Advise please

(6 Posts)
Kirst108 Wed 14-Nov-12 15:11:37

Is anyone else doing HE for key stage 3? would be year 7. I'm desperately trying to find out what the best things is to study and how the exams work, does my daughter take them at the end of each year? What about GCSE, in particular course content for exams, how is this broached? So much to take in but I believe well worth it. Also what are the best learning aids, initially was looking at correspondence type course, but have been told could use normal books i.e. Letts, any views? thanks

Hi Kirst - I have just started key stage 3 with my DD also. This is our third year of home-ed, although she did try secondary for a few weeks.

I can answer a couple of questions regarding exams - there are no formal exams in key stage 3 anymore since SATs in year nine were discontinued so your DD won't be missing out on any by not being in school. It is completely up to you if you want her to take any formal tests in this period.

Regarding resources and teaching ideas I am also researching options for key stage 3. Previously we followed the National Curriculum as well as DD's own interests and mostly used free internet resources for key stage 2, (there are a lot) and subscribed to a couple more sites. I'm not sure if we will do the same or sign up for a more comprehensive package of subjects or just totally do our own thing until GCSE level.

We have used language tutors in the past as this is definitely not one of my strengths so we might do that again. I was thinking along the lines of roughly sticking to the EBAC subjects as they would probably be the minimum needed at GCSE - whether taken formally or as IGCSEs and then what ever projects DD is into, (mainly art and photography.)

Sorry this is not loads of help on a practical level regarding specific books and sites etc but as you can see I'm still at the thinking about it stage too. There are loads of regulars on here that have more experience and information and hopefully they'll be along soon to give us both some advice.

Hope you and your DD settle into and enjoy home-ed.

Kirst108 Wed 14-Nov-12 17:09:04

Hi, thanks for that, it helps a lot to know that someone else is going through the same thing, also about the lack of tests needed up to year 10, so at least I can get her through the next few years. I've asked for loads of advice on packages etc but a lot of people are saying to try the normal key stage workbooks/coursebooks, so might go down this route. Still in that early stage, my ex is dead against this and will go mad when i tell him I've gone against his wishes, but I have to do whats best for my daughter I hate seeign her so unhappy. He is more concerned that she will be a social drop out, I disagree with this and I'm sure you will agree, social aspects coem from all walks of life. Once again thanks :D

You sound like you have given it a lot of thought - it feels like a massive decision to take your child out of school and take responsibility for their education and it's natural to feel apprehensive - I have at each new stage. For us there are no other choices as DD cannot manage formal learning environments for any length of time.

I have swung between really enjoying the experience and feeling crushed by the responsibility but I think DD has not missed out on anything vital - especially socially. HE doesn't have to be isolating it just takes a bit more effort in terms of activities and keeping up with friends in and outside of school. I think to be honest the social side of HE became the least problematic thing for us really.

Does your DD have friendships she can continue from school or friends from out of school groups? These friendships have been really important for DD and have given us a break too.

The vast majority of HE kids are the complete opposite of a social drop-out - your Ex just won't have met that many to know that! I'm sure he would be reassured by the evidence of good long-term outcomes for most HE kids, (they tend to do better than their formally-schooled peers whatever approach you take to home- learning) - I know I was. Good luck.

Jamillalliamilli Wed 14-Nov-12 20:45:02

I've put what I think the better solution for now to your particular situation might be, on your other thread, but if you decide to jump straight into home ed with a view to GCSE’s and A levels, then don’t worry hugely about course content at this point, the important thing is her laying the foundations of self-sufficient learning and learning not to depend on someone spoon feeding her. Where to look for information about things she doesn't know about, how to evaluate if those sources are credible, how to find more detailed information, how to cross reference something. Basic essay writing skills, and how to organise yourself when no one rings a bell and says start, stop, or do homework are the important skills, and she can do those using any subject matter.
(As Christmas is coming up, researching its origins and development naturally crosses quite a few subjects and could be a fun starting point while you sort out 2013)

We found CGP books very helpful, (and a lot more fun than Letts) as curriculem pointers, but once you get towards exams, (which you can do at any age you’re ready) you basically start by finding an exam centre that will take her, (this back to front way round is important for home edders) find out what exams and board/s they are licensed for, then go get the relevant books/resources for the syllabus.

Ie: our centre ‘X’ an independent school, does IGCE’s, and GCSE’s, and can offer most Edexcel, AQA CIE, and OCR exams, (but not WJEC) and we looked on the exam board’s websites at their course contents, if they needed classroom assessed coursework, and chose what fascinated.

We used the books as guides, and deepened and strengthened knowledge around what was in them according to what interested or didn't, (ie his knowledge of history of medicine is way deeper and far more than was needed for the exam, but his overall knowledge of American and Russian history is pretty close to the exam syllabus as he said there was just too much and the syllabus's he chose was what he considered the ‘particularly interesting bits’.)

Whatever you decide to do, joining this group http://groups.yahoo.com/group/HE-Exams-GCSE-A_AS_Levels-OU-Others/ and lurking, will help you understand the many ways of exam aimed home ed for those wanting exams at the end.
HTH smile

Jamillalliamilli Wed 14-Nov-12 20:46:06

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