The African Heritage Foundation (AHF), a registered charity on the island of Barbados, is getting ready to officially open its homeschooling service to the people of that island. The Home Directed learning Service (HDLS) was inspired by a Rastafarian family, who a year ago, was engaged in a legal battle, with the state for the right to educate their children at home. With the assistance of a number of people including the AHF, the family triumphed in this battle and now directs their children’s education from home. This has influenced the AHF to work towards creating a service that could assist parents who wished to educate their children at home. The AHF consists of nine arms of operation. They are: agriculture, events/social programme planning, business development, sports, health, security, social care, marketing/promotion and last but by no means the least, academics. Thus it was tasked to the education operational arm of the AHF, to create an institution that would be used as one model of a holistic school, that the government of Barbados could integrate into their public schools. The AHF operates on the premise that a holistic approach to learning vis a vis, incorporating the nine areas already identified, makes for a more well adjusted, socially conscious and productive student. The impact on our society of young people going into adulthood with this mindset, would be an enormously positive change for our society, for years to come.
“You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.” R. Buckminster Fuller was spot on in his assessment of how real change is brought about. The AHF has taken the challenge to advance the cause of social change by creating models that will influence positive and empowering change in our society. BAASE is one such model.
BAASE stands for: “Barbados Alkebulan Academy for Social Empowerment. Our mandate at BAASE, is to offer various educational services, including adult courses in specific areas plus the homeschool service. It is the goal of the AHF that BAASE can be further developed into an academy akin to the Barbados Community College or similar institution.
BAASE will be developed in phases. The first phase of its development is the creation of a service that would assist parents who want to homeschool their children. This component has been developed as a direct response to the many parents like the Rastafarian family mentioned earlier, who needed a workable plan to navigate the fledgling homeschool environment in Barbados. We took the challenge and the HDLS was created. To date, the HDLS has been instrumental in assisting a number of parents, who have reached out to us, to make successful application to the Ministry of Education for permission to homeschool their children.
The HDLS offers to parent’s assistance with:
- Their application to the Ministry of Education to homeschool.
- The development of a personalized curriculum. Using the government’s standard curriculum, BAASE will assist parents to tweak it to better facilitate their children’s needs.
- A lesson plan. Parents have access to a simple lesson plan that can accommodate their personalized curricula.
- Lesson activities. BAASE will provide parents with ideas on methods and activities that can be used to teach the various components of their curricula.
- Effectively implementing your curricula. The HDLS provides facilitators who assist parents having difficulties teaching a component of their curricula. These facilitators do not tutor the children.
- Evaluate the children’s progress based on their particular curricula.
BAASE will also organize homeschooling parents’ meetings regularly, where challenges and solutions can be discussed for the benefit of all. Homeschooling will be a new venture for many and as such collective support will be needed.
BAASE has a website where people can go to learn more about homeschooling and parents who want to homeschool can sign up for the service. There they can access information on all the assistance mentioned above. This website is about two weeks away from launch. The developing of the content for the website is a continuous process. New and innovative methods of teaching are constantly being developed by professional educators, parents and even children. As such the BAASE website will continually inform on as many educational developments it is made aware of.
“Homeschooling and public schooling are as opposite as two sides of a coin. In a homeschooling environment, the teacher need not be certified, but the child MUST learn. In a public school environment, the teacher MUST be certified, but the child need NOT learn.”
― Gene Royer
If you have read this and you are interested in knowing more about BAASE or the AHF please email them at firstname.lastname@example.org , whatsapp 268 7084 or look for them on Facebook (African Heritage Foundation)