The obvious choice in distance education

Since 1996

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HOW MUCH DOES HOMESCHOOLING COST?

After you have considered the wonderful benefits of homeschooling the next consideration for most parents is price. So how much does homeschooling in South Africa cost? The short answer is: much cheaper than school.

Private school fees in South Africa are far out of the price range of most families. And even if you can afford them, your child can still fall through the gaps and come home with hours and hours of homework for you to do with them and it leaves you wondering what you are even paying all those fees for. Not to mention the cost of uniforms, compulsory sport’s kits, travel to and from school each day and all the extra little expenses that really begin to add up. The fees of state schools have even begun to creep up to expensive levels for most.

Homeschooling means that you do not have the daily travel expense and there is no uniform to worry about. Eating lunch at home together can also be far cheaper than packing a lunch box each day with snacks and tuck shop money. The most significant saving, though, is on the school fees. Clonard’s fees for the entire year are similar to a single month’s fees at prestigious private schools!

A great example of the difference that homeschooling can make to your bank account is a story of a Clonard registered family. Both parents were working full-time and still battling to scrape through each month keeping their three children in a private school. After much deliberation they decided to homeschool their kids to ensure that they were not lost in the system. The decision was based upon their children’s education rather than cost, but the benefits to their pocket were incredible! Mom quit her job and stayed home with the kids to teach them while dad continued to work full-time. The family went from two incomes down to only one and yet they still had more “extra” money than when both parents were working, because the cost of school fees so greatly reduced.

Deciding to homeschool is not only a great decision for your child’s education, but it can also make a huge difference to your bank account as it often works out far cheaper than mainstream school fees.

WHAT PARENTS HAVE TO SAY

“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.”

“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.” 

"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."

“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 our son was able to keep up with his education despite his health issues.”

"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." 

“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.” 

“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!” 

BENEFITS OF HOMESCHOOLING

 

One-on-one attention
One of the major benefits of homeschooling is the one-on-one attention that the student receives. This can make all the difference for students that just seem to be falling through the cracks at a mainstream school. A homeschooling environment allows parents or tutors to spend as much as is needed on each concept and skill thus ensuring that the student fully grasps what is necessary before progressing to the next lesson. This means that marks can improve and in turn creates a boost in confidence which leads to a further improvement in marks.

Flexibility
Homeschooling through Clonard allows a great deal of flexibility. Exams do not have to be written at strict times during the year. This allows the child extra time to complete the work before writing the exams. Sometimes school work needs to fit around religious studies, sporting commitments or a medical condition. Learning
difficulties may necessitate the need for a bit of extra time to complete the syllabus each year. Whatever the reason may be, Clonard will be able to accommodate your family’s specific needs.

Safe and nurturing environment
In this age of technology our children are exposed to many unsuitable influences at a very early age. Many families from many different backgrounds and cultures choose to homeschool their children to protect them from this. At Clonard we believe religion is something that should be taught at home, so there is no religious content in
the Clonard curriculum. Another issue our children are faced with all too often at school these days is bullying. This is not only damaging to the child’s emotional well-being, but it can greatly negatively impact upon the child’s school work as well. A homeschooling environment can provide a safe haven for learning.

Travelling
Often families who are relocating to other countries for work may choose to homeschool their children whilst they are out of the country in order to ensure that they remain up to date with the education of South African schools. Families that are out of the country will have their exams/assessments emailed to them by Clonard and will return them via email. The flexibility of homeschooling your children with Cloanrd also means that you are able to travel around the world and go on holidays at any time of the year.

EXPATS AND HOMESCHOOLING

Many South African families are moving out of the country temporarily for work opportunities. Sometimes this is for just a few months and other times for a few years, before returning home to South Africa. Whilst living abroad one of the biggest decisions that parents need to make is how to educate their children.

Enrolment into local schools is not always possible as there are often language barriers to consider, no available school in the area or foreign students are not permitted access. International schools are very expensive and this is not an option for most families living abroad. Homeschooling is often the best choice, as it is cost effective and maintains the child’s South Africa curriculum education which adds consistency and allows children to easily return to schools in South Africa upon their return.

