Our Reasons for Home Education:

Lilypie Kids Birthday tickers

Although he was achieving good results, he wasn't reaching his full potential because his love for learning had been destroyed & hence his grades were steadily declining.

Lilypie Kids Birthday tickers

Completely failed by the system, he hated school, was always tired & homework time was a major frustration for both of us. He was severely frustrated & quickly heading to become yet another ADHD statistic.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Extra Murals

Junior Engineering for Africa (JEFA/LabratZ)

Courses covered are:
  • Foundations 1-3 (Ages 5-7)
  • Junior Technician 1 & 2 (Ages 6-8)
  • Challenger 1 & 2 (Ages 6-9)
  • Builder 1 – 4 (Ages 7-9)
  • Technical Machines 1 & 2 (Ages 7-9)
  • Inventor 1 -4 (Ages 9-15)
  • Junior Mechanic 1 & 2 (Ages 7-15)
  • Technical Models 1 & 2 (Ages 10-16)
  • Pneumatics 1 & 2 (Ages 11-15)
  • Mechanical Systems 1 – 4 (Ages 10-15)
  • Mechanical Engineer 1 & 2 (Ages 12-16)
  • Designer 1 & 2 (Ages 12-16)
  • Robotics & Programming (Ages 11 – 16)
For more information email or contact Brenda Windram on 072 345-1192.


  • Little Picasso Holiday
    • Art Boxes ~ Keep your kids busy with an awesome Art Box consisting of 8 art projects suitable for ages 5-12. ALL materials included. Step-by-step age-related instructions. These art boxes are available all year round & come in various themes. They are packaged in a great storage box with lid, that can be used to store all special artwork and supplies.
    • Classes ~ Art classes, ceramic & pottery classes, picture framing & holiday clubs are also offered. For more information email or contact Kathy Bigham on 082 899-5087.
  • Learn & Master by Legacy Learning Systems will enhance your creativity and provide the foundational painting techniques you need to create beautiful artwork. The course consists of 20 professionally produced DVDs, 3 Music CDs (to listen to while you paint), a thorough Lesson Book with supplemental information, and access to a free online student support site.


  • Learn & Master Homeschool Editions by Legacy Learning Systems offers a  complete 2-year curriculum for homeschool families.
    • Learn & Master Guitar consists of 20 professionally produced DVDs filmed in HD with over 40 hours of instruction. 5 Jam-Along CDs. 100+ page lesson book. Unlimited access to our online student support site. 68-Page Teacher’s Guide. 2-DVD Teacher’s Resource to help with guided study. (We are using this one for our boys & it’s absolutely awesome)
    • Learn & Master  Piano has been widely recognized as the best home instruction course for learning piano available anywhere. It consists of 14 professionally produced DVDs, 5 Play-Along CDs, a 100+ page lesson book, and a free online student support site.
    • Learn & Master Drums is by far the world’s most complete video instruction course for learning to play the drums. Designed to guide you from the very basics of setting up the drumset to expert playing techniques, it is the only instructional tool you’ll need — even if you’re sitting down to the drumset for the very first time. It is designed primarily for young adults on. Unlike some courses or private instruction, you’ll begin playing popular songs right away and then develop your skills with a simple step-by-step progression. It consists of 12 DVDs, 5 play-along CDs and a 100+ page lesson book, all crammed with in-depth instruction, clear demonstrations, and popular songs you already know.
  • clip_image002Drums/Guitar and Piano lessons in Discovery, Florida - close to the Discovery Hospital and Discovery Methodist Church, on the West Rand. Individual drum, guitar and Piano lessons as well as group guitar and keyboard lessons. Lessons are a half an hour once a week, Monday to Friday from 14h00 to 18h00 at very reasonable prices for ages 5 and up. Email Louise dos Santos (Nat. Dip. Light Music '97- Pretoria Tech) or contact 082 301 4797 or 011 674 3022
  • Melody/ie Makers Home School Choir @ Christ Church Horison – Cnr of Cutten & Raath streets in Horison, Roodepoort. For more information email or contact Magda Pieterse on 082 546 8555.
    • 4 – 6 Year Olds – Music appreciation and singing group
    • 7 – 12 Year Olds – Melody/ie Makers Home School Choir
    • Over 12′s – Senior Choir


  • Drama Buzz The Drama Buzz Group is putting on Alice in Wonderland this year for children over the age of 8. All members of the group from previous years should already be registered with Felicity. Old members may register by going to the website,, login and register. The group meets in Roodepoort (Horison area) at a church to practice every Wednesday from 11:00 – 13:00. For more info email contact Felicity.


