Homeschooling and socialization

Lovely well meaning people keep asking how my kids will socialize if they are homeschooled.  And I keep repeating myself.  So, I’m going to write it down here and tell them to read it because when I say it now, its so rote and practised, there isn’t any conviction :)

Well, in a typical week, Bern is visited once by Farhan who lives in the palatial mansion behind us.  They barely speak the same language but seem to have fun comparing what they can and cannot get away with on their bicycles.  Farhan is 8 and can cycle anything!  He has an amazing collection of bikes and can do tricks on them.  Bern can barely cycle with slightly elevated training wheels , bless his little uncoordinated soul!

At least twice a week, they play with Hannah and Sophie from further down the road.  Their games tend to be wilder, with lots of screaming, water splashing and dress up.  For many weeks, they were the Navi from Avatar defending home tree.  My mulberry tree is somewhat the worse for wear but the children, dressed in belts, tails, nerve braids and anklets made from Zoob were totally immersed in the alternate dimension for at least a month.  Their current pursuit of choice is catching and observing the insects and spiders in our gardens.

The children all go for gymnastics at Scope and have a fabulous time there.  Their constant companion there is shy Lounes.  He is an only child and somewhat reserved and introverted.  However, the children interact in such a respectful way that us adults need to learn from them.  Sometimes, Lounes is reluctant to participate and Bern or Kiki will try to coax him into joining.  If he refuses, they take it in their stride and carry on.  If he agrees, they are so pleased.  If he joins in later, there is no ridicule or resentment, just happiness that another child will learn what they are learning too.

My children also have a wonderful relationship with my grandmother, aunts and uncles and my cousins.  They will happily go off with them all day and sometimes even overnight.   And remember, Cian only turned 3 in March.  When we go out as a family, the children often ask if Taima can come along or if we are are shopping, they will remember that YeeMa like that biscuit and we should get her some.

True socialization is not about 45 children in a classroom regulated by bells and being asked to concentrate by a harrassed teacher.  It is not 20minute recess breaks where one has to fit in a toilet break, a snack, catch up on home work and perhaps a little bit of play.

True socialization is not about being told off when you help your classmate with work he struggles with.  Nor is it about being segregated in to Malay, Chinese and Indian for the class quiz.  And it sure as HELL ain’t being rushed off from one tuition class to another so you can score enough A’s to get into a better class.

My friends come from all over the world.  They range from 20 years older to about 15 years younger.  Some of us are poor and some are rich.  Some live in Malaysia, some elsewhere.  Some are HSers, most are not.  Some are religious, some chronic athiests.  Some are married with kids, some are dating.  Some are straight and some committed homosexuals.  Each and everyone is special and precious and almost ALL I DID NOT MEET IN SCHOOL.

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59 thoughts on “Homeschooling and socialization

  1. This is a FANTASTIC post! The #1 comment I get when I mention that I’m thinking about HSing my boys (almost 3 and a 1yr old) is: “But how will they socialize??”. Frankly, I can count with one hand the friends that I made in school – the rest are from college, work, and like-minded mom groups. Plus, from my experience, the regimented routines and sheer amount of students in one class does not allow for much “socialization” in a regular school.

  2. Yes, I agree with your article. I have a 4yr old son and have been thinking of home schooling him but sceptical. Is HS expensive? Public schooling is what we can afford but not so much of the syllabus n edu system. I have been teaching him alphabets and numbers since he was 2+.He can add very well now. How do you overcome relative or friends pressure about HS?
    Grateful to hear fr u.

    Bee

    • How do you overcome relative or friends pressure about HS?

      One by one
      Day by day
      One happy well adjusted child at a time!

      Be strong and patient, they only mean well.

  3. Wow.. I like how u put it. I tihnk i may just print your reply and show them to my friends, if it’s ok with u. I plan to send my kids to homeschooling center and teach them some other things myself. No public school.
    If there ever is a gathering among homeschoolers, i hope to be able to join in so I can learn from u guys. Ppl think I m crazy or trying to be different. I deliver my 3rd baby at home recently. I got it left and right. I just want to do what I feel and know is best for my kids. Is there anything wrong?
    I am glad I stumbled upon this website today..

    • wow! congrats on 3rd baby. AND doing it at home. i wish i had had your courage :)
      I’m glad you stumblbled across my website.

  4. I’ve recently moved to Malaysia and I’m homeschooling my children here. I’m very interested in making contact with other homeschool families.

    • hi luisa

      i just emailed you today. sorry for such a late reply. i would love to start a small homeschool family group but most HSers seem to be the other side of town :(
      we’re in tmn melawati. where are you?

      • Hi Alicia,

        I’m planning to homeschool my daughter (9) soon. We too are in Melawati. Do you have a meeting with other homeschoolers? Is it possible to have your email add?