Clonard provides support to families living out of the country as our teachers and admin staff are available to assist parents via email and telephone no matter where in the world you are living. We will also email the exams and assessments to you and you may email them back to us for marking, thus avoiding any delays and issues with international postage. There is, however, an additional postage fee to send parcels of books out of the country so it is advised that parents receive their packs before relocating or upon return trips in the holidays.

If your family is considering relocating out of South Africa temporarily, for a few months or even many years, then an excellent option for your children’s education is homeschooling.

8 TIPS FOR ORGANISING YOUR KID’S ROOM

Having a proper strategy is very important when tackling the chore of organising your child’s room.  Below are some helpful (and do-able) tips to help you with the task.

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1. Involve them in the process
Children as young as three are eager to be involved and help you with the task. It may seem like letting them help will just slow you down, but it is important to get their input if you want them to be involved in keeping it tidy. If they are involved from the start then they are more likely to keep the room tidy as they feel ownership over the project and they know where everything belongs.

2. Let your kid give you a tour of their room
Start by letting them show you around and tell you about the areas in their room and the things in it. This will give you an idea of what they feel is most and least important and will help you to understand how they view the space.

3. Everything has a “home”
Talk about how stuff has a “home” and likes to be put back there every day. Children naturally personify things so asking them where they think something should live allows them to be involved and have some choice in the organisation process. A logical place to store their blocks might not be somewhere they think it should “live” so allowing them to choose the “home” for each item means that they are more likely to put it back there after play time. Asking your child to put something back in its home instead of “put that away” is a much more positive way of getting them to tidy up.

4. It is ok to let go of stuff
Give your child permission to let go of things that they don’t really want anymore. Children need to learn that it is ok to say no to things that they do not want anymore. Get a box to put things in for charity – telling your child that another child will love their toy and give it a good home is a much more positive way of dealing with decluttering than asking them to “get rid of it” or throw it away.

5. Start from the ground up
It is a good idea to start from the bottom up when decluttering a child’s room as that is where they spend a lot of time playing with their toys. Getting down to their level also helps to reinforce the idea that they are involved in the process. If children can easily see where the item’s new home is then they are more likely to put it back there after play.

6. Use storage boxes with no lids
Keeping various size storage boxes (plastic, cardboard, old shoe boxes, anything) on shelves in your child’s room will make it easier for them to keep things tidy. If they have to open a cupboard and then take a box that is stacked under another box and then still open hat box to put their toys away then they are far less likely to do it than if they simply pull out the box off a shelf and dump their toys in the top. You can even cover the boxes in wrapping paper and label them or colour code if you like.

7. Count down from ten
Turning clean-up time into a kind of game always helps! Have your kid count down from ten at the end of every day and pack one thing away each time then count down. By the end of the countdown ten things will be put away in their homes and your child will feel a sense of accomplishments. Remember to praise them for good behaviour.

8. Lead by example
As with most things, children learn very well from example. When they see you putting the breadboard back in its home (say the words: “now let’s put the breadboard back in its home”) then they learn through observing.

  

 

HOMESCHOOLING AND EXAMS

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One of the questions that parents considering homeschooling often ask is: what about exams? The Department of Education requires learners to be formally assessed and should parents decide not to do this then they could have a problem enrolling their children back into mainstream schools.

If parents choose to create their own eclectic curriculum at home using a variety of books purchased from shops as well as their own areas of study then the issue of exams may be stressful for parents. The DoE states that learners must be formally assessed at least at the end of every phase. This means that parents need to approach their local school and request that their child is assessed by the school at least at the end of grade 3, 6 and 9 (the end of each phase). This is not necessary for parents registered with Clonard, as our qualified teachers set and mark assessments and exams and formal reports are then issued.

Clonard exams are written at home under the watchful eye of parents and there is no need for children be assessed by their local school. This is one of the great benefits of choosing to homeschool your child using a formal curriculum provider such as Clonard. Our teachers make sure that all the necessary milestones and skills are tested at each grade to ensure that learners are adequately prepared to progress to the following grade. This gives parents piece of mind that their children are on the right track and will be able to easily return to mainstream school should they choose in the future. Writing the exams at home means that the anxiety caused by exams for so many learners is greatly reduced, which means happier children and most often better marks.

