Frequently Asked Questions & Answers
While we offer educational resources for all ages, we are not a formal institution and don’t require formal registration. This is due to the vision, philosophy and objectives of the ministry.
We only require for you to register an online account (which you will be prompted to do automatically as you checkout on the Oikos online store). Registering online enables you to shop without having to enter your details every time you wish to checkout, as well as keeping a record of your previous orders.
Click here for the playlist of video testimonies of other grandparents.
I, Sonja Wood, asked my mother, Yvonne McCurrach, to write her testimony of being a grandmother of home educated (Homeschooled) grandchildren. She wrote this letter to parents choosing to teach their children at home and advising them to include the grandparents as much as possible.
Letters from Granny Oikos
As promised I will outline our experiences as the grandparents of home educated (Homeschooled) children.
We have seven grandchildren ranging in age between 12 and 27 years old, four boys and three girls. Missy and Jamie are the only two who are home educated (Homeschooled).
I would suggest that as parents who are choosing to educate your children at home, it is a good idea to have a visit with grans and grandpas, without your children, to explain your reasons, motivation and heart to them. It is a good idea to also visit at a later stage with the children who can also tell gran and grandpa how they would like them to feel about them being home educated (Homeschooled). We were very fortunate that Greg and Sonja included us from the very start of their home education (Homeschooling) journey.
We have enjoyed being in a position where we have been ‘Hands on’ grandparents to all our precious grandchildren and so it has been a tremendous blessing to us that we have participated in Missy and Jamie’s home education (Homeschooling) from the very beginning. We can see how much our support and participation has meant to our family and of course the rewards are numerous.
As for feeling deprived of the opportunity to brag about our grandchildren who have made it into the 1st rugby team, been chosen as an exchange student to go to U.S.A for 6 months, to win art exhibitions, be made head prefect etc. etc. not a chance. All the above are very commendable but my personal feeling is the memories we cherish are more precious by far. What can replace teaching my grandchildren to swim (in the dam at Mbona!!) having wonderful craft mornings together, going for walks to find frogs, baking gingerbread men, dressing up, reading Bible stories, telling them stories about their Mom when she was a little girl (they love those), going on camping trips that involved writing a diary and working out how many kilometres from Mbona to Pilansburg Game Reserve. I could go on and on as many other grans could do but turning all the above into learning experiences is what has made us realise how much we can contribute to our grandchildren’s education and have lots of fun in the process. We have been richly blessed. In addition to all the above, Sonja and the children have an annual ‘Grandparent’s Day’ when us four grandparents are treated to a lovely lunch (done by Missy and Jamie) and a sharing of the years work. We take gifts to the children and congratulate them on their achievements. By the way many public schooled children don’t ever win a prize because there’s not much room at the top but every year our two get commended for their efforts and have many ‘Achievement Awards’ to their credit.
I am very aware that not all grandparents are in a position to do all the above things but the fact is that even from a wheelchair grandparents can support, enjoy, love and participate in the choice that their children have made. The alternative — ‘Disapproval’ is soul destroying to oneself, destructive to the family and produces nothing but sadness and negative results and so my prayer is that all parents who choose the ‘Home Education (Homeschool) Route’ will seek God’s help in bringing grandparents on board with them to enrich the lives of these precious children who have been entrusted to our care, and to acknowledge the wisdom and guidance that grandparents can pass onto the children.
God bless and love from Yvonne.
P.S. I must share with you that since coming to live at Mbona (where Greg and Sonja’s home is) it has become Jamie’s job to take granny swimming in the dam —- I sit on the back of his surfboard and we both paddle out to the centre of the dam, slide off the board, have a lovely swim and then I hang onto the back of the board (because I can’t haul myself back onto it) and Jamie paddles us back to the bank. Isn’t that precious?
For Grandparents of Home Educated (Homeschooled) Grandchildren
We are the very blessed grandparents of two precious home educated (Homeschooled) grandchildren. Melissa and James are now aged 19 and 14 and so we have enjoyed being on the sidelines to see them blossoming into outstanding young adults. Our daughter Sonja and her husband Greg drew us into the lifestyle from day one and have encouraged us to participate whenever and wherever we can enjoy sharing this amazing journey that we have all gone on. We have been careful not to intrude and so have been led by these dedicated parents to help when our input would be of value.
