This is my second year teaching my 11 year old from home. (now grade 6).
Considering the OBE scholastic system and the curriculum the schools teach, bound together with the lack of skilled teachers being afforded the opportunity to teach our children, even if you as a parent didnt pass matric or even Grade 10 (Std 8), your child is better off being taught at home by you than in the schools - unless you are sending the child to a private school which then means that you are spending an arm and a leg without the guarantee of work when they matriculate.
With the internet, these kids have such a large choice of subject matter which they would prefer to study other than the current curriculum (be it local or international), that it makes one wonder whether we shouldnt have done this ourselves (although the net wasnt around when i was schooling - pity). With a littleof your time, guidance, support and seeking the subject matter you require, your child is able to obtain the information required to learn subjects that make sense to him/her and that would be applied should they be lucky enough to secure a job post matric - ie teaching the child subject matter like AIDS, Sex and how to have it safely by using condoms, highlighting so called Heros such as Brenda Fassi, or George Bush - one has to wonder whether we are producing thinkers or do-do's. This matter is being taught in the schools and as an 11 year old AIDS can be covered in a 5 minute discussion (absolute basics), sex as far as i am concerned should not - as this promotes promiscuity. As for hero's such as Brenda Fassi who firstly was a singer and had a totally immoral way of conducting her personal life- with such a lack of morals i am surprised she was even mentioned, George Bush who is an ignorant murderer..killing innocent women and children in wars based on lies and greed, etc. Now as a thinker these people mean nothing to me and could not be looked up to as a role model let alone a hero. As for the sex and aids subjects - we are currently looking a rising statistics when it comes to AIDS, teenage pregnancies, rape, etc....this could only be attributed to the amount of marketing and ïn your face"advertising that these kids are exposed to. Clearly the same marketing to create awareness as well as the education given to kids has created such a problem, it is obvious it is not working.
Getting back to technology - my son currently finds the stats pertaining to these things and while he may not totally understand the bigger picture, he does know what AIDS is and most importantly that promiscuity leads to teenage pregnancy, alcohol and gambling being the demise of family units, etc. Obtaining stats and good subject matter is what technology provides us with (in many cases) but also allows the child to look at it from different perspectives which creates thinking in the process. Schools provide only one way of thinking - right or wrong, yes or no. if it werent for the net, he might have still been learning from the books provided by the school which in so many cases provided incorrect information and which the teacher would not budge in terms of rectifying it - because it was part of the curriculum. Right or wrong, teach it.
I have not looked back and truly believe that kids of today, with the advancement of technology, are becoming very creative. While the kids are young as with my son, allow them the advantages of technology, in all spheres because even gaming can create an awareness and creativity unlike no other. Harnassing those skills linked to technology as well as the information that is available on the net plus using your own experiences, your own understanding of things - it is this type of learning by the kids of today that should create a well rounded and balanced child just like my 11 year old.
Let them think, allow them to ask questions and allow them to resolve issues in a few different ways. As long as the answer is the same, all are right. And then finally let technology lead them and allow them them to become engineers of our future. They have already begun....