7 THINGS TO LEARN FROM KIDS

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1. Lighten up

Grown-ups tend to take everything so seriously. Kids know how to laugh and make a game out of just about anything. Chill out and have fun with little things each day to boost your happiness. Rake up a pile of leaves and then jump in them and throw them around – see the fun, not the chore.

2. Try new things
Aside from new vegetables, children are pretty eager to try new things such as climbing a tree, jumping off a rock, learning to swim or ride a bike. Drive down a new road sometimes, eat something that you have never tried before, have a go at oil painting or even learn to ride that bike!

3. Notice the beauty
Kids appreciate the details in life so much more than adults. Stop to smell the flowers, appreciate a view, or enjoy the music of a busker. We don’t have to always be in such a hurry! Take time to marvel at the wonder that is a bird in flight or the awesome formation of clouds overhead.

4. It’s ok to have ice-cream for breakfast (sometimes).

5. It’s ok to ask for help
Grown-ups are hesitant to ask for help and try for a long time before finally just asking for help. Sometimes we don’t ever ask as we feel like failures for having to do so. Kids are not so silly! They know that everyone needs help and asking for it is just another opportunity to learn. Don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it.

6. There is nothing better than splashing in puddles!

7. Make new friends
Kids are so brave when it comes to making new friends compared to adults. Some say children make friends more easily because they share things about themselves and their lives much more readily than adults and allowing oneself to be open with others makes it easier to form friendships. Kids also know that not all friends are there forever and that letting go of friendships and making new ones is nothing to be afraid of.

 

TONGUE TWISTERS TO TRY

Terrific Tongue Twisters

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tongue twisters are sentences or groups of words that are difficult to say.  They exercise a person’s speech ability and help to improve pronunciation and fluency.  Incorporate Tongue Twisters as a regular game in the family to help your children improve their diction and eloquence.

Start off slowly by concentrating on pronouncing each word properly and then after a few times of saying it well then see if you can increase your speed. Say it as fast as you can over and over again with the most accuracy possible.

 

Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers

A peck of pickled peppers Peter Piper picked

If Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers

Where’s the peck of pickled peppers Peter Piper picked?

 

She sells seashells on the seashore.

She sells seashells I’m sure.

 

I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream!

 

I saw Susie sitting in a shoeshine shop.

 

How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?

 

If a dog chews shoes, whose shoes does he choose?

 

Lesser leather never weathered wetter weather better.

 

Willie’s really weary (x5)

 

Red lorry, yellow lorry (x5)

 

Black back bat (x5)

 

TASTY SNACK IDEAS

Fruit Kebabs

Snack Packs

Smoothies

Lollies

Parfait

Mini Pizzas

Ants on a Log

Faux Sushi

HOMEWORK – IS IT REALLY NECESSARY?

It seems that each year school children are loaded with more and more homework and kids as young as grade 1 are staying up late just to finish it all! Not to mention the time that parents need to put in to help their children with homework. It can feel like it is all too much and one if left wondering if this is really the best idea.

There is plenty of evidence to suggest that too much homework is bad for children.

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If kids go from school to sport to other extra mural activities and then straight home to start on their homework before dinner, bath and bed then when do they play? When do they bond with their siblings and parents? When do they have fun? Physical and imaginative play are vital aspects of childhood development, but it seems that fewer children have the time to play during the week as they are overloaded with hours and hours of homework.

Homework is not all bad though – as it serves the purpose of solidifying information in a student’s mind so that that they can better access and use it in the future (moving the information from short-term working memory into long-term memory). Studies have shown that this is an effective way to help high school students to understand and remember what they learned in class, but it has much less benefit for primary school learners. In fact, there is growing evidence to support the idea that homework in primary school has a negative effect on children. Furthermore, giving children projects to complete is arguably the worst way of reinforcing knowledge – not to mention the fact that most parents are left to complete the time-consuming projects themselves after their children have grown weary and gone to bed or snuck outside to climb a tree.

