Frequently Asked Questions & Answers
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.
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
I recently received a letter from a mom requesting clarity regarding young adult years through Oikos and the transition across to the Cambridge exams. It seemed helpful to have some instant clarity on certain matters. Below is my response to her questions.
- Cambridge AS (grade 12/13) exams recommend a student to be at the cognitive level of 18 years or older.
- The Oikos journey with Oikos resources are preparing thinking skills, research skills, adult skills and training, not just focussing on academic preparedness. Hence the young adults are being equipped and prepared to be ready for adult life, including the writing of cambridge exams (if they so desire).
- The student may, by age 18, having reached a level of maturity, decide not to write cambridge exams and go directly to university, or college, or the work place etc. and either do entrance exams or submit the portfolio they have developed through their Oikos journey.
This is a bigger topic than can be covered in this article; the short answer is no, we don’t issue certificates. That being said, we have instructions below on how to compile documents for tertiary entrance. There are also built-in ‘reports’ included in many of the Oikos resources. These are available for parents to complete, as and when a student (their child) has completed the work.
Why does Oikos not issue certification?
There are many reasons why we do not issue official certificates. Firstly, we hope that parents will help their children to create a ‘record of prior learning’ portfolio. Tertiary institutions are beginning to prefer this method due to the initiative and character revealed. Many students have been enrolled using the methods detailed in this article.
Please watch these interviews of Oikos students – their testimonies are amazing!
Please also watch the ‘Certificate Course’ we have produced for you.
An example regarding ‘stamp approved’ certificates:
In the past we have had Matric certificates presented to us when we were interviewing people for work at Oikos. Although they were all ‘Matric certificates’, they were not necessarily helpful to these individuals in acquiring the position.
They did not help us – the employer – to ascertain what life skills these individuals had acquired. Even if an applicant had a ‘C’ for maths, we did not know how much they actually understood and therefore we did not know what could be applied regarding skill levels in the workplace. We focussed on their character and their ability to do the task at hand? This is what we were interested in regardless of what grades were revealed on their Matric certificate. We did our own character and skills test to see if they were able to fulfil the requirements of the work. This resulted in a profoundly deaf applicant being employed due to her having more life skills and abilities than another applicants whose report/certificates presented us with higher grades.
So you can ascertain from this why we say this is a big topic. More on this topic would be that God has given us a strong entrepreneurship heart for preparing young people for adult life. Society is loosing the artisans, the business makers and the employers.
Steps to prepare these documents
Find out exactly what the tertiary institution requires. It is preferable to make an appointment and go with your young adult to find out what is required in way of documentation for entry to that establishment. You could visit a few such establishments to inquire about their entry requirements, as they may differ from one to another.
Once you have established the requirements, you can take the next steps. If they requested a ‘matric’ certificate, you hopefully would have informed them that you are doing a matric equivalent and that you can verify this in the following ways. Compile a file with the following contents.
A. The contents pages of the various resources used while home educating (Homeschooling) through the high school grade levels. e.g.: Maths, Language, Science, KONOS HOW, Bookkeeping.
B. Work out the average grade marks which have been achieved from the test/exam results of the above completed resources and include them. The parent can assess for themselves what grade to issue for studies which are not 'exam' based, such as Bookkeeping and KONOS HOW. This can be assessed by means of the results the student has presented, the parent then assesses that, and (if the parent feels it necessary), this can then be verified by another adult.
C. A letter which has been compiled by the parent/s to verify that the contents of the file/documents are correct, as the parent has been the tutor and overseer to the said students’ learning. Take this letter to the local police station and have it authorised.
D. A letter from the student stating their reasons for wanting to do a particular course of study .
E. A summary of the extra curricula experience the student has done up to this point in their lives. Include any certificates/awards letters of reference etc. from these extra curricula activities.
F. A listing of any work experience, shadowing etc. and any letters of reference from these work experiences.
G. It may be helpful to include evidence of the results of home educated (Homeschooled) students. Please see these articles to help you to compile such evidence; Homeschool Graduates and College: Real Success, Yet Another Study Confirms The Effectiveness of Home Education, Homeschool Graduates Rock Baylor University.
More than this we cannot offer due to us at Oikos not presuming that we know how much your student has accomplished. You as the parent have followed their course of learning and their results closely and know their capabilities.
The above is what we suggest that you take for your second appointment with the tertiary institution.
Bear in mind that even if your student had all the above, or had a South African matric certificate, or had a Cambridge certificate, or another certification of some kind, none of this is a guarantee of entry to any tertiary institution. Entry is dependant on more than whether or not you have the correct documentation or certification in place. This is the current reality, so considering this we ask you to please watch the video course we have produced for you. See here.
Lastly, we used to offer documentation for completion here in this article however due to us not being a ‘legal or political’ organisation, and furthermore with the constantly shifting requirements for documentation, we have had to remove the PDF document which we previously offered. However do not let that deter you. Create your own document (letter, with an important looking letterhead!) stating that you are the parent/s tutor who has been responsible for the education of your child/student and have that letter stamped by a commissioner of oath (take your letter to a bank, police station, law firm)
Include in your letter the child/students full name, ID, birth certificate etc. All and any ‘official’ documents that you have can be included so as to help this process. You may even be required to do this for visa applications etc. The laws change and are adjusted regarding what is required for various official documents, depending on political, economic, health, climates in each season. This is why we, here at Oikos, are not in a position to keep ‘up to the minute’, regarding this. An example of this is we recently learnt that new documents are required for visa applications due to new child traffic laws.
We encourage you to not be overwhelmed or stressed by the ‘document dance’ you may be required to do and if we can be of any further assistance on this please email us at [email protected]
Keep in mind that the way in which you responsibly work through these steps can be an opportunity to be an example before your children/students on how to handle the ‘document dances’ which they will be faced with in adult life.
We have produced a free course which covers this topic in more detail. It is called “Certificates”
Yes, Math-U-See does take a student to Matric level, grade 12 and grade 13.
However, depending on the exam to be taken, be it South African Matric or Cambridge AS (grade 12) or another at that level, it may require a student to prepare specifically because of the different way in which the ‘maths language’ is presented. Furthermore a student may have covered, for example, calculus to a certain level (grade 12) but the exam may have more content on calculus than the student has possibly practised because they may have spent more time on trigonometry for example.
So although Math-U-See most definitely takes students up to a grade 12/13 level of maths education, what must be kept in perspective is the current standard of Matric and maths language interpretations, etc.