Maybe we have been denied the ‘Bragging and Boasting’ that most of us enjoy in telling our friends about the ‘Trophies’ awarded to our grandchildren at school and let me emphasise that I am in no way diminishing these achievements (we have 5 other precious grandchildren of whom we are very proud) However there is little to equal the precious times we have spent doing crafts, digging in the garden (looking for worms) looking at stars through the telescope, sewing, knitting, planting seeds, reading together, painting pictures, learning to swim and camping —- where every project becomes educational in such a fun way. Believe me we have learnt so many new things ourselves that it has advanced our own education at a very late time in life!! As they say , “You are never too old to learn!’ I add that even from a wheelchair or a rocking chair, be it academic, sport or creative arts you are never too old to have fun and make special memories
Go for it grannies, and grandpas – have lots of fun, be hugely blessed and very proud of your children who have made this amazing commitment to be the kind of parents who are dedicating themselves to the most noble of all callings – to present to the world young people who are in every way special and ready themselves to give to society something with which they have been blessed.
May God bless you with many more years to Support, Observe, Participate and Enjoy the fruits of your precious family.
For Further Encouragement
Please get yourself this little treasure of a booklet called Letters by Granny Oikos. Please visit the store to see this book.
Here is a video playlist which we did specifically for vulnerable children being educated while using Oikos.
Poverty and HIV/AIDS are the two most influential factors on children living in South Africa today, more than half live in poverty and the HIV/AIDS epidemic has left a population of millions of orphans and vulnerable children.
Vulnerability is one of the key hindrances to development and learning; the ability of vulnerable children to attend or perform in school is likely to be severely affected. Where they are able to attend school they often are stigmatised and bullied. It may be very difficult for a child in these circumstances to concentrate sufficiently to be able to study and learn enough to get a Matric.
As many as one in five children start school developmentally vulnerable and not fully ready to learn. They are stressed and experience negative health, social and developmental outcomes resulting in poor school attendance and educational achievement. They lack the resources and care to meet their basic psychological and physical needs. They are generally at a greater risk of abuse.
Is it appropriate, therefore, to persist with exposing vulnerable children to a conventional education system from which they are unlikely to benefit?
Should the focus, in the first instance, not be on the emotional and social development of the vulnerable child rather than on the perception that education is paramount regardless of the child’s personal circumstances?
A happy and well-adjusted child is better able to deal with the problems of life, whether they have a comprehensive education or not. Such a child will deal better with the process of education anyway, even if this begins later in the child’s life or takes longer than would normally be the case.
Oikos Family Ministries offers an alternative to conventional school and classroom learning with a Bible based home education curriculum that focusses first on the emotional and spiritual well-being of the child.
“God impressed on our hearts and birthed a vision in us to support families to grow in Kingdom living so that they could raise their children at home and to serve Him with their heart, mind and soul.
This vision was birthed in 1987 but in fact the seed was planted during our childhood years. It is our hope and desire to be used by God as His servants for His Kingdom purpose as we support families who choose to keep their children at home.
Oikos learning lifestyle has developed over the years to now offer families the following…
- A comprehensive stock of educational resources for children from birth through to adult life
- Detailed information, testimony and video support on our website online. A full review of all resources available from Oikos.
We believe that God deposited in us His heart for children to be raised in loving homes with parents or carers who nurture, guide, teach and train them in His Word and so equip them to follow Him all the days of their lives. His heart and vision for Kingdom living is brought into every aspect of the Oikos Learning Lifestyle. In fact, the resources that God has placed before us all support in raising children to be men and women who love and serve God with all their heart, mind and soul.”
(Greg and Sonja Wood, founders of Oikos Family Ministries)
It is Oikos’ objective to facilitate a positive learning environment which encourages each child to “discover his or her unique gifts, talents and abilities, to come to know God in a deep and personal way, and to develop qualities in their lives that reflect the life of Jesus.
Not only is the Christian lifestyle, environment and education essential for our children’s spiritual growth and well-being, but we are morally obliged to train our children in this way in obedience to God and His Word”.
Matthew 6:33 (NIV)
33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
It is our belief that “all these things” include a comprehensive education and training for each child to enable the realisation of the “unique gifts, talents and abilities”, if that is God’s will.
The Oikos Home Education curriculum is offered for home education purposes to Christian parents and to Christian children’s’ homes and orphanages, or other places of safety for vulnerable children.
We suggest that you watch the video of Charmain Coertzen’s testimony, and the other testimonies that are available on the website.
Please email any enquiries, once you have visited the website and watched the videos we have suggested, to [email protected] or phone +2731 880 2345.
To answer this question in full you can either watch the video here.
Or, you can read the transcript of this video here.
We would love to meet each and every family personally but we all know that that isn’t physically possible.