In addition to the lost sleep and play due to the sheer amount of homework to be completed, children are also burdened with the emotional and psychological effects of all this homework. Anxiety and stress related to homework and school is increasing at a staggering rate and more and more children are buckling under the pressure. Most schools do not seem too concerned and continue to set large amounts of homework each and every day (even on a Friday). Parents are also left feeling like they are doing most of the teaching when helping their children to complete homework, despite the costly school fees paid each month. But what other option is there?

Homeschooling is the answer for many parents. Homework is not compulsory, school fees are not a huge blow and parents can teach their children in a safe and nurturing environment. Homework is an important aspect of the learning process in high school, especially in grade 10-12, but for primary school students it seems to be completely unnecessary. Drastically cutting back, or indeed eliminating homework entirely for primary school learners means that kids can be kids again and parents can spend quality time with their children in the afternoons instead of arguing over homework.

 

5 FUN HOLIDAY ACTIVITIES

 5 fun activities

  1. Have a picnic
    Get the kids to help make the snacks – little sandwiches, fruit skewers, devilled eggs and banana bites (slices of banana dipped in melted chocolate and frozen) – let your imaginations run wild.
    Put all the snacks in a basket or reusable shopping bag along with blankets and then find your spot.
    Lay out a blanket on the grass in your garden, at a park, or even just on your lounge floor.

  2. Pavement art
    Grab some chalk and hit the pavement, driveway or parking lot.
    A lovely creative activity that washes away with some water.

  3. Decorate a t-shirt
    Buy some fabric markers in fun colours and a plain white t-shirt.
    Draw, trace, colour and stencil your way to unique shirts that your kids can wear all holiday long! 

  4. Build a fort
    Blankets, sheets, cardboard boxes, tables, chairs and pegs are perfect building materials for your very own indoor fort.  Drape sheets over tables and chairs; tape boxes together and cut out doors; the sky (or ceiling) is the limit in this wonderfully fun activity for kids and grown-ups alike.

  5. Theatre day
    Make your own puppets and a “stage” and put on a play.
    Learn how to make all sorts of puppets and stages here.  There are so many different kinds of puppets that if your kids enjoy this then you could turn this into a whole week of fun!

BONUS IDEA: Have a dance party!
Put on some lively music and dance around the room.  Do it with your kids and have fun!  Use your whole body to move from the tips of your fingers to the ends of your toes – this is a great activity for physical development and the movement and music will be sure to put a smile on all your faces.

 

WHAT IS CAPS?

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The acronym stands for Curriculum Assessment Policy Statements. It is a national policy set out by the Department of Education that states what should be included in the curricula of schools for each grade in South Africa as well as how it is to be tested or assessed.

Registered schools in South Africa must adhere to this policy, both private and state schools. The implementation of CAPS meant that textbooks had to come with a detailed teacher’s guide that gave a week-by-week breakdown of what needed to be covered for each subject in each grade. This is great for homeschoolers as it means detailed work schedules, answers and strategies for teaching each subject are included in the textbooks.  The difference between private and state schools (aside from the fees) is the approach to teaching, student-teaching ratio, supplementary material created and provided to students and the way that the CAPS curriculum content is tested and examined.

At Clonard Education we include many additional worksheets, workbooks and rule books that provide extra practice for students as well as approaching topics slightly differently which helps students to better understand what they are learning. At an excellent school teachers are going above and beyond in creating worksheets and exercises for the students to do in class every day, and not simply relying on the CAPS textbooks – especially in the junior primary years. At Clonard we do the same and include extra material in your pack of educational material that goes above and beyond the CAPS curriculum.  Exams test knowledge, understanding and application and not simply rote learning. 

Following a CAPS based curriculum does not mean that students are limited.  In fact, we believe the opposite for our students.  As return to mainstream school at any time is easier because students have been doing the same syllabus. Due to the supplementary material provided and the high standard of examinations, Clonard students can move easily into mainstream school or a Cambridge international school. Using a CAPS based curriculum supplemented with additional extension work means that students have all options open to them in the future.

If you have any other questions about CAPS and homeschooling This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. today.

