The obvious choice in distance education

Since 1996

The obvious choice in distance education

Since 1996

Frequently Asked Questions

 

Home Education

1. What is home education?
Home education is the education of children by their parents in their own home.

2. Is home education legal?
Yes, in 1996 it became legal for parents to teach their own children at home.  The Department of Education permits parents to call in the assistance of a tutor or facilitator where necessary on a part-time basis.

3. How is home education monitored by the government?
The Department of Education is in the process of formalising home education.  The DoE would like you to register your child as a homeschooler with your provincial education department.  We will provide you with the necessary contact details in your Admin Guide.  Although there is no formal accreditation for grade R-9 we have a good reputation with the department and Umalusi.  All our textbooks are compliant with CAPS (Curriculum and Assessment Policy Statement) as laid out by the Department of Education.

4. Why choose home education?
Many parents choose home education for a variety of reasons.  The following are some of those reasons:  a poor level of education in schools; over-crowded classrooms; lack of discipline; drugs; bullying; financial reasons; proximity to a suitable school; religious reasons (we believe that religion is a personal matter so there is no religious content in the Clonard curriculum).

The Department of Education

1. Is it necessary to register my child with the Department of Education?
Yes, it is recommended to register with the Department of Education from grade R-9, but compulsory from grade 9 onwards.  Further education institutions such as mainstream high schools will not always accept students who are not previously registered with the Department of Education.

2. Will Clonard register my child with the Department of Education?
No, parents are required to do this themselves.

3. How do I register with the Department of Education?
You need to request registration forms from your provincial education department.  Department contact details are provided in the Admin Guide in your curriculum.  Registration can be a slow process so we recommend that you start with the work and then apply to the department.  Our programme is well known to the department officials and we are in line with the National CUrriculum Statement.

About Clonard

1. How long has Clonard been around?
At first Clonard provided material to help parents to teach their children to read before going to school.  When homeschooling became legal in 1996, we joined the market.

2. Where does Clonard’s strength lie?
We feel our strength lies in the quality of our teachers and the material produced by them.  The examinations are set and marked by the teachers, who write a detailed report for each paper they mark.  The teaching of reading through us is a major strength.  We have a very comprehensive set of phonetic reading books that take a child from knowing nothing about reading to reading anything in the library.  With the one-on-one attention from their parents and a system that works, young children learn to read very quickly and easily.  We take great pride in the high standards that we maintain in all subjects across all grades.

Our curriculum

1. What grades does Clonard offer?
We offer the full curriculum in line with CAPS, including exams and assessments, from grade R-9.  Thereafter we offer support for Cambridge IGCSE (grade 10 and 11 equivalent) including textbooks, assessments and trial exams.  We will also be offering the Cambridge AS and A levels (matric and post-matric equivalent) in the next couple of years.

2. Does Clonard go to matric?
Clonard will be offering support for the Cambridge As levels in the next couple of years.  This is an international qualification that is a matric equivalent.

3. What languages are provided in the curriculum?
English is the medium of instruction from Grade R-9 and it is studied at first language level.  Afrikaans is studied by the majority of our students at second language level - please contact us if you are interested in substituting another language in its place.  isiZulu second language vocabulary is provided in Grades 4-6 for all students.  isiZulu is offered as a first language subject to students in grade 4-9.  Please note that all other subjects are studied in English.

4. Is Clonard a self-study curriculum?
No, it is not self-study.  It is a parent directed curriculum.  The parent must be in the house, but not necessarily hovering over the children when they are carrying out exercises and working through problems.  The work cannot be left solely to the children to teach themselves, a parent or tutor must be involved providing instruction and directions, explaining concepts, and guiding the children’s progress through the textbooks.

5. Is home schooling suitable for a remedial child?
We do not currently offer a remedial option.  We are hoping to be able to do so soon.  
We currently do not offer any concessions to students and scribes are not permitted.  
Sometimes, however, all these children need is a bit of extra attention and some time with a remedial professional.  Remedial children need a very specific hands-on approach from a trained remedial teacher in a one-on-one relationship; so please note that you will need to seek assistance from a professional.  Parents are not necessarily the best to provide this as they are emotionally involved with their own children and tend to get frustrated and impatient.

6. Is the Clonard curriculum suitable for families living out of the country?
Yes, you can be any in the world and educate your child using the Cloanrd curriculum.  Unfortunately, we cannot send your pack out of the country so we will need a South African address to send your pack to.  Exam papers, posted twice a year, are written at home and returned for marking - we will send these to you via email instead of the post if you are out of the country.

Purchasing information

1. Can parents view the material before purchasing?
Yes, material can be viewed or collected at our premises in Springfiled Park, Durban, KwaZulu-Natal.  Please call us to make an appointment (031 764 6480).

2. Does the curriculum come with all the educational books that I will need?
Yes, all textbooks, workbooks, teacher’s guides, worksheets etc. are included in the pack.  No additional material will need to be purchased from us.  Exams/assessments are also included in your fees.  You will need to purchase your own stationery and jotters etc. (also available from Clonard as an optional extra).

