As a homeschooling family who has been homeschooling since 2009, we are often asked this question. For a long time it was something that hung over my head like a sword, especially when our son decided to not write the Cambridge Exams we spent 24 months preparing for. Coming from a very academic background, this was a huge blow to my ego, but I had to learn that not all children are the same.
In her article for JOY! Magazine in January 2001 Martie Duplessis wrote about: Home schooling – Not all children fit in the same box! This amazing article gave me some insight into the different way that people function. Based on this we have been able to help our children to learn in a way that best suits their learning styles.
What does this have to do with Grade 12 and finishing school?
It helped me to realise that there are different options for different children. I learned that not every child needs to follow the same path to success. I learned that there are some principles or concepts that will remain the same throughout history, but that the methods, the techniques applied to execute these concepts will change with time and we as parents need to be both rigid and flexible enough to embrace the change in techniques.
The concept remains that when you are good at something, people will be willing to pay you for your skills, services, products etc. This will not change. Previously, you were lost without a certification that you are able to perform certain tasks. And while this is unlikely to change is certain regulated, specialized fields, this is not the case for the majority of services, skills, and products in the marketplace.
This insight saved our relationship with our eldest at a critical stage of his development. We could remain open minded enough to give him the opportunity to explore his interests, skills, and talents. After working for the last two years, not only is he now training in a field he loves (and excelling), he has come to the conclusion that the GED approach is one that is more suited for him. And the beauty is because it is his decision, he is motivated to follow through with it.
The GED approach is explained by Shirlee Erwee in the following way:
There are a number of ways that homelearners can get a matric. The most popular form of matric is the academic matric. When it comes to the academic matric there are two choices, namely a South African matric or the Cambridge matric.
Learners can get a South African National Senior Certificate (NSC) through a number of curriculum suppliers. The duration of this is three years and costs are around R10 000 per year.
An increasing number of parents choose the Cambridge International Examination (CIE) matric, offered via Cambridge University. In South Africa, students can do two courses namely IGCSE and AS Levels. In broad terms, the Cambridge IGCSE qualificationis equivalent to a South AfricanGrade 11 and the Cambridge AS Level is equivalent to a South African Grade 12 (i.e. regularMatric ). This qualification is acknowledged by the matriculation board and can be use to get admission to university.
Apart from the academic matric, learners can also do an adult matric. There are plans to introduce such a matric in South Africa, but until this matric is available, many parents choose to make use of the American adult matric called the GED. This matric, together with SAT tests can also be used to get admission to university.