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7 Misconceptions about Homeschooling in Malaysia

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In the past, homeschooling simply meant tutoring your own kids at home by yourself, or hiring one or more private tutors to come over and do the job for you.

This often limits your kids as they’re only impacted based on your own limited knowledge or that of the private tutor. Even today, this is still the widely known meaning and practice of homeschooling but I’ll shock you; homeschooling in Malaysia goes way beyond this!

Most people have wrong notions as to what a homeschool Malaysia entails, and the purpose of this blog post is to clear the air on this.

Here are 7 misconceptions about Homeschooling in Malaysia:

1. Homeschool Malaysia is done at home

This is so not true. Although this is the normal practice among other countries of the world, it is not so in Malaysia. Homeschooling in Malaysia — such as the home school in Selangor — carry out their academic activities in a spacious building or rented office units.

In a homeschool Malaysia, the kids are taught normal school subjects in a designated place by well learned teachers, while giving each child optimum attention. This is because there are less number of children been handled by a tutor, as compared to what you find in public schools.

For instance, the ratio of teacher to student in a homeschool in Selangor is often 1:15, which is a better ratio than the 1:30 you find in public schools.

Maplewood Academy primary students

2. Homeschools in Malaysia have their own syllabus and therefore the students are not recognized academically.

This is also not true. Homeschool Malaysia (such as the home school in Selangor) follow the same IGCSE syllabus as many private schools in Malaysia.

For this reason, homeschooling in Malaysia is often referred to as IGCSE homeschooling. This syllabus prepares the students for the IGCSE exams and the certificate is acceptable worldwide.

 

3. Homeschool Malaysia do not engage in extra-curricular activities such as physical education.

This is another misconception people have towards homeschooling in Malaysia. Most home schools in Selangor have parks or swimming clubs close to their buildings where they go for extra curricular activities at least once a week.

 

4. Expensive and unaffordable

Not really. All IGCSE approved curriculum will be presented to your child in a sparsely populated class, giving the teacher enough time and energy to attend to your child in the best possible way.

IGCE homeschooling is actually not so expensive as compared to the quality of education it offers. In fact there are home schools in Selangor that offers high quality education at an affordable price.

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5. Homeschool Malaysia is for abnormal kids

This is just another misconception among the lot. Homeschools in Malaysia do not in any way benefit only slow learning or abnormal children.

In fact, homeschool Malaysia which I have said handles IGCSE curriculum like every other normal private schools, highly benefits smart kids.

Due to its flexibility and shorter academic years, smart homeschool students can finish their O Level faster than other public school students.

 

6. Homeschool students must take about 10 subjects in the secondary examinations.

This is just as wrong as others. Whereas this is the case with normal public schools, IGCSE homeschooling students usually take 5 subjects (or more if preferred by the student), and this helps them to be more focused.

Maplewood Academy female teacher

7. Homeschool teachers are unqualified.

Wrong yet again! As a matter of fact, having a teaching diploma is a criteria for employment in a homeschool Malaysia, for example the homeschool in Selangor. This is so that the teachers will be competent enough to impart massively to the students.

 

Takeaway

A lot of parents are now enrolling their kids into homeschools because of the high quality education, flexibility and focus it provides the child with.

Are you one of the many who have wrong notions about homeschooling in Malaysia? Talk to our friendly and professional staff to find out more. Please feel free to get in touch with us.

Maplewood Home schooling students

Everything you need to know about IGCSE in Malaysia

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As you already know, the IGCSE programme is offered by many private homeschools and international schools in Malaysia. The IGCSE is the international equivalent of the GCSE examinations in the UK.

The International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE) is internationally recognized and offers many opportunities for students who want to study locally or overseas.

Read on to find out everything you need to know about IGCSE in Malaysia.

 

1. IGCSE is Offered by Two Examination Boards

The two examination boards who offer IGCSE are Pearson and Cambridge Assessment International Education. However, the latter is commonly offered in Malaysia.

IGCSE was first introduced by the Cambridge Examination Board in 1985, which is equivalent to O level. Cambridge Assessment International Education prepares and marks all exam papers in the UK.

 

Maplewood diverse subjects2. IGCSE Offers Over 70 Subjects

Schools (including homeschooling centres and private schools) in Malaysia have the option to select from over 70 subjects and offer them in any combination to the students. The students have to take a minimum of five subjects plus mandatory subjects.

The Cambridge IGCSE focuses on the application of knowledge, critical thinking, adaptability, excellent English Language skills, and cultural awareness.