We are not able to do the Home-education circuit, the Expo’s, Concerts, Fairs that happen all over the country and all over the world. We obviously are unable to travel to all of these and we do not have a trained team that can travel extensively, doing the circuit, be it in South Africa or internationally.
Instead we are able to speak to you through this technology, allowing us to reach each and every one of you even though we would prefer to meet personally. We will do our best to support you through this means.
A Namibian Mom who lives in a very remote place in Namibia was led to the Oikos site. She says she sat one Friday evening into the wee hours of the morning, watching the media on the site, she said it was like a life-line, she received so much help and support being able to access the site.
It is for this reason that we spend much of our time and energy (and resources) to bring you this support and help which we trust will reach those far and near and even those who would not be able to reach the home-education circuit themselves.
We have attended conferences in the past and if we were to do so in future, or indeed if we were able to come to visit you in your homes, or ours, we would offer you a cup of tea and ask you to sit and relax with us as we take you to The Word of God which is where we would always start. We would ask you to turn back to Him and go to Him and see what it is that God is directing you to and how. So that you leave your stress behind and can think clearly.
We hope that even with our lack of attendance on the conference circuit that we will be able to support and help you through the courses and workshops to aid you in this journey with your family. We would like to guide you in your commitment to your family and to God. We are here to help you practically and assist in guiding you and leading you.
We also want to show you what we are doing at Oikos base for you and remind you that children spell love
“T – I – M – E”
Oikos Day to Day
We can spend time having tea with you but most of the time we are involved in the production of Oikos resources, doing the printing and processing, producing these videos, the admin and the clerical to ensure the parcels arrive at your door. The video clip above includes some footage of the day to day of Oikos that might be interesting for you and your children to view.
Now I must tell you a quick testimony. A mom phoned me a few days before we came here and shared that she felt terrible. She had bought Math-U-See Gamma for her one child and Delta for the other. After having bought the kit, she thought to herself “Oh, I have a good idea. I will just leave the student book exactly as it is, and copy it so that I won’t have to buy it when my next child is ready for it.”
This seemed to be a brilliant idea, as one of her friends had suggested that she do it.
So she took all her maths and language books and had them copied and bound. Soon after having this done, she woke up in the night with God convicting her that she had done wrong. Her thought had been that this approach was acceptable, seeing as everyone was doing it. That’s what you do as a home educator (Homeschooler), you save money and use the extra funds elsewhere. But instead, she phoned us, the resource supplier and confessed “I need to repent, I need you to please tell me how to make it right. I want to pay for the books that I copied for my children because God has spoken to my heart. I need you to tell me how to handle it because I know many people are doing the same thing.”
Disregard of Copyright
Now let me tell you, Oikos Family Ministries has noticed this trend increase over the last few years. The last two years has resulted in an absolute plummeting of finances in Oikos. It’s only God’s grace and provision keeping this ministry going-under and preventing us from closing the doors. He is serious about this ministry staying strong for more and more families to be able draw together, to bring their children home and educate them in the ways of the Lord. But as to what’s happening out there in the world, there is copying, secondhand resource resale and even plagiarism.
High Regard of Copyright
Many people have no idea that there is anything wrong with copying and duplicating resources, because our society has no respect for copyright. Missy and James, (my daughter and son) will not download something that is offered for free illegally, because they want to support the individuals who made their products available. They have felt the effects of this in ministry, and have strong morals and principles as a result. Having seen what happens when a person breaks these laws, they will not do it to someone else.
We sometimes have to help them not to develop a hard heart towards others because of this. We counsel them saying “You must not be angry towards the public, as many are simply ignorant of the effects of duplication. It is the enemy’s plan for society to be so darkened, that people will do things without conscience.”
Exceptional Value – God Provides
God has made it possible to educate a young adult through their high school year for as little as R4100. In spite of this, there is plagiarism, copying, and lack of respect for suppliers and authors. This means that funds are very, very short in Oikos Family Ministries. We could have not come to Bloemfontein under normal circumstance, but we go where God calls us and He provides every time – our God is a faithful God and has never once let us down. He supports His ministry and takes care of the finances. If people continue to do what they have been doing, then He will look after that as well. He has already awoken one person, and now she’s putting things right while also sharing her conviction with others.
Appreciation of God’s Provision
Many haven’t yet considered how LLATL, Apologia and Math-U-See were introduced to South Africa. God supernaturally provided funds for Oikos to fly over to America and to meet with authors and resource providers. This happened every single time we’ve needed to go to America for home education (Homeschool) needs.
