What is Home Schooling?

(* The correct use of the “home school” term:
Home school is on its way to becoming a compound. For now, when home school functions as a noun, it is still two words, without a hyphen. When it functions as a verb, it usually takes a hyphen—e.g., I home-school my children; my children are home-schooled. “Homeschooling” is the term commonly used in North America, whereas “home education” is more commonly used in the United Kingdom, elsewhere in Europe, and in many Commonwealth countries.)

Home schooling or home education is a form of education based at home. You can teach your child at home, either full or part-time. This is called home schooling.

Parents give many different reasons to home-school their children. The three (major) reasons selected by parents of more than two-thirds of students were concern about the school environment, to provide religious or moral instruction, and dissatisfaction with the academic instruction available at traditional schools.

Numerous studies have found that home-schooled students on average outperform their peers on standardized tests. Homeschooling Achievement, a study conducted by National Home Education Research Institute (NHERI) in the US, a home schooling advocacy group, supported the academic integrity of home schooling. Among the home-schooled students who took the tests, the average home-schooled student outperformed his public school peers by 30 to 37 percentile points across all subjects. The study also indicates that public school performance gaps between minorities and genders were virtually non-existent among the home-schooled students who took the tests.

Choosing an appropriate curriculum for home schoolers is extremely important. Parents that chose home schooling are usually not satisfied with their local schools’ syllabus. As such, IGCSE becomes increasingly popular as home school curriculum due to its high quality syllabus and being recognized worldwide.

Another BIG advantage of choosing IGCSE as home schooling curriculum is, home schoolers could sit for exams at any time whenever they are ready for exam, and in any British Councils worldwide or any registered Cambridge Schools which accept “Private Candidates”. List of registered Cambridge Schools can be found HERE.

IGCSE exams are available twice a year: in the May/June series or in the October/November series. The exam time table is being divided into different administrative zones. Search for your administrative zone HERE.

Home schooling is legal in many countries. Countries with the most prevalent home education movements include Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Some countries have highly regulated home education programmes as an extension of the compulsory school system; others, such as Sweden and Germany, have outlawed it entirely.

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77 thoughts on “What is Home Schooling?

  1. Hello. My daughters are finishing G4 and G6 in an IGCSE school this year. We are moving to the Philippines and after considering many options, I would like to homeschool the girls but am keen on IGCSE. Please help me to understand how I should be going about this. Thanks.

  2. We are from Egypt and planning for homeschooling starting from grade 10 but we are worried about the university admission. Are IGCSE homeschooling students normally accepted in Malaysia or Canada for bachelor degrees?

    • Hi Nortag,

      IGCSE is a well-accepted qualification worldwide. There is no discrimination for home educated students. IGCSE alone won’t get you into university for most of the universities. Many universities worldwide require a combination of Cambridge International A Levels and Cambridge O Levels to meet their entry requirements.

      You will have to first check with the universities you wished to apply for their entry requirements. Some require a combination of excellent co-curriculum and good achievement in education.

      We wouldn’t know how the universities go through the admission applications but it’s definitely best to check with the universities.

  3. Hi there.
    We live in Namibia, I have two kids in mid primary, gr 5 and gr 7. Can I enroll them on Cambridge from April 2017? I am looking for a programme that I can follow till the end and I want a good matric certificate for them.
    Do you have any people from Namibia that does this homeschool programme?

  4. Hi Dear,

    I have a son ,his name is Daniel, he is 11 years old ,he finished grade 6 in GEM School in Dubai , we moved to Istanbul/turkey .
    We have plan to move to London next two years, thats why he wants to be home-school his grade 7 and 8 , would you please help me, what’s the process ? how can we start ? how we can get the documents, books,…. .


  5. Hi, i am from a special needs training centre in Malaysia. We are interested to start up igcse programme from primary level. Can I know do we require to take any license? Thank you. Looking forward for your reply.

  6. Hi
    Our son went to an IGSCE school until year 6. We moved to India and he has been doing the CBSE curriculum Grade 7 and Grade 8. We are interested in homeschooling him to that he can do his IGSCE exams in Grade 11.

    Kindly tell me how to go about it. Would it be okay for him to just work todays the O level exams from now onwards over the next 3 years? Or do we have to begin with secondary level 1 or 2?

    Are there any exam centers in India who take in private students ? If so which state?

    Thank you

  7. Hello, I am 19years old this year. I would like to ask that is it possible for me to take part in an o’level exam? I have stopped my studies when I was 16 years old, but now I really hope that I can get back to study and get an o’level certificate so that I can go for further studies in future. Is it possible that I can go for home school and sit for the exam? Does IGCSE centre provide classes for such student like me?

    • Hi Wendy,
      We only have online courses for Cambridge IGCSE examinations. IGCSE is the equivalent level of O-Level. You may consider that.

      If you have decided to take O-Level, yes, definitely you can study at home then sit for the O-Level exams with your local British Council as a private candidate. The same procedure goes for Cambridge IGCSE exams as well.

