Homeschooling in Africa is still in its early stages when compared to somewhere like the USA that has over 50 years under her belt, while there are thriving Homeschooling communities in countries like Ghana, Kenya, Uganda, Nigeria, South Africa, etc. we still have a dearth of information about Homeschooling in Africa. In this article I would be exploring, our strengths and our unique challenges in Africa with regard to Homeschooling, and how we can still thrive regardless of those challenges. 

Homeschooling In Africa


Let's start with defining what Homeschooling is; I always define Home education as parenting pro max because your child is in your face 90% of the time but that's just my own definition, a more acceptable one is creating an individualized education for your child. It is an alternative form of education where parents take on the primary responsibility for their children's learning. I believe Africans need to embrace Home education as a viable alternative to education and not just for individuals but as a way to curb the current out-of-school children or children from low-income families, but that is a conversation for another day.

Understand The Benefits of Homeschooling in Africa: 

There are some general benefits of Homeschooling but when we look at most African countries, we are still behind with global education standards. Here are some benefits to us as Africans

- Personalized Learning: Tailored education to meet each child's unique needs and learning style.
- Cultural Celebration: Incorporating local cultures, traditions, and languages into the curriculum, in a world where our culture is fading into the background, we have the opportunity to celebrate and incorporate our culture into the education our children receive. Once we have a true African network of Homeschoolers we can cross-promote our rich cultural experiences. 

- Flexibility: Ability to create a schedule that balances education with other responsibilities and activities.

- Access to Digital Resources: Utilizing online learning tools, books, and educational apps that are diverse for a well-rounded education.

- Nurturing Environment: Encouraging exploration of interests and development of critical thinking skills and curating the environment of your children to fit those interests. 

- Strong Parent-Child Bond: Active parental involvement fosters a strong relationship and instills essential values.

- Life Skills Preparation: Equipping children with practical life skills for success in a diverse world.

- Freedom: There are still quite a number of countries that don't have any formal structure for Homeschooling and that can also be a benefit because you have the freedom to give your child the education you know they deserve without the government limiting your power as a parent. 

Understanding The Challenges of Homeschooling in Africa: 

We also have our unique challenges in this part of the world and once we understand them, it can help us know how to navigate it better. 

- High cost of getting curriculums & resources: In certain regions, access to quality educational materials and resources can be challenging and expensive because you might get boxed curriculums from countries like the USA and when you consider exchange rates and shipping costs, it starts running high.

- Legal Recognition and Regulation: Homeschooling for the most part of Africa lack formal recognition, leading to uncertainties and potential legal barriers in some countries.

- Lack of awareness: Homeschooling not being mainstream can cause people to question your decision, offer you unsolicited advice, and just make the experience not so pleasant outside of your circles. 

- Time and Commitment: Homeschooling requires a significant time commitment from parents, impacting their other responsibilities and activities, and being in a difficult economy this can pose a challenge as you might become a one-income family. 

- Lack of Support Networks: In some areas, the absence of homeschooling communities and support networks can lead to isolation.

- Parental Qualifications: Parents may feel inadequately qualified to teach certain subjects or address advanced educational needs.

- Standardized Testing and Assessments: Homeschooling families may encounter challenges in accessing standardized testing or assessments required for certain educational paths or future opportunities.

Understanding the legal and regulatory concerns: 

We have to understand the legalities and regulations that are available to each African country; Based on my research only South Africa has a law legalizing Homeschooling and only Sierra Leone has banned Homeschooling. Every other country doesn't have any specific law banning or endorsing Homeschooling. In South Africa, there are guidelines for Homeschooling families to follow. 

Understanding how to map out your child's education in Africa: 

For you to make Homeschooling effective in Africa, you have to understand the trajectory your child's education will take so you can know what you would like to do. In the USA for example, there are different ways you can use to record your child's education transcript and everything they get up to so it makes transitioning to traditional school/college seamless, however, in most African countries there are no set guidelines or regulations to follow so you have to be proactive as a parent. 

In whatever African country you are, you have to understand where your child will transition back into the traditional schooling or the exams needed to write to get into the university and prepare for that. I know in Nigeria, we write an exam after Primary 6, After Jss3 and SS3 (Jamb & Waec) to enter the university. You have to make a plan ahead to know where you will transition them and prepare them for those exams if you want to.

Understanding the need for assessment and record keeping: 

In countries, where Homeschooling is thriving and growing, is because a lot of Homeschoolers are documenting their journey, and success stories, and also asides from that, because we are not forced by the government to keep records doesn't mean we shouldn't. We have to make the habit of assessing our kids and keeping detailed records of their progress not because we want to prove anything to anyone but because it is important to measure for more societal acceptance. 

Understanding the need for advocacy & recognition:

We need to continue to raise awareness for the availability of this alternative form of education. That is one of the goals of the Annual Conference that is put together for Africans to raise awareness for Homeschooling as an alternative form of education in Africa. We are working on the 2023 Homeschooling Conversations and you can register to attend the 2-days power-packed conference here and share the link with someone who would be interested in alternative forms of education, let's work together to advocate for Home education for the future of our Children!

What are your thoughts on how Homeschooling in Africa can be effective?