The ingredients of a successful home school…

I reckon the more of the following you have, the greater the chances home school will work.

More than 1 child – It certainly makes it more challenging if you only have one child. You’ll have to work a lot harder to make sure the child spends time with other kids.

Children of a similar age – Too big an age gap and it means the kids will not be able to do things together as well as if they’re a similar age.

One parent stays at home – Given how easy home school is, that parent would ideally be able to work from home. Home school without one parent staying at home is not viable, in my opinion.

One parent, ideally the one that stays at home, is fairly educated – Any degree would do. They need to have the confidence to build and monitor a program.

The parent that stays at home needs to be motivated and have a high standard – He or she needs to drive the kids and the teachers. The more ambitious the parent, the better the kids will do. The parent also needs to ensure he or she takes the kids out almost every day else the kids will go nuts, so can’t be lazy. One of the main reasons home school has worked so far for us has been Isabelle’s high standards, something she has in everything she does. An A* in a practice paper is not good enough, it needs to be a high A*. I guess it was the same for me in maths.

A strong local community with plenty of kids – so the kids can play with other kids that live next door.

A good relationship with the children – if there is already some friction between the parents and the child, it’d probably only get worse if you home school.

The financial means to home school – it’s very cheap compared to a private school, but if the government is paying your kids’ school fees then home school is the expensive option. Just bear in mind my kids should have finished their high school exams at around 13 (hopefully), so we’re only paying for 5 years of teaching.

A spacious home – being cramped up in a small space wouldn’t be fun, but you can work around it. For example, near exam time when I spend time over the weekends teaching the kids, I often take the kids to coffee shops for a change of environment, often jumping from coffee shop to coffee shop so we change the environment, and I often get a lot of my own work done at the same time on my laptop.

Author: Asim Qureshi

Passionate about tech startups, home schooling, barefoot running and squash.

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