  • Lessons offered at Valley Vineyard Church, Northriding. For more information email or contact Brenda Windram on 072 345-1192.
  • is the #1 Site for Kids under 13. Dedicated to being a safe place for kids to learn and play chess!
  • Play chess for FREE at the #1 Chess Site! Unlimited chess games and free tournaments. Challenge your friends and meet new players. Improve your rating with training videos.
Safety No contact with strangers. Parents manage their kids’ access and friendships online and can monitor their activity.
Learn & Improve Discover the rules and strategies of chess! Improve your game, memorization skills, patience, and sportsmanship!
Play & Have Fun Free online games with other kids from around the world! Enjoy tournaments & club matches too!

Ice Skating

Once a month there’s ice skating at Northgate Ice Rink for homeschoolers at reduced rates.. Scheduled dates for 2013 are 11/1; 8/2; 8/3; 12/4; 10/5; 14/6; 19/7; 16/8; 13/9; 11/10; 8/11 & 6/12 at R40 per person which includes skate hire.

Ballroom Dancing

  • Learn & Master Homeschool Editions by Legacy Learning Systems. All of the dances covered in the course — Waltz, Tango, Foxtrot, Rumba, Cha Cha, and Swing — are tailored for the beginning dancer. It consists of 13 DVDs full of beautiful choreography and easily learned dance figures, 6 CDs of music to dance to, a 75+ page workbook outlining each dance, and an online community to encourage and support you.

  • Every 2nd Wednesday there’s Ballroom Dancing from 13h30 – 14h30 for homeschoolers at the Dance Palace in Roodepoort. 336 Ontdekkers Rd, Discovery, Roodepoort,1724
    Phone 011 672 2288 or email


  • Active Education Home School coaching is non-competitive and provides regular activity and social interaction for home-schooled children, who all too often lack exercise and the opportunity to play team sports.


  • Sept 11 Horse Camp MKrans originals 578_thumb[2]Mooikrans Equus Horse Camp is a horse riding centre and holiday farm, situated on the escarpment of the Mpumalanga Highveld, 27km from Morgenzon on the R35 route to Amersfoort. Our boys have attended these camps for the past 3 years and with every camp we’ve seen some awesome personal growth.
    • A variety of educational, psychotherapy and social programs are available.
    • A broad spectrum of programs is compiled for schools, groups and individual youth- or child to choose from. Programs include leadership development and training, educational programs, a series courses which also include all aspects of natural horsemanship (Western/cowboy) and DIY programs for youth/children groups.
    • The goals of all the programs are to build the character of each visitor through the development of self-image and self-confidence simultaneously enjoying a holiday. Here the horse and horse riding plays a significant role. The horse is used, as the horse needs the rider’s attention during all times: brain and body work together to achieve success. Mastering the horse during this process leads to a healthy self-image.

Courses Offered Include:
  • Music Instruments
  • Dance
  • Drama
  • MicroBotics
E-mail them for more information on courses available.

Please visit this page frequently as I will be posting regular updates as I find more resources.

Brain Dominance

~ in addition to Learning Styles, is a key to learning & life success!

When we removed Misha, our struggling 2nd grader from private school in August 2010, because he was struggling in school in spite of being a very clever child that could memorise books like a parrot & yet wasn’t able to read, he had already lost all his self-confidence & hated school. At that stage I had absolutely no knowledge about learning styles or even brain dominance.

Thanks to Tannie Hettie, our eldest’s Grade R teacher at Hettie HenPlaygroup, I discovered that his gross & fine motor skills hadn’t been addressed properly. I figured once the motorskills were addressed, his learning would improve. Although he did show huge progress with the motorskills improvement, he still had huge resistance to worksheets & workbooks, thus getting schoolwork done was still a daily struggle for us. It was only after about 8 months of homeschooling that I finally stumbled onto a website about learning styles & brain dominance.

WoW, what an eye opener that was. Finally I understood why my bright 7 year old was struggling so much with schoolwork. All the indications were there that he’s a right-brained child & hence the left-brained learning environment at school was just not working for him. He needed alternative instructions in order to retain what he was taught. In hindsight, Misha’s motor skills were only part of his problem, the other contributing factor was his learning environment. School just didn’t cater for his kinaesthetic & visual spatial learning styles & he just didn’t fit into the left-brain dominant teaching environment.image

For more information on brain dominance, please check out the links below. I’ve spent the last 4 months incorporating these strategies into our school day & have since seen a huge improvement in all areas of learning. He is finally able to read & starting to slowly regain his confidence…

