Maplewood Academy prides ourselves on our warm caring environment as a Home School in English Education in Puchong and Seri Kembangan that provides optimism, fun and enjoyment for all who join the family.

learning from home

Learning From Home During COVID-19 Outbreak: Tips & Tricks

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Malaysian schools, at different levels, are now physically closed to help contain the spread of the novel coronavirus. The closure became necessary, not just to slow down the spread, but to also help prevent overloading the hospitals with COVID-19 cases.

For parents who will be working from home during this period, here are some useful tips and tricks to effectively work and take care of your kids.


1. Keep a routine

Even the simplest change in a daily routine can be stressful for everyone. Therefore, it is crucial to discuss with your kids about why everyone will be at home during this time, and what the new routine will look like.

Talk about your work — the time you’ll spend each day working, coffee breaks, etc. Also, discuss their schoolwork with them. Let them know that school will now be conducted via lessons by their teachers, over the internet.


2) Keep activities simple

Keep in mind that online lessons during this time are to help keep them acquainted with school activities and also progress their learning instead of just staying idle or playing all through the MCO period.

It’s a good idea to keep every other activity simple. In a bid to occupy them with other activities (school or non-school related), keeping it less tasking will make them concentrate on the activity, allowing you the time and concentration you need to work.


3) Use the resources available to you

There’s no point in trying to develop a new syllabus for your kids. Leverage on the curriculum and syllabus that the homeschool offers. There are also many resources available on the internet — if you choose to add to your child’s knowledge away from schoolwork.

Trying to develop a new syllabus or study material for your kid may take a lot of time, which may affect your work or other activities in your daily routine. Stick to the already prepared resources the homeschool provides for your kids.


4) Use what’s in your house

During break periods, you can get the photo album out. Talk to the children about yourself growing up, tell them what it was like when you were younger.

They can also help out in the kitchen with what they can do easily. Allow the kids to do the dishes if they’re old enough. Let them clean their room or other areas of the house you’re comfortable with. It gives you time to do one or two work-related activities.


5) Take your child (virtually) to work

You can use this time to show your kids this part of your world. On the days when work activities aren’t intense or tedious, and your kids aren’t involved in any online learning activity, you can allow them into your work area. Show them what you’re doing and explain it to them. You can connect with your child while working.


6) Use media for social connection

Social distancing can, indeed, be isolating. Allow the kids to reach out to their school friends or other families through video chats — especially during free time. You can also use the time to concentrate on your work or follow their suit and check in on your friends and family to ensure they’re doing okay


In a Nutshell

In this time of MCO and social distancing, it is crucial to keep your kids engaged in schooling activities to keep their memory fresh and to ensure that they’re progressing academically.

Homeschools in Selangor, Malaysia, such as Maplewood, ensure that your kids are constantly learning even if they’re away from school while affording you the time you need to concentrate on your job. For more information, feel free to get in touch with us.

Maplewood homeschooling students

What are the Compulsory Subjects When Homeschooling in Malaysia?

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In Malaysia, when you decide to send your child to a homeschool, it doesn’t mean you or the homeschool tutors can choose to educate the kid(s) on random subjects, to the detriment of the core subjects that would turn out to be useful for the child’s future.

Homeschools in Malaysia operates with the IGCSE or O Level syllabus in educating the students. With this syllabus, the student can feel confident in sitting for the IGCSE examinations, knowing he is well-equipped with the required knowledge needed to ace his papers.

Some IGCSE offers over 70 subjects, and students can only write a minimum of 5 subjects and a maximum of 14 subjects — including the core subjects.

Because of this, homeschools must be able to teach the students the core subjects and any other subjects that are congruent with what they intend to study in college. The same is also true for O Level exams in terms of teaching the core subjects and electives.


The Compulsory Subjects When Homeschooling in Malaysia

The compulsory subjects include subjects that the student MUST learn in the homeschool. The core subjects are usually based on the national curriculum and the examination the student intends to write.
Generally, core subjects include Mathematics, English language and Science. The science subjects would depend on the students’ interests in terms of their professional careers.
Science and Art subjects may include Accounting, Business Studies, Economics, Sociology, Arts & Technology, commonly Computer Studies, Information & Communication Technology (ICT), Biology, Physics, Chemistry, and the likes.


Subject Grouping for IGCSE (For general reference only)

Group I

  • English 1st Language
  • Chinese 2nd Language
  • Malay 2nd Language

Group II

  • Economics
  • Geography
  • World History

Group III

  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Physics
  • Combine Science
  • Computer Science
  • Coordinated Science

Group IV

  • Cambridge International
  • Mathematics
  • Additional Mathematic

Group V

  • Accounting
  • Business Studies
  • Art and Design
  • Information Technolgy
  • Music
  • Computer Science

Students choose two languages from the first group, one subject from the second, third, fourth and fifth. The seventh subject can be chosen from any of the five groups.