One time when we went to America to get Apologia, we didn’t have any funds. A woman came up to me with a dollar cheque and said, “I have no idea why, but God told me I’ve got to give this cheque to you.”
It covered the expenses exactly, no more and no less. That’s what He does, that’s what our Lord does!
Watch the video here.
The immediate answer is no, Oikos does not provide reports and certificates. However, there are exams and tests all the way through the Oikos resources. You, the parent, mark them and you calculate the averages for the year.
So no, Oikos, do not offer certification because the Oikos lifestyle is not based on systems requiring certain kinds of knowledge outcomes but rather on the whole development of the child and the parent is issuing the ‘certificates of completion’ as and when their children completes the work.
We also have produced a special course called “Certificates” which we hope you will watch and find helpful.
When it comes to the little one in preschool, we have never had our children in school so I cannot speak from personal experience, but I have heard from many families that they have regretted waiting to bring ALL their children home. They say it had a negative effect taking the little one to and from preschool, while home educating (Homeschooling) the others and having spent fun time with them at home. This seemed to cause, in some families, some behaviour problems from the ones at home which impacted negatively on the one returning from preschool, (or regular school).
This is what can happen.
The ‘school’ going child/children return to either be told by the one at home what a fun ‘home school’ morning they’ve had with mom, or what a terrible time it’s been and the ones at school will communicate either way also. So this is a breeding ground for jealousy, confusion, rejection and so on. Therefore if anyone asks us the above question we tell them about these testimonies but even more importantly we say the following.
If you as a family feel convicted to bring your child home to home educate (Homeschool) them and grow as a family together in this lifestyle, then it may be that the social or sporty child, children, may object and ‘prefer’ to stay at school and the one who is having struggles with being at school may love the idea. However, whatever may result from their reactions, if you as a family are choosing this lifestyle for raising your children, then we strongly recommend you make the commitment from the start for the whole family. We have strong convictions but we also have mostly negative testimonies from families who have taken this step in stages rather than taking the leap and bringing them all home to start together.
If you feel afraid that you will not cope with all of them at home at the same time instead of taking them out of school in stages, then remember the testimonies of others who have taken it in stages, who have shared how much more difficult it was to settle this way. While trying to establish a home educating (Homeschooling) environment but also still going to and from schools, having to comply with school regulations and not being able to embrace all the benefits of home education (Homeschooling). They advise other families to take the leap because it was only once they were all at home that they could really benefit from this lifestyle.
Also you can watch this video which covers this question
No official exams or reports are issued through Oikos. The reason for this is that there are built in tests and exams throughout the Oikos resources which give the parent, and the student, insight into what has been understood or perhaps not understood. Therefore you don’t need reports.
Reports are given when another person, i.e., a teacher, is teaching a student and then sending a ‘report’ of the results of that students work to a parent. So, if you, the parent are doing the teaching then you will be assessing the student yourself all the way through, so no report will be required.
We also hope that this video playlist will be helpful to you. Certificates
And perhaps this too will help
Oikos doesn’t offer a ‘formal’ preschool programme and this is why.
We strongly believe in a natural lifestyle of learning and children learn so much through play and fun we suggest that moms get into the KONOS lifestyle and then move onto the more formal learning such as maths and language as and when the child shows interest and when the parents assess when they ready for that.
Some children may show an interest to read at a much younger age than others so it is all dependent on each individual child. However please be patient and do not rush into formal learning the moment your child shows an interest because they may not be ready for it in other ways. We strongly suggest you read the popular book by Dr. Raymond and Dorothy Moore. Better Late than Early.
You can start introducing and begin living the KONOS Lifestyle from the very early years, as young as toddler stage. The reason why this is possible is because KONOS is a Parent training manual, in that it helps give parents a directive in focussing on training their children’s characters. So although activities may be aimed at slightly older children, the objective remains the same throughout KONOS and that being the training and moulding of character.
Please watch the video clips for KONOS living where we share with you the vision of this lifestyle. We produced these clips when our children were very little and now they are both adults yet what was produced then still applies today.
KONOS is the heart of the Oikos curriculum together with bible studies from a very young age.
We hope that parents enjoy their little ones, toddlers, and allow natural learning to happen without putting themselves and their children through unnecessary stress of trying to follow and keep up with a daily preschool programme which can inhibit natural play and learning.
Rest assured that once you are into the KONOS living through Oikos you will then progress onto the formal when needed. You can see for yourself testimonies of those who have travelled the Oikos road and are very well educated at a high level of quality and standard of education, however the best part is their wonderful memories of childhood and young adulthood because of their fun experience of learning.