Left Brain vs. Right Brain

Left brain

Right brain
Analytical, led by logic
Intuitive, led by feelings
Verbal, focusing on words, symbols, numbers
Visual, focusing on images, patterns
Work up to the whole step by step, focusing on details, information organized
See the whole (big picture) first, then the details
Highly Organized
Organization ends to be lacking (Random)
Orderly and predictable
Spontaneous and flexible
Like making lists and planning ahead
Free association (Impulsive)
Few gestures when speaking
Many gestures
Skipping around
Main idea
Work independently
Cooperation in groups
Touching and feeling actual objects (sensory input)
Process ideas sequentially, step by step
Process ideas simultaneously
Words used to remember things, remember names rather than faces
'Mind photos' used to remember things, writing things down or illustrating them helps you remember
Make logical deductions from information
Make lateral connections from information
Likely to follow rules without questioning them
Like to know why you're doing something or why rules exist (reasons)
Good at keeping track of time
No sense of time
Spelling and mathematical formula easily memorized
May have trouble with spelling and finding words to express yourself
Plan ahead
Trouble prioritizing, so often late, impulsive
Likely read an instruction manual before trying
Unlikely to read instruction manual before trying
Listen to what is being said
Listen to how something is being said
Likely to believe you're not creative, need to be willing to try and take risks to develop your potential
Likely to think you're naturally creative, but need to apply yourself to develop your potential
In addition to the characteristics above, ask yourself these questions to determine whether your child has characteristics of a right-brain orientation:
  1. Does your child struggle to memorize facts?
  2. Is your child spontaneous, rarely planning ahead?
  3. Does your child like to discuss and talk while learning?
  4. Does your child struggle to “show all work”?
  5. Does your child prefer a relaxed, non-traditional school environment (such as lying on the floor)?
  6. Does your child figure things out without much evidence?
  7. Does your child struggle with self-discipline, and tend to act impulsively?
  8. Does your child skip problems when doing math?
  9. Does your child struggle with doing work in workbooks?
  10. Does your child like to do hands-on, interactive projects?
  11. Does your child enjoy mechanical, technical, or “put it together” types of pursuits?
  12. Does your child lose track of time easily, or often underestimate how much time he has?
  13. Does your child question rules regularly?
  14. Does your child learn complex concepts easily but struggle with easy skills?
  15. Is your child imaginative and creative?
  16. Does your child find answers without knowing how he got them?
  17. Is your child dramatic and demonstrative?
  18. Is your child sensitive to emotions and attitudes of others?
  19. Does your child have a good photographic memory?
  20. Does your child work well with noise, music, or activity in the background?
  21. Does your child develop unusual solutions to problems?
  22. Does your child prefer pictures, charts, and graphs to written words?
  23. Does your child enjoy fantasy-based and/or mystery books over biographies?
  24. Does your child have to “see” a word in his mind to be able to spell it?
  25. Does your child skip over directions and immediately “jump in” to assigned work?
  26. Is your child able to brainstorm many options to potential problems?
  27. Does your child have a good sense of rhythm or an aptitude for music?
  28. Does your child have a good sense of humour?
  29. Does your child like to move around while doing schoolwork?
  30. Does your child often want you to “get to the point”, and get bored with long descriptions or details?
  31. Does your child like to doodle while he works, or enjoy drawing or colouring?
  32. Does your child learn whole words easily, but struggle with phonics?
  33. Does your child have a good sense of direction, and is he able to read maps well?
  34. Does your child enjoy taking risks?
  35. Does your child tend to procrastinate, and wait until the last minute?
  36. Does your child seem to daydream often?
  37. Does your child enjoy listening to music while doing work?
  38. Does your child struggle to keep his desk and room organized?
  39. Does your child enjoy computer-oriented games or learning?
  40. Does your child learn better by demonstration than explanation?
If the answer to many of these questions is “yes”, you may have a child with right-brain characteristics!

Left Brain vs. Right-Brain Functions

Left Brain Functions Right Brain Functions
Uses logic Uses feeling
Detail oriented “Big pictures” oriented
Facts rule Imaginations rules
Words and language Symbols and images
Present and past Present and future
Math and science Philosophy and religion
Order/pattern perception Spatial perception
Knows object name Knows object function
Reality based Fantasy based
Forms strategies Presents possibilities
Practical Impetuous
Safe Risk taking

Skills Associated with Hemispheric Specialization

Left Hemisphere Right Hemisphere
Handwriting Haptic awareness
Symbols Spatial relationships
Language Shapes and patterns
Reading Mathematical computation
Phonics Colour sensitivity
Locating details and fact Singing and music
Talking and reciting Art expression
Following directions Creativity
Listening Visualization
Auditory Association Feelings and emotions

