Considering Homeschooling In Malaysia?

Of late in the United States and around the world, there has been a lot of media coverage and talk around the vast numbers of parents who are choosing to take their children out of school and teach them at home instead, a process known as homeschooling. This has prompted many Malaysian families to think about what this means and if they’re able to do the same here, in Malaysia.

But, what does this mean for a child’s education, and if this is something that you’ve been considering even just as a point of interest, you might be wondering how this works and how it would work for your child.

We’re going to look at a few key points of consideration when trying to decide if homeschooling is ideal for your children and your family. We’ll also look at a few of the most common misconceptions around homeschooling like the social implication of having your kids out of mainstream school and how your kids can still participate in sporting activities or other extracurricular pursuits.

Homeschooling In Malaysia

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Homeschooling is not that new a concept, at least not in many places around the world. In the United States, it’s been around in some form for nearly 100 years. In Malaysia, it’s a relatively new concept, with the biggest leap in homeschooling starting about 20 years ago but of late, supported by many religious organizations, a real spike in interest around homeschooling took off about 10 years ago.

In many respects, it has been practiced by many different communities for as many different reasons, with some families choosing to homeschool as a way of instructing their children according to their specific value systems, and others who might not be able to afford expensive private schooling but still seeking a better quality of education. Some children have special needs that local public schools may not be able to address adequately and some families want to keep their children schooled in a particular religion without the experience being diluted or challenged.

But, whatever your reasons might be for considering homeschooling, you must know that you are not alone and that these days there is a treasure chest of resources available to you to offer your child or children the very best possible experience and help you grow as a home-based educator.


Before getting to the “hows” and “whys”, there is something that you must know and understand first: Homeschooling is going to have a massive impact on your family, how you conduct your daily lives, and your overall lifestyle. It is to all intents, a full-time job all on its own, and - it isn’t for everyone. Your finances will need a big overhaul, especially if both parents usually work. 

There are home educators who manage to run homeschool and still work from home, but it should be understood that these people generally work in niche industries that make it possible to do so. If this isn’t you, then you and your partner need to be realistic about how your financial planning will work with just a single income.  Homeschooling is a very big lifestyle change.

Homeschooling also means that you take on the duties and responsibilities of being a parent and a teacher and an administrator and if you have children with special needs then you need to consider the additional workload as well. Homeschooling will also have an impact on how you organize your home, so keep that in mind when designing the perfect home for your family.

Now, we don’t say this to put you off homeschooling - quite the contrary, homeschooling across many surveys has been shown to produce children that can be very well rounded and even more competitive in a senior or tertiary educational environment, as they do tend to have very well established foundations and value systems. But, we do want you to be realistic and realize that if you’re making this transition, that you be as well informed as possible.

Remember that homeschooling doesn’t exclude your children entirely from the far reach of the state. You will need to satisfy local authorities that you’re able to take on the challenges of homeschooling and still provide your children with quality education, that will pass the required grades in examinations. You will need to implement lessons, organize field trips and other “off-site” educational activities and you will need to be able to coordinate and plan activities with other parents while ensuring state regulatory compliance requirements too.

All of this will be on top of the responsibilities that you would normally have as a parent.


As a homeschooling parent, you have to be aware of the additional costs of homeschooling your children. There are so many free resources available online that can help you refine your homeschooling experience, but you’ll still be on the block for textbooks, paper, art supplies, computers, software, and more. Currently, there’s not an awful amount of financial support from the Malaysian government, if at all so you’ll be footing most of the bill.


In Malaysia, primary schooling was made compulsory in 2001. This means that all children ages 7 - 12 are required by the state to be sent to school. However, this spurred on a small number of parents who preferred to teach their children at home.  A small group of parents took it upon themselves to approach the minister of education to petition him for the right to educate their children at home, and while the Minister initially reacted in shock that Malaysian families were homeschooling their children, the reception was very positive - he did, however, stress one important thing: Parens are not to forget Bahasa Malaysia.

Successive Ministers have been less enthusiastic and have instituted a few changes to the law of the land, however despite those changes, homeschooling is not illegal in Malaysia, but parents are now required to apply for a school exemption from the ministry of education.

It does seem to be that for the most part in Malaysia, the minister tends to approve exemptions for parents with children of special needs or who may be medically unfit to attend school.

With all of that being said, there are still many parents who are choosing to homeschool as not all Malaysian public schools offer the same standard of education as each other, and this can vary greatly based on the area that you live in.

Parents also must follow the national curriculum and children have to pass national examinations.

You can find tons of useful information, here.


At first thought, it may appear that taking on the challenge of homeschooling is merely a copy and paste scenario based on the school experience - but that would be a gross oversimplification. Homeschooling has to cover all of the elements of the Malaysian curriculum, but you’ll also have to be aware of your child’s unique learning requirements. This is something that would ideally be picked up at school, but with vast differences in the quality of education one receives in public schools in Malaysia, this may not always be the case (and is thus the basis for many families who want the best for their children).

So you need to be aware of a few critical elements.

You’ll need to know the curriculum for starters and how you intend on communicating that to your children, how you’re going to grade them and assess their development as well as how you’re going to spot lapses in learning or indeed if your child is excelling at the program. This is usually tested against other children, but now you’ll have to be able to test for these yourself.

You’ll have to know how to assess strengths and weaknesses in reading, mathematics, literacy, comprehension, and sports. Children learn the best, certainly at younger ages by playing and having fun, so you’ll need to be able to incorporate this as well. As a parent, you will now need to cover the dual role of parent and teacher so learning will become your goal too.

There are many ways to incorporate fun into learning though, from sight word games to play with your kids, to learning the rules of sports and outdoor activities that they may be interested in.

Thankfully attitudes towards homeschooling are changing in Malaysia and you’ll find many online resources to help you on your way, be we also think that it’s a good idea to connect with other parents and families who are doing the same thing. That way your kids can still make friends and socialize while getting the best possible education that you can give them.

There are many benefits to homeschooling your children and it is well worth it to speak to other parents about their experiences before taking on this challenge. You are going to have to learn how to navigate Malaysian law and this is an area where you may well need some legal assistance too, so do your homework.

Ultimately, homeschooling is a tough but worthwhile challenge if it works for you. 

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