Our Homeschooling Around the World series continues this week with Jamaica! Janelle, a member of the social media team at The Old Schoolhouse® and resident of Jamaica, shares her reasons for homeschooling, the process of homeschooling, and more!
Like many countries around the world, homeschooling is legal in Jamaica. While families aren’t required to register with the Ministry of Education, it is strongly encouraged to avoid accusations of not educating a child, which is illegal in Jamaica and can lead to prosecution.
“One can contact our Independent Unit at the Ministry of Education to submit an application,” Janelle shared, “after which they do an interview and will notify you of acceptance of the application.”
Reasons for Homeschooling
There are as many reasons for homeschooling as there are homeschooling families. Every family and every individual student is different and while the reasons may appear similar on the surface, digging a bit deeper usually uncovers reasons that are very personal and unique.
For Janelle’s family, one catalyst for homeschooling was that their daughter was bullied in school. Their daughter also has many dietary restrictions that were difficult to meet in a school setting. When her food allergies would flare up, the teasing and bullying would become intolerable.
Another reason that Janelle’s family decided to homeschool was to provide an individualized education for their daughter. They recognized that children learn best in a variety of different ways and homeschooling provides the opportunity to customize the education of every child. For Janelle’s daughter, the curriculum used by the local schools was very intense and stressful. She was not able to excel because the learning environment and curriculum were not suited to her unique learning style. By homeschooling, Janelle can adapt the curriculum to better suit her daughter’s needs. Jamaica doesn’t require the use of any particular curriculum while homeschooling, but families are required to keep records for periodic assessments by the Ministry of Education.
Teaching in Jamaica
Wherever you are in the world, there are certain subjects that are unique to the country you live in. There are also unique opportunities to take learning out of the home and into the world around you! If you live in an area where the weather is nice, you may spend more time outside completing assignments. If it’s TOO hot where you live, you may prefer to stay inside where it’s cool! We asked Janelle how she incorporates learning about Jamaica into her homeschool.
“We have a social studies, history, and civics curriculum that focuses on our country and how we operate.” responded Janelle. “We use a lot of books, library resources, and online information to help with this area. Our culture is generally included in our local curriculum subjects.”
“Homeschooling in Jamaica has been such a blessing,” Janelle continued. “We are not burdened with unreasonable laws and we have the flexibility to raise our children how we see fit. Our island offers many opportunities for homeschoolers to have an enriching experience that schools can’t provide. For example, trips to landmarks—regular schools are limited in such activities because of the number of children involved.”
If you are interested in learning more about homeschooling, The Old Schoolhouse® has many wonderful resources to help you get started. From free eBooks to a curriculum of over 400 courses, there is something for every family no matter where they live or where they are on their homeschool journey.