New to educating at home.. Any help appreciated.

(10 Posts)
FionaJNicholson Tue 26-Mar-13 17:39:00

Hi

I'm struck by "she is in the habit of going for a few times, to about 6 months at best before being bored and not wanting to go back" so I'd say don't buy anything at all, don't sign up for anything, join the internet exam support list but join other support networks for socialising as well.

And just wait for a bit to see what happens.

julienoshoes Sat 23-Mar-13 20:46:32

The page that chocolatecrispies mentions that discusses the practicalities of gaining formal qualifications as a home-educated young person is here

it has a Yahoo email support group linked to it here
"This group is for home educating families who have children who wish to take GCSEs. The intention is to share information, resources and experience."

chocolatecrispies Sat 23-Mar-13 19:35:11

And for example if she's good at French why not just go for the DELF/DALF exams which are recognized as measures of mastery by the French government rather than a GCSE which is not? I find it hard to believe an employer would be swayed by having French GCSE.

chocolatecrispies Sat 23-Mar-13 18:44:41

Hi, there is a yahoo group for HE exams which could probably help but I don't have the link, someone might come along who does? I think maybe the confusion is that if your priority is doing lots of GCSEs then school is usually the easiest way to do that - many HE young people will learn lots of different things but don't feel the need to get a GCSE in all of them as this means they have to study in a certain way and you do not need 13 GCSEs to go on to A levels. For example, language GCSEs are in almost all cases less useful than just focusing on learning and enjoying the language, as the level is so basic. I would say the same for things like music and technology - unless they are pre-requisites for another course why not focus on learning about the them rather than a GCSE. In school all learning has to end in an exam, at home it doesn't. And even if you do want a piece of paper there are alternatives to GCSEs which might be more interesting - I am not an expert but I know people do things like Arts Awards.

DS did IGCSEs with EdExcel, and most of his textbooks either came direct from them or from Longman. They seemed pretty good, though he was studying through an internet school which is maybe different from working through them on your own.

I'm not sure may people would be able to do a direct personal comparison between the exam boards, as they are more likely to pick one for practical reasons, so don't have experience of both to choose between.

SusieeBb Fri 22-Mar-13 12:55:57

Hi amuminscotland, thanks for your reply. She learns very little as she is advanced for her age and always has been. For the amount of hours at school, she might learn one or two little things so in comparison to being at home, it is better use of her time. I am always teaching and guiding by chatting, going out and for my dd to experience things for herself. Therefore a couple of hours at home is the same as months at school.

She has already been given a test on mock GCSE's without any study to see where each pupil in her year are at. She got 8 b's and 2 c's with no study so imagine sitting at school for another 2 years odd, only to progress to a's when it wouldn't take her that long at home.

Yes, I have looked into the exam boards in our area and can do any, so just wondered if one was more easier to study than the other. Yes, I am inclined to go towards the IGCSE's.

The bit i am confused/daunted with is which company to buy the books from. Is one book easier/better written/clearer to understand than another? Any advice?

Thanks for your input earlier.

SusieeBb Fri 22-Mar-13 12:46:17

Hi sdeuchars, thanks for your reply. She would like to take 13 GCSE's as she has many varied interests due to always trying new things. The number is not important. She is interested in English Lang and lit, maths, science x3, German, French, geography, history, R.E., music and media. She would also like to complete business if she has time and motivation after the others! The reason for the variety is also because she has no idea what she wants to do, so keeping her options open. I am unsure which company for each GCSE to use as many cover for example GCSE maths. So I wanted to know if anyone had a preference for a certain company or found a certain book more easier than another.

Exam centres are not important as I can take her anywhere, the company that provides the course is however.

I know OU is an university and she would not have to apply for a loan, so it is irrelevant in our case. I wanted to know if it was worth going down the OU route now or the GCSE route.

I am removing her from school as she is very unhappy and I have tried many schools, as I said before, both state and private with no luck. Cost is not important, but my dd happiness is.

Hope my answers help to clarify. Thanks for your input and reply earlier.

I'm not sure I understand why she is having to sit and wait for everyone to catch up to her in all subjects? Surely she is learning new things in at least some subjects? And that would get better once they start on the GCSE syllabus?

Or are you thinking that she'd be ready to sit the GCSEs much quicker if she was studying for them at home, at her own pace?

In terms of which to go for - GCSEs have been difficult in the past due to the need for marked coursework, although I'm not sure if recent changes will have affected this. If there is a need for marked coursework, then she would have to study via an authorised body, which is trickier to arrange.

IGCSEs have always had the advantage that they can be done purely on an end-of-course exam, so have been simpler to arrange. But they have two different exam boards, so it would be best to find out where she could sit the exams before starting on the syllabus from one exam board. There will be a fee for each exam (we paid £30 I think for each one) plus the place where you sit the exam can decide how much to charge you on top of that for "admin" and their other costs.

