4 Steps to Start Homeschooling

4 steps to starting homeschooling for parents who are starting out on this less-travelled educational road.

In South Africa, schooling, or alternatively home education, is compulsory for children between the ages of 7-15 years or the end of grade 9.

Where do you start? What do you need to do first?


Step 1 – Join the Pestalozzi Trust

The Pestalozzi Trust is the homeschool legal defence association that defends the rights of home educating families in South Africa. You can download the membership application forms online and pay by EFT. Go to www.pestalozzi.org

This is so that you can sleep well at night and not worry about the legal aspects of home education. The decision to register with the Department of Education or not is a complex one which must be an informed decision.  Registering for Homeschooling will explain why.

You must join the Pestalozzi Trust before there is any potential conflict with government officials. There is unlikely to be, but you will have peace of mind and support the work the Trust does to guard our freedom to choose home education.


Step 2 – Notify the School

Notify the school that you are withdrawing the child/ren if they are already at school. You don’t owe the school a long explanation. Keep it short and businesslike.

Simply send them a very short letter or email

  1.  notifying the school that you have transferred your child to home education and
  2.  asking the school to prepare the necessary transfer certificates for the child/ren.

(You don’t actually need the transfer certificates, but they need to do this admin!)

Give them as little information as possible and avoid any potential conflict.


Step 3 – Start Deschooling

In home education communities, deschooling refers to a period of adjustment for children who have been schooled. They need some ‘down time’ to adapt to learning in a less structured environment. It is also a time of healing from the stress and emotional damage that they may have suffered during their time at school.

Give your child/ren a few months to “chill out” and deschool. You no longer have to keep up with the school system once you take them out.
Deschooling is even more important for parents, who have most probably spent at least 12 years being conditioned by the school system.

Parents need to make a mindshift. Replicating the school system at home is the worst way to implement home education, but since it is the way we ourselves were educated, this tends to be what most new homeschoolers have in mind. Don’t make that mistake!

You need to you do your homework well and gather the info you need to make good decisions for your family.
Read more about Deschooling and what to do during this time with your children.


Step 4 – Learn More about Starting Homeschooling

education-system-cartoonRead about Eclectic Homeschooling and why you should not do school-at-home but rather give your child a customised education.




First take time to learn more about education and how children learn best. Break free from your ‘old school’ thinking and deschool your own mind.

You can give your child an excellent, customised education and let him/her progress at his/her own pace. Don’t implement school at home.

Your aim should be not only to give your children a good academic education, but also to help them develop the character traits, relationship skills and confidence they need to be successful at anything they set their minds to accomplish. This is almost more important than academic credentials, yet it is often most overlooked by new homeschool parents.

You will know when your child is ready to write a matric or an equivalent and when s/he is ready to be released to the next step on their journey. It might be at age 16 or 18 or 20 or anywhere in between. There is NO DEADLINE!!!

Buying a curriculum is the LAST THING YOU NEED TO DO!

Sign up for 6 Webinars to Get Started Homeschooling

Before you spend a cent on what might be the wrong curriculum for your family, first spend a small fee educating yourself about home education.

Let home education consultant, author and activist, Shirley Erwee, share her tips and advice from over 20 years of homeschooling experience with you.

The six one hour webinars that you can download and watch in your own time, will help you avoid the disastrous mistakes that many new homeschooling parents make.

Save time, save money and save stress and tears by getting the information you need to make good decisions for your UNIQUE family.

Sign up at Teachable.com and then enrol in Starting Homeschooling in South Africa

We will focus on topics such as

  • Common Mistakes and Answers to Frequently Asked Questions
  • School versus Home Education
  • Deschooling – unlearning our own conditioning about how children learn
  • Ways of Learning – a look at how learning works in the homeschool scenario
  • Setting Goals and Choosing Curriculum
  • Legal issues
  • …and more.

Click on the link to read more about this course or to try out a free webinar first!












Grade 1-3

Grades 4-7

Grades 8-9