How Children In The 90’s Survived
I was raised in a village called Tutume in the central district. Back in the early 90’s there were very few children who attended pre-primary school, as most parents couldn’t afford it. I didn’t have the opportunity to have early childhood education.
I remember a few months after registering for standard one my grandmother started teaching me how to write my name and I managed to get it. We didn’t even have books to write on. She would write on the ground and leave a space for me to copy the letters.
I have a strong belief that if I was exposed to this early learning for a longer time I would have managed to grasp more and progressed better in my lower primary school. Something I only managed to pick up after standard 4.
Is Education At Home A Good Solution For You Or Not?
This is topic that parents find themselves discussing at length. To take our children to pre-school or to be taught at home.
Ultimately it depends on different things and circumstances. These could be finances or behavioral challenges displayed by your child.
Take a family that has a single parent or both parents are very busy making a living. It would be very difficult to for them to have time to be teaching toddler.
At the end of the day, preschool or home-schooling is a personal choice and it’s totally up to you.
It Starts From Birth
My son is 2.5 years, we have battled on whether to take him to preschool for his early childhood education. However at the back of my mind I have always wanted to home school him.
It has also been difficult keeping nannies. By the time he was 7 Months he had about 6 nannies!
So the option we chose was to have a nanny who has a certificate in Early Childhood Education. She is able to help us during the day while we are work. I have chosen this route because I feel I have the time and resources to make it work.
From birth I have read bedtime stories to my son and made sure I introduced him to the outside world. I involved him in everything that I did. When I was bathing him I would tell him what is happening and why, sounds silly but it works.
How To Go About It, If You Want This Option
We choose to teach our child one language from birth. We choose a language that we felt most comfortable with of the three languages that we speak at home. This has also been a good starting point. His vocabulary is rich and at 2.5 years it’s such a marvel hearing him speak.
We have made sure that we connect internet at home for the nanny. It helps her find better ways of teaching him. We’ve exposed him to phonics and he has been eager to learn. We bought posters that have fruits, transportation and animals.
We also teach him about Botswana. He knows the capital city, his president, flag and even the President of South Africa. Although was very difficult for him to accept that the President was changed.
How A Typical Day With A Preschooler Is At Home?
His daily routine revolves around playing, eating, learning and interacting with other children. On a normal day after waking up, it’s breakfast and then nursery rhymes. If the weather permits a play outside with scooter or bicycle. During the day there is a nap while nanny also gets her rest.
After the afternoon nap it’s learning phonics online, reading a book for him or making up stories looking at pictures. The nanny records all the activities of the day to avoid repeating them again the following day.
In no time he will start extra activities outside home like swimming and playing an instrument. If your looking for what home schooling looks like for the older children have a look at this blog post ‘Helena’s Home School Diary’.
What Are The Benefits Of Having A Preschooler At Home?
The most rewarding thing is seeing your child learn in front of you. He also has the whole attention of his caregivers.
Most of the study materials are affordable. Any parent who is opting for this can visit any store (mostly Chinese shops) and get a poster that costs less than P10. If you know parents that have used materials, there is no harm in asking for them or using plain paper to make flash cards for phonics or numbers. Like I have said when I learnt my name, we wrote on the ground.
Another advantage is that paying a nanny is generally cheaper than school fees. Why not have your child be taught at home and pay the teacher at home. There are many students that are graduating with early childhood education. It’s possible to find them in schools like Bosa Bosele training center in Francistown and Gaborone. Also Nampol in Molepolole and Bytes Size College in Gaborone.
As parents we need to decide and stick to what we want to do for our children. We don’t need to have a lot of money to help our children learn. I believe that the little that you have, you invest in the future of your child.