RELAX AND HAVE FUN WITH YOUR KIDS

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It is so easy to get caught up in the necessary routine of everyday life and that we often forget to have fun with our kids. Knowing when to chill out and have a laugh is tricky and learning how to switch off and just relax enough to actually have any fun is even more difficult!

Parenting is hard work. It is tiring. It is a full-time job. But it is also interesting and pleasantly challenging and it can be fun. So many of us grown-ups forget how to just have fun as we get older and begin to get bogged down with the daily stresses of adult life. Having kids around can help to teach us how to have fun again. Play with your children. Dress up and pretend to be different characters. Climb a tree (or just a big rock). Watch a favourite music video on repeat and try to learn the dance moves together. Play hopscotch. Make felt puppets. Build a puzzle. Finger paint. Play a board game. Or create an intricate scenario in your imaginations and play it out. Take cues from your child and allow them to lead the play. You may be surprised at how much they can teach you about having fun again.

Play is so important when it comes to development. Physical play of climbing, jumping, rolling and everything in between as well as imaginative and intellectually stimulating play. Play helps us to learn and to grow. Play helps us to become wholly developed adults. Play helps us to remember that having fun and enjoying our lives everyday makes it easier to get out of bed the next day and the next.

Smile, laugh and have fun with your children as often as you can! And if you are a grow-up that has forgotten how to have fun and play, let your kids teach you.

TOP STUDY TIPS

 

Below is a list of tried and trusted study tips to help your kids get through the exams and come out tops.

Quiet Space

Find a quiet space in your home that is free of distractions (both visual and aural) where your child can settle down and concentrate.  Take regular breaks in between to rest and move around.

Testing

After each section encourage your child to take a break then test them on what they have just learnt. They can go back over problem areas again before moving on to the next section.

Learning Styles

Some people are visual learners whilst others are auditory or kinaesthetic learners and some are a combination of the above. Each learning style has its own way of doing things.

Study Aids

Use appropriate study aids such as flow charts, spider diagrams, colour coded notes, audio recordings, or incorporate movement into the learning process. Learning style influences what aids work best.

Sleep

Remember to always get a good night's sleep.  This is when our brains organise and store information. Go over some important points before bed to really maximise this sleep benefit.

Repeat

The amount of times and duration of each study session depends on each individual child.  It is a good idea to have a certain time set aside each day leading up the exams for studying.  Sometimes it helps to create a detailed study timetable to stick to.

top tips for exams

THE IMPORTANCE OF POSITIVE WORDS

We all know the old rhyme: “sticks and stones can break my bones, but words can never harm me.” We also all know that words certainly can hurt us. By the same token positive words have an incredibly encouraging impact on a person’s confidence and are vital for a child’s healthy development.

Things that are said to a child, especially from their parents, becomes part of who they are so it is important to be aware of what we say. Positive affirmation has been proven time and again to be more effective than punishment in encouraging good behaviour. Positive words build a child up and create a nurturing environment within which they can thrive. We cannot underestimate the importance of positive words and encouragement for the well-being of all people, especially children.

happy smiling little girl

Try to tell your child each and every day that they are loved and that you are glad that they are part of your life. Praise them for a job genuinely well done and be as specific as possible in telling them why you are proud of them. Try also to be conscious of the words that you use when scolding your child. It is easy to be overwhelmed and to say things in the heat of the moment that we do not mean and that we later regret. It is impossible to always avoid these negative words, but when we our tempers do erupt it is important to acknowledge and to apologise for hurtful words said in anger. Instead of saying words like “don’t do that,” rather try to phrase it more positively by saying “let’s try to do it this way,” or “imagine how you would feel if…” By being conscious of your words and trying to phrase things positively your child can learn and develop their behaviour in a constructive way instead of always being told not to do things or feeling sad and hurt by constant negative words directed at them.

Remember that you too deserve positive words, so try to use kind words for yourself as well. It is easy to forget to be kind to ourselves, especially when we are overwhelmed, tired and constantly putting the needs of others above our own. Try to practise a positive way of thinking about yourself and this will not only help you to feel better (which your children will pick up on), but it will also make it easier for you to use positive words for your children.

