Home Schooling In Barbados
Home schooling is the education of children inside the home, as opposed to the formal settings of a public or private school and it is usually conducted by a parent or tutor or both.
Parents decide to home school their children for various reasons but the most common reasons seem to be dissatisfaction with the quality of academic instructions, the curriculum, bullying in schools and the desire to be more involved in their children's learning and development.
Some parents home school in order to have greater control over what and how their children are taught, to provide specific religious or moral instruction, and to take advantage of the efficiency of one-to-one instruction, which allows the child to spend more time on childhood activities, socializing, and non-academic learning.
Homeschooling is an option for families temporarily living abroad, and for those who travel frequently. Many young athletes, actors, and musicians are also taught at home to better accommodate their training and practice schedules.
The option to home school is gaining momentum in Barbados and there is already noted success of children who have been home schooled. There are now a number of students in top secondary schools in Barbados who were home schooled for their primary education and there are students who have gone off to universities overseas after home schooling in Barbados.
One of the areas of concerned with home schooling is the missing socialisation that happens in regular schools. However, children who home school can participate in extra curricular activities and that allows them to enjoy adequate socialising with their peers. Children who are home schooled can also volunteer and get active in youth programs and programs at churches or clubs. Some service clubs that are opened to all children include, Cadets, Boy Scouts and Girl Guides, to name a few.
Home schoolers have a choice of programmes that they can follow. There are programmes such as “Sonlight”, during the primary school stages and ‘Keystone High School’ online which is based in Pennsylvania and is good for anyone who wants to follow the US High School programs to enter US Universities.
To follow local curriculum, various syllabuses can be collected from the Ministry of Education,Technological and Vocational Training
How To Home School In Barbados
Home schooling is legal in Barbados under Article 42 of the Education Act Cap. 41 (1997), which states, “A child of compulsory school age may be exempted from compulsory attendance at school…if the child is receiving instruction at home in a manner and to a standard satisfactory to the Minister.”
Families who wish to home school their children should apply for an exemption from the Chief Education Officer, as outlined in the Education Act, Article 42, § 3.
Permission to home school must be sought by writing to the Permanent Secretary, the Ministry of Education Technology and Vocational Training and they must state the following: Reason for home schooling
The child’s name, date of birth and any previous schools that they attended
qualifications of parent and/or tutor(s)
curriculum that you expect to follow
On receiving the application, you will be invited for an interview at the Ministry of Education Technology and Vocational Training. You should take evidence of your qualifications or that of the tutors that will be tutoring the child or children and be prepared to discuss what your plans are for the children and the programme that you will follow. If you are not a Barbadian, you need to apply for a student visa for each child.
If you are thinking about home schooling your child, please apply in good time to ensure that you can start home schooling at the appropriate time.
Children who are home schooled are also expected to write the Common Entrance Examination but they do not necessarily have to accept their place in a secondary school, the child can continue to be home schooled. Parents should also note that home schooled children will need to get involved in extra curricular activities on their own.
However it would be a good idea to apply for permission to participate in activities like sports as there might be a provision for independent schools to participate in the schools sporting programmes.