The ingredients of a successful homeschool…

I reckon the more of the following you have, the greater the chances homeschool 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 homeschool is, that parent would ideally be able to work from home. Homeschool 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 homeschool 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 homeschool.

The financial means to homeschool – it’s very cheap compared to a private school, but if the government is paying your kids’ school fees then homeschool 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.

16 thoughts on “The ingredients of a successful homeschool…”

    1. Joe, you could contact me directly if you really need it! I hope you understand – I run 8 businesses too so value my time big time! What do you need to contact me about?

      1. Thank you sir for the prompt respond and I apologise for any inconvenience caused. I just need advise on home school as my wife to be is from indonesia and they dont teach english. Was wondering how do we check the subjects that kids are learning these days and where did you get the study material?

        Once again, I apologise for any inconvenience caused.

      2. The study material consists of past papers, answers and lots of free videos on YouTube. So everything is online. I’ve also hired a tutor on Skype that they call whenever they are stuck.

      3. Hi Sir,

        You mentioned you have hired tutor to help your kids over Skype. I have the following questions in mind.

        Do your kids do self study and contact the tutor only when they are stuck? Or do they have a regular session with the tutor?

        Do you mind to reveal the fee and how did you find the subject specialist tutor(s)?

        We have two kids aged 11 and 9. We will move back to Petaling Jaya this year. It would be great to learn from experienced homeschoolers like you.

        Thanks.

        Sam

      4. Sam, for maths they only contact the tutor when they are stuck. I pay around US$10 per hour. I found the tutor on UpWork.com. Hope this helps…

  1. Salam how do you get your kids to “own” their education? Do you explain life to them in a particular way, do you give them rewards, goal-set, etc. etc.? Am homeschooling a 9 year old boy and trying to get him to own his own study.

    1. You sell them a vision. You clearly explain the benefits of what they’re doing and repeat it every few days. And you make it as fun as possible.

      Do this and you’ve done 90% of what’s needed.

      1. Given it’s 90% (which I agree with!), would you mind sharing the vision and benefits you articulated.

        I appreciate it will be different for everyone – would be useful to understand your approach,

      2. Well, I told them that if they did well in their A-levels they would never have to study again. And that 2 years of hard work meant people would believe they’re intelligent for the the next 70 years. And that most kids have to study hard – they’d get all these benefits yet study 10% of what most kids have to do.

  2. I wish you were my parent!

    I’m 23 and I struggle with education so much now because education was never prioritised at home when I was younger.

    I would love to try out your strategy when I become a mother in the future. Only obstacle is that I am not as educated as you or your wife, so it would be a little difficult for me to do it myself.

    I do not want to raise children the way I have been raised, and would like them to be better academically.

    So my question is: what would your advice be for ‘uneducated’ parents when it comes to homeschooling children?

    Would love to hear your thoughts!

    1. Sarah, great question. I think the biggest advantage that Isabelle and myself have had is that because we kind of beat the system, we’re not scared of it. So, when Maryam did Biology A-level, we didn’t hire a tutor – instead Isabelle taught it to herself so she could teach it to Maryam despite never having studied Biology to that level. And Isabelle didn’t think for a minute that she would struggle to learn it all.

      So, where does that leave you? The chances are as you probably found school hard, you’ll find it next to very daunting to teach your kids. I think if you can get over that, it’ll work. So you could study with your kids and go for it. But if that doesn’t work, you could hire tutors but I’d suggest getting involved. It won’t be easy but if you’re determined enough you’ll make it work…

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