Comments: I want to homeschool my child but was always concerned about the legal aspect of it. I also wondered whether or not he would be allowed to write the s.e.a examination as a 'private' candidate or would he be required by 'law' to attend a school for a year. I would like some feedback from parents who are already homeschooling. For example what are the challenges the parents face. I would like to join a group and would welcome advice on how to start one of my own.
Tomari, I am not sure about the SEA examination. I am homeschooling my 8 years old to a more American style of Education, I would like him to get an American High School diploma (there are many places to do this through distance learning).
Some of the challenges you may face is criticism from other parents or even family who may not agree with your decision. Those who don't know much about homeschooling assume your child won't be properly educated and that he will lack the social skills, all myths in my opinion since home school childdren tend to do better than a kid in school and the social skills can always be compensated through extra activities during the week.
You need to evaluate the needs of your child, his/her strengths and weaknesses an take it from there when you need to decide in what method to use.
There are few families homeschooling in Trinidad but don't know of any groups right now.
I wish you all the best as you enter this wonderful world of homeschooling your own child! :)
Comments: My nephew has recently moved to Trinidad from Atlanta,GA and lives with me and my other children. School has started and I enrolled him in my eldest son's old primary school. He is 6, going to be 7 in early 2009, so he would be going into STD 1. I always knew him to be a special child but he always seemed to do well in a traditional school environment. From day 1 there were issues, (not with the school mind you, because he loves the school) but I found myself having everyday to go into school to copy over the work they had done that day and go home and let him transcribe and try to teach him. It became apparent that that system wasn't working, it was just too much, for him, for me, for my kids. The options were to 1. send him down to infant year 2 to get some basic foundation 2. a specialist school 3. homeschooling. I wouldn't mind homeschooling him but I don't know where to get the curriculum or the materials needed or if he could sit SEA or .... I guess I have alot of questions. Can you help me by pointing out the direction to go to find out more about it?
Hi Latoya, it's great to hear you are thinking in homeschooling your special needs nephew. What is his condition by the way? I will list some options for you and I hope they may be helpful:
1. Visit Source 3 and register. It is a new site that deals with special needs children in Trinidad, we discuss all aspects from behavior to education and everything in between.
2. I am not sure if you are aware but the Ministry started some sort of program where you can request a teaching aide for your nephew at his school. This aide helps your nephew by reinforcing whatever the teacher taught that day as well as making sure he had his work done, etc.
3. If you want to homeschool, you need to decide what approach you want to take. There are as many styles as homeschoolers. It all depends on the needs of the child. Some kids handle well a "traditional" approach where specific books, curriculum, etc are in place as well as an schedule. Other kids work better in the Mason's approach which is learning everything through reading. Then you have "unschooling" approach which is unstructured. It centers around the interests of the child. Most unschooling parents make sure their children learn to read, write and do basic math. Lesson plans and traditional textbooks are not the norm.
You see, it all depends on the interests and needs of your nephew. My son (8) has also special needs, I use a mix of traditional approach and unschooling, it all depends on how much he can handle. Personally, I am not interested in him sitting SEA but you should call the Ministry and find out that. I am not sure how they handle it.
Let me know which homeschooling approach you're thinking of and I would be glad to help.
I will get some information for you guys on the legal aspect of the home schooling. I personally know of a gentleman who home schooled his three kids here in Trinidad up to the primary school level. They all wrote the then Common Entrance Exam and passed for their respective schools where they went on to do well. Two are teaching and one is a Vet. I will call them some time later this week or next and find out how his dad did it. Oh this was 20 something years ago, so I am sure it can still happen. Our laws haven't changed that much since then.
Comments: Hi, I am the mother of four and I am seriously considering homeschooling my too older boys ages 8 and 6yrs 9mths They are in Stds 2 and 1 respectively at a private school and continuously ace their exams and excel. As a qualified teacher myself, though I am currently a stay at home wife and mom since the birth of my youngest 8mths ago, I am truly disturbed by the lack of imagination and the monotonous way in which we educate our kids locally.Very rarely are the children taken out doors to see, live and experience what is beig taught, add that to overcrowded classrooms, frustrated teachers who aren't always there for the betterment of your child and a lack of resources and you have a recipe for most children not to become disruptive and disenchanted with learning. It would be a huge undertaking for me. I am aware of a few people that homeschool, some that started and stopped for various reasons, but there are quite a number of people out there who still are homeschooling and those who would like to. To those who wonder about what others would say re the socialisation isssues and so on, I say to them that I am the best person to teach my children how to socialise, I will not leave that responsibility up to their peers. The negative influences out there always seem to undo what you are labouring to do and though my boys do stand up for their beliefs as Christians I would prefer not to have to constantly sift through their days to find out what happened who said what, what was brought to school etc. I am aware of an association that is somewhere in the east of T'dad but was wondering if there are any homeschoolers in the West who would be willing to form a support group on this side of the island
Comments: Hi my sister has a son who is 9 and he has been from one school to another cause he is one of those kids that misbehaves in school in order to act out when something is wrong at home or in school. She wants to consider homescholing, she lives in Trinidad, how would she begin to do this. Where would she get the curriculum from and what happens when it's time for the SEA test, how will he be able to take this test? Where will she get the books? Can someone tell me please?
KathyAnn, sounds like your nephew may have some sort of attention disorder or learning disability. I would kindly suggest your sister to take him to a psychologist for a full evaluation so he can reach his full potential. :)
About homeschooling, please read the first post within this thread about the Education Act. If she plans to homeschool, the curriculum she can use depends on the style of teaching method she wants to use. It all depends on the needs of the child. Some parents use a traditional method while others because of their kid's needs and personality, choose a more relaxed method. Please google "homeschooling methods" and you will find dozens of ways your sister can teach her child.
If she wants a more traditional approach, she can go to any primary school and kindly ask for the syllabus of the different subjects she will be teaching. What happens when it's time for the SEA test depends on what your sister wants. I am homeschooling my 8 years old son and I am not interested in him taking the SEA test since I would like him to get a US high school degree. BUT I know that she may be able to list him as a private candidate when is time to take the examination, she will need to contact the Ministry to find out the exact procedure.
About the books, she needs to get a list from the same school where she is getting the syllabus and will have to either get it from the library or purchase it herself.
Hope it helps and good luck!