n South African Journal of Education - Learning at home : an ethnographic study of a South African home school

Volume 24, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0256-0100
  • E-ISSN: 2076-3433



Home schooling may be defined as an alternative to on-site institutionalised schooling. Most education systems accommodate home schooling but such arrangements are regulated in various ways. This article reports on an investigation into home schooling in South Africa as an consequential part of the education system of the country. A literature review of the context, nature, scope and current issues of the home schooling movement, in other countries as well as in South Africa, is presented as background to the empirical investigation. The latter comprised an ethnographic study of a single home-schooling family chosen by judgement sampling. Data were collected during a six-month period of fieldwork employing participant observation and semi-structured interviews. The findings showed that although home schooling is an effective model of education and is rewarding for many families, it requires extensive commitment, dedication, preparation, emotional involvement and stamina.

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