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Thinking ahead to gcses

(5 Posts)
TOMOLBEN Fri 14-Oct-11 14:06:08

Hi all,
I will begin HE'ing DS2 in January. He is 7 and currently year 3.
I know GCSEs are a long way off for us but I would just like to know what different options are available. I am starting to realise that HE differs from household to household and there is no right way!! I confuse myself really and think I need to just go with the flow come January.
Any way I was wondering if every one works towards GCSEs for when the child is 15-16 or if they let the child say when they are ready to take the exams and maybe then they go to a college or something to study for them? or do they really need GCSEs at all?
My family are very successful in business and therefore strongly disagree with the idea of me HE'ing. I know soon the question of GCSEs will crop up and I would like to be able to answer with a number of different ways they can be done.
Thank you for your time smile

CheerMum Fri 14-Oct-11 15:24:54

i haven't done gcse's yet as dd is only 10 but as i understand it you have a variety of options...

1. find the syllabus and teach it then register with an exam centre as a private candidate
2. get together with a group of other HE'ers and bring a tutor in then register at an exam centre as a private tutor.
3. i think some LA's will fund maths and english gcse classes for HE kids
4. many FE colleges will take kids from 14 to do gcse's
5. open university - skip gcses and a levels and go straight to degree
6. go back into mainstream school for years 10 and 11
7. lots of online tutors/courses for IGCSE's

if your family are good at business then i would suggest saying that they will be excellent role models for ds2 and will be able to teach him far more about business than any school.

but at the end of the day, if someone is completely anti-HE you may never be able to persuade them and you may need to just be happy that YOU are making the right decision for YOUR child.

AMumInScotland Fri 14-Oct-11 15:52:04

As CheerMum says, there are lots of options. There is also an option of doing none, or fewer than is normal in schools, or doing them earlier, or doing some early and more later. Or almost anything really!

DS was only out of school for the GCSE years, and he did IGCSEs through an online school. But that's about the most "school-like" option there is, and plenty of people choose to do them by working through textbooks and other materials.

One of the tricky things about explaining HE to family and friends is that they start from an expectation of what school is like, and want to know how you will replicate that. When the point for most people is not to replicate school but to be more flexible. But when your answer is "anything or nothing or somewhere in between" they struggle to understand how you can be vague about something so important.

If you do go with GCSEs, your DC can study independently, or with a tutor, or with an online tutor, or a distance learning company, or an online school, or an FE college, depending on what suits them really. Apart from the FE college one, its easier for them to do IGCSEs as they can be done without having to get coursework marked.

SDeuchars Fri 14-Oct-11 17:21:36

And all this assumes that GCSEs will still be here in the current form in 7 years time - the government may have monkeyed with the system again by then.

TOMOLBEN Fri 14-Oct-11 17:43:58

Thank you for your replies. There are many options out there then, which is interesting to know. I plan to do structured HE, with the option of having a tutor if and when needed. I also like th FE college idea. So thanks again for all the info.
In regards to there not being what we know now as GCSEs in 7 years, i totally agree and this is something i do tell my parents frequently.
( I am glad this topic is here to get positive advice from other HE'ers!! )
It is also so true about non HE'ers expecting you to replicate school. This is the attitude of pretty much everyone i know! (I must also remind myself in January that is not how to go about my day.)
Thank you all for your advise

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