So although we do not offer you a preschool programme to follow we do offer KONOS for a lifestyle which we hope will direct you in the training of character while your little children learn through having fun and playing.
This video will answer this question for you.
Unfortunately we cannot go back to the original spiral bound books.
Math-U-See converted from the spiral bound books to glue bound a few years back and consequently they require us to do the same as this is their curriculum, not ours. We only distribute so we must follow their requirements. They have advanced and made big improvements to the binding and believe this is now a better way to present the books.
We held off for as long as possible to not go glue binding but eventually we had to keep up with their developments and had no choice but to move across to glue binding.
What parents are doing about this is when the child is at the start of the book they place a book under the front cover to have the book evenly laid on the table. When the child is in the middle it is no longer difficult and then when they get near the lessons at the end you place a book under the back cover to have the book lay level again. This seems to be satisfactory.
This video here. we hope will answer this question for you.
With regard to keeping a measure that your children are progressing adequately, there are built in assessments throughout the necessary sequential learning material such as language, maths and science. The parent can assess all the way through the resources what level their children are at and what they are grasping, understanding, or what they are not. A parent will not get the next book just because it is the following year and the child must be at that level, they are going to want to be sure the child is ready for that next book.
Exams, tests, reports, are for school systems to make sure everyone is moving on and up to keep them all grouped, this is not necessary in the home environment. If the mom is under pressure from an outside source to have her children ready for exams which are being evaluated outside of the home environment then that is what puts the mom under stress.
We have found that to have the assessments built in and for the parent to take the responsibility of this while considering each child’s learning abilities, and the families needs, as well as the various characters and personalities of each family member then parents are assessing their own children, they don’t need someone to tell them their child is slow to read, they know that.
Then they, the parent, will do what is required to help the child, it is their child, they love their child, they will not push them onto the next reading level just because they trying to keep the child abreast with the grade levels in the school system.
With regard to being concerned about whether they will be ready for matric.
We have young adult video clips where young people are sharing their Oikos testimonies, and in them they say that although it was not the norm when they were being home educated, they would not change it for anything because they feel so equipped for adult life and the richer for it all. They did not follow grades and their parents focus was not about keeping them in line with what was required by the school system, grade by grade.
Oikos students are not all fitting into one box called matric, each one has the opportunity through Oikos to be directed in the calling and leading for their individual lives, hence it not being a ‘one package fits all’ system.
In fact Oikos is a ministry, not a system, and the ministry is to guide parents to raise their children for God’s kingdom purpose here on earth. Oikos resources, Oikos ministries, is what supports parents and students to be equipped in this way for His purpose.
Please watch this video, to hear the heart of Oikos, as it is shared on this topic.
First let me tell you this, hundreds of people have given up their jobs to take on home education and it’s working out well in many respects including financially. In fact, a friend just told me she did research on the cost of her children being in school and all the hidden costs, etc., and then as a result of her findings she has given up her job. It was costing them more as a family to send their children to the local school than what she is earning! So they have opted to home educate. She said that just the uniforms for the year cost her what the Oikos resources for maths and languages cost her. She said she is now going to sell the uniforms at the second hand clothing shop!
I do respect that this is dependant largely on what an individual is earning, however another friend, a professional person gave up her practise to home educate her children, and because she was bringing in a professional income she had her children at private school. So even having given up a professional income, taking them out of private school and home educating them still worked in their favour, on more levels than only financial considerations.
Please watch the video on this topic here.
Firstly, we have a number of moms who find the Oikos lifestyle suited to their single parenting, so take comfort in that. There a few reasons that the Oikos Lifestyle for home education suits the single parent scenario:
Affordable, yet of an extremely high quality and standard and thus it gives excellent value for money. (Costs are often a concern for single parents)
No demands or expectations from the curricula provider, so the single parent can manage education in the time afforded to them, not the time requested by from the provider.
Assurance that if a parent is being responsible and steadily and routinely working through the resources with her children – in the time which works for the family and the situation – by the end of the resources a parent can rest in knowing that the children have received an education of a high standard and quality, even though they didn’t do ‘provider related’ exams. They did however do continual assessments, tests, and exams which are built into the maths, language and sciences curriculums offered through Oikos.
All the maths lessons in the programme are presented on DVD so the children can watch Steve Demme, their personal maths tutor, teach them and then they do the lesson. They can then call on the parent for help when needed.
Oikos is continually producing videos to help support home educating parents, so you a single parent is not alone.
