Home Schooling in Trinidad & Tobago
LDS_forever and I have been considering the lack of options in this country when it comes to special need children. We were looking at home schooling, but the law here does not readily allow you to do this unless:
Actually it is not only because of the special needs of my eldest son but also I am considering homeschooling even if my kids do not have special needs. Trinidadians in general boast themselves on how great the Education system is in the country (academically speaking). I am a teacher here and I do not see that to be true and even though the level of education is pretty high it is only for those kids who excel in the "normal" subjects such as Maths, English, Accounts, etc. The system has nothing in place for those kids who have other abilities such as music, drama or art. Not only the system does not provide anything of substance for them on these areas but they are "separated" to other schools if they do not perform in a certain way. So you have these schools full of kids with not only all sort of learning disabilities, behavioral problems and so on but also kids with lots of potential in other areas that the education system does not support or encourage to its max.
It seems like number (a) of the Education Act allows homeschooling with special permission from the Minister of Education.
Well, I started homeschooling my 6 years old son since February 2006 but I started recently the following subjects:
4. Social Studies/History
I plan to add Music very soon (he will learn how to play the piano, I am getting a small organ soon). We are working on a very SLOW way until he gets the full hand of it. I am using Charlotte Mason's approach in homeschooling, it is very "informal" and develops in the child a love for books and good music.
Any mothers or fathers out there homeschooling in Trinidad and Tobago?
Edited: LDS_forever on 14th Sep, 2006 - 5:22pm
I just finished watching the morning news show on TV and they had a 13 years old girl as a guest. Her name is Choc'late Allen and she is the daughter of former Soca entertainer Kurt Allen. At age of 13 she is the CEO of Caribbean Vizion, the goals of the group are pursued through what she calls educulture. Educulture is the creative use of the cultural arts that motivates and inspires students to achieve both academic and artistic success thereby developing a relationship between education and culture. A great idea for kids who are not as good in the "traditional" subjects but the system pushes them aside as outcasts.
Of course, the most important part in the interview is that she mentioned she is homeschooled by private tutor Valencia Andrews and is supervised by retired school principal, Elton Nelson. She handled the questions very well when the two journalists (as most Trinidadians) put a little pressure on the issue of homeschooling and the myths associated with it. She disregarded all the myths and said that when a child is homeschooled, you ensure the child gets the proper education without getting lost.
Her parents said that they do not have to worry about her getting drug offers by peers at school (and let me add, being "touched", ask to get naked, etc..I have seen it for both boys and girls!)
I wish Trinidadians can be more open minded about Homeschooling, I get frowns, stares and silence when I mention I homeschooled my son and plan to homeschooled the others. They look at you like if you are a weirdo or even an abuser. The myth that Education can only be obtained at a school building needs to change.
Edited: LDS_forever on 11th Dec, 2006 - 12:28pm
I am looking for information on Trinidad and homeschooling. We may be moving there for a year or two and I currently homeschool. I would like to continue. Do you have any information at all on how I could go about doing so?
Kayci, homeschooling in Trinidad is not like in the US. The Education Act does not specifically forbids it (even though in the US embassy site in Trinidad states it is forbidden but is not if you carefully read the act) yet we live in a society where you will see a lot of pressure will be put on you to send your kids to a school. Forget about curriculums or any other support from the Ministry of Education, you will have to find the curriculums on your own, probably from a private school teacher.
I assume your kids are not Trinidadians so I do not know if this also applies to your case, nevertheless I knew of another American family living in Tobago who also homeschooled. You see, nobody can tell you that you cannot teach your kids and the Education act leaves room (in my opinion) for homeschooling.
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I am not sure if you know this but there is a private school here that follows the American system of Education called The International School of Port of Spain:
There is also another school that follows the Canadian system called Maple Leaf:
Recently there are a few other International schools that have been opened.
LDS, thank you so much for the feedback. I'd love to talk to you more about this subject and, well, I just have a number of questions in general.
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Hi there homeschool people! I see that your last posts are awhile ago, but I am interested in hearing about your experiences homeschooling in Trinidad. I recently started my 10-year-old, and we are really enjoying it. What curriculum are you using?