Speaker Spotlight: Nasiyah Isra-Ul

As homeschooling parents, we all hope that our children will grow up to be lifelong learners and critical thinkers who are hungry to know more. Nasiyah Isra-UI took that idea and ran with it! After graduating as a homeschooler, she navigated her way through college and is now about to begin a graduate program at Regent University. One might think that perhaps Nasiyah has her hands full with that whole “lifelong learner” business, but she is putting her passion for homeschooling education at the forefront as the CEO of Canary Academy Online Inc., a non profit she founded in high school aimed at providing affordable, technologically based tools for home educators. Nasiyah also co-founded The National Entrepreneurial Institute. A veritable Jack of all trades, she partakes in political advocacy work, community service and educational projects, leadership coaching, and working as an advisor and fellow for a variety of organizations of the last few years.  

With how cool Nasiyah is, it’s hard not to turn into a fan girl…so we didn’t even try! We simply had to hear from Nasiyah and get her perspective on the homeschooling world today. She was kind enough to answer some of our questions and we wanted to share her views with you all.


VA Homeschoolers: How were you first introduced to the world of homeschooling?

Nasiyah Isra-Ul: “I was homeschooled for the span of my entire K12 education, so homeschooling was my world. My mom really got me interested in homeschooling. Her methods were eclectic, and she loved mixing books, online tools, and hands-on activities together to create our routine. 

Though I’m still young and don’t have kids of my own yet, I am passionate about homeschooling, and I am a homeschool educator through my online academy. I have worked as a virtual tutor and homeschool mentor for years, and I love every moment of it. I do also plan to homeschool my own kids someday, too. It’s now a part of our family’s legacy.”


What advice would you give to a family just starting out with homeschooling?

“Stay true to yourself and your values! Don’t worry as much about methods and theories as about making homeschooling a fun, stress-free experience for you and your family. I always say that the purpose of homeschooling is to think outside the box. You might not know which homeschool style you will use yet, but whether you make your homeschool room look just like a classroom or prefer to have lessons in the forest behind your home, stay true to your values and passion. The rest will come in time. Don’t stress, just be your best. You’ve got this!”


Homeschooling can look very different from family to family. What are some tools/metrics you would suggest homeschooling families use to determine if their approach is working for their family?

“Joy! Excitement! The desire for Life-long Learning! These are what you look for to gauge success. If your learners are excited about learning and have embraced their natural curiosities, you’re on the right track.”


What is a significant challenge facing the homeschool community right now and how do you think we can address it?

“The main challenge is the way homeschooling is perceived. The world is now more open to homeschooling as an alternative educational option due to the pandemic, but many still have misconceptions. The key to continuing the conversation post-COVID is to continue having powerful and necessary conversations rooted in understanding, increasing the visibility of homeschooling communities across the US.”


Who are some of your biggest homeschooling influences?

“My mom, Kerry McDonald, Alycia Wright, and Dr. Michael McShane.”


What do you have going on right now? Are you working on anything new?

“I am currently working on a research project encompassing a book, podcast, and a few case studies/articles discussing homeschooling, its impact on education reform, and how various families “do homeschool” differently. I am fascinated with what the world would look like if all education looked a bit more like homeschooling – flexible, personalized, creating life-long learners. I am also passionate about ensuring the world can see the unique beauty of homeschooling and its various adaptations.”

We are so excited that Nasiyah will be speaking to us at the annual unConvention on May 18th this year. She will be sharing her experience as a homeschooled high schooler, and discuss ways in which homeschooling opportunities for a high school student can be leveraged. She’ll share practical advice on how our students’ can use their skills and talents to navigate the possibilities for higher education and career planning. 



This interview was conducted and written by Valerie Coker. Valerie is a homeschooling mom of three, including two with special needs. Homesteading in southwest Virginia, she volunteers as a coordinator for Luke14 Ministries serving families with disabilities, and loves teaching at her local co-op. We’re glad to have her as a volunteer for The Organization of Virginia Homeschoolers. 

Opinions expressed by individual writers in this blog do not necessarily reflect the views of the Board of Directors of The Organization of Virginia Homeschoolers, nor do they represent an official position of VaHomeschoolers. Writers’ views are their own, and readers are encouraged to research and explore homeschooling issues to their own satisfaction.

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