Freedom to be you – pursuing your dreams beyond the school structures

Louise Schoonwinkel, MD of Optimi Home. Supplied image.

Louise Schoonwinkel, MD of Optimi Home. Supplied image.

Published May 1, 2023


By Louise Schoonwinkel, MD of Optimi Home

Greater freedom has become entrenched in South Africa ever since the dawn of democracy in 1994. And while we have more rights and freedoms than ever before, we still grapple with challenges around ensuring quality education for all.

There is an urgent need to provide access to quality education that helps each child thrive – academically, socially, and emotionally. A happy, well-rounded child will learn more efficiently and be in a better place to achieve the academic results they are capable of and ultimately work towards their dream career.

One answer to this challenge is broadening the way we educate our children, providing families with a greater array of options. This helps ensure that there is less strain on our public education system, as well as ensuring that our children have the best opportunities to create a brighter future.

Here, homeschooling and online schooling increasingly play a more prominent role in our education landscape. In today’s world, children and families have the freedom to access schooling and quality education on their own terms. Listed below are three reasons why more families than ever before are making the switch to homeschooling and online schooling.


Traditional school structures often don’t accommodate the unique needs of every learner, particularly those with exceptional talents or interests. With homeschooling, learners have the flexibility to tailor their learning experience to their specific needs and interests without being limited by a timetable.

Traditional schooling often requires learners to be present in the classroom for extended periods, making it difficult to balance academic commitments with training and competitions. With homeschooling, learners have the flexibility to adjust their schedule to accommodate their sporting and other commitments without sacrificing their education.

More subject choices

In a traditional school, learners at FET level (Grades 10–12) are typically restricted to choosing only a certain number of subjects or subject combinations, depending on the available resources. However, these same limits do not apply to homeschooling or online schooling learners.

Additionally, homeschooling and online schooling learners have access to many more subjects that aren’t available at many schools, ranging from Hospitality Studies to Visual Arts.

Impaq Homeschooling and Impaq Online School learners can also take their subjects in Afrikaans or English, while newer subjects such as robotics and coding are also available.

This freedom to choose can help learners discover and develop their passions, leading to greater fulfilment and career opportunities in the future.

Mental well-being

Homeschooling and online schooling can have a positive impact on mental well-being. Traditional schooling can be stressful, with learners feeling overwhelmed by academic pressure, social dynamics or even bullying.

Alternative schooling can allow learners to take control of their learning and learn in a more relaxed and supportive environment. With homeschooling, learners can work at their own pace without the pressure of keeping up with their peers, leading to a more positive and rewarding learning experience. The Impaq Online School specifically focuses on learners’ holistic development. Learners have access to online fitness and wellness sessions, a wellness app, and a counsellor.

It’s an exciting time for education as we increasingly discover the freedom that comes with different ways of learning and the benefits they hold for families and society at large.

Embracing a diverse approach to education can only benefit South Africa in the long term.

The Saturday Star