Modes of Consciousness

Left Hemisphere Right Hemisphere
Linear ~ Linear means part-to-whole. The left-brained person takes little pieces, lines them up, arranges them in logical order, and arrives at a convergent conclusion.
Holistic ~ The right-brained person thinks whole-to-part, holistically. The child with a dominant right hemisphere starts with the answer, a total concept, or perceives the whole pattern and discovers a divergent conclusion.
Symbolic ~ The right-brained person thinks whole-to-part, holistically.
Concrete ~ The child with a dominant right hemisphere starts with the answer, a total concept, or perceives the whole pattern and discovers a divergent conclusion.
Sequential ~ The left brain approaches life sequentially.
Random ~ The right brain floats randomly through life’s experiences.
Logical ~ The Logical person knows exactly where he gets his answers. He starts out with a little piece of information and logically works toward an end result.
Intuitive ~ Right-brained children are intuitive; they are not logical. They pull the answers right out of the air. They can give you the answer to a long-division problem but they may not be able to work through the sequential steps.
Reality-based ~ Left-hemispheric children can deal with reality, with the way thing are. Left-hemispheric children are very much affected by the environment and will adjust to it. If something is presented to them they will shift and react. If something is not there for left-hemispheric children, it doesn’t exist for them.
Fantasy-oriented ~ Right-hemispheric children will try to change the environment, to make it shift and react to meet their needs in any way they know how. They deal with fantasy, with imagery, with imagination.
Temporal ~ Left-hemispheric children have a sense of time.
Non-temporal ~ Right-hemispheric children have very little sense of time. They simply do not comprehend when you set time limits. They cannot think in any terms except the here and now.

Brain Dominance Tests:

Right-Brain Teaching Tips:


Please visit this page frequently as I will be posting regular updates as I find more resources.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Research Revelations About Homeschooling

By Brian D. Ray, Ph.D., President, National Home Education Research Institute

Parent-led home-based education continued to be common, if not the norm, for most of the time for most children’s lives through the nineteenth century. Things changed quickly, however, during the late 1800s and into the twentieth century. Homeschooling was nearly non-existent, perhaps only 13,000 schoolchildren in the United States by the 1970s.1 Then a stunning change began around the early 1980s such that just over 2 million students in grades K to 12 were estimated to be homeschooled in the United States during the spring of 2010.2

Much of public opinion is very positive toward this private educational practice. However, genuinely curious people and ideological skeptics and opponents of homeschooling continue to ask questions about home-based education. Research continues to answer some of these basic questions.

Academic Achievement: How Do They Score?

Major nationwide studies and multiple smaller-scale studies are consistent in their findings that the home educated are performing above average in terms of academic achievement. The most recent nationwide study (conducted by Dr. Brian Ray and the National Homeschool Education Research Institute) found that home-educated students in grades K to 12 were scoring well above public-school students in all subject areas—reading, language, mathematics, social studies, and science—on standardized academic achievement tests.3 Ray’s findings are in concert with those of the preceding nationwide study done by Dr. Lawrence Rudner.4 In repeated studies, home-educated students typically score at the 65th to 80th percentile on nationally normed standardized achievement tests. This is 15 to 30 points higher, on average, than public-school students, whose average is the 50th percentile

Questions About Achievement Research

A number of valid questions arise about research on homeschool student achievement. For example, do only the children of wealthier parents do well? No, regardless of the homeschool family’s income, they tend to score well above the public school average. In public schools, however, income is strongly correlated with student achievement.

Second, do home-educated children of certified teachers do better than the others? No, the teacher-certification status of the parents has very little or no relationship to the students’ scores. While nearly all public-school teachers have government teaching certificates and only about 10 percent of homeschool parents have ever had such certificates, homeschool students consistently outperform public-school students.

Home-educated students whose parents are high school graduates (with no additional formal education) are scoring above the general national average on achievement tests. On the other hand, public-school students with similarly educated parents score below the national average.

A fourth question is this: Are only the “best homeschool students” being tested and therefore the “average score” is high? It is difficult in social science research, such as that on homeschool families, to be sure that perfectly representative samples are involved. There are several pieces of evidence, however, that the finding of high achievement applies to the population in general. For example, in Ray’s nationwide study, he found that both students whose parents knew their scores before participating in the study and those who did not know their scores were performing well above average.5 Furthermore, in states where all homeschool students are required to be registered with the government and be administered academic achievement tests, their scores have consistently been well above the public-school average.6

These findings naturally lead to one more question about research on achievement: Is government control related to high academic achievement? Research has repeatedly shown that there is no correlation between the degree of state regulation or control of homeschooling and homeschool students’ achievement.7 Many have argued that the government needs to regulate this form of private education to make sure children learn. No research evidence supports this claim. Home-educated children in states with low regulation score just as well as those in high-regulation states. Regardless of high or low regulation, their scores are above the public-school average. Furthermore, research by Dr. Brian Ray and Dr. Bruce Eagleson found no relationship between the degree of state control over homeschooling and home-educated students’ scores on the SAT college-entrance exam.8

What About Socialization?