Budget Friendly Ordering
Pick and choose according to your budget when you can manage. In other words you need not get everything for a specific age or grade level all at the same time. Example you can just pick maths, and then a few months later, or when funds are available, language, and so on.
You don’t ever have to have all the ‘nice to have’ extras, they are there as additional resources. Not having them does not mean the children will suffer without! We also suggest bible study resources as an imperative first step, as this is of great importance and priority to God. If you, for example, cannot afford the language programme and you have a bible, your children can read daily from that while keeping their language skills growing. If your children are not yet reading and you’re waiting to afford the LLATL Blue Book teaching to read programme, then you can read aloud to them daily, while you wait. So you see, you need not stress about what you can or cannot afford. Keeping it simple is one of the founding scriptures of Oikos and we hope that this is a comfort to single parents in that they find the blessing in less is best!
Take the Time you Need
The formal learning may take longer due to the children either helping in the support of the family, or not having as much time with the parent as would be the case if a parent were able to dedicate all their time to the children whilst also being the breadwinner. This is not a problem as you should be proceeding in a systematic and consistent manner and you will find that in most instances, your children will be ‘ahead’ of their school going peers.
Lastly, please spend time on the Oikos Family website, getting know it well. Don’t be overwhelmed. See it as a new friend whom you don’t yet know well but will get to know by spending time with the website, this will support you through the years of single parenting.
When you go grocery shopping, you don’t necessary buy all the “nice to haves” because the budget is limited, so you buy what is wholesome and nutritious to be sure the family are getting well fed.
The same is true with Oikos materials. Feed their spirits with the bible resources, train and mould their characters with KONOS living, exercise and train their minds with maths, language and science and you have wholesome provision for your children. You may not be able to provide it all at once though, and that is also fine. We do however encourage you to keep the order of priorities of what is needed in perspective with God’s priorities and not the world’s/system’s/neighbour’s/families’ and so on.
May you find strength which comes from JOY in serving Him as you raise the children He has entrusted to your care.
Please watch the video here.
A mom wrote the following to Oikos…
If I start on this path and find it is not working with my children will they be able to adjust to go back into the “grade” that they should be in at school (i.e. If I do grade 9 at home and discover it is not working, how easy will it be for my child and will the normal schools accept her back into the system in grade 10 or will she need to repeat grade 9.)
The schools only need to know the skill level of maths and language, not the social study subjects. And so the answer is YES, children very easily slot back into the school system, if that needs to happen, because they would have had one on one tuition up until then.
Many have found when they have had to slot back in they are way above the level required, because the Oikos resources they were using gave them such a high standard and also it is the way they learn with the Oikos lifestyle that makes a huge difference to them being able to slot back into a system if required.
Watch the video here.
No not at all. A register of attendance is for school requirements. You do not need to give anyone a register to show that your children are at home. Your curriculum and the work your children are doing at home will be the evidence of the learning which has taken place. Your child will be working through workbooks which will show the results of their learning due to the fact that there are built in assessments, test and exams in the Oikos resources/curricula.
We have placement tests for you on the website. (assessing your own child)
You, the parent, do the assessments, language, maths, and so on, with your child and discover where their ability and skill levels are and thereafter you are able to make informed decisions as to which books to get for them.
We, here at Oikos, do not presume to know what skill level each of your children are at. They may have come out of school and out of a specific grade level but that does not automatically mean they have understanding on all that they have learnt in that grade level. Because you are home educating you have the privilege and advantage of being able to place them at the level which is appropriate to their abilities rather than their age or grade.
Remember, schools do grades, at home you no longer need to follow grade levels. Oikos resources are colour coded not graded. We have put on the site next to the titles what the general level of that book would be if your reference is grades, simply to give you an idea of the content level but bear in mind that a second language english speaking child could be doing Red LLATL, being around grade 2 level, when that child is 10, 11, 12 or older. So we are not going to say they must do the grade 2 language book but rather the “RED” LLATL book. So you can see by this example why we leave it up to the parent to establish the level their children are at in each area of learning. We hope you will also find it helpful to watch the video production we have done on placements.
This video helps take you through the assessment steps.
Click here for a video testimony from one of the Afrikaans families doing Oikos.
And here is another testimony.
Afrikaanse families kan suksesvol tuisonderrig in Engels doen met Oikos!
