Since the start of the 2021-2022 school year, the Department of Education Services (DES) has approved approximately one hundred and twenty-three homeschooling applications, with numerous parents also expressing interest in homeschooling their children.
Veteran homeschool teacher Kathleen Spencer discussed why parents are considering the move to homeschool their children.
In recent years, educational companies have started offering services including online tutoring, live online courses, and additional support for parents who wish to homeschool their children. Similarly, curricula that are only offered in textbook and teacher guide format are now being offered with live teachers online and via Zoom meetings, giving confidence to many parents considering the move to homeschool their children.
However, Mrs. Gloria Bell, Customer Service Manager for the Department of Education Services (DES), reminds parents that home schooling arrangements must be approved by DES.
Ms Bell stated that “although resources are now readily available, parents interested in homeschooling their children must obtain DES approval before engaging in any homeschooling program.”
“In this way, we can ensure that the programs offered are appropriately tailored to the needs of the children,” continued Ms. Bell.
To apply for homeschooling, a parent/guardian must complete the online homeschooling application form at https://schools.edu.ky/Pages/SchoolRegistration.aspx.
Parents must also provide proof of the child’s immigration status and enrollment in a homeschooling program along with the completed application form.
The DES then reviews the application and, upon approval, issues a home school certificate to the applicant.
Ms Bell also warned parents not to withdraw their children from school before receiving DES approval.
All children of school age must be enrolled in an educational institution under the Education Act 2016. So parents who remove children from school without proper authorization are breaking the law.
stressed Ms. Bell.
DES customer service representatives make regular home visits to ensure participants are adhering to the program and that students are making progress.
Ms. Spencer expressed her delight in DES oversight and involvement in the homeschooling process.
Since the Department of Education Services became involved in the homeschool process, they have invited us to many inter-school tournaments and activities. Our students also had the opportunity to participate in competitions that were unattainable just a few years ago.
remarked Mrs. Spencer.
Some homeschoolers have achieved high levels of achievement in these competitions. For example, high school students Nickcoy Stewart and Tayvanna Myles took home medals in four events at the 2022 intersecondary track and field competitions.
Ms Spencer continued.
Homeschool students have also competed in annual events including the SeaPerch Competition, Interschool Chess Tournament, Rotary Science Fair, Annual Spelling Bee Competition, National Children’s Festival of the Arts, Interschool Math Tournament, and Mentoring Cayman.
Home School Awards Ceremony
On Friday, June 10, 2022, many families from the Cayman homeschool gathered for the second time in the outdoor amphitheater at Dart Park to celebrate and applaud the students for their hard work during the 2021-2022 school year.
Over 100 people attended the gathering, including families completing their first year of homeschooling, veterans who had taught their children for many years, and other parents interested in learning more about homeschooling.
The Customer Service Manager, Ms. Gloria Bell, and Nicki Samuels, Senior Customer Service Officer, were also present, representing the Department of Education Services (DES).
The event included a bouncy castle, ice cream truck, gift cards courtesy of Next Chapter, and complimentary items from the fitness center.
To learn more or become part of the Cayman Islands homeschool community, visit their website at www.HomeschoolCayman.ky.