Now thirty years into the modern home-education movement, homeschool parents still hear the question, What about socialization? The term socialization is usually not well defined and often refers to a perceived negative that home-educated students are not attending institutional classroom schools with same-age peers for thirteen to seventeen years of their lives and experiencing the peer pressure and collective milieu found in those settings. Multiple researchers and their studies repeatedly find, however, the home educated to be developing as well or better socially, emotionally, and psychologically than institutionally schooled children and youth.9

Research time and again finds that homeschool students and their parents are very engaged in their communities, including activities such as sports teams, co-operative classes, church activities, and community service. Further, homeschool children typically interact with a broader range of ages (of children and adults) than do most institutional school children.

Why Are the Home-Educated Doing So Well?

Recurring positive research findings associated with homeschooling beg the question, Why are they doing so well? As a man who has taught in public and private schools, served as a university professor at the undergraduate and graduate levels, tutored children and youth in a variety of settings, and been a student himself, the author poses series of questions, and answers, that might explain why the home educated do so well.10 Ask any “professional educator” the following questions:

1. How would you like a class size of 3 to 6?

2. Would you like to be able to individualize or customize the curriculum and pedagogical approach for each of the students, according to his or her talents, needs, desires, and dreams?

3. How would you like it if you could essentially tutor each one of your students?

4. Would you like it if you could depend on the student mastering the knowledge or skill before moving on?

5. Would you enjoy being able to be flexible and change the curriculum or pedagogy if needed?

6. What if you regularly had time to stop for the teachable moment?

7. What if there were essential value consistency between you and your students, or their parents?

8. Would it be beneficial to have large amounts of social capital—for example, trust and love—in your classroom?

9. How would you like it if the biggest distraction during your day was, typically, a 7-year-old arguing with a 10-year-old about whose turn it is to wash the dishes?

10. How would you like it if you almost always had time to thoughtfully and carefully work out, according to a solid and dependable philosophical framework, with each student how to face dilemmas, challenges, issues, temptations, and difficult relationships in life?

11. What if you cared so much about, loved each of your students so much, that you would teach for free (i.e., no “salary and benefits”) all next year?

Do all of these opportunities that are naturally systemic to home-based education mean all parents will fully take advantage of all of them? Not necessarily. It appears, however, that most parents and teens are putting the potentials to good use.

But How Will They Do in the “Real World” of Adulthood?

Dr. Ray’s study of over seven thousand adults in the United States who had been home educated was the first large-scale study suggesting graduates of homeschooling are doing well.11 For example, this study found those who had been homeschooled are more civically engaged than other adults, shown by the fact that they vote; attend public meetings; write or telephone editors and public officials; participate in protests and boycotts; contribute money to political candidates, parties, and causes; and work for political candidates, parties, and causes at a higher rate than do their American adult peers. The newest research on adults who were home educated also reveals positive findings. Dr. Michael Cogan found that college students who are homeschooled earn higher first-year and fourth-year GPAs when controlling for demographic, pre college, engagement, and first term academic factors.12 The body of research on homeschool graduates is still relatively small but is revealing positive things associated with home education.

Who Homeschools and Why Do They Do It?

Research continues to show that home educators are from all social and racial/ethnic backgrounds: parents with a tenth-grade education, others with Ph.D.s; the wealthy and the less well-off; agnostics, Christians, humanists, Jews, Mormons, Muslims, and New Age devotees; families with eight children and those with one; married couples and single parents; those in the inner city and those in the wilderness of Alaska; sales clerks, public school teachers, doctors, and plumbers; and parents who never stopped being the main and daily educators of their 15-year-old son from his birth, and parents who removed their daughter during the seventh grade from an institutional school setting.13

Every year the variety of home educators broadens and expands. Research published by the U.S Department of Education, for example, discovered that 23 percent of home-educated students in the spring of 2003 were black/non-Hispanic, Hispanic, or “other,” while families from such minority groups were much rarer in homeschool groups about a decade earlier.14 The main reasons for homeschooling are to (a) customize or individualize each child’s education, (b) accomplish more academically than in an institutional school, (c) provide a safe learning environment, (d) offer consistently parent-guided social interaction, (e) enhance strong family ties, and (f) transmit the values, beliefs, and worldview of the parents rather than those of the public-school system or of others. The last reason—the philosophical and political one—naturally leads to the next section of this article.