As to structure, if she wants to go at her own pace then you buy the textbooks etc and let her get on with it, being available to help and encourage as required.

SDeuchars Thu 21-Mar-13 15:58:01

Sue, I'm finding it difficult to address your questions because you have given so much information but don't seem to have boiled it down to what you are looking for help with. Here is a first shot at your questions at the bottom - feel free to ask again.

1) preferred choice for workbooks, text books and exam centres as there seems to be a few to choose from

There are no "preferred choices" (I'd say "preferred by whom?") - it depends on the subject and the exam that your DD wants to take. For example, if she wants to do Edexcel IGCSE maths, you need to look at the syllabus (online) and get the books for that syllabus. Before deciding on a syllabus, you need to find an exam centre.

2) I have looked at the IGCSE and GCSE and the OU (not sure what subjects best to take within Ou). Any ideas re OU subjects?

What is your DD interested in? Also, OU is university-level study and doing it now would affect her ability to get a student loan if she wants to go to university later.

3) what structure to follow I.e. is it a case of buy the books and for my dd to work through at her own pace?

Pretty much.

4) any ideas, other than clubs and outings in order to interact or would this be enough socially?

Sorry, I don't understand this question.

I am worried about pulling her out of an apparently top school, to only mess it up for her, so that she has no qualifications at 16! She has recently completed school tests and at 13 was told she would obtain mostly b's (8 b and 2 c) if she were to take her GCSE's now.

I am confused as to why you are taking her out if she will start GCSEs (at no additional cost to you) in September. Exams from home will cost you £50-150 per subject.

I am confused as to why you (or she) want to take 13 GCSEs. (I kinda feel that if you are going to spend all the time doing GCSEs anyway, she might as well be in school where there is someone paid to make sure all the paperwork is completed on time, IYSWIM.) As you do not mention any subjects she is interested in, it sounds as if the number is the important bit.

Most HEers, IME, do however many (or few) GCSE-level exams that they need (usually 5 or 6) to get entry to college to take A-levels if they need them for future work or study. There is no particular merit in 13 GCSEs for their own sake.

Can you tell us why you/she want to home educate at this point? What do you think it will give you? What do you want to get out of it?

SusieeBb Thu 21-Mar-13 14:11:34

Hi. I am about to embark on the journey of educating my Dd from home. As I am a complete newbie to, not only home education, but to using a thread/chat site (!) any help or advice would be really appreciated.

She is currently 13 and would have been starting GCSE's in September. Therefore I would like her to have formal qualifications (GCSE or IGCSE) for good employment later.

She is intelligent but sits in the classroom not learning as her peers have to catch up to her level. It has been like this since she started school but I never realised about home education, until now. She has always been forward as I spent lots of quality time with her since she was born and still do lots of things together now, so I am constantly teaching her with and without her realising. She could read, write, speak basic French, draw etc from a very young toddler age. As she has gotten older she found school to be very boring as the teachers would not ask her anything as they knew she was more advanced. I was told by the teachers that the rest of the class has to catch up to her level. I spent years looking around other schools, but all the schools she attended were the same, both state and private. This is why I feel home ed might be the answer.

She would like to learn 13 subjects, 11 from home and 2 from college as they are for music and media, and I have knowledge in neither! Also we discussed her joining some club to meet others.

She has attended many clubs over the years to try and found out where her interests lie, but she is in the habit of going for a few times, to about 6 months at best before being bored and not wanting to go back. This could be because she is bored at school and just habit but we have talked about her joining trampoline club, hockey club, ballet school and to take music lessons as these are her current interests. I don't want her to become withdrawn if she is at home and not socialising. (She mixes really well and always makes new friends. She tends to make older friends as more on their wavelength than people her own age).

The trouble is we are only staying in this area until later this year before I move with my job, so any friends made would be short lived. I work from home so would be able to supervise her. She has my quality time also from 4pm every weekday and all weekends. I am a single parent and she doesn't have anything to do with her dad.

I have read pages and pages of chat topics and Internet sites regarding home education, but would like info on the following please:-

1) preferred choice for workbooks, text books and exam centres as there seems to be a few to choose from (I have all the companies info but would like to know the preferred ones please).

2) I have looked at the IGCSE and GCSE and the OU (not sure what subjects best to take within Ou). Any ideas re OU subjects?

3) what structure to follow I.e. is it a case of buy the books and for my dd to work through at her own pace?

4) any ideas, other than clubs and outings in order to interact or would this be enough socially?

Sorry this is turning into an essay but I am worried about pulling her out of an apparently top school, to only mess it up for her, so that she has no qualifications at 16! She has recently completed school tests and at 13 was told she would obtain mostly b's (8 b and 2 c) if she were to take her GCSE's now.

To summarise, I would like any information or advice on workbooks/textbooks to buy (best ones), best exam centre companies, OU subjects relevant to a 13 year old, structure re HE and finally any social events for a 13 year old.

Many thanks in advance for any advice received.

Kind regards

Sue

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