Ons, Albert en Lourin Viljoen, van Ellisras (Limpopo), het in 1997 begin om tuisonderrig te doen, na ‘n openbaring uit die hart van God, wat ons begelei het in Sy Woord: “Kom na my kinders, laat ek julle die vrees van die Here leer.” Ps 43:11. Ons het 2 seuns, Jandré en Wibo en ‘n dogter, Cara. Na ‘n jaar se deeglike navorsing oor die voor- en nadele van tuisonderrig, het ons uiteindelik verantwoordelikheid vir ons eie kinders se opvoeding en onderrig aanvaar. God het voorsien en Oikos op ons pad gebring. Vertrou Hom in alles. Hy gee wat ons nodig het wanneer ons dit nodig het!
Dis ‘n voorreg om te kan getuig hoekom ons as Afrikaanse gesin verkies het om ‘n Engelse tuisonderrig kurrikulum van Oikos Familie Bediening te volg. Dit werk soos ‘n bom. Ons huistaal is Afrikaans, dis ons moedertaal en ons sal altyd Afrikaners bly. Ons onderrigtaal is Engels, en dit hou baie voordele in.
Enkele voordele as ‘n Afrikaanse gesin tuisonderrig in Engels doen:
- Die kinders leer in Engels, en raak so heeltemal tweetalig.
- Hul kan hulself ewe goed in albei tale uitdruk, daarin dink, werk en leer.
- Indien ons kinders by tersiëre instellings wil studeer, is ‘n sterk Engelse grondslag onontbeerlik.
- Die spreektaal in die werksplek word meestal Engels, en ons kinders kan hulself daar handhaaf.
- Ons kinders sosialiseer ewe maklik in Afrikaans en Engels.
- As gesin leer ons saam as ons Engelse woorde, begrippe of idiome nie verstaan nie. Ons soek dit op en groei saam as gesin.
- Kinders het hope meer selfvertroue om hulself in enige opset in die samelewing te handhaaf.
Tuisonderrig volgens Oikos, is ‘n manier van lewe – dit is nie net om die skool huis toe te bring nie – inteendeel, die hele huisgesin leer saam! Konos se eenheidstudies, wat gebasseer is op God se karaktereienskappe, het ons gesin geleer om dieselfde karaktereienskap te speel, uit te beeld, te ondersoek, na te vors, en in ons lewens toe te pas o.l.v. die Konos Kurrikulum.
Ons kyk eers watter eienskap van God ons die graagste wil ontwikkel in ons gesin, dan begin ons in die Konos Handleiding oor daardie tema lees en voorberei. Die Konos handleiding, wat vir die ouers in Engels geskryf is, word deur ouers gebruik wanneer hul voorbereiding gedoen word vir die aktiwiteit. Al wat nodig is, is dat ‘n ouer Engels kan lees!
Die kinders werk of lees nie uit die dikke handleiding nie – so ontspan! Jy kan in Engels lees, dan voorberei en dit in Afrikaans aanbied – jy kan jou eie inisiatief gebruik omdat jy weet wat jou kind/ers op watter vlak verstaan. Ons nooi ander tuisonderrig gesinne een keer per week en doen dan Konos saam. Dit is groot pret!
LLATL Engels eerste taal.
Die program bestaan uit ‘n ouerhandleiding en ‘n handleiding vir die student. Die ouer word stap vir stap in eenvoudige Engels verduidelik wat van die kind verwag word. Afgebakende daaglikse werk laat die kinders veilig en trots op hulle werk voel. Die leesboeke is van ‘n hoë standaard, en dit bou die karakter van jou kind.
MATH-U-SEE Wiskunde program.
Steve Demme is ‘n uitstekende fasiliteerder, wat enige persoon saam met hom op ‘n wiskunde ontdekkingsreis kan neem. Die program word op video en DVD beskikbaar gestel, en die voordeel is dat dit herhaaldelik gekyk kan word totdat die begrippe vasgelê is en verstaan word.
APOLOGIA Wetenskap: Biologie, Fisika en Chemie.
Die voordeel wat ons met Apologia se aanbieding ondervind het, is die feit dat ‘n audio-kompakskyf beskikbaar is waarop die handleiding voorgelees word terwyl die kind in die handboek volg. Dit het ons kind se Engelse grammatika, asook die uitspraak van die woorde baie verbeter.
Oikos Familie Bediening het heelwat ander fasette, waaroor ons nie nou uitbrei nie. Lees gerus verder daaroor in Oikos se “Teaching at home”- handleiding. Iemand het gesê die kenmerk van ‘n ware herlewing is dat die volgende generasie daardeur bereik behoort te word. Die huidige Christelike herlewing vind o.a. plaas in gesinne wat tuisonderrig doen, en daardeur verseker God dat Sy Woord en Sy waardes van Sy koninkryk na die volgende generasie oorgedra word.
