By Oke Bamidele
Here, I’ll be sharing my homeschooling experience as a Nigerian mom. Homeschooling in Nigeria isn’t quite popular yet. However, my decision to home-school my son in nigeria for the first few years of his life was made long before I met and married my husband. Even as a young girl, I had always known that whatever career choice I made in the future, it had to be one that would be flexible enough to allow me to have ample time to take care of my children just like my mom did.
Let me give you a quick backstory. My mother was a full-time housewife mostly because my father wanted her to stay at home and take care of us till we were grown. He even paid her a monthly salary (aside from the money he provided for groceries and other household expenses) so she had a tidy sum of money to herself. I know that sort of arrangement wouldn’t really work in this time and age because women nowadays work not just for a salary but because they find fulfillment and joy in what they do for a living.
My mother dedicated several years of her life caring for my siblings and me, and it wasn’t an easy job but she excelled at it. Her hands-on approach to motherhood struck a chord within me and it made me desire to be just like that for my children; hence, my decision to homeschool my son before sending him off to join his contemporaries in school.
Fortunately for me, I presently work from home (as a freelance writer, social media manager, and occasional fashion designer) and my work hours are very flexible. I voluntarily quit my 9 – 5 job nearly two years ago to be a stay at home mom because I just didn’t have the heart to put my son in a crèche back then.
Now homeschooling my toddler in nigeria goes beyond (my own) separation anxiety. I want to be the one to introduce him to the basics of education and hone his learning skills such that when the time comes for him to go to school, he would be on par with his mates. I know that’s quite ambitious, but that is my goal for him and we are getting there slowly but surely.
As enthusiastic as I am about homeschooling my toddler in Nigeria, not everyone has been thrilled about the idea. I’ve had neighbours and even random strangers ask me why my son isn’t in school yet. When I explain that I am teaching him at home, they look at me like I am unserious. Well, I have stopped explaining myself because at the end of the day, he is my son and I get to decide when he starts school. He’s not even 2 years old yet, but you’d think he already had grey hairs with the way people are carrying on about him still sitting at home “at his age” while his mates were in school.
Read how to bond with your child here
Anyway, my son has shown steady progress in the past month that has convinced me that I am on the right track. He appears to enjoy phonics a lot and can correctly sound the letters A, B, C, F, H, S, J, and O. He can also say 2, 3 and 4. We are still working on 1 and 5.
So far, we have established a routine that works for us which starts with brushing, then bathing and finally breakfast. Once he’s done eating, he dashes off to his plastic white chair to sit and wait for learning to begin. We normally start with the ABC phonics songs, then 123 and finally nursery rhymes. I always practice with him once video time is over and his learning takes between 20 – 30 minutes daily except weekends.
I intend to expand our learning activities as time goes on but at this pace, he just might be able to read a book on his own come June when he clocks 2. That’s not impossible, is it? 😉
Have you ever considered homeschooling in Nigeria?
Let’s know in the comments