Private Homeschool: Maplewood Academy

Maplewood Academy is a leading homeschool in Puchong, Malaysia. Over the years, the school has produced well-rounded students, including providing quality education that enhances the character and instils leadership qualities that prepare them for the future.

With a combined effort from both the teaching and non-teaching staff, Maplewood Academy aims to continue building children with a hunger for knowledge. We also intend to continue instilling leadership qualities, emotional intelligence, and lifelong learning mindset even after graduating from school.


Subjects Offered in Maplewood Academy

At Maplewood Academy, kids who are ready for homeschooling will spend around 10 and 11 years in school, depending on what happens during the schooling years. At an early age of six, Maplewood Academy admits kids to begin their schooling journey.

Below are the core and elective subjects offered by Maplewood Academy homeschool — for both primary and secondary students.


1) Lower Primary (Year 1 to 3)

Core subjects: English, Science, and Mathematics
Elective subjects: ICT, Geography, and History
Second Languages: Malay and Mandarin


2) Upper Primary (Year 4 to 6)

Core subjects: English, Science, and Mathematics
Elective subjects: ICT, Geography, and History
Second languages: Malay and Mandarin


3) Lower Secondary (Year 7 to 8)

Core subjects: English, Science, and Mathematics
Elective subjects: ICT, Geography
Second Languages: Malay and Mandarin


4) Upper Secondary (Year 9 to 11)

Core subjects: English and Mathematics
Science Elective subjects: Biology, Physics, Chemistry, and Additional Mathematics
Art Electives: Business, Economics, and Accounting
Other Subjects: ICT, Geography, Malay and Mandarin

As you can see, Maplewood Academy caters to the needs of children at different levels of their primary and secondary schooling years. Our school covers all the core and elective subjects, including other extracurricular programs. For more information, get in touch with us.

Mapplewood Academy class session

Why More Parents Prefer to Send Their Kids to an IGCSE Homeschool?

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These days parents in Malaysia are choosing to send their children to an IGCSE homeschool. This doesn’t come as a surprise — as kids who are homeschooled receive more personal attention and generally tend to perform better.

In fact, IGCSE homeschools in Malaysia offer many benefits that give your kid an edge over the kids in public schools.

Homeschooling is the education received in learning centres different from the formal setting. The kids are usually taught by qualified private teachers or tutors. Homeschooling allows the teachers to better shape the children’s learning experience.

Even though the homeschools stick to the government regulations in their respective states, tutors can still tailor the homeschool environment to meet the needs of individual students by using specific methods of teaching that are most suitable for the kids.

Apart from the fact that kids who are homeschooled usually perform better, another reason why more parents are choosing IGCSE homeschools is that they might be dissatisfied with the traditional public schools believing that the school does not offer the kids a conducive learning environment.


homeschooling studies

Other reasons parents prefer IGCSE homeschools in Malaysia include:

– The safety of their kids as well as the positive influence of other kids on their own. This is because the kids are closely watched by the teachers, so that bad behavior will not be tolerated.

– The size of the class is just right — enough for each kid to get individualized attention and instruction from the tutor.

– The rich curriculum (including the IGCSE curriculum) and teaching methodology used in homeschools.

– Gifted kids, as well as children with special needs, are welcomed and adequately cared for.

– The learning environment is created to suit the needs of individual kids.

– Parents also prefer homeschoolers because it allows them to have an active role in their kids’ education, thereby creating a closer bond with the kids.

– Homeschools allow the parents to accommodate their work or travel schedules.


Tutors spend extra time helping their children develop any unique talents they possess, including musical, athletic, etc.

Furthermore, the IGCSE homeschools in Malaysia provides classes for students who are preparing for the IGCSE examinations. The classes are taught using the IGCSE syllabus and are taught in English.

This is provided through a platform that is very useful for the students as they engage in active learning and a rich curriculum that helps them to learn more effectively.

Homeschooling gives the kids the confidence they need to sit for the IGCSE examination because they are taught using the IGCSE syllabus and are allowed to learn at their pace until they fully understand a subject.

Therefore, if you expect your kid to sit for the IGCSE examination, homeschooling in Malaysia is the best option for your child to get proper guidance from qualified and experienced tutors.


What You Need to Know about IGCSE Malaysia

teaching homeschool students

1. Two examination boards offer IGCSE

Pearson Edexcel and Cambridge Assessment International Education offer the IGCSE. But, the Cambridge version is commonly provided in Malaysia.


2. Over 70 IGCSE subjects are offered

International schools can select from over 70 IGCSE subjects and offer them in any combination to their students. The students have to take a minimum of five subjects in addition to mandatory subjects.


3. Examinations are administered twice a year

The IGCSE examinations are written twice a year — May and October.


4. IGCSE Malay is now available as a subject

The Cambridge Assessment International Education has added IGCSE First Language Malay to their list of subjects.