3. Is it possible to pass material down to younger siblings in the family?
Yes, the textbooks can be passed down, but parents are called upon to register these younger children with us for exams and new workbooks as these cannot be reused from year to year.  A reduction in curriculum prices is offered for each book that will be passed down, thus reducing the cost for each subsequent child registered with us.

4. Can material for individual subjects be purchased?
Unfortunately not, as we only provide full curricula.  Afrikaans Second Language is the only subject that may be purchased individually.

5. How much does the Clonard curriculum cost?
Please see our price list

6. Do I need to be in South Africa to educate my child through Clonard?
No, you can be anywhere in the world.  We will communicate with you via email and your exams will be sent electronically instead of in the post.  You will, however, need to provide us with a South African address to send your books to.

Parents as teachers

1. Do I need to be a qualified teacher to teach my child?
No, you do not need to be a qualified teacher.  Our curriculum is fully structured and set out for parents to easily follow, and we provide full support throughout the year, thus making it possible for anyone to educate their children.  It is legal for parents to homeschool their children in South Africa.

2. Do home schooled children need to do homework?
This decision needs to be made by the parents.  Many parents feel it is a good habit to develop in case the children go back to mainstream school.  Many other parents feel that all work should be completed in the school day and the evenings should be left for family time and recreation.

3. Is Clonard a self-study curriculum?
No, it is not self-study.  It is a parent directed curriculum.  The parent must be in the house, but not necessarily hovering over the children when they are carrying out exercises and working through problems.  The work cannot be left solely to the children to teach themselves, a parent or tutor must be involved providing instruction and directions, explaining concepts, and guiding the children’s progress through the textbooks.

4. What assistance does Clonard provide for parents?
Clonard is directed by qualified teachers, each with wide experience in schools.  Every pack contains a Parents’ Guide and Teacher’s Manual, covering many topics that are relevant to homeschooling parents.  Weekly schedules as well as teaching instructions assist parents in keeping track of their task.  Answer manuals (including explanations and calculations) for every text book are also provided.  In addition, there is a help line to every subject teacher available throughout the year.  Assessments and exams are set and marked by our teachers, and we send out a report after each set of exams.

The home as a classroom

1. Is it important to start the curriculum at the beginning of the school year?
No, the curriculum can be ordered at any time of the year, but new registrations do close by September each year.  Please contact us to discuss your specific needs.  The child begins at week 1 and works steadily week by week until week 18 when half year exams are written; work then continues until week 36 when final exams are written.  Students from grade 4-9 may also join us at the start of the third term and will not be required to write our mid-year exams if they have a mid-year report from a school.

2. Is it permissible to take a break or a holiday at any time in the year?
Yes, it is permitted.  We have several young sports stars on the curriculum and this suits them very well, as they work when they are at home and take a break when they are out of the country.  Sometimes it takes them more than a year to complete one grade, and this is acceptable to us.  Parents can take their children on holiday at any time of the year as long as they continue from where they left off.  It is also possible to take your work with you and continue to complete your child's education whilst travelling.

3. If children work quickly can school hours be reduced?
No, we do not recommend this.  All children within a grade should work for the same number of hours.  If they work quickly, then they should be given extra work.  If children work slowly, they are expected to put in the same number of hours.  If the work provided in the weekly schedule is too much, reduce the pace and delay writing the exams.

4. May we skip grades or do two grades at once?
We do not recommend this.  Each year builds upon the previous, and missing one year’s curriculum negatively impacts upon your child’s future.  If the curriculum is not challenging enough for your gifted child then it is better to supplement their extra time with additional work rather than skipping whole grades.

5. Must I complete a grade in a year?
You may take as long as you need to complete each grade.  Sometimes circumstances such as extensive travel, sport training, or speed of learning make it necessary to take more than a year to complete a grade.  This is allowed on our curriculum.

Clonard as a school

1. Does Clonard provide reports?
Yes, we provide reports reflecting subject marks and aggregates just as in mainstream schools.  We make sure that we stay up to date with the pass requirements set out by the DoE.  Our reports provide an accurate record of your child’s education and can be used to enrol at mainstream schools should you so wish.

2. Are there exams/assessments?
Yes, exams/assessments are written twice a year for the older grades and once a year for the foundation phase.  We send the exams/assessments to you to be written under exam conditions and you send them back to be marked by our qualified teachers.  Continuous assessments are also performed throughout the year forming a continuous assessments portfolio, which is in line with the requirements from the DoE as well as providing a record of progress should it be required by an educational body/institution.

