Where interest from homeschool is most…

This is where the traffic for this website comes from…

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Surprisingly, Germany, where homeschool is illegal, is pretty high. Of course these numbers are affected by the fact I’m in Malaysia, was born in the UK, and the language the blog is written in is English.

Anyway…

Author: Asim Qureshi

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

9 thoughts on “Where interest from homeschool is most…”

  1. It’s interesting that Russia is pretty high up.

    In Russia, homeschooling is legal, but heavily regulated and mostly viewed as an option for troubled students, as there is an amazing system of magnet schools and the whole school system is extremely skewed towards accomodating top students.

    As a low intelligence person, I can say that the grass definitely seems greener on the high intelligence side.

  2. Salaam Asim,

    Nice to hear your views. I am a senior at Yale from Pakistan and often think about how even elite schools do not do a good job teaching us the real concepts and significance behind key subjects. I am interested in your approach but I had a couple of questions that I’ll be grateful if you answer:

    1) It seems as if your method of education involves past papers along with videos. This seems really similar to the approach used by tuition teachers at home who make their students do as many past papers as possible with the logic being that the same type of questions are asked each year. So if you have done enough past papers, you have probably seen most of the questions in your exams or something very similar so you know how to solve them. After coming to university, I have often felt that my school education did not convey the significance/application of the material and that in university, a more intuitive understanding of the concepts was required because the focus was not on getting every question 100% right (in fact some questions are so complex that hardly anybody in the class can solve them) but what they are looking at is how you approach the questions. Marks are awarded for your thought process.

    2) While I definitely agree that homeschooling can give children better individual education and hence better academic results, I am concerned how adapted homeschooled children are to dealing with some real world problems such as bullying/confrontational situations that are part and parcel of daily life. Since everyone in the real world is not ethical, you need to be able to deal with situations that don’t turn out as expected. I wanted to know your opinion about whether a certain amount of disillusionment and exposure to the real world is useful in preparing you for difficult situations at university or a job.

    3) I wonder in a homeschool environment what kind of diversity children are exposed to? Do you feel there is any value to going to school with children from different background (religious, ethnic, socioeconomic etc.) and who have different value systems so that children can be more exposed to different ideas and follow them because they actually believe in them rather than because it’s the only thing they know.

    Thank you and looking forward to hearing from you,

    Mahrukh

    1. Mahrukh, WS.

      1) The thinking is not that the past papers are all the same. In fact that is very far from the truth for UK exams. They might look similar but they often have very different answers. Unless you understand what is going on, you cannot do well in a GCSE or A-level. By making kids do questions you make sure they understand the concepts. It’s the best way to understand a subject.

      2) No school I know of encourages bullying. Or advertises as a positive that bullying takes place. It seems as though I can’t win. Every school wants to eliminate bullying but when you actually eliminate it in your school people start saying that they need to be bullied. I disagree – I think bullying is bad – and if it happens later on in life they’ll deal with it. I won’t punch my kids every day so that when they get punched later on in life they can cope with it.

      My kids are more confident than most school kids that I have seen – I think bullying, in most cases, destroys confidence, not makes the victim stronger.

      3) My kids meet kids of different backgrounds through clubs and social activities. Yes, it’s a good thing.

  3. Hi,
    Thank you for sharing your experiences so far,
    I’m a Vietnamese, currently living in Melbourne, I’ve been thinking about moving back to Vietnam to be with my family. The only thing holding me back is my daughter’s education. You really give us the confidence to make the move. I haven’t read through all of your posts yet, was there any that you shared the resources used for teaching maths & physics to your kids? If not, can you please advise? Many thanks!

    I’m developing a curriculum for the kids, I named it littlehackers.net (the site is not yet built, just a place holder now), the goal is to find good ways to teach the little ones to be curious, to code, to learn computer science from the early ages… I was able to teach my daughter to read fluently in two languages now (she is 5), I’ve written a script to help her learning how to write (spell) , after she obtain the basic skills (reading, writing, touch typing), then I’ll start the coding things… It would be great if I can have some of your thoughts on this.