Academic and Policymaker Angst Over Home-Based Education

Despite consistent and broad research evidence that homeschooling is associated with positive outcomes, behaviors, and traits, it appears an increasing number of academics and policymakers are expressing concerns about parent-led education. For example, Dr. Rob Reich clearly implied that the home educated will not be as decent, civil, or respectful as state-schooled students.15 Dr. Christopher Lubienski claimed the following: “The accelerated movement toward home schooling reflects a serious threat to the collective good . . .”16 More recently, Dr. Kim Yuracko expressed that there should be more discussion about whether and how “. . . a liberal society should condone or constrain homeschooling, particularly as practiced by religious fundamentalist families explicitly seeking to shield their children from liberal values of sex equality, gender role fluidity and critical rationality.”17 Further, she argued “. . . that states must check rampant forms of sexism in homeschooling so as to prevent the severe under-education of girls by homeschooling parents who believe in female subordination.” In 2008, Dr. Reich argued for more state control over home education to protect his posited interests of the state, the parents, and the children in the education of children.18

On a related note, it seems more policymakers are willing to explicitly allege that too many parents use homeschooling as a way to hide evil actions against their children and that a major purpose of schools or school laws is to keep all children under the eye of the state and to try to “catch bad people” before they commit evil deeds. For example, some in Florida recently suggested law or policy might need to be changed regarding homeschooling because some parents allegedly pulled their children out of public school so they could hide their abuse.19 Many persons miss, however, two major points here. First, the Florida Department of Children and Families already knew about the matter and admits that it needs to work to repair the “. . . total systematic failure of the child welfare system.”20 Second, in a free nation, education or schooling laws, if they should exist at all, should be used to encourage literacy in citizens and should not be used as pre-emptive dragnets to control families’ lives in order to try to detect or catch “evil people” before they do bad things.

Most of the arguments against home education or for state control over private home education also essentially ignore three things. First, there is no empirical research evidence to support their claims that homeschooling causes or will cause negative effects for individuals or for society. Second, pushing for state control does not truly give the child more control or protect his rights more; it simply gives the state more power than either the parent or child and gives the state ultimate power over the child. Third, a nation like the United States that considers the people “free,” is a constitutional republic based on Biblical Scriptural concepts, and considers parents able to freely conduct their families’ lives unless there is compelling evidence that they are harming their children should not be considering ways to infringe on parents’ fundamental right to direct the education and upbringing of their children.21

In Sum

Research continues to show very positive outcomes and behaviors related to homeschooling. Although research on home-based education does not cover all possibilities and nuances to be considered in scientific endeavors, no empirical evidence exists that homeschooling is generally harming children or society. Finally, research cannot answer the question, Should parents nurture and educate their children in the context of parent-led home-based education as the norm? Ultimately, only divine revelation can properly answer that.

Brian D. Ray is an internationally known scholar and president of the nonprofit National Home Education Research Institute in Oregon, U.S.A. ( He earned his Ph.D. in science education from Oregon State University, M.S. in zoology from Ohio University, and B.S. in Biology from the University of Puget Sound. He has been a professor of science and education at the undergraduate and graduate levels, has been a classroom teacher in both public and private schools, and has taught homeschool students. Dr. Ray does research and speaking internationally and provides expert testimony to legislators and in courts that focus on homeschooling (home-based education, home education, home schooling) research and pedagogy.


1. Lines, Patricia M. (1991, October). “Estimating the Home Schooled Population” (working paper OR 91-537). Washington DC: Office of Educational Research and Improvement, U.S. Department of Education.

2. Ray, Brian D. (2011). 2.04 “Million Homeschool Students in the United States in 2010.” Salem, OR: National Home Education Research Institute. Retrieved 1/7/2011 online

3. Ray, Brian D. (2010, February 3). “Academic Achievement and Demographic Traits of Homeschool Students: A Nationwide Study.” Academic Leadership Journal, 8(1). Retrieved February 10, 2010 from Academy Leadership. Also see research at

4. Rudner, Lawrence M. (1999). “Scholastic Achievement and Demographic Characteristics of Home School Students In 1998.” Educational Policy Analysis Archives, 7(8), and retrieved 1/21/2010 from

5. Ray, 2010, see above.

6. Oregon Department of Education [Office of Student Services]. (1999, May 20). “Annual report of home school statistics” [1998-99]. Salem, OR: Author. Also retrieved 7/14/2010 from Tennessee Department of Education. (1988). “Tennessee Statewide Averages, Home School Student Test Results, Stanford Achievement Test, Grades 2, 5, 7 and 9.” Nashville, TN: Author.

7. Ray, 2010, see above. Ray, Brian D. (2000). “Home Schooling: The Ameliorator of Negative Influences on Learning? Peabody Journal of Education, 75(1 & 2), 71-106. Ray, Brian D. (1997). Strengths of Their Own: Home Schoolers Across America: Academic Achievement, Family Characteristics, and Longitudinal Traits. Salem, OR: National Home Education Research Institute (

8. Ray, Brian D., and Eagleson, Bruce K. (2008, August 14). “State Regulation of Homeschooling and Homeschoolers’ SAT Scores.” Journal of Academic Leadership, 6(3). Retrieved December 7, 2010 from Academy Leadership.