 

Testimonials

  • “Everyone at Clonard has been exceptionally helpful, professional, good hearted, kind and patient with both my son and I when I needed it the most.  It has been a pleasure dealing with Clonard and an experience that I will never forget.” ~ Shaamila Safedien

  • “I have really enjoyed the time we have spent working through your wonderful materials. Thank you for all your support and help in the homeschooling process.”
    ~ Tamryn Paterson

  • "The kids are so looking forward to finishing school with Clonard. Your system works! The kids have learned so much because the work is set out well and it is easy to understand."
    ~ Nicola Shore

  • “We have had the most amazing year home schooling with Clonard! I am deeply grateful to Clonard for providing us with such a comprehensive syllabus so that Aidan was able to keep up with his education despite his health issues.”
    ~ Debra & Russell Orffer-Brown

  • "I believe that homeschooling - when done in the disciplined and methodical manner which Clonard's system makes so easy - should be considered by all parents fortunate enough to have the opportunity.  It is a very easy programme to follow and very well planned.  The staff are always friendly and very accomodating."
    ~ Lorraine Windsor

  • “An educational psychologist advised us that our grade 7 son would not be able to go on to obtain a matric. We refused to accept that and thanks to three years of one-on-one tuition using the Clonard curriculum he returned to a mainstream school and achieved his matric. He then went on to attend a computer college where he was top of his class! We know that Clonard works and is easy to follow and teach if you are not a qualified teacher.”
    ~ Sheelagh and John Tingle

  • “The Clonard ladies are just the most professional people I have had the pleasure of dealing with!”
    ~ Vanessa Jorge

  • “My daughter went off to high school at the beginning of this year after six years of home education with Clonard from the time she was just 8 years old.  She has done so well, academically and socially, achieving a good solid B aggregate for the first term and doing particularly well in Maths.  She is at one of the best-rated schools in our province which makes her achievement (and Clonard’s) particularly striking.  I wanted to say a big thank you to everyone at Clonard for the years of guidance and help.  During our six years of home education, it was wonderful to know that help and advice was always just a phone call away. Thank you so much!”
    ~ Louise

  • “I want to extend my sincerest gratitude to you and Clonard for the exceptional service and support that you have rendered to us.  Thanks again and I will most certainly recommend Clonard to anyone who is considering distance learning for their children.”
    ~ Yusuf Gani

  • “This is Sara's last year at Clonard, she will be starting at our local high school next year.  Our headmaster is very impressed with her marks and says her marks are even better than some of the children that come from the private schools.  So thank you for such a wonderful syllabus and all Clonard's help and support.”  
    ~ Diane Weitsz

  • “We want to compliment your team and the excellent syllabus that you provided for our daughter over the years which enabled her to score an A in her entrance test for Grade 8.  Please express our appreciation and heartfelt thanks to all.  We will readily recommend the school to anyone for the excellent support and commitment.”
    ~Ismail & Roogsana Jhazbhai

  • “I am extremely happy about having chosen to educate my son through Clonard.  Clonard staff have always been ready to help me, whether it was with applications for the Department of Education or to repeatedly remind me of my son's student number.  I would gladly recommend Clonard to anyone looking to home school their children.”
    Zaheera Jooma

  • "Tom is a potent reader, at the age of 9 he reads all newspapers and National Geographics. He reads quickly with a sharp understanding of what he is reading. I thank Clonard for leading him to this point, those early reading books were fantastic."
    ~ Osnat de Villiers

  • "I have tried other curriculums and found that they did not provide the same excellent service that I have experienced through Clonard.  The staff are efficient, friendly and helpful and the teachers are always available if you have any concerns or if you just need some advice.  The curriculum takes care of every aspect of your child's education, the books are easy to follow for the parent and the child, which makes it so much more fun and in turn achieves better results.  I would recommend Clonard Education to anyone who is looking at home schooling their children, it is a reputable provider that obtains amazing results, and leaves the parent at peace knowing that every avenue of their child’s education is in good hands."
    ~ Tamara Seagreen

  • "Setting a high standard and laying a sound foundation for your children's future." 
    ~ Ackermann family

  • "Clonard provided me with everything I needed to Homeschool my son and my daughter.  Neither one ever went to public school.  I am not a formally trained teacher, but Clonard provided me with the learning material and teacher support that I needeed.  My children have never lacked in any area and my 18yr old son has grown in responsibility and maturity far beyond his years as a result of homeschooling.  He now leads and guides 3 full installation crews, is well adjusted and outgoing with others.  Thank you Mike, Virginia and your team for your unfailing support throughout my years as a homeschooling mother." 
    ~ Fiona

  • "We are finding the course material easy to use and our little one is enjoying the work. I have actually been wanting to let you know, that we had our little one assessed recently, by a Grade 1 teacher at a local school.  Firstly she far prefers your work books to the work books that they are provided with.  She also felt that the standard of your work is far higher than in the average classroom, and after having looked through my sons books she feels that he is for more advanced than the children in her Grade 1 classroom.  I owe that all to Clonard.  Your books give just enough to keep the children stimulated and enough repetition to ensure that they fully understand the concept, without me having to spend hours finding additional worksheets etc.  Well done on a great curriculum." 
    ~ Jacqui Botes

Contact Details

E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Tel:  (+27) 031 764 6480
Fax: 086 693 8593

Physical address:
1A Shalee Park 
53 Ebonyfield Avenue
Springfield Park, 4051

Postal address:
P. O. Box 74009
Rochdale Park
4034

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