HOMESCHOOLING AND SOCIALISATION

The most common question that many homeschooling parents get asked by family and friends is “but what about socialisation?”  There can be a stigma attached to homeschooling that children will somehow become strange antisocial creatures that have no idea how to interact with fellow human beings.  This could not be farther from the truth.

kids jumping

Wherever people gather there is going to be interaction, there is going to be socialisation.  Whether it is at the park or museum, at a cousin’s birthday party, soccer club, girl scouts, art classes, extra language lessons, or even just in the line at the shops – people talk to one another, children play and socialisation happens very naturally.  Human beings have evolved in groups and it is in our nature to seek human interaction and develop connections and bonds.  This process of socialisation is a core part of development and happens naturally in all our lives.  The idea that this can only happen in schools is a narrow one.  In fact, interaction with only other children and often only those the same age as us is rather abnormal when you think of it.  Throughout life we interact (socialise) with people of all ages – our parents, siblings, cousins, aunts, grandparents and friends.  We learn how to interact with one another and about social hierarchies that exist in groups of people.  Basically we learn about how to be humans in a group of humans, which is what people mean when they say the dreaded words: “what about socialisation?” 

Oftentimes children’s confidence gets crushed by peers at school and their desire to fit in overrides their desire to be themselves.  Homeschooling children are often better socialised in the sense that they are confidently themselves and can offer ideas and opinions without the fear of ridicule.  For most people, the fear of what others will think of us and what that will mean for our social standing at school kills our individuality and our belief in ourselves, our opinions and our choices.  Homeschooled children are largely free from the negative impacts of bullying, peer pressure and the burden of ‘fitting in’ so they are free to speak their minds, develop their own sense of self and even wear the fun accessories or clothes that mainstream school children are too afraid do to. 

Do not be worried about what homeschooling will mean for the socialisation of your child.  You can ensure that they interact with others in a meaningful and conscious manner by organising play dates, visiting public spaces, joining common interest groups and participating in extra mural activities.  Perhaps next time somebody expresses their deep concern to you about the socialisation of your homeschooled child, you can respond by asking them what mainstream school ‘socialisation’ is doing to their children!

 

Healthy breakfast ideas for busy parents

Banana Crumpets

 Egg Muffins

Chia Pudding

LEGITIMACY OF HOMESCHOOLING

Homeschooling is legal in South Africa. The Department of Education has a number of requirements for homeschooled learners and parents such as attendance records, continuous assessment portfolios and testing of skills in the various phases of education. Clonard Education is a homeschooling curriculum provider that makes sure that all departmental requirements are adhered to.

Parents that wish to send their children back to a mainstream school after homeschooling are able to do so using our formal reports. Our reports hold weight as our qualified teachers set and mark the exams and assessments and can be used to enrol children into schools. We make sure that main textbooks used are all CAPS approved and the subjects covered in each grade are in line with the department’s requirements. This all ensures a seamless transition back into a mainstream school. In order to ensure no difficulty in acceptance, we recommend that parents also register as homeschoolers with the DoE and you can read about that in our previous blog post.

Clonard has over 20 years of experience in putting together homeschooling curricula for parents to successfully teach their children at home. Our world-class service and support coupled with our excellent educational material, high standards of testing and formal reports means that all children homeschooled with Clonard can easily return to a mainstream school in the future.

Homeschooling registration with the DoE

man at home paperwork

Parents are encouraged to register their children as homeschoolers with the Department of Education in South Africa.  Students registered with a curriculum provider, such as Clonard, are not automatically registered with the DoE.  Unfortunately, the DoE requires parents to register their children themselves. 

Students in grade R and those 16-years-old and over are not required to be registered.  Clonard will be able to provide parents with the relevant contact details of the DoE officials responsible for registrations (each province is different).  Parents contact the official and let them know that they are homeschooling their child/children; they will be asked why; registration forms will be sent to parents via email for completion and return (parents are advised to make copies before returning them and to have a proof of delivery signed or to send them via registered post); the forms are processed and then a DoE official will contact parents to arrange a home visit.  This home visit is to check that the child’s education is being taken seriously, that they have a desk to work on, proper textbooks to work from and that they are being taught by their parents at home.  After the home visit there is some more processing to do and then the DoE will send parents a letter advising them of successful departmental registration as a homeschooler and will provide an official registration number for each child.