Wat ‘n fees om saam as gesin te groei in God se koninkryk. Dit bring eenheid, en dit is soos ‘n aanhoudende spanbou vir ons gesin. Geniet die uitdaging, want die beloning is groot! Die koninkryk van God behoort mos aan die kinders, of hoe? Ons is in hierdie wêreld maar nie van hierdie wêreld nie.
Groete van huis tot huis.
Oikos Family in Lephalale (Ellisras), Limpopo.
Albert, Lourin, Jandré, Wibo en Cara Viljoen.
The Oikos Team would like to add:
We have a greater percentage of Afrikaans families using the Oikos resources than we do English families.
We have discovered that the Oikos vision and lifestyle really suits Afrikaans culture and it is for this reason that Afrikaans families are drawn to Oikos Family Ministries and the resources we offer for the education of their children, even though we do not have an Afrikaans curriculum. We do however have Afrikaans families around the country, who are willing to support and help families who would prefer to discuss their needs with another Afrikaans family as it is understandably more comfortable to communicate in ones home language.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank the Afrikaans families for your support of Oikos Family Ministries and also your patience with us as we do our best to serve you, with us being English speaking and not having any Afrikaans speaking people working in the office.
We hope that you and your family are richly blessed through the lifestyle and resources of educating your children through Oikos Family Ministries.
A mom wrote and asked this question which Missy, our daughter, answered.
What an exciting path you are about to embark on! Well done in taking this step in deciding to home educate, it is a wonderful, blessed, rewarding journey, that thousands are walking and enjoying.
Our own data base of Oikos families are mainly Afrikaans speaking, and although our curriculum is mainly written in the USA and UK the material can be used and applied in any language, as you, the mom, teach the lesson in your home tongue to your own little children.
Math-U-See lessons come on DVD’s and are taught in English and you can explain to your child what the context of the lesson is in Afrikaans, or watch it yourself then teach him/her in your home tongue. There is also the instruction manual which you can refer to and then teach from.
The Afrikaans families that we supply to don’t seem to have had a struggle with the resources being in English and in fact they like it that their children can start being exposed to another language through means of math lessons on DVD.
So what I recommend you do is visit our online store and do the Math-U-See placement with your children so as to assess their skill levels before purchasing anything.
We have developed a user friendly interactive website to help and support you as a parent in your curriculum ordering, so if you would like to purchase any of the resources we supply may I encourage you to visit our online store and take the initial steps required for us to capture your details, by means of registration hence making ordering with Oikos smooth and simple.
I also hope that the testimonies from Afrikaans parents will be encouraging to you.
We hope you will find these Afrikaans parent testimonies helpful – testimonies.
There are such a variety of views on this subject. Loads of research has been done on this topic so perhaps you would like to investigate the results. What we, here at Oikos, can share with you is peoples testimonies of the different approaches to this and what has worked for them.
Thousands of Afrikaans families are using LLATL Blue book to teach their children to read in English. Some wait until their children are fluent readers in Afrikaans, while others go straight to teaching reading in English. As Afrikaans is their home tongue the children can pick up reading for pleasure in Afrikaans with ease as their age, maturity and skill level is appropriate. The parents feel that they want the children to become solid in English language skills from as early an age as possible.
Sorry this is not a straight forward answer but it is more about what the parents feel is best for their family. The simple answer though is YES, many Afrikaans families use Blue Book from the start.
If you decide to wait and lay the Afrikaans reading foundations down well before starting with LLATL Blue Book that is also ok. Families who have done it this way find their children do manage quite well due to maturity, so although they may be doing Blue Book, which is beginner reading level, at around age 8,9,10 or even later, it is ok because it is second language and they work up through the LLATL books well and systematically from that point even though they may not be doing the specific ‘grade’ level appropriate to their age. In the end it all works out, even if it means they do not get to the final LLATL Gold book because that is at an English level of around grade 13.
Hopefully this has helped to clarify this debatable point. As previously mentioned, there are a few different approaches to this and we have not heard any negative for either way, whichever the family has chosen seems to work for them. BUT, we have not spent hours researching long term effects of one way or another.
Lastly, Afrikaans families have told us that most of what the children do is English based, being computer, internet, television, etc., so they have felt it to be supportive for their children to start them with English before they have a solid foundation in reading in their home tongue. It is all very debatable, we leave it for you to pray about and follow His leading for your family.
Please try and watch the video here.