Homeschooling in South Africa — Feeling Overwhelmed

by | Classical Education, Homeschooling | 3 comments

My wife and I are homeschooling our two kids – ages 9 & 6 – in South Africa. We are feeling so overwhelmed by the task that we’re seriously considering enrolling them in mainstream school. I am very new to the trivium and know almost nothing about it. I am aware of some good resources to learn the basics.

I am considering buying your book, but feel my wife and I are going to have to educate ourselves in the trivium before we can begin to educate our kids. I don’t know to what extent your book provides background as well as a structure for day-to-day learning in a methodical manner, so I’d be interested to hear your thoughts on that.


It’s not necessary to acquire an education in the trivium before starting out with your children. You would waste valuable time with your kids if you did. I suggest you all learn together. Start out with Chapter 11 of our book Teaching the Trivium: Christian Homeschooling in a Classical Style — this chapter is available free on our web site. After you have incorporated the principles in this chapter, you can move on to reading other chapters in the book.

One step at a time.



  1. Millie

    What a tremendous investment the Bluedorns’ book is — a treasure-trove of wisdom! Of the many resources I’ve read on parenting and home-educating, it is by far the best. If you read it and apply its principles, you can avoid many regrets. I wish I had applied it all from the start, but I was slow about it, allowing busyness to crowd out needed changes. For example, if I had followed the Bluedorns’ recommendation to train my young children in obedience and a strong work-ethic in a loving environment before emphasizing formal academics, I would have avoided many problems with which I am now dealing. But I was determined back then to follow the crowd by being too lax on my children in the area of obedience and too demanding of them in academics. The Bluedorns have much wisdom to share, the fruit of which seems to show in the lives of their children.

  2. Marle

    Hi, we’re from South Africa too and we’re trivium schooling in Afrikaans. What a weight off my shoulders “Teaching the Trivium” was for me when our oldest was 6 years old and not yet reading! She only started reading at 7 and really took off at 9 and that was OK. If I had done traditional schooling it would have been a learning disability!

    She is now 16 and she has never been in school or done any exams until this year. She has enrolled in a college for next year and so now has a lot of catching up on trivial (not trivium) stuff to do in order to please the college, but it doesn’t matter, because she has her education going on – this is just extra-curriculur training to get a foot in the door for her chosen field of work. She wants to be a musical theatre actress in the service of God.

    We have 4 more children (boys) ranging from 2 to 13 years old and we are so relaxed. My daughter did not get on with Greek and Latin, so she stopped that after the first level. I’m hoping the boys would be more willing to do that and I may push them a little harder at 13-14.

    The most important things to remember are that the younger children are, the more they need to play – no formal academics before 10 years old, thereafter they learn in spurts with lots of “downtime” in between. We never force academics (i.e. make that an obedience issue), but use chores, service mindedness and interpersonal interaction for character training, while strongly motivating and encouraging interest in reading and academic work.

    It is still hard work and I still get overwhelmed at times, mostly when other things make life stress a bit high, but it passes. We may miss things (even important things) but knowing that there will always be time to catch up – you don’t have to “finish school” at 18 or be at a certain level at a specific age in a specific subject, is so comforting.

    Please feel free to contact me if you need support or information (

  3. Megan Volmer

    It is easy to get overwhelmed with the responsibility of educating our children, but so often it is because we are listening to others tell us what is important to our kids. Kids have an innate desire to learn. Let them play and read to them often. No one does things exactly like anyone else. When I start to feel burned out with home educating my six (just finished our ninth year), I stop planned curriculum and spend lots of time reading. I relax and so do my children and after a bit of a break we are ready to tackle the difficult tasks. Do not stress if they seem “behind” where your school system thinks they should be. God made them. Challenge them, but never push them so hard your relationship suffers. EVER. No skill is worth that. With my oldest it was reading, writing, telling time and counting money. She is 13 and can do all! Just developed slower than some.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *