5 Things to Know Before You Begin Homeschooling

It is so good to see how our community has grown and expanded. On the whole, the Malaysian home education movement has blossomed beautifully. With so many new families thinking about making the shift, I thought this would be a good time to summarise what I really want to tell new families.

  1. It begins with the parents. If you choose to home educate, you are essentially taking responsibility for your child’s everything. It is up to you to provide opportunity to learn motivation, it is up to you to help them make friends, it is up to you to help develop and shape their characters.This may sound scary but it is actually such a wonderful gift. It means you work on yourself too. It is unlikely that a bad tempered, irrational person will raise a calm and rational thinker. Choosing to home educate made me super aware of my biases, which then made me introspect and improve.
  2. It is a journey, not a destination. There will be good weeks when everything is easy and the kids get lots of meaningful stuff done. Then there are the bad weeks when someone is just cranky, unmotivated or uncooperative.One of the things I’ve come to realise is that our family has a rhythm and once we learned to recognise and work with it, it has been so much better. It taught me to accept lulls, restful times and idyll.
  3. Each family is unique. People often ask me how we how we do it. I am quizzed on our schedule, which syllabus we use, what activities the children do. I sometimes wonder if they think that replicating our situation will be some kind of magic formula. It isn’t. You have to make the decisions and choices that work for your family.Some families literally do school at home, with timetables, schedules, books and exams. Some do no bookwork at all and kids are free to do as they wish. We fall somewhere in the middle; I love math, literature and philosophy so I try to teach this to the kids. But it goes in fits and starts, some weeks, we just try to be nice to each other.
  4. It takes courage. This is no easy path. You will be questioned. And criticised. Make friends and be a good friend. I think spousal support is critical. There have been times when I have felt the weight of all the doubt and responsibility on my shoulders and wanted to quit. To take the easy path so I can pass the blame and work onto someone else’s corner. It would be so easy to have swathes of time each day in peace and uninterrupted. Then my husband will say something about how great the kids are doing, and that helps so much.Malaysian Homeschooling Tribe is an FB group. If you wish to join, please PM admin with the following info
    1. Children’s names and ages
    2. Who referred you to the group
    3. Brief description of your HS life
  5. It ends with the parents. How well this goes will depend on you. I speak with brutal honesty here; if you are not the best person you could be and you’re not wanting to work towards that, think twice. If your default setting is to moan and nag, whine and complain, resent and grumble your child might be better of in a school room where he will most likely be ignored, which is better than being stuck at home with only one (sub par) person. I cannot stress enough that any parent who embarks on this path needs to approach the journey with love and kindness; for both child and self. Seeking self improvement goes hand in hand with raising better kids.



One thought on “5 Things to Know Before You Begin Homeschooling

  1. Hi Alicia, I noticed that there haven’t been any posts from you in a while so hope this finds you still going strong and enjoying homeschooling. I was born and bred in Malaysia and have lived in London for 21 years. We decided quite early on to homeschool our 14 month year old due to many good reasons i.e. love and time spent together teaching your child/ren is priceless in comparison to Industrial Schooling. I was also a teacher who was always against the grain and really enjoyed it when my students were ‘free’ under my open-minded guidance. For the record, the performed tons better too academically! I am so happy to stumble across your page as yes, I have had to bear the brunt of criticism mainly from my elderly parents who still live in Malaysia..I reckon my skin will grow thicker in time. So here’s a huge thank you to you and I am looking forward to any future blogs from you in the future as I find them inspiring 🙂

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