 

 

3. IGCSE is Preceded by British or Cambridge Curriculum

Students of Malaysia who are enrolled in private homeschooling centres or international schools which offer the Cambridge International Curriculum will sit for the IGCSE examinations in their final year of secondary school.

The IGCSE preparations are done during Cambridge Upper Secondary in the Cambridge International Curriculum. The students are usually between the ages of 14 to 16 years old.

 

4. IGCSE Examinations are Written Twice a Year

In Malaysia, the IGCSE examinations are written twice a year, in May and October. Students sit for the exams in private examination centres or international schools.

The results are usually issued in August and January. The subjects are graded from A to G – the highest grade is A.

 

Leaning IGCSE Malay5. A new Subject is Included – IGCSE Malay!

Cambridge Assessment International Education announced the addition of IGCSE First Language, Malay, to the list of subjects in 2018. International schools will start offering the subject in September 2019.

The first examination for IGCSE First Language, Malay, is expected to be carried out in June 2021. Before this inclusion, Cambridge IGCSE only offered the Malay Foreign Language to students with no foundation in the language.

It is also important to know that the IGCSE First Language, Malay, is not equivalent to Bahasa Melayu at SPM level.

 

6. The IGCSE Curriculum Focus Areas

The approach to teaching the IGCSE subjects is to introduce the students to a variety of subjects and encourage them to make a connection between each subject.

IGCSE Malaysia concentrates on developing the student’s understanding, skill, and knowledge in the areas below:

  • Subject content
  • Intellectual inquiry
  • The flexibility and responsiveness to change
  • Working and communicating in English
  • Influencing outcomes
  • Cultural awareness

 

7. IGCSE and Home Schooling

The IGCSE curriculum is fast becoming an increasingly popular choice for homeschools due to its high-quality syllabus. Choosing IGCSE as a homeschool curriculum gives a homeschooled student an advantage over the regular student. There are many IGCSE homeschooling centres all over Malaysia.

The child is able to sit for the examination at any time, whenever they are ready for the exam in any British Councils located in Malaysia or any registered Cambridge Schools that accepts private candidates.

 

HomeschoolingIn a Nutshell

For Malaysian students, IGCSE Homeschooling is one of the options for them to immerse themselves in a different kind of syllabus – the IGCSE Cambridge syllabus.

If you have more questions regarding IGCSE, don’t hesitate to make an appointment with us. Our friendly teaching staff will be more than happy to guide you along.

official SPM certificate cover

IGCSE vs. SPM: The differences between both

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In Malaysia, IGCSE and SPM are popular examination terms among students and teachers alike. While IGCSE is Cambridge certified, SPM is the national examination for form 5 students (year 11 equivalent) in Malaysia.

Both are equivalent qualifications albeit quite a number of stark differences between the two.

What Does IGCSE Stand for?

IGCSE an acronym for ‘International General Certificate of Secondary Education’. Let’s look at some traits peculiar to IGCSE.

  • IGCSE Malaysia is taken by students aged between 14-16 or 15-17 depending on primary 1 entry age.
  • The examination is internationally recognized and rated highly by reputable universities and companies all over the world.
  • It is flexible; allowing students to choose from over 70 subjects.

When students finish this course, they take an assessment. The assessment consists of a practical and coursework along with written and oral examination.

 

What Does SPM Stand for?

The Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia, or more popularly known as ‘SPM’, is a national examination for all form 5 students who follow the education pathway of Malaysian government schools.

Taken after 11 years of schooling, SPM is one of the pathways to tertiary education. The examination is recognized in many countries, although all examination papers (except the English paper) are written in Bahasa Malaysia.

 

The differences between both

In fact, both examinations differ when it comes to subjects, grading system, duration and recognition. Let’s find out.

1. Subjects

When it comes to subjects, IGCSE offers students more flexibility as compared to SPM. For example, there is no compulsory subjects for anyone wishing to sit for IGCSE.

On the contrary, in SPM, students have to sit for and pass Bahasa Malaysia and Sejarah (History) in order to get their certificate. Moreover, Pendidikan Islam is compulsory for Muslims while Pendidikan Moral is compulsory for non-Muslims.

For IGCSE, students choose their own subjects based on their interest.

 

2. Grading System

SPM examination grading system

The results of SPM examination will determine if a student qualifies for further studies after secondary school, such as matriculation, foundation, certificate or diploma programmes (with specialization).

