Homeschooling is the education of children at home by their parents. There may be variations where parents partner with a tutor to teach some of the subjects, or the student completes classes online, but in homeschooling, education is parent directed and it is tailored to meet the needs of the child(ren) and the family.
If you are looking for a small environment where your student be can be educated using a homeschool curriculum, this is not considered homeschooling.
In it’s Homeschooling and National Examination brochure, the Ministry of Education states:
‘any groups that meet for the purpose of schooling and contain 5 or more students, who are not related, are recognized as a school and should be registered with NAECOB which is located in the RND Plaza West, John F. Kennedy Drive.”
Yes, homeschooling is legal in the Bahamas. The following excerpt is taken from the Ministry of Education’s brochure “Home Schooling in The Bahamas”:
“Over the last decade, home schooling has been on the rise in The Bahamas. The Ministry of Education is aware of this and supports families who have the capacity and desire to practice home schooling. Indeed, Section 24 (1) of the Education Act, recognizes both the responsibility and the rights of parents: “It shall be the duty of the parents of every child of compulsory school age to cause him to receive full-time education suitable to his age, ability and aptitude, by regular attendance at school or otherwise”. Home Schooling, as a mode of education delivery, falls under the category of “otherwise”.
You can view more of the Ministry of Education’s information on homeschooling at www.ministryofeducationbahamas.com.
Yes, homeschooled students can take GLAT, BJC and BGCSE examinations. As a member of The BHA, you may register through The BHA or you may register as a private candidate through the Ministry of Education.
If you are considering national examinations ensure that the curriculum you are using covers the syllabus of the exam subjects. If they do not, be prepared to fill in the gaps. Syllabi and past papers are available for sale at the Ministry of Education’s Examinations and Assessment Division, Tonique Williams Darling Highway.
An important decision for homeschoolers is which homeschool method to use. There are many options to choose from and the best one is the one that works best for your family. A few of the options are listed below to help you start your research, but there are many others and families often use a mixture of methods.
This method is often referred to as the textbook/workbook approach. Traditional homeschoolers usually use a complete curriculum which includes textbooks (and teacher’s guides) for each subject area. It is very similar to “regular school”. There are numerous traditional curricula publishers or providers including, but not limited to: Abeka, Alpha Omega Publications, Calvert School, Rod and Staff, Bob Jones University Press, and Apologia.
The foundation of a classical education is a three-part system of learning called the trivium. The trivium consists of the Grammar stage (grades K – 4), Logic Stage (5 – 8), and the Rhetoric Stage (9-12). The early years are spent learning facts. In the middle years, students use logic to analyze and think through arguments. In the high school years they learn to apply what they have learned and to express themselves. More extensive information is also available in two popular books: “The Well Trained Mind” by Jessie Wise and Susan Wise Bauer and ‘Teaching The Trivium: Christian Homeschooling in a Classical Style” by Harvey and Laurie Bluedorn.
This method weaves multiple subjects, e.g. science, language arts etc., around a central theme. Unit studies typically use real books (historical novels, biographies, etc.) as resources, rather than textbooks. Examples of curricula based on the unit studies approach are Five in a Row, KONOS and Tapestry of Grace.
The Charlotte Mason method is a literature-rich method with a heavy focus on living books and nature study. Some of the elements of Charlotte Mason homeschooling are narration (asking the child to retell a story he has read), copy work (copying passages from good sources), and dictation (the student writes a passage that is read aloud). Winter Promise, Sonlight and Ambleside Online are examples of literature-based curricula.
Cathy Duffy defines Unschooling as “the idea of letting children follow their own inclinations in their education”. The unschooled student directs her own education and pursues her own interests through guided or unguided exploration.
One of the benefits of homeschooling is that you have options — you may choose just one approach or you may mix and match educational resources to best suit your child’s learning style and needs. For example, a homeschooler may use workbooks for math and unit studies for science and history. This approach is called eclectic homeschooling.