go! Platteland - - HOME-SCHOOLING -

Ber­tus and Carna van Zyl from the farm Een­voud out­side Napier started home­school­ing at their pre­vi­ous farm out­side Piet Retief. “We be­gan by at­tend­ing an in­sight­ful home-school­ing work­shop and do­ing per­son­al­ity tests to es­tab­lish each per­son’s learn­ing style. Wian was a ki­netic learner and Berna a vis­ual learner. We then chose a cur­ricu­lum best suited to the four mem­bers of our fam­ily.”

They switched from an in­for­mal ap­proach to a for­mal South African cur­ricu­lum (Brein­lyn) in Grade 10 to make ad­mis­sion to univer­sity eas­ier. Even­tu­ally the fam­ily de­cided to let the chil­dren com­plete Grades 11 and 12 at the Vry­heid Agri­cul­tural High School in or­der to broaden their hori­zons and ex­pe­ri­ence a school en­vi­ron­ment. “Some peo­ple are still amazed by my son [ Wian] who is busy with his third year in en­gi­neer­ing!” laughs Carna.

Berna, who as a child learnt sewing from one of their neigh­bours, has al­ready de­signed her own range of hand­bags and clothes, and is now study­ing fash­ion de­sign at Fedisa in Cape Town. The Van Zyls say it takes per­se­ver­ance, but strong fam­ily bonds and the free­dom chil­dren have to de­velop their own in­ter­ests were great ad­van­tages. “A won­der­ful bonus: sea­side hol­i­days where the only foot­prints in the sand are yours!”

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