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Home Ed at secondary school level

(5 Posts)
ProbablyMe Fri 16-Jan-15 12:22:11


My youngest son is 11 and currently in Year 7. He has lots of medical issues and his school attendance is around the 60% mark. I have spent many years (since Year 2 sad) trying get adequate support from his schools to help him keep up whilst he is too poorly to go to school, this has had no success and I am getting beyond frustrated. I am working to have the school apply for an Education, Health and Care Plan for him to try and get him the support he needs - he requires a scribe in lessons as he has serious difficulties writing (dysgraphia but I am increasingly wondering if homeschooling him would be feasible? He was homeschooled for a while during primary school due to serious issues with a previous school and it was successful, however he felt he wanted the contact of other children so I found him a place in a very small and friendly primary school.

How do people manage to secondary school curriculum? I would still like him to work towards GCSEs if possible but I'm not sure I'm up to teaching everything properly!! Are there good resources available? How do others make sure their child has good contact with other children?

streakybacon Sat 17-Jan-15 09:06:48

My son is 16 and has been home educated since he was 10. He has HFA and ADHD, unsupported in school, so we withdrew to take responsibility for his education (and more importantly, his personal development) ourselves.

Tbh he's had far more social opportunity by being home educated than he'd ever have had in school, because school was so stressful and challenging for him that he was too anxious and angry to take part in any social activities. HE allowed us to reduce his stress and enable him to enjoy life again, which had been impossible during the school years.

I don't know what your son's medical issues are but I'd expect that school stress won't be helping. You might find, as many do, that medical problems are easier to manage in HE because you can work at your child's pace, not one that's dictated by the school. You can do what feels right for your circumstances.

As for exams, most home educators work on a few at a time rather than the whole bundle in one go. A lot choose IGCSEs because there is no coursework to be marked (which adds to the cost) and it means the child can study at their own pace and take the final exam when they're ready. It's quite easy to find exam centres, though costs vary. I use student tutors from the local university for individual exams and I've had some incredible young people working with my son.

You can also sort access arrangements yourself (through your exam centre's SENCo), if necessary.

You might still want to pursue the EHCP (I've just got my son's finalised before Christmas) as it's useful to have in case your circumstances change and you find you need him to return to school. If it's maintained annually your son would be guaranteed a certain level of support to return to school and it could be easily updated to reflect his current needs. Additionally, don't wait for the school to make the application, do it yourself and you'll have more control over it. You also have right to appeal as a parent whereas schools don't.

You might want to look at Fiona Nicholson's Ed Yourself website - she'll tell you all you need to know:

duvet Wed 21-Jan-15 20:28:36

I also have similar questions Probablyme, toying with the idea of HE and dd1 is also year 7. What sort of cost is involved in taking GCSE's and what are iGCSEs?

streakybacon Thu 22-Jan-15 07:22:47

IGCSEs are exam only, no coursework. Popular with home educators because it costs more to have an assessor mark coursework. Exam fees vary, depending on your exam centre and the exam itself. Things like ICT that need access to the IT suite will cost more because of the practical element. Languages have a spoken element so candidates have to arrange for someone to conduct that part of the exam, which costs more. At our exam centre, Edexcel IGCSE is £81, MFL £125, ICT £100. Of course that's just the exam fees and you'd have to pay for materials to study the syllabus, too.

maggi Fri 23-Jan-15 11:40:59

My ds had multiple "minor" issues which added up to lots of stress so we began HE at age 11 too. We are doing our first igcse this summer.
Not much is free but there are plenty of resources and getting exams is common amongst HE.

If you don't intend to go back to school, there is no need to adopt a secondary school curriculum. Just go into the topics which your son enjoys/suggests and bring maths/English into those topics. There doesn't even need to be any written work. It really is up to you. As time goes on you will relax into going with the flow and education begins to happen all by itself in your daytime activities.

For example, 'food' was a huge part of my ds mindset. So we did projects on:
food ingredients (gardening, farm production, factory processes and design, location/geography etc..)
Food transport (history of transport, silk road + Roman Empire, wars/politics in areas of food production, potato famine, green issues, packaging design etc...)
Food as more than food (health, religious ceremonies, family structure/function, chemistry, vegetarianism, food webs, evolution, music&food art&food etc..)
Feed yourself weeks (buy, cook and eat for himself- plus budgeting and finance, recipes, careers in food, law & food etc)

As you can see with one starting topic you can cover any part of the National curriculum (if that is your aim). It just takes a little planning, grabbing opportunities and lots of fun.

As for meeting other children. There will be other HE children around and so they meet up and form groups for trips out, educational visits and sometimes to hold formal classes for exams. Joining a sports club or scouts can help too.

My ds is now relaxed, now has friends and can now write an A4 page easily. This is sooo different to how he was at school.

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