      • Hai…I m Malliga. Can i meet you? Currently i m homeschooling my two sons. I m staying at Jalan GentinG Kelang..very near to Tmn Melawati.

      • Hi Alicia,

        I believe you are in melawati too, Hv read your website. Great support for lots of parents. Can I meet you at your shop or anywhere else more convenient? Sorry not familiar using FB or blogs. Pls email me instead (annie_5018@yahoo.com . Will reply asap. Annie

      • Hi Malliga,

        Just got your reply today. Yes, that will be great if we can meet. Pls email me (annie_5018@yahoo.com). Sorry not very familiar with using blogs. But email me and I will reply asap. Annie

  5. I attended a talk by homeschooling parents last saturday and I have decided that I will do it on my own and send them to learn stuff like language, gymnastics, music, etc to centers. I love that these ppl are not too academic-oriented. I went to US for my degree and I dun remember much of what I learned. I wished I had llearned other more interesting stuff.
    My girls are 5(attending kindy), 2 and 2.5 months. I stay in Cheras(9th mile) so if there are any HS parents out there, I would love to meet up.

  6. Hi, i have a BIG predicament. My son is a teenager and has so much difficulties coping with the environment in schools… am thinking of HS… is it too late? what do i need to do and what is it tht i need to know?

    • It’s never too late but you have to do the research and reading so you can create a learning situation that’ll best support your child’s needs and ambitions. Good luck!

  7. hi,

    i have a 14 year old son. He was suppose to go back to the states to start his high school years. unfortunately, there’s been a change of plans. He is now back in Malaysia and i’m thinking about home schooling.

    Can anyone point me to the right direction about home schooling?

    Thanks.

    • homeschooling is so much like an open road, i cannot begin to tell you where to start. perhaps, the best thing to do is speak with your son and ask him his opinion.

  8. This site is most interesting. We are a mixed Asian/Brit family coming to live in KL in summer 2011. We have a major dilemma over our 16yo daughter’s schooling. She is in the UK just starting her A levels on the AQA course. However, the schools in KL do a different syllabus, so she will have to start the 12th year again when she moves with us next year.

    To avoid this, I am planning for her to do homeschooling with a correspondence course for her final A level year under the AQA syllabus. However, she is very worried she will be missing out socially by just studying at home.

    Do any of you fine people know of any expat families in a similar position? Where would be a good place for my daughter to go to perhaps take a vocational course and meet up with other expat teens?

    Looking forward to your help!!

    • Hi,

      Sorry for such a late reply.

      I’m really not in a position to help as I don’t know many expat teens. The ones I know are the older siblings of my children’s friends, most who go to international school.

      Good luck and feel free to get in touch when you get to KL.

  9. I was at Public/Private/Christian schools for about 7/8 years and have been Home Schooled for about 3 years now. I made around 20-30 friends I keep in touch with from School, and about 3 or 4 times as many that I made being Home Schooled. They assume we are isolated from society and lack social skills, but in reality we have support groups, play a lot of sports, and have ‘enrichment classes’ once or twice a week where I mix with 500-1000 other children (some my age other not). You learn to be independent – not the brain dead robots society forces you to be (living mediocre lives).

    • Thanks! It’s good to hear from people who have been homeschooled. I sometimes worry I do it for me rather than for the chidlren. Good luck with life!

      Alicia

  10. Hi all,

    I’m glad I found this website and there are so many like-minded mothers who support HS. I’m planning to send my girl to a home school center, she’s 6yrs old this yr and dyslexic. I have a few questions and would love to hear your comments on them.

    1) Any recommendations for a HS center near Kepong/Selayang?
    2) Which HS curriculum did you adopt?
    3) What is the difference between the American and British HS system?
    4) I understand we need to submit a letter to MOE to exempt my girl from public school. How long does that take? And any problems you faced with MOE?

  11. Dear Pastor Kevin and sister Judith,
    Happy New Year 2011. Do you need a teacher?
    Thank you.
    Warm regards,
    Kwan Li Ming

  12. Pingback: Homefrontier » Socialization: When parents are monkeys

  13. My son is 9 years old this year (2011). He had two years of his formal education in a government school before I decided to transfer him to an International school early this year due to his difficulty in coping with BM, Agama and Arab, resulting him to skip 2 or 3 days of school every week. However, with this new school, he does not get enough sleep as he has to get up early to reach there on time resulting in another refusal in attendance. I thought of opting for homeschooling so that he can learn in a conducive environment. How do I go about doing it?

