A different way of living…

Allow me to suggest a different way of living.

My wife and I work from home, our 3 kids are homeschooled.

But this is where we’ve taken it further…

Maryam, on the right, is 15, she finished her school exams two years ago, she’ll probably never go to university, out of choice.

She’s tried coding and data science, didn’t enjoy them, then tried digital marketing, loved it.

So she’s got a job at a startup – as startups focus on skills – and is working from home, earning a graduate salary.

So, does she meet 100 kids every day? No.

Does she have friends? Yes, plenty.

Is she missing out on her childhood? No, she’s missing out on an antiquated education system.

Does she work all day? No – she works when she wants – she’s paid hourly. She reads, rides horses, runs, learns languages, and meets her friends.

What if she wants to become, say, a doctor? She’ll do a degree in medicine.

Is she happy? Very.

No exams, bullying, drugs, 9-5 job, rushed commutes. We’re saving the planet as well as ~US$400k in education fees per child.

Yet we’re all doing stuff we’re passionate about – learning and earning – but without pressure, without rigidity.

Technology has made this possible, but few know this way of life can work. I mean, I didn’t until it just happened.

Author: Asim Qureshi

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

12 thoughts on “A different way of living…”

  1. Your whole family is such an inspiration. We are sitting on the fence and everything I read from you pushes me further. Thank you for sharing your journey.

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    1. Andrea, thanks! I think it makes sense as long as you are highly-motivated. Thanks for your positive comment!

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  2. Hi Asim, just wanted to let you know I found your blog from Quora and have read all your posts since. It’s really inspiring to know this is possible and I encourage you to write even more posts as your kids grow and achieve new things.

    I see the three main benefits being (1) Accelerated education for your children (2) Controlling the upbringing environment of your children to make sure it is positive (3) Eliminating 4-year university tuition cost and time investment, and just re-investing that with private tutors.

    However, I was curious about the economics behind homeschooling.
    For example, what do you expect the time investment to be? Does one of the parents have to leave their job in order to make enough time? I don’t really see it feasible for two parents to homeschool kids if they both work 9-5 jobs. I think at a minimum, they have to be working remote, but best if one doesn’t work at all and the other is an entrepreneur.

    I assume that one has to be relatively “wealthy” to afford this (or move to a low cost of living country/city), but please let me know your thoughts on this

    Sincerely,

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    1. Ryan, thanks.

      In our case I typically worked outside the home and Isabelle worked more than full-time on our business and yet managed to do most of the stuff with the kids. Sure, I did teach them maths and physics, Isabelle did French, biology and accounting, so it wasn’t Isabelle alone.

      I’d say the minimum is:
      1. One determined parent.
      2. One parent work from home (ideally the one that is determined).

      If a parent was dedicated to this that would be even better – but bear in mind we didn’t have that. I think in our case we had two determined parents and both of us had a high level of flexibility. I often took my kids with me to work or stayed at home.

      I hope that helps!

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  3. Hi Asim ,Great to read through your family homeschooling journey ,im starting off however i do have a 6Y boy and 4Y old ,does homeschooling requires kindergarten as prerequisite or the whole learning could be homeschooled? We have got a pretty fun schedule swimming, music,arts and Maths tutorials. Thanks take care.

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    1. Punitha, no need for kindergarten, but for own kids it meant they knew what school was, agreed they weren’t learning much, didn’t like having to get up early for the commute, and so were really behind homeschooling.

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  4. Would love to hear the viewpoint from your wife, as I’m certain she covered the larger share. Also would like to know how the finances work. There would be a lot of costs associated with taking them out for their extra curricular activities that they normally get for free at school. When promoting something, it’s always a better read when you show pros and cons. It’d be good if you touched upon how to avoid the potential pitfall of living in a bubble, when your interaction is only with others who are home schooled, you might not be able to have a well rounded view of society. Also, I’m surprised at your strong views against university education. University is not just a place of education, as you know, it’s a place to meet brilliant other individuals from all over the world, and that experience of the university culture is not something you get in everyday life through online/private tutoring.

    Either way, mashaAllah, it’s good to read about how you and your wife are successfully managing this, and I wish you and your kids the best of success in this life and the hereafter.

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    1. Awaiting reply for this viewpoint.. how to let kids meet other kids if they don’t go to school? I have a 4 year old and school is the only option to meet other kids on a daily basis. My child thrives with the company of other children as far as I can see her happiness is concerned. Education has become a dirty business of course no doubt, but whats the solution?

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      1. There are many ways – from various sports and activity clubs, homeschool groups, and kids around the neighbourhood. There are kids everywhere!!!

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  5. Hi Asim, just found your blog recently.
    And this story is amazing. It is hard for me to believe that this story is not fantasy.

    I was working in science (Physics) and education for some time and it is so hard to teach someone within the usual school setup.
    I wish to meet your family in real and talk to your kids.

    A few questions:
    – usually, around teens ages, the base for live philosophy is formed. Meaning of life and death, love, etc. It is quite a random process, because of tone on influencing factors: school, teachers, parents, books, etc. How is it going with your kids?

    – You are the main authority for your kids. You have decided what exams they will take, what is the default option for the career. In most cases, they can just agree or disagree. Even for hobbies they choose, it feels like, you push them to success, to go with some approach. How do they learn to be independent? Usually, kids go through a phase of conflicting parents and other authorities (for example teachers), and learn to get and protect their viewpoint.
    I met some grown kids from hypercar families, that can’t go their own way and jump from dependency from one authority to another, from different religious to fake gurus, from boss to wife.

    It is a long time without new posts. I’m burning with impatience to find out how this wonderful home school journey
    Best, Illia

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    1. Illia, thanks for your kind words, and concerns raised.

      Regarding those factors, the kids are fine! I mean, they’re pretty normal kids just not studying any more since around 13.

      Everything they’ve done, they have done willingly (including every exams they’ve done – we sold them on each one) and we do ask them repeatedly if they’re cool with what they’re doing. For example, I wanted to the eldest Maryam to code, she didn’t like it, said she wanted to do digital marketing and that’s what she’s now doing. She says she doesn’t want to go to uni and every few months I do ask her if she wants to. Now, are they heavily influenced by us, yes. Is that a bad thing, I don’t think so. I’d like them to have strong foundations and then face other influences including less desirable ones later on in life when they can handle them.

      I’ll write another post soon. In fact, I asked Maryam to start writing and she’s being lazy. Well, so am I.

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  6. Hello Asim, I love your way of innovating on education.
    I’m on the edge of doing the same thing, and the only counter argument I found interesting when I talked about this with friends was “Kids need to face other environment than your family. Even with the best environment in the family, they need to experiment other “authority systems” (goods and bads) that you can have at school, meet nasty kids in the courtyard, see a social group interact to develop their emotive/social intelligence.”
    I have read in your posts that they are involved in a lot of activities / see neighborhood kids, but none of this is mandatory/full immersion like a school.
    Thanks a lot for sharing your learnings with the world,
    Nicolas

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