    Cheers,

    1. Trung, the resources I’ve used for maths are Khan Academy and past papers. That’s pretty much it. For some exams they haven’t even used a textbook.

  4. Salam Asim, I’m excited with your pod plan in Quora. I have 3 kids: 7, 5 & 2. We’re based in Singapore. How do I get your time to discuss further?

    1. Ainun, WS, the pad plan doesn’t seem to be happening right now. The best way to contact me is on LinkedIn, and we’ll take it from there…

  5. Hi Mr. Qureshi
    First of all please accept my heartiest congratulations for your kids’ exceptional results. I think you are doing a superb job homeschooling them.
    I have been following your quora account and your blog, and I love your methodology. I agree with a lot of that you write and particularly relate to (a) the way you plan your kids’ future – unafraid of being ambitious, but still make realistic predictions and (b) the way you get to these goals, efficiency wise.
    I have contacted you because I needed your advice (/thoughts) on certain doubts I have. Let me first clarify where I come from. So, I am a physics teacher and a homeschooling mom of a 5 year old girl. She has never been to school. She is quite advanced and we predict she might be going to college early too. She is especially gifted in science( physics concept wise she is around 9th to 11th grade, but numerical wise she still does only some basic formulae and simple numbers, knows algebra and decimals and fractions but using them in numericals is a bit hard for her currently. Chemistry is definitely beyond 8th grade, same with biology.) She is good in math, although not as intuitive as science (varies from 4th to 7th grade). Humanities (history, geog and literature) too are way beyond her age. I can’t exactly tell you the grade level because it is all so subjective when it comes to humanities but I can say that she can read novels like Harry Potter and classics like Tom Sawyer and A Christmas Carol… so pretty good I guess.
    So, we are mentally preparing ourselves for an early college, and although she is only 5, considering her skill in sciences, it seems she might pick that road. (Of course, things might change as she grows older, but as parents we have to do our part in planning.) We are in India. The education system here is quite rigid, cram-up-for-the-exam, and one size fits all. I had contacted several schools for her at 2, 3 and 5 years of age, but radical acceleration is not an option at all. Currently we think appearing for GCSE in around 5 years from now should be on our cards.
    I had some questions though.
    1) You say your kids might not attend college. Let’s say they might though. In that case, do you worry an early entrance in college might have some logistical issues (staying by themselves at young age, handling college atmosphere when they might not be very mature)?
    2) Do you see your kids being deprived of certain opportunities available readily in a school environment? In my case for eg, although I feel my kid is very social and sweet, she does exhibit some stage shyness and self consciousness on stage, although I do give her as much stage opportunities as I can, say every few months. I plan to get her into theatre classes in future, but I do have a tiny nagging voice in the back of my head if she will miss important soft skills. She does take group classes for dance, music and stuff, but still. Does it ever worry you?
    3) Will they be able to develop a rigorous work ethic being exposed early to an adult world (business/ college) environment at a younger age? For eg: I prepare quite a challenging curriculum, and ensure proper study hours and all. But what happens when they get to a stage when they need to be independent, while they are not mature enough, emotionally? I hope I am able to convey my point clearly enough.
    Thanks in advance for your valuable time.
    Regards
    Pragya

    1. Pragya, interesting!

      1) If my kids went to university I wouldn’t send them there before they hit 16, so they’d be, at most, 2 years younger than the others.
      2) I’m concerned my kids won’t be great public speakers at this rate. So I’m sending them for public speaking classes soon. Whatever they’re missing out on can be addressed. Sure, they miss out on things, but they gain other things by homeschool. You can’t have everything…
      3) If they’re not mature enough for independence, then just don’t give it! I think if you worry about these minor issues, you’ll be too scared to do anything. Seriously, stop being so concerned and don’t think too much. Just do it! When problems come your way you’ll find a solution…

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