Here are a few answers to common questions that will help you better understand what we offer:
If your child has any academic problems during the year, you are always welcome to contact his or her teacher. If you are not happy with the outcome, you can escalate the matter to the administration department for farther investigation. Professional support is at hand and you are never alone in this process.
Absolutely. Our curriculum offered is no less a standard as that offered in a traditional school. As a result, your child will not be prejudiced in any way regarding the standards offered, and he should be able to either go back into a mainstream school at anytime or proceed on to tertiary education.
English is the language of instruction. Afrikaans is offered as a second language up to grade 9, which is only compulsory for students that are resident in South Africa. If a student’s home language is not English, we also offer optional English courses to help them attain the necessary standard of English. See the Curriculum section for more information.
Children need to play with friends of their own age. Parents can network with other home schooling parents, living in their area. Some schools allow home schooled children to join their sports teams in the afternoons. These schools charge a fee for the child to participate in matches with the school team. Home schooled children can also join Sports Clubs or Playgroups in their specific area. It is important to study your child’s needs and decide where his/her talents lie e.g. arts, crafts, music, sports etc. and then organise weekly lessons. Church groups also provide plenty of social activities for families on a regular basis.
The advantage of home schooling is that parents can choose their child’s friends, unlike traditional schools whereby children may be negatively influenced by unsuitable friends. Your child doesn’t need to have twenty friends; four good playmates is about the same size group your child would socialize with in a traditional school. In addition to this, children have siblings, cousins and neighbours whom they often visit.
Please see the Social Curriculum page for more information about the system offered to assist with this process.
You can control this for free. Download and install K-9 via http://www1.k9webprotection.com. It will allow you to password protect and block any user from visiting any unauthorized site. We recommend that you only allow our sites and those we refer students to.
Students do need a reliable windows based pc, but most of all they need a reliable broadband internet service that offers good enough quality to enable audio and video streaming. (Best to plan for 3 Gigs usage per month).
We recommend that you test your internet connection to see that it is of an acceptable standard. To do this, go to http://pingtest.net/. Take the test by clicking “Begin Test”.
Once completed, your test results will be displayed and your line quality given a score. If your line quality score is an A or B, your quality should be fine for our purposes. If not, then you need to ask your service provider why and when they are going to fix it to an acceptable standard. Otherwise, you need to switch to one of our preferred providers.
Typically, we do not recommend Iburst, MTN, Vodacom, Cell C or 8ta, as these products are not designed for audio or video streaming, but rather for emailing whilst mobile. It must be stressed that the quality of a connection depends on your localised infrastructure; this includes your proximity to your nearest mast and how congested it is at the times you wish to gain access. The cell phone operators’ new LTA service is an exception to this and if your local mast is LTA enabled combined with your modem, that should be more than sufficient.
We recommend one of two options; either a Telkom ADSL line (1 megabyte and above speed) or a satellite internet service within South Africa that is national and can cater for students anywhere in the country, including rural areas. With this service, your proximity to a local mast is not important as it uses a satellite.
Students will spend approximately 3 hours per day online. Wherever possible, they will be given extra work offline or have tasks that they can complete using their text books.
Yes – in South Africa it became legal for parents to teach their own children at home in 1996. Cyber School is a supplier of extra lessons to assist parents intending to teach their own children at home, which conforms with the home education guidelines laid down by the Department of Education of South Africa. The Department does permit the use of tutors to assist the parent in this task. That’s where we come in!
Students complete multiple-choice Assessments on a regular basis. These “graded” evaluations ensure they understand what has been done during the previous few weeks. After completion of an Assessment the final grade is displayed as soon as all the questions have been answered. This grading system charts your child’s progress throughout the year. All the scores can be viewed in his online Assessment Report Module, as well as a running total which indicates what overall grade has been achieved to date. This makes revision far superior to existing paper based systems being used by traditional schools.
That’s no problem…. We cater for parents and children that have had little exposure to computers or the internet. Firstly, our system is very easy to use and you require no experience or know-how in order to access classes.
I am sure you agree that we all live in the Information Age, whether we like it or not. So we have two choices; we can bury our heads in the sand and hope it goes away (which it won’t) or we can embrace it and master it for our own benefit! Like it or not, we need to accept that this is the way of the world and the sooner we and our children learn to work proficiently with the internet, the easier it will be for them in the long run.
Legally, all South African resident home schoolers up to grade 9 (or age 16) are obliged to register with the Department of Education. As the parent, you will still be “technically” responsible for your child’s homeschooling (up to grade 9) and the service we offer is there to supplement what you are doing. If you are not a resident of South Africa, you do not need to comply with this requirement, and need to comply with the regulations in your home country, if they exist.