      We suggest you to pay a visit to your local British Council and find out more on the exam registration dates, fees etc etc…

      If you need more help, just write to us here.

  8. Hello, my name is Lia and I’m 13. I am currently studying in grade 9 (Y.10) in a thai school with a special International Program (Cambridge Examination (IGCSE)), I am french, and I just have tested ESL. My Mom would like me to test 4 more IGCSEs next time (may-june) but I am not sure I am capable. I was wondering if the Cambridge Program had a homeschooling program on computer (like khan academy) because my Mom does not have time to teach me and I would like to be able to study for IGCSEs and A/As levels easily ? Thank you

  9. I am from Chennai, India. I want to have homeschooling for my daughter who is 4 years old.
    1. What is the correct time to start homeschooling
    2. Should Parent sit with student or student can learn from live / recorded video
    3. Is the school completion valid / acceptable for college admissions in India and Abroad

    • Hi Guruprasath,
      Here are the answers to your questions:

      1. There is no “correct time” to start homeschooling. You may start anytime. However, if you wish to start homeschooling from year 1, you need to have a plan for your daughter from year 1 until year 11, which is the IGCSE exam year. If you decided to send your daughter to a secondary school halfway through the homeschooling, she might face problem in getting admission. As secondary school would need a primary school certificate as entry requirement, which she does not have due to starting homeschooling from year 1.

      2. That would depend on the needs of your child. Some children need personal guidance, while some can study on their own. Parents play an important role in homeschooling. Even though the kid could study by him/herself, parents still need to check on them to make sure they are on track.

      3. IGCSE / O Level certificates are widely recognised. You can always call up your local and abroad universities to confirm on that.

  10. I am looking for a home schooling option for my daughter who will turn 15 in a few months. Can she take the IGCSE exams if I start her homeschooling now?

    Thanks a lot for your advice!


    • Hi Shobha,
      Yes, she can sit for the exams whenever she is ready.

      We strongly suggest you to first check with your local British Council on: available subjects for your local area, exam registration dates, fees etc etc…

  11. Dear IGCSE,

    I am a South African currently working in USA. I completed grade 10 in south africa via intec college. I would like to do 10 over and do 11 and 12 internationally recognized while i am here. Im am looking for something online/part time.

  12. Can you please direct me to which website should I contact for admission?? My son is 13 yrars old and I am looking for a valid website to take this curriculum for him as a home schooler.

  13. Hello team,
    I would like to enrol my son for IGSE homeschooling in grade 10 .
    We live in kuwait .
    Who do I need to contact to register him starting next month?
    Could you help please.
    Thank you

    • Hi Souna,
      We are very sorry that we do not have grade 10 courses at the moment. However, you may register him for our online revision courses, as many year 10 candidates are using our courses for learning.

  14. Hello,
    Thank for all this information. I was lucky to have found it.
    I am currently homeschooling and my son, 12 has finished Grade 8 (Year 9) through an American academy. How do I really know if he is ready for IGCSE’s? Is there some sort of placement/assessment test he can do? Also,can he not take 3 one year and write his exams then 3 the next year or must he take 6 for the duration of two years to receive his Certificate and be considered University-ready?
    Best Regards from KSA

    • Hi Adam,
      There is no “placement” test for one to take IGCSE. You can just start him with the IGCSE programme anytime from Year 9/Year 10, the British system. He can always register for 3 subjects in one examination session, then another 3 subjects in the next examination session. It is entirely up to you.

      If you want to find out the required subjects for university, you must get the confirmation from the university that he wishes to apply for. This would let you have clearer picture on which subjects he should take.

  15. Hi there
    I have a 9year old daughter I’m currently homeschooling. Are there any specific books/courses/curriculum she should be studying in order to take the IGCSE in 6 years. How should we be preparing?
    We are based in India.

  16. Dear Sir,
    My daughter is about to complete 8th Standard (in Bengaluru) and we plan to take her through Home Schooling for 9th & 10th Standard under IGCSE board.

    Kindly let me know what kind of support can be extended by your organization so that my daughter completes the course successfully.

    Thank you,

  17. Dear IGCSE,
    I’m a student about to enter the 9th grade in India. I’ve completed 11 years of my schooling from the USA, until we moved to India 3 years ago. So, from 6th to 8th grade (my finals start in a bit), I’ve been studying in DPS, a CBSE-oriented school. To say that I am dissatisfied understates the matter dramatically.
    If I want to return to the United States, can I be homeschooled, using the IGCSE curriculum LEGALLY? If I obtain a degree using this board, will I face trouble in the future? Is it even possible to be homeschooled in a rural area using this board.


    • Hello there,
      You can always do homeschooling with IGCSE and sit for your exams with any local British Council. IGCSE certificates are “legal” 🙂

      Homeschooling is basically study on your own. You could study at any place in the world.

  18. Hello I am planning to do home schooling for a number of children from primary upto A level. How may I have materials to start my home school. the students will be writing their exams at Cambridge registered institutions. I am in South Africa

  19. Hi I live in Malaysian and am considering to home school my 6 year old son. Is there a complete curriculum available for year 1 right through secondary school?

