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Cayman Parent | Articles | Community | Home Schooling in Cayman: Pros, Cons & Considerations | Part II

Home Schooling in Cayman: Pros, Cons & Considerations | Part II

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All children between the ages of 5 and 16 in Cayman should be registered in an approved educational plan, which could be a private school, a public school or a homeschool. In Cayman, over 100 children are homeschooled. While they are certainly in the minority, in certain circumstances it can be the most desirable option for both student and parents. Like any education system, homeschooling has distinct advantages and disadvantages, and a set of standards and regulations that must be met. For an overview of how and why one might choose to homeschool in Cayman, read on. – by Natasha Were

Socialisation & Friendship for Homeschooled Children

Is there a danger that a child who is home schooled might miss out on socialising with their age group and thus have less friends than a regular school goer? It’s a valid concern, but there is much that can be done to ensure a child does not become isolated. Enrolling kids in extra curricular activities, sports lessons, church groups, music and art lessons, will ensure they meet and socialise with kids of their age. Where one lives can also be influential: some residential areas are particularly family friendly, guaranteeing there will be plenty of other kids around to play with.

Advantages of Homeschooling


  • Teaching their children to read and write can be an immensely rewarding and bonding experience for parents. It allows parents to spend far more time with their children at a tender young age, with the potential to make learning fun and flexible.Teaching can be adapted to a child’s learning style and interests, ensuring they receive a quality education and plenty of individual attention
  • Lessons don’t have to be conducted at home: they can learn outdoors, even at the beach, and timings can be fitted around one’s lifestyle.
  • As Tiffany Knowles, a homeschooling parent and the founder of Cayman Homeschoolers, says: “You can homeschool around big life events, like moving or having a baby. If children work hard and get done with schoolwork early, then they can go out and play, or be off school for the rest of the day. There are no set timetables, and every outing can be turned into a learning experience.”
  • There is no big rush to leave the house in the morning, no time wasted sitting in rush hour traffic, and music, art or other extra curricular activities can be booked during the day, when other kids are in school.
  • Cayman also offers a growing number of after-school programmes (see previous page) in which homeschooled children can participate and an increasing choice of activities where they can socialise with their peers in regular schools.
  • As the homeschooling community grows children in Cayman are regularly invited to participate in spelling bees, science fairs and swim meets.

Disadvantages of Homeschooling


  • Whilst for some families homeschooling makes financial sense, for others the opposite is true: if one parent stays home to teach, there is one less income to support the family.
  • Depending on the curriculum chosen, the preparation and planning of lessons can make it a full time occupation for the teaching parent.
  • Home schooling gives the homeschooling parent quality time with their kids, but it also means little ‘alone’ time.
  • For families with  multiple kids, it can be challenging to provide quality teaching to different ages at the same time.
  • Social interaction is an essential part of education and growing up. Children in the conventional school system are surrounded by other children of the same age and tend to make friends easily through school. Homeschooled kids don’t have that opportunity, so it requires more effort to ensure they can meet and play with kids in their age group.
  • Being a small community, the resources available to homeschoolers are more limited than they would be in other countries, and the size of the homeschooling community is also smaller.
  • For parents who choose the homeschooling route, one of the toughest aspects of it can be the questions, attitudes and misconceptions non-homeschoolers will have about their choice.

Reasons for Choosing Homeschooling

 

Quality of Education

Parents can choose a curriculum that will be fun and inspiration for their child and they can adapt the teaching to a child’s learning style. It allows them to spend extra time on topics a child struggles with, eliminating concerns parents may have with class sizes or a child’s progress.

 

Learning Difficulties

For some children, conventional schools may not have the resources to adequately meet each child’s different needs, whereas at home a child receives all the individual attention he/she needs and an education tailored to his/her abilities.

 

 

Psychological

For some parents, homeschooling is a means of shielding their children from the less pleasant aspects of large schools – peer pressure, bullying, violence or drugs, for instance. For others it is to remove a child from a school where they were unhappy.

 

 

Interim Measure

If a child is on a waitlist for a private school – which is not uncommon in Cayman – homeschooling can be a good temporary solution until a place becomes available.

 

 

Financial

Private schooling is expensive, especially for families with more than one child. Homeschooling is very affordable with the main cost being teaching materials.

 

Travel

For parents who travel a lot, homeschooling means that children can join their parents without missing class.


Looking for more information on homeschooling?

Don’t miss our articles on a Mum’s Account of homeschooling or the Rules & Regulations for homeschooling in Cayman.

 
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