#LockdownSA: Why home-schooling is beneficial during the lockdown

One of the beauties of life is that, you never stop learning. Be it in a classroom, the outside world or simply at home. Right now, we are facing one of the most devastating pandemics in our lifetime, one that will be noted in the history books to come. Earlier this month, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced a 21-day lockdown to prevent the continuous spread of COVID-19. This in turn, has prohibited our children from attending school as scheduled, disrupting their routine of learning and education. With an unexpected turn of events, it is important to find means of working around it, by adapting to change and embracing it, especially as parents and caregivers. I propose the essentiality of home-schooling and how it can be beneficial during times of social distancing.

To put simply, home-schooling is structured education and learning at the home of the learner, without the need of a school as a facility. In South Africa, home- schooling is legal:

“Parents or guardians have the primary responsibility for the education of their children, … Parents have an inalienable right to choose the form of education which is best for their children, particularly in the early years of schooling, whether provided by the state or not, subject to reasonable safeguards which may berequired by law.” (Notice 196 of 1995, Department of Education)

Parents or caregivers must be registered with the

Department of Education to be eligible to home-school their children at home. There are also other channels, such as online distant learning that are available for home- schooling.

Benefits of Home-schooling

One-to-one interaction and learning: your child is able to work in their own pace whilst receiving the appropriate amount of attention in order to understand the curriculum efficiently. They are also able to receive the help and assistance they need quicker. You can focus more in-depth on specific subject areas that your child may be struggling with.

Flexibility: you don’t necessarily have to adhere to the same schedule as schools by starting learning at 8am and ending at 2pm. You can do what works for you and your child. Perhaps establish lessons in the morning or afternoon, without it interrupting other activities you have scheduled. Your child will also have time to acquire other skills and interests such as painting, programming or even learning a new language.

Learning for knowledge, not marks: with a flexible yet structured environment in learning, your child will be encouraged to accumulate knowledge with eagerness rather than focusing on high marks (that end up being the reward at the end of the day) and without the pressure of competition from peers.

Inexpensive: costs of uniforms, school fees, transport etc. are omitted.

A form of bonding with your child: Extended periods of time together strengthen family relationships. As much as it is about them learning, you too are learning about them, and vice versa.

A form of bonding with your child: Extended periods of time together strengthen family relationships. As much as it is about them learning, you too are learning about them, and vice versa.

Home-schooling can be hard work that needs a high level of discipline set in place from both you and your child:


  • Adjust your expectations and be patient with your child. Home-schooling entails full supervision from you;
  • Prepare lessons beforehand and plan your breaks;
  • Ensure the space you’re using to conduct the lessons don’t have distractionsand;
  • Treat the lesson professionally. Dress appropriately, avoid eating and drinkingduring lessons – add a level of structure and professionalism to practice discipline (set an example);
  • Be mindful and make learning fun with puzzles, art, playdough, visual aids, educational apps and videos etc.;
  • Focus on family time, don’t put too much pressure on learning. Let it come naturally;
  • Ask for help when necessary from teachers, tutors etc.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic that we are facing, IBM has extended educational resources for free online to ensure skills are developed. There are other digital resources to look into:

Online resources:


  • BrainPop
  • Curiosity Stream – Tynker
  • Outschool
  • Udemy
  • iReady
  • Beast Academy (Math) – Khan Academy
  • Creative Bug
  • Discovery Education

YouTube Channels:


  • Science Channel
  • SciShow Kids
  • National Geographic Kids
  • Free School
  • Geography Focus
  • TheBrainScoop
  • SciShow
  • Kids Learning Tube
  • Geeek Gurl Diaries
  • Mike Likes Science
  • Science Max
  • SoulPancake

To conclude, I believe it is our responsibility to ensure that we continue to stimulate the minds of our children during lockdown. If you find that distant learning or home- schooling is more compatible with your child’s way of learning after the lockdown, consider joining the Pestalozzi Trust and registering with the Department of Education. With the pandemic being a global debacle, we must continue to be safe in our homes and be mindful of the fact that time waits for no-one. Use this time to stimulate your minds through education and distant learning. You’ll definitely learn new things and interests during these trying times. Make this a positive opportunity.

#lockdownSA #COVID19 #coronavirus #homeschooling