here. This blog is my record of the home education journey we’re on, as well as a potential resource for other newbies on the way.
Today a friend on Facebook (who is actually very supportive of formal, traditional education in general: she is about to become a qualified teacher, both her parents are teachers, and both her kids are (and will always be) in school), posted this article link on Facebook.
The author comments that in today’s world, he doesn’t know if he would send his children to a South African school, particularly for the later high school years.
Obviously I agree.
What really struck me were these two paragraphs:
Second, all universities, as a result, spend huge amounts of management time discussing the problem of what in my business we call ‘throughput rates.’ We worry, as university leaders, about the large numbers who drop out or repeat courses and years, simply because we made the mistake of believing that a pass in Grade 12 means a student is qualified to study at university. We are penalised in the government subsidy for high failure and drop-out rates, and we scramble every year to improve the throughput rate. We fail to do this effectively.
Third, students graduate from weaker universities with the same conceptual and skill limitations with which they came through school. Where does this deficiency show up? In the workplace. Talk to any employer in business and industry and they will tell you the same story: today’s graduates are weak, even incompetent, in the basic skills of reasoning, writing, and computing; they cannot work in teams; they are inarticulate in public; they cannot solve complex problems; they lack the rigour of hard work; there is, in other words, a huge gap between what the school or university diploma says, and what graduates can actually do in the real world.
It’s a long read but eye-opening and worth the trouble. Read it over here.
Did you know that over 50 000 South African parents home educate their children? That is not a small number.
There are a lot of reasons for home schooling one’s children. We don’t have just one reason behind our decision, and I’m sure that is true of most, if not all, home schooling families. Some of our reasons included:
- Financial considerations. No matter how you look at it, home schooling costs less than traditional schooling, and you have the opportunity to provide a much higher standard of education than many of the local schools offer.
- Concerns about peer pressure and stress. We were concerned that the challenges facing children from both peers and teachers were both damaging and unnecessary, and certainly not conducive to developing a love of learning in our children.
- Labeling. With one child classified “ADD” and one child deemed to be physically delayed, I felt the girls were being unfairly marginalised and not developed to their full potential. No one likes to be stigmatised for any reason.
- Curriculum. I have been getting more and more concerned about what is actually being taught to my children. For one thing, I don’t think the standards in local schools are high enough. For another thing, important facts are being ignored or completely altered. Also, I am a staunch creationist and I intend that my children should know this truth about the universe, too. Staying in a local school would not achieve this. For the girls to be honest about what they believe, they would have failed classes in school. The alternative was to lie. Neither of these is an acceptable outcome to me.
These are just some of the reasons we chose to home school, and I’m sure ever home schooling family can add their own reasons to the list. But this week the news media seems to be on my side, inadvertently adding to the list of good reasons to home school:
For starters, when commenting on the 100% pass rate achieved by the matriculants of the Oprah Winfrey academy for girls, the world-famous talk show host expressed concerns that the standard of education in this country is too low. (Read the article here).
Then there were the widespread reports of first-day chaos around the country. No spaces in schools. Not enough resources: textbooks, stationery, uniforms, chairs, tables. Kids not registered and trying to sneak into schools. Kids who can’t get to school unless they swim across the local river. Seriously. Not enough teachers. How does the school year start without all of these things in place? It’s unfathomable how unprepared the schools are, and scary for the poor children missing out on their right to education. (Read more here).
And then finally, today I read an article about Richard Dawkins celebrating his UK victory over creationists by essentially having the teaching of creation banned in schools. Not exactly, but they lose funding if they teach it. According to Dawkins, evolution is scientific fact while creation is nothing more than myth. Without going into the masses of detailed proof that creation is true, it’s simpler to point out that evolution is nothing more than a theory. Even evolutionists can’t agree on the basics, so what makes it more right than creation? There’s more on this subject at the Answers in Genesis website.
However, the debate between evolution and creation is not the point of this post or this blog. The point is that this kind of action provides a very good motivation for taking the kids out of main stream schools and teaching them myself. Which is what I’d better go and do now, rather than updating my blog any further.