9. Medlin, Richard G. (2006). “Homeschooled Children’s Social Skills.” Home School Researcher, 17(1), 1-8. A summary of research on this topic may be found in the following: Ray, Brian D. (2009). Home Education Reason and Research: Common Questions and Research-Based Answers. Salem, OR: National Home Education Research Institute, available at

10. The author presented many of these points in Ray, 2010 (see above); Ray, Brian D. (2000). “Home Schooling: The Ameliorator of Negative Influences on Learning?” Peabody Journal of Education, 75(1 & 2), 71-106; and, Ray, Brian D. (1997). Strengths of Their Own—Home Schoolers Across America: Academic Achievement, Family Characteristics, and Longitudinal Traits. Salem, OR: National Home Education Research Institute (

11. Ray, Brian D. (2004). Home Educated and Now Adults: Their Community and Civic Involvement, Views About Homeschooling, and Other Traits. Salem, OR: National Home Education Research Institute.

12. Cogan, Michael F. (2010, Summer). “Exploring Academic Outcomes of Homeschooled Students.” Journal of College Admission, Summer 2010, 18‑25.

13. Ray, 2010, see above.

14. United States Department of Education. (2009). “Homeschooled Students.” (Participation in Education, Elementary/Secondary Education, Indicator 6, 2009). Retrieved January 19, 2010 from

15. Reich, Rob. (2002). “The Civic Perils of Homeschooling.” Educational Leadership, 59(7), 56-59.

16. Lubienski, Christopher. (2003, January 17). “Does Homeschooling Promote the Public Good?” CQ Researcher [Congressional Quarterly], 13(2), p. 41.

17. Yuracko, Kim. (2007, April 14). “Education Off the Grid: Constitutional Constraints on Homeschooling.” Northwestern University School of Law, Northwestern Public Law Research Paper No. 07-11. Retrieved April 29, 2008, from

18. Reich, Rob. (2008). “ Regulating Homeschooling: A Reply to Glanzer.” Educational Theory, 58(1), 17-23.

19. Lawrence, David, Jr., Martinez, Roberto, & Sewell, James. (2011, March 10). The Nubia Report: The Investigative Panel’s Findings and Recommendations. Retrieved March 16, 2011, from DCF State

20. Retrieved March 16, 2011, from DCF State.

21. Florida Department of Children and Families. (2011). Barahona case. For more information, see

Copyright © 2011 by Brian D. Ray. Used with permission. All rights reserved by author. Originally appeared in The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, Summer 2011.

Visit The Old Schoolhouse® to view a full-length sample copy of the magazine especially for homeschoolers. Click the graphic of the moving computer monitor on the left. Email the Publisher at

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Mum ~ Job Description

This is hysterical. If it had been presented this way, I don't believe any
of us would have done it!!!!


Mom, Mommy, Mama, Ma


  • Long term, team players needed, for challenging, permanent work in an often chaotic environment.
  • Candidates must possess excellent communication and organizational skills and be willing to work variable hours, which will include evenings and weekends and frequent 24 hour shifts on call.
  • Some overnight travel required, including trips to primitive camping sites on rainy weekends and endless sports tournaments in far away cities!
  • Travel expenses not reimbursed.
  • Extensive courier duties also required.


  • The rest of your life.
  • Must be willing to be hated, at least temporarily, until someone needs some money.
  • Must be willing to bite tongue repeatedly.
  • Also, must possess the physical stamina of a pack mule and be able to go from zero to 60 kmph in three seconds flat in case, this time, the screams from the backyard are not someone just crying wolf.
  • Must be willing to face stimulating technical challenges, such as small gadget repair, mysteriously sluggish toilets and stuck zippers.
  • Must screen phone calls, maintain calendars and coordinate production of multiple homework projects.
  • Must have ability to plan and organize social gatherings for clients of all ages and mental outlooks.
  • Must be a willing to be indispensable one minute, an embarrassment the next.
  • Must handle assembly and product safety testing of a half million cheap, plastic toys, and battery operated devices.
  • Must always hope for the best but be prepared for the worst.
  • Must assume final, complete accountability for the quality of the end product.
  • Responsibilities also include floor maintenance and janitorial work throughout the facility.


  • None.
  • Your job is to remain in the same position for years, without complaining, constantly retraining and updating your skills, so that those in your charge can ultimately surpass you


  • None required unfortunately.
  • On-the-job training offered on a continually exhausting basis.


  • Get this! You pay them!
  • Offering frequent raises and bonuses.
  • A balloon payment is due when they turn 18 because of the assumption that passing matric will help them become financially independent.
  • When you die, you give them whatever is left.
  • The oddest thing about this reverse-salary scheme is that you actually enjoy it and wish you could only do more.


While no health or dental insurance, no pension, no tuition reimbursement,
no paid holidays and no stock options are offered; this job supplies limitless opportunities for personal growth, unconditional love, and free hugs and kisses for life if you play your cards right.


Forward this on to all the PARENTS you know, in appreciation for everything they do on a daily basis, letting them know they are appreciated for the fabulous job they do... or forward with love to anyone thinking of applying for the job.
Maybe send it to your kids as well ...