The grades are: A+, A, A-, B+, B, C+, C, D, E and G.

Students who intend to further their education at public universities must convert their grades into a merit point calculation system.

 

IGCSE examination grading system

The grades are: A*, A, B, C, D, E, F or G.

It’s important to bear in mind that performance which is below the standard of the lowest grade is ungraded and denoted by a ‘U’. Moreover, grades are not awarded based on a quota system.

Unlike SPM, which requires a passing in Bahasa Malaysia and History for students to be awarded a certificate, candidates of IGCSE will be awarded a certificate stating the subjects and corresponding grades obtained.

New IGCSE Grading Structure

Cambridge IGCSE Grading Structure

3. Duration

With IGCSE, fast-learning students are allowed to sit for the examination earlier and finish high school as early as 16 years old.

With SPM, all students must follow the syllabus set for each year and proceed from form 1 to form 5 accordingly. Students sit for SPM when they complete 11 years of education.

 

 

4. Recognition

Both IGCSE and SPM are examinations of equivalent level. Both are widely recognized, although Cambridge IGCSE is best known as the world’s most popular international qualification for secondary education.

Both qualifications can get you into good colleges, pre-university programmes, diploma programmes etc, depending on your grades. However, if your plan is to enter a public university or join a Matrikulasi, SPM is the way to go.

On the other hand, if your goal is to enter a local private university/college, or even overseas, IGCSE is your best choice.

 

4 Asian students discussingTakeaway

Today, more and more students have opted to sit for IGCSE. In 2018, the country has recorded over 8,000 IGCSE examination candidates.

Should you/your children go for IGCSE or SPM? To find out the education pathway that best suits your children, it is crucial to refer to various resources, speak to parents, teachers and students with experience.

If you have more doubts, don’t hesitate to make an appointment with us at https://www.maplewood.com.my/contact-us/

Mother homeschooling kids

Homeschooling Vs. Public Schooling in Malaysia

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Are you contemplating which schooling system is better for your child, between homeschooling (or private school) and public schooling?

This blog post will open your eyes to see which system is the best for your kids.

So, what are the differences between Homeschooling and Public schooling in Malaysia?

 

The Learning Institution

Homeschool

In Malaysia, we have so many homeschooling centres across the country. These centres could be in a big house, such as a bungalow or a separate building, built for the sole purpose of educating children.

Homeschools in Malaysia cater for about 40 – 100 students or less, making it convenient for each student to get more personal attention.

In this homeschooling system, every student learns at their own pace, since everybody doesn’t have the same mental capacity of understanding. These centres often follow both national and international curricula such as the IGCSE and Cambridge primary education.

Homeschools encourage physical education for the students. PE classes are usually held at a nearby park or football field.

Malaysian public school student

Public School

Public schools in Malaysia are usually in classrooms and are usually attended by 30 – 45 students per class.

In the public schools, due to the number of students in a class, students get less attention, unlike the private home school centres, where special attention is given to any child who doesn’t understand what is being taught in class.

The curriculum is predetermined by the government and must be strictly followed by the teachers and taught to every student, not minding if the student is weak in those subjects.

Because the classrooms are usually congested, the environment can be hot, thereby preventing proper circulation of air, which is unhealthy for a child.

Although PE activities are encouraged, the activities are generalized. It doesn’t matter if a child is not interested in a particular sporting activity, he must participate in that activity.

 

Enrollment Age and Years Spent in School

Homeschool

The number of years students spend in primary and secondary schools in Malaysia is between 9 and 11 years, depending on the situation.

Children who have attained the age of 6 years old can start their homeschooling journey.

What this means is that their education journey begins at a very early age and it finishes early too; finishing faster than their peers.

At age 16, a child who was homeschooled is already set to enter into any tertiary institution of his or her choice.

Public School

In public schools, children begin their formal education journey at the age of 7, which means they finish high school at the age of 17, assuming they passed all their subjects.

For instance, in a case where a student fails the compulsory Bahasa Malaysia (Malay Language) in their final exams, they will be required to stay back for an extra year in high school.

During this extra year, they will be in a special class where they will be taught to improve in the national language. This can be a huge delay in the student’s educational advancement.

 

Medium Of Instruction

Children being homeschooled

Homeschool

In private homeschools, the English language is the medium of instruction; though students are also encouraged to speak the national language (Bahasa Malaysia).

