The challenges faced by home-schooling are not the same for each subject. Mathematics and English for example, if taught by a competent person at home, will not put the learners at a significant disadvantage compared with those at traditional schools. Physical and Biological Sciences, however, rely heavily on practical experiments which require a science laboratories. A learner, who is taught Science at home is, therefore, at a great disadvantage when compared with their school-going counterparts.
Various technological devices and platforms, such as desktops, laptops, tablets, Smart TVs, YouTube, and various educational applications, are already used by home learners. Hughes (2014) asserts that a significant part of home schooling involves leveraging modern information technology to better deliver educational material. Science experiments can be incorporated in a structured and coordinated fashion in the homes. These experiments, however, should be in line with those set in the national curriculum.
For technology to succeed in this case, parents should forge partnerships with the Department of Basic Education or the private education sector. South African regulations determine that public schools have to support home learners if the infrastructure allows them to do so, (Brynard 2007: 96, Huysamer, 1998:2). Brynard (2007:83) has found that co-operation between the education authorities and home schoolers was in the best interest of the latter.
As an illustration, an expert science teacher from the public or private school can conduct experiments using live video streaming technologies for home learners. According to Brynard (2007: 84), different forms of information technology as an instructional media makes home schooling more accessible than in the past. The use of IT in the demonstration of science experiments will go a long way in advancing adequate learning of science subjects in the home schooling environment.
Contribution by: Linda Maphango (9208962Y)
- Bryan S, 2014. Home schooling as an open-learning educational challenge in South Africa. South African Journal of Education, Vol 27 (1) 83 – 100.
- Hughes M, 7 April 2014. 4 Ways Homeschoolers Use Technology To Teach and Educate Their Children. makeuseof.com/tag/4-ways-homeschoolers-use-technolgoy-teach-educate-children/. Accessed on 04 May 2015.
- Huysamer B, 1998. Draft regulations for the registration of learners for education at home. Bloemfontein: Free State Department of Education. (Unpublished)