This departmental registration number, coupled with an official Clonard report, will ensure that students are accepted back into mainstream schools in the future.  For this reason it is advisable that parents make the time to go through the bureaucratic process of registering their children with the DoE.  It may take a while, the forms can be tedious to complete (we are always there to help) but in the end it is worth the effort as parents have the peace of mind that their children have all options available to them in the future. 

Creating a nurturing learning environment

Children can be under immense pressure at school to succeed, fit in, catch up, move quickly and compete for attention. More and more parents are finding themselves faced with a child complaining of a sore tummy every Monday morning. We hear stories of terrible bullying and sometimes even humiliation by teachers. Students are often too scared to put up their hands and tell the teacher that they did not understand as they are afraid of ridicule by their peers or are simply terrified of any sort of public speaking. These conditions are hardly conducive to a happy, encouraging learning environment and it often results in learners being “left behind” and falling through gaps. Prolonged emotional and psychological stress often means that children steadily withdraw deeper into their shells and are not the same happy children that their parents once knew. So what can you do to help create a nurturing learning environment for your child?

Some argue that the most important thing that you can do is be present in their lives and keep communication open whilst providing a stable, loving environment at home. It can be difficult to get your kids to talk about their feelings or experiences, especially if they are negative experiences at school. Try to ask them every day how their day was and what happened in it. You can reciprocate and tell them about your day and what you did and things that may have happened that made you anxious or sad. This could help them to feel that it is ok to have bad days or to talk about things that make them feel bad. It is important for children to know that they have a safe and loving environment in which they can share their feelings and experiences honestly. Really try to listen to your child and let them do the talking. They will most often come to the solution themselves. Try not to jump straight to giving advice or trying to solve their problems for them. Use the “clucking” method by saying making sounds of acknowledgement and encouragement and words such as “yes, I see” etc. This will encourage your child to continue talking and give you the opportunity to continue listening. Remember not to react strongly and judge them or shout, as this would only further discourage them from talking to you. This gives you a chance to potentially identify any bullying and negative experiences around school.

You can also talk to them about what they learned that day and become interested in what they are doing. If you are excited about their school work and what they are learning about then they may get excited as well. Ask questions so that they can explain things to you – this will help to ensure that they properly understand the concepts and it helps to reinforce the knowledge in their brains.

Another way that you can help to create a nurturing learning environment is to attend parent-teacher evenings to get a chance to meet your child’s teacher and get a sense of what sort of person they are. It is good to know how the teacher feels about your child and any difficulties that they may have noticed during the school day. You can also be involved in their homework time, helping them and letting them know that you are there for them and that you believe in them. You could quiz them when they are learning for a test or make them a little treat to help them when they are studying for an exam just to let them know that you are thinking about them and that you support their efforts for their education.

Sometimes parents are faced with a seemingly hopeless situation where endless meetings with teachers, principals and other parents do nothing to improve bullying or another bad situation at school. Sometimes changing schools is not an option or perhaps you have already tried it to no avail. There are alternatives to mainstream schooling. Homeschooling is becoming an ever more viable option for parents in creating a safe and nurturing environment for their children. Educating your children at home allows you to provide a loving environment where your child feels cared for and confident to ask questions. This one-on-one attention allows them to properly grasp concepts before moving on to the next section, which ensures that they have a solid foundation upon which to build their school career. Having somebody who believes in them and has a vested interest in their lives and education can really make the world of difference to a child, and indeed to us all. Their confidence will grow and their marks will more than likely improve. Most importantly, they will blossom into the happy individual that they were meant to be.

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Testimonials

  • “I would like to commend the staff, whom I had the pleasure of dealing with, Amy, Bibi and Bernice to name a few, who went above and beyond to assist us. The staff and teachers have proven that service delivery still exists and money isn’t their core business ethic like many other companies these days. I would recommend Clonard in a heartbeat over any other system.” ~ Bibi Hoosain 

  • “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

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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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