SmileWinking smileSmile


Monday, September 19, 2011

Wrapped Up the Term

With the boys scheduled to go to a horse riding camp at Mooikrans together with a group of 28 other homeschoolers, we spent last week wrapping up on assignments. Jesse did his exams & I finalised their evaluations for delivery to Le-Amen on Thursday, although they only needed to be handed in at the end of the month.

Misha’s shown huge improvement in many areas of his schooling, especially reading & writing. His confidence is growing steadily. Jesse’s grades have also improved once again, although his enthusiasm for schoolwork was still severely lacking.

We decided to start school holiday when they go to camp & will start our new term on the 5th October as per our original schedule because Jesse is once again going away with his friend, Scott, to Balito after camp.

It has been a hectic week, to say the least. Jesse had to finish all his assignments & we still visited the James Hall Transport Museum on Wednesday.

With Misha also celebrating his birthday today, we needed to do his birthday party before camp because by the time we get back home, his friends will all have left on their school holiday. Friday was our monthly ice skating day, with scouts in the evening, so we arranged a sleepover & birthday party for Saturday.

Of course on Saturday evening we needed to pack for camp & holiday. We dropped the boys at Mooikrans yesterday morning.


From what we’ve seen already, it seems they are going to have an awesome time.

We spoke to the boys this morning & they were having loads of fun. I was able to arrange a birthday cake and some snacks for the group, so this afternoon, after lunch Misha was scheduled to have another birthday party. We will only speak to them again later this week & hear how it’s gone, but I’m sure they must be having a blast.

In the interim Clive & I are enjoying our break-away from the hustle & bustle of the big city here in Wakkerstroom.  We will be leaving early Friday morning to attend the camp concert after which we will be heading home to rest for one more week.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

James Hall Transport Museum

This morning we joined a group of homeschoolers visiting the Transport Museum in the South of Johannesburg. Getting there was quite an experience. My Vodacom Sat Nav couldn’t find the location, so Jesse had to guide me through with the map. Talk about hands-on learning! He couldn’t have had a more hands-on lesson in map reading skills than that & got us there safely.


At the museum they had a guided tour of all the old vehicles available there. They started with the very first mode of transport, the wagon, how they were made & then proceeded on to vehicles of all kinds & ages. They saw wagons, old automobiles, bicycles, motorcycles, busses, trams, old fire engines & many, many more vehicles of all shapes & sizes.

Of course I didn’t listen too closely to the guide as I was a little preoccupied with taking the photos, but I was amazed afterwards at how much of the information they remembered. Misha told me all about what he saw & learnt & I even got the longest essay ever from Jesse, covering the trip. It seems to me for our boys this hands-on field trip type of learning works the best for both our boys, so we’ll be scheduling many more field trips in the years to come.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Misha’s Art

Except for lapbooking, we didn’t really do very much art this year because the boys didn’t show much interest. I eventually got a holiday box from Kathy Bigham @ Little Picasso for Misha that contains 8 projects & included all the necessary material & instructions for doing the projects.

Misha had to do a snow scene for his Le-Amen portfolio. In my opinion the requirements were way beyond his level, but with the help of a tutor, Edward dos Santos, he actually managed to do quite a good job of it.


According to Edward, Misha has lots of talent & with the right instruction could become quite a good artist, so we’ve decided to let him continue art lessons after the holiday, but this time at the age appropriate level.

Friday, September 9, 2011


We’ve had a bad start this year where Technology is concerned. The textbook & teacher’s guides received from Le-Amen, made absolutely no since to me, so I passed it on to Daddy, but to no avail. It made no sense to him either. With Daddy too busy at the office to still find time to figure out the material I was quite concerned about the subject & after a call to Le-Amen produced no results because they consider this as a “poervak”, I was quite concerned about it.

I finally managed to find a more learner friendly text book but was overjoyed when an email arrived on the forum advertising a Design & Technology Tutor came along, best of all 5 minutes from our home. I’m very happy to have finally found someone that’s able to understand & teach him that “Fong Kong” Technology material, as Jesse called it.

They started at the beginning of August, at 1 hour a week, covering the Design Process in detail. He had to draw a house plan with various elevations and also had to make a model.


It seems Jesse quite enjoyed this and of all his subjects it’s the only one where he eagerly did his “homework”. I’ve seen him spend hours working on this project.

According to Edward, Jesse has a natural ability to grasp the technology concepts quickly.

I’m happy to see here’s a subject he’s really enjoying apart from Maths. Next term he’ll paint & decorate his model & then we’ll look at other areas of interest for him to continue learning, but from what I’ve seen so far this may become a winning solution.

It’s just so amazing how much more fun learning becomes when the subject mater is in their area of interest Smile