  14. It’s very refreshing to hear that other parents are homeschooling their own children in Malaysia.
    Last week, my bf and I decided to pull his 17 year old sister out from the public school and homeschool her ourselves. She has been slacking and is 2 forms behind so we’ve decided that we needed to tailor make a course to suit her needs. So far it has been good as he is teaching the morning session and me in the evening. It is tiring but so worth it. I know that it is very difficult for a teacher to focus on 40 teenagers in a class. It’s completely insane especially in an unruly class. Let’s see how it goes. As for SPM, she is enrolled as a private candidate and has picked an examination centre (any school in the district).

  15. Thank you for the wonderful thoughts , opinions and info. I am also seriously considering homeschooling my 2 younger kids but with the rising costs of everything under the sun, i know it will take a toll on me. But it is a fantastic option and choice that any parent can consider…. :))

  16. Hi homeschoolmalaysia and everybody else,
    I really enjoy reading your blogs. I am returning from Australia to tmn melawati soon and will be homeschooling my 9 yr old daughter. You mentioned about gymnastics in scope. Can you pls tell me where is that? also do you meet with others who HS?

    Annie

    • Hi Anne..
      are you home schooling using a local programe,or distance learning ones from oz?
      I have 3 kids,14,11 and 6 all schooling thru S.I.D.E which is a WA distance education programme. How are you all settling in?
      Kids are in rugby,and doing helen o’grady drama classes…they swim and have tons of friends in church,and at the apartment,so far am really glad we are doing this..would’n have it any other way!

  17. Great to see a group of homeschooling parents in Malaysia here. I’m from Singapore, married to Malaysian. Now homeschooling 2.5-year old, hopefully at least through Kindergarten years. Planning to have 3 kids and with cousins and playmates from weekly enrichment class, socialization is certainly not our main concern.

    Happy homeschooling, everyone! :)

  18. hi, i would like to know more about this school please i cant get any response from the number you have mention above please reply me ASAP..

  19. Wow! I’m almost sold! I would like to do some research first before taking the plunge but can I ask if you know of any 7, 8, 9, or 10 year olds who are currently being homeschooled in KL? It would be nice if we know that we could have at least some friends who are doing the same thing in order to have play dates with!

    • Hi, I have just started homeschooling my kid 2 weeks ago & am actively looking for play mates for weekly play dates/playgroup. My kid is 7. Pls drop me an email at wong.meileng1@gmail.com. I am at P.J area & hoping to find or form a playgroup in the PJ or subang area. Thanks lots

  20. hi, i’m new here. I am a working mom, I decided to pull my 8 years old kid from the chinese school within this few months, enough is enough and I feel so frustrated towards their vice principal and certain teachers (but i admit that some are really good too) as well as their system. However I’m still attached on my full time job, but planning to submit my resignation letter around year end, so therefore i’m wondering where shall I placed my kid at this moment? (currently he goes to school and then to his daycare centre, but I don’t think it is appropriate if I send him to the daycare for full day care). Kindly advise / suggest something / somewhere for me, your reply is very much appreciated. Thank you very much.

    • Let him play. As long as there is an adult who can ensure he is safe, all you have to do is ban the TV and let his imagination take over :)

  21. Really lovely to have read all of these posts. We are about to travel to Malaysia for 12mths from the UK for my husbands job, schools are not really possibles for us so I am planning to HS my 9.8 & 5 yr old children (do I have to tell an authority??). It’s nice to know there are more people out there (maybe for me more than the children!) to get together with. I have no idea where we will be yet, maybe Pahang- do you think the HS network is a wide one? So far I have only seen sites & HS comments from around KL…..

  22. My daughter is 16, she study IGCSE Year10 at Grace Resource, which is located in Taman Mayang.
    They had increase 50% of the fees this year, there’s a big burden for me.
    Can you recommend me others IGCSE Proficiency home school??
    Between, I am stay at Sungai Buloh

    Thank you

  23. Hi,

    I found all your comments really interesting. We have just moved here and live near Bangsar. We re considering HS my 13 year old son. Does anyone know of a center nearby or a community where he could meet kids his age? Thx!! Jo

  24. Reblogged this on all handmade with Time'N'Love and commented:
    This is so amazing. Thank you for taking the time to explain the socialization part of homeschooling. I really had a hard time explaining myself that it was getting dull and almost sounding like a justification. LOL! If you get to meet my children, they are one of the best communicator for their ages. They can talk to a thirty or fifty or a 3 year old with no mess or awkwardness. It is so natural and supernatural at the same time.

  25. Hai,
    I have a daughter in 5yrs old this year, she was ADHD, Dyslexia, Dysgraphia and Epilepsy (fever times). I hope to send her for home school nearby Kepong area, but we have no idea where to send. Could you please recommend me a home schooling can accept special kids? We are very headache to send her to the normal kindergarten, the teacher don’t want to enrol her because their teachers are not well trained for special kids. Please share some information to me, I really need help. Thanks.

    Aries Ho

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