How come my kids have so much free time?

How is that my kids have so much free time? I remember when my kids were regular schoolers they were so busy. Not only was getting to school a daily grind, but they had their extracurricular activities that ate up most of their time outside school too. From football to Mandarin, Arabic to rock climbing, it was all one hell of a hectic schedule.

Forward to today and they seem to be learning so much more yet have so much more free time. Why? Well, let me compare how the day starts for my kids with another school child I recently met.

This is how the school child’s day started off:

  • 6.30am – wake up.
  • 7.15am – leave for school
  • 7.50am – arrive at school
  • 8.00am – assembly
  • 9.00am – lessons begin

So that’s 2h30m from wake up to stepping on the gas. This is how it starts for a my kids:

  • 6.30am – wake up.
  • 7.00am – lessons begin (in PJ’s while enjoying their breakfast).

So that’s 2 hours of lost time by the time it’s 9am for the school kid. Poor child! Now, it works in reverse too. By the time school kids get home they’ve already lost 4 hours of study time compared to my kids. FOUR HOURS!

Time is our most precious commodity – we just can’t be THAT inefficient with it.

The world has changed. To get information 30 years ago you needed to go out of your house (and go to school) to get it. How could you get a hard past paper exam question answered? In the Information Age, getting that information is easy. Quora is just one website where you can post questions and have them explained by experts, for free.

My two older kids are learning Physics A-level – there is so much information out there on the internet that I barely teach them. Past papers, solutions to past papers by the examining board, lectures on YouTube (Dr Physics has uploaded some incredible lectures, all for free), forums, and they even have cheat sheets put up by other kids. It’s all there.

And the other benefit is that my 10 and 12 year old are learning without being spoon fed, a real life skill.

The kids have to learn social skills too, which they can’t do by sitting in front of a laptop, but I think there are far more efficient ways of doing that then sending your kids to school. An hour or two a day hanging around neighbours’ kids is more than enough to ensure a kid knows how to talk and develop friendships.

In fact I was recently speaking to one of the teachers that taught my kids when they were school and she told me she was surprised how much more confident my children had become since leaving school. Was pleased to hear that as it kind of confirmed what I felt.

Anyway, I’m digressing, so I’ll stop.

Author: Asim Qureshi

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

7 thoughts on “How come my kids have so much free time?”

  1. Hi
    Isn’t 6:30 too early for home schooled children?

    I’m thinking about homeschooling but I live in the US so I’m not familiar with your system.

    1. It works with us, perhaps because that’s around the time it starts getting bright in Malaysia all year around. They start maths at 7am.

      You can start whenever you want…

  2. I’m warming up to the idea of homeschooling. But I work full time and so does my husband. What about you two?

    Also can you please share some resources how I can equip myself to get ready and prepare for homeschooling?

    1. Isabelle works from home, and if one parent doesn’t work from home I think it’s tough if the kids are less than, say, 15. Resources – it’d be a fairly long list which I don’t have on me.

  3. Hello… I’m Akerele Oluwatobiloba. Concerning how you manage home school.
    1.when you started, what were your kids ages.
    2.how did you prepare curriculums.
    3.how did you convince your kids to home school.
    I am really interested in the idea and also loving it.
    #cost, time and resource effective

  4. Hello… I’m Akerele Oluwatobiloba. Concerning how you manage home school.
    1.when you started, what were your kids ages.
    2.how did you prepare curriculums.
    3.how did you convince your kids to home school.
    I am really interested in the idea and also loving it.
    #cost, time and resource effective

    1. Akerele, they were 5, 7 and 9. We only taught maths and languages, so there were no curriculum. With maths we used Khan Academy and then move to iGCSE past papers.

      The younger two didn’t need convincing, as they were sold on learning in their PJ’s. The elder was a little concerned about missing her friends, but she was eventually sold on the promise that there would be no studying after midday during week, and there would be no studying over the weekend. We also promised that she’d meet friends regularly.

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