  20. Hi,

    I’m planning to homeschool my 10years old starting with year 4 books. I’m confused on some of the book recommended to me here in Malaysia. If I want my daughter to take IGSCE, would you recommend that it is best she start with Cambridge publishing books or Collins books ?

    How often do we need to send her for checkpoints test assesment ? Is the checkpoints test currently available for secondary 1 ? Does this mean those in the primary do not require any test for the moment until they move to Secondary 1 ?

    Appreciate your advice. TQ

    • Hello Felicia,
      The Cambridge Primary Checkpoint and Cambridge Checkpoint (at year 9) are not available for “Private Candidate”. Checkpoint tests are only available for learners attached with a teaching group (school).

      You may use any publishers as long as the books cover the required syllabus. All the books are good to use as reference.

  21. Hi, i am planning on homeschooling at home with home tutor? Where can i find a home tutor for igcse art stream? Do u have any method for homeschooling in malaysia?

    • Hello Shiny,
      Unfortunately we do not have any information for your area. Perhaps you want to try some online courses?

  22. how by the hell thats happening !!
    homeschools can simple contact their friends who applied the exam to know its content before they apply for it, if they really can sit for the exam at any time whenever they are prepared for it as u guyz are saying !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Hello Rabbani,
      You have miss understood the meaning. Any time means either May/June session or Oct/Nov session, and at any age. As homeschoolers do not get tied by age regulation as in schools.

      Please watch your language. Politeness and respect is required on this site.

  23. Hi, I want to homeschool my child but am interested in the Design n Technology as well. As I understand, IGCSE does not allow for private students to take the exam unless they are school based.
    Would appreciate your advise.

    • Hello Andrea,
      You could contact some of the schools which offer IGCSE curriculum in your local area, and enquire if they could accept your child to sit the Design and Technology paper with them. For such arrangement, you ought to do it as early as beginning of year 10.

  24. Hi, I am homeschooling my boys aged 12 and 10. I wanted some information. Do you have any online assessments for grade 7 and upwards. Do you just provide the syllabus or do you also provide any assistance? I am in India.

    • Hello Padmashree,

      We are sorry that we do not have any programmes for grade 7. Currently we only have courses for IGCSE exam candidates.

  25. I would like to know if I could be homeschooled in the igcse program, am living in kingston jamaica am 14 years old and in grade 9. Would I have To do it online or not

    • Hello Ashley,

      Yes, you can be homeschooled for IGCSE. You can always enrol any online courses or register yourself with any private tuition centre and just attend the classes for the subject that you need help with.

  26. Hi,
    We are living in Italy and would like to know if our daughter would be accepted to participate in your homeschooling program from 10th Grade (age 14 years old). Any information would be much appreciated.

    Thank you!

  27. We have decided to homeschool our daughter who had just started year 9 at secondary school in england. Could you advise us of the best way to move forward with putting together the most cost effective study programme to take her igcses which would probably be in 2017? Thank you for your help. Philippa

    • Hi Philippa,

      We would suggest you the below:

      1. Get the IGCSE books which follow the syllabus, then either study by yourself or get a home tutor to assist in the process.

      2. Join some IGCSE tuition classes for her weak subjects, this could help in strengthening the theory and practical (if she is taking science subjects).

      3. Take some online IGCSE courses, in this way she could study at her own pace plus strengthening her understanding.

  28. Hi,
    I wish to join my son for this course but he is only 8 now , kindly suggest me when he could take this course and also provide me other related information like centres and syllabus .

    Thank you


    • Hi S.venkatesan,

      It is definitely too early for your son to join our Revision Classes now. These Revision Classes are for candidates writing the exams in this term or next.

      The syllabuses are for 2-year courses. Preparing candidates from 10th Grade to 11th Grade. (approximately from age 14/15 or above depending on your school entry age)

      By that time, there might have some changes in syllabus. We suggest you to check back with us at a later stage.

  29. Hi,

    I’m trying to set up a home school doing IGCSE for local students here in Malaysia. My questions are as follow:
    1) Does CIE have an official program for the course, like a detailed syllabus to be covered in each grade?

    2) Is the textbooks found everywhere on the net published specifically for home school accurate? Or, do you have official textbooks for each grade that the students have to buy?

    3) How do they enrol for the test? Is there an official channel or do I just go to the nearest British Council to do it?

    4) Is it possible to follow the Singaporean syllabus and take CIE O-level? Theirs are a four years course and yours are a six years course.

    I thank you in advance for your help.


    • Hello Hanlen,

      Please see our suggestions here:
      1). Yes, CIE has the official programme for IGCSE course.

      2). All the IGCSE books are for schools and homeschool (private candidates) usage. You may take a look at our recommendation here:

      3). For private candidates, the best is to enrol at your nearest British Council.

      4). No. Singaporean syllabus are NOT Cambridge CIE O-Level.

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