Finally, if you decide that sending your kids to homeschool is the best choice, ensure that you do your research to find out everything you need to know about the school. For more information, please feel free to get in touch with our helpful counsellors via our website.

Curriculum for Malaysian Public Schools Vs. IGCSE Private School

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In Malaysia, the Ministry of Education has the sole responsibility of providing education at the pre-tertiary level of education, which includes pre-school, primary, secondary, and post-secondary levels.

Apart from the ministry’s responsibilities of regulating the operations of all public and private-funded schools and homeschools in Malaysia, they have put in place a comprehensive schooling system from pre-school to secondary education.

A child’s education starts at pre-school at the age of four, and then he/she moves onto the first year of the 6-year compulsory primary education when the child reaches the age of seven.

From primary school, the child moves onto secondary school. At this level, most schools are government or government-aided schools.

However, many private schools in Selangor and homeschools in Malaysia are springing up to not only meet the demand of more affluent parents but to offer a better and more focused education to children by offering a richer curriculum.



Curriculum for Malaysian Schools

The National Curriculum provides a list of subjects for all levels of schooling. The subjects are categorised as follows:

  1. Core subjects: They are subjects that must be learned by school pupils in the government and private schools in Malaysia.
  2. Compulsory subjects: They are subjects other than the core subjects that must be learned by school pupils in government schools.
  3. Additional subjects: They are subjects taught following the Educational Act in government schools.
  4. Elective subjects: They are subjects other than the compulsory and core subjects that are chosen by pupils in the government school according to their interest, talent, ability, and potential.


malaysian preschool


Preschool Curriculum

In Malaysia, kindergartens adopt the National Pre-school Curriculum (NPC) set by the Ministry of Education. The curriculum enables pre-school children to acquire the required communication, personality development, social, and other positive skills that will make them prepared for primary school.



Malaysian primary school

Primary School Curriculum

The national curriculum for primary schools in Malaysia is known as Kurikulum Bersepadu Sekolah Rendah (KBSR). The primary education phase is separated into two parts – Phase I (Standard 1 to 3) and Phase II (Standard 4 to 6).

The first phase focuses on acquiring an active reading, writing, and arithmetic skills, while the second phase focuses on the mastery of the above skills and also to build a strong foundation in content and basic science.

The six years of primary schooling focuses on the development of personality, attitude, values, study skills, and thinking skills as well as the acquisition of knowledge and pre-vocational education.



Secondary school in malaysiaSecondary School Curriculum

The secondary level of education focuses on the general development of students. It is also known as Kurikulum Bersepadu Sekolah Menengah (KBSM).

It aims to develop a broader base of intellectual capacity, self-confidence, and skills in the students, to cope with new areas of knowledge and technological knowledge, and teach values based on the National Philosophy of Education. The main goal is to develop a strong foundation for life-long education.

In public secondary schools, the medium of instruction is Bahasa Melayu, while the English Language is taught as a second language.


IGCSE for Malaysian Public Schools

Although students in public schools can sit for IGCSE, they are far less equipped for the exams due to many factors — from inexperienced teachers to unfavorable learning environments, overcrowded classrooms and poor student-teacher ratio.



IGCSE Private School Curriculum

Private schools in Malaysia are also expected to use the National Curriculum for primary and secondary education. The Malaysian curriculum for schools includes the Primary School Standard Curriculum or Kurikulum Standard Sekolah Rendah and the Secondary Schools Standard Curriculum or Kurikulum Standard Sekolah Menengah.

These curriculums were enacted to ensure that students are taught the relevant knowledge, skills, and values needed in the 21st century.

Malaysian private schools offer a wide range of elective subjects, general co- and extracurricular activities, facilities for learning, sports, IT and the arts — much more than public schools. Many have longer study hours and smaller classes, and more attention is given to the students.

Maplewood Home schooling students

For example, the private schools in Selangor, Malaysia even provide regular reports for parents and place greater emphasis on the English language, using it as the primary medium of instruction, although these schools follow the Malaysian national curriculum.

Also, students who are enrolled in homeschools in Malaysia are better equipped to sit for the IGCSE because the private homeschools tend to model the school’s syllabus according to IGCSE standard, even though they operate under the jurisdiction of the Malaysian Education Board.

At the end of their schooling years, IGCSE private homeschools produce competitive students in later studies as well as in the workforce.

Because of the compulsory project work, experienced teachers, productive extra-curricular activities, and other educational programs included in the curriculum, private homeschools help the students to adapt better to university or college curriculum.

Mapplewood Academy cooking class

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.

Mapplewood Academy class session

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.



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.

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?


1. The Learning Institution


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.


2. Enrollment Age and Years Spent in School


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.


3. Medium Of Instruction

Children being homeschooled


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.


4. Student-Teacher Ratio


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.