It is good for students to speak the national language, but English is a widely used language and homeschools in Malaysia use the English language as a medium of instruction, and the subject itself is taught in homeschools, making the students proficient in English Language.

With this, a student can confidently interact with people in English speaking countries, especially, if he or she chooses to further their education abroad.

Public Schools

The Malay language is the medium of instruction in most public schools. It is good for the students to interact in Bahasa Malaysia; but students need to be able to speak the worldwide language (English language).

Unfortunately, not all public schools have the capacity to ensure that students leave school being fluent in English.

This might be due to the fact that some teachers don’t interact with students with the language, or the subject is not taught or taken seriously.

 

Student-Teacher Ratio

Homeschool

In homeschools, the number of students per class is usually small, making it easy for teachers to attend to the learning needs of each individual student.

In private homeschools, more attention and support is given to the students on a one-on-one basis. Some private schools even have assistant teachers helping out the headteacher.

Students are free to ask as many questions as they can until they understand a topic or subject. This is an advantage because, in public schools, teachers might not have enough time to explain one thing to a particular student.

Malaysian Public school classroom

Public Schools

The student-teacher ratio in public schools are usually high; making the class congested. This makes the attention span of the students low, because the students are easily distracted.

 

In a Nutshell

It’s no denying that all parents want the best for their children especially when it comes to education. One of the reasons homeschooling is becoming more and more popular in Malaysia is because of the belief that not all students are the same.

In fact, students learn in different pace and have different attention span. Due to low student-teacher ratio, students studying in homeschools in Malaysia will get more personal attention and the privilege to study at their own pace.

3 girl students

Benefits of IGCSE Homeschooling in Malaysia

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Homeschooling is an approach for a student to receive an education beyond the formal setting of an academic institution.

IGCSE (International General Certificate of Secondary Education) is a popular international certification for secondary schools. In some countries, it is referred to as O-Level.

IGCSE Malaysia is popular among adult students and home schoolers alike in Malaysia.
Written by students in the age group of 14-16 or 15-17, it presents the students with an alternative method of education and also the adult students to sit for exams and pursue personal education advancement.

IGCSE home schooling educators are choosing IGCSE opposing the regular Malaysian high school curriculums as it is one more year advanced than the regular course of the Malaysian high school.

IGCSE has over 70 subjects, and students must take a minimum of 5 and maximum of 14 subjects. The subjects fall into the following categories:

  • Second languages
  • Sciences (including physics, biology and chemistry and Mathematics, which are the core subjects)

Students may choose other subjects, such as:

  • Accounting
  • Economics
  • Business studies
  • Computer studies
  • Art & design
  • Information & communication technology

After a successful examination, the students are awarded the IGCSE certificate for each
subject. Therefore, if you take five subjects, you receive five different IGCSE certificates.

The IGCSE body follows the grading system from A to G, and “Ungraded” is U. Each student must obtain a minimum C grade in the five core subjects to proceed to the advanced level or further education.

This is where IGCSE home schooling comes into play. The goal is to help students reach the cutoff mark set by the examination body and even score beyond the mark by complementing what was taught in the classroom or teaching what wasn’t taught and will likely be set in the examination.

Homeschooling will further boost the confidence of the students going to sit for the examination. IGCSE homeschool Malaysia is generally held in learning centres.
The benefits include:

Malaysia homeschooling is conducted by using the IGCSE syllabus, which is an internationally recognized qualification and is mainly taught in English.

Students have the freedom to learn at their own pace with the guidance from the parents and teachers. Therefore, students can take all the time they need to learn and develop their ability.

Students have access to interact and mix with other people of all ages through the participation of social activities.

Most homeschool centres have a small number of students. This gives the teacher the freedom to use different teaching methods to meet each student’s individual learning needs.

Students will not feel stressed over the IGCSE examination as they are allowed to take a minimum of two subjects at each sitting. After that, students can concentrate better on the subjects taken.

Homeschool centres allow the gifted students to graduate early without being challenged by regular schooling and whose pace of learning could be much faster.

IGCSE Malaysia Homeschool develops competitive students in later studies as well as in the workplace. Through the project work in the curriculum, it helps the students to adapt better to the curriculum in the college and university.

The exposure to the project work in the IGCSE helps the student to develop research skills, which makes the student more capable of working on their own when they are needed to work on a research project in the college.

IGCSE home schooling also helps to sharpen the presentation skills of the students. This makes the homeschool IGCSE students more outstanding as compared to others because they can speak with confidence, clarity, and conviction.