Change in plans again…

Sabeen, our youngest, who is 8, is now approaching her first iGCSE – Maths. She’s getting pretty much exactly the same test marks (low A*s) that the two elders were getting this many weeks before their iGCSE Maths, so Sabeen should also be getting an A* as long as she doesn’t mess up.

The other day I was chatting with Isabelle and we decided Sabeen will move straight to A-levels, and skip the other iGCSE’s. Why? Because if the goal is to get 4 A-level A*s, why not take the most direct route? Why go through all that extra exam preparation and stress? If she applies to university or a job it’ll be marketed as ‘the iGCSE’s were too easy for me so I went straight for A-levels’! If, for some stupid reason they do insist on her having iGCSE’s, she’d probably get them done in 6 months – it would be crazy for someone to be doing their iGCSE’s after their A-levels, but that could happen here (albeit unlikely).

With Maryam and Danyal we were a little less sure of ourselves – the iGCSE’s proved to be a good way of validating that our teaching methods worked, and I guess we didn’t think the kids would progress so quickly on to their A-levels.

So next year all 3 of the kids will be doing 2 A-levels – Maths and Further Maths. The reason for this is so that they can have some fun studying together and also leverage the power of intensity – working relatively intensively for a year on mostly maths should increase the chances of them getting the top grades. They’ll be thinking in equations by the end of the year!

Author: Asim Qureshi

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

13 thoughts on “Change in plans again…”

  1. I can’t tell you, how much your blog has inspired me. I am a homeschooled too (not by choice ) did my olevel on my own, but unfortunately, I got stuck in my alevel.. Was doing physics, chemistry and biology. I think I was lacking the basic technique to learn. I was lost I repeated my a level again and again but end up getting the same result! But I don’t want to give!! I tried 3 times, I failed to get the grades, yestaday, I was reading the quora and found your blog. The kids are inspiring and I approached the “purpose” technique like just doing the pastpapers. I went straight to the pastpapers and I am surprised it worked. I have adhd.. But with that technique I finally manage to do it!! I just wanted to thank you! I was very close to giving up! If you have any learning technique please do share !!! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Alina, just keep going through past papers, understand whenever your wrong why you’re wrong, go through the old ones again and again, and work as many hours as you can over the last few months before the exam, and you will do as well as you can. The grades don’t matter as much as how hard you’ve tried as frankly no-one can do better than their best. Honoured to have helped and inspired you.


    2. Glad it worked. Past papers is basically the key. Making note cards for the bits you have to learn helps. Short ones, and review them every few days or weeks.


  2. Asim, thank you for sharing with us your success story of your kids. Your photo indeed shows one happy family 🙂
    I have been thinking about homeschooling my kids but just not sure how to organize each day or each hour of the day. Can you provide some example of the daily/weekly schedule you do with your children?

    Also what are the 5 languages they speak? What’s their (your) native language? How do they manage these 5? Do they learn them all at the same time or one after another? Thank you.


    1. Nana, I’ve gone through the broad schedule somewhere in the blog, but outside exam times it’s 7am until noon or 1pm of non-stop study, and other stuff after that and weekends.

      For one child it could be 7am until 8am maths, 8am until 8.30am Chinese over Skype, next half hour French writing exercises set by Isabelle, 9am until 10.30am with Arabic teacher, then some English set by Isabelle, etc… Until noon.

      They do all 6 languages at the same time.


      1. Merci Asim. I’m so glad someone (or many) are passionate about hs like I am. Good to know as well that you hire other teachers too. I’ve been doing 5-6
        languages to my kids all by myself. Although I’m fluent in those languages, I think it’s better for them to be exposed to other people too. What’s your thought on this? Problem is I haven’t been able to find one who’s good with kids. How did you find the teachers for your kids?


  3. Hi Asif, I am Indian mother of two 10 years old daughters (twins). I live in cote D’IVOIRE, west Africa. Here I am deeply unsatisfied with the quality of education ( only 2 English school available here). I have been thinking of home schooling my kids. But have no idea how to proceed. Can u please guide me regarding exams. Do we need to register them somewhere to give A level exams. Will they be eligible for their board exams. Please guide me.


    1. Sunita, you’ll be surprised how easy it all is. Re registering your kids find an exam centre and register! That simple. In Malaysia we do it at the British Council. See if there is one near you. Else there will be another centre somewhere – a school could act as a centre. But, for sure, this is the least of your worries. Anyone can sit the UK public exams.


      1. Hi Asim. your blog really inspired me to opt for home schooling. Regarding registration,when we need to register. Should we register when kids are ready for exams like wait 1-2 years or need to register immediately after home schooling decision.


      2. Sunita, glad to have inspired you! Thanks for your kind words.

        You register around 4-5 months before the exam. After that the price increases significantly.


  4. Hi asim. Am a bsc graduate of Mechatronics engineering in Nigeria. My parents want me to go further to do Msc but i am more interested in pursuing business in automotive u think its a wise idea?? What are the perks of going into business? And what advice would u give someone like me who is a novice when it comes to business and entrepreneurship


    1. I think an MSc would not be wise. Employers don’t really differentiate between BSc applications and MSc ones. If you want to go into automotive repairs, and you’ll work hard it, do it. I’d advise you to only spend in your first year what you can afford to lose – so don’t spend much. Your first year will be full of mistakes, so make them less expensive.


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