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Success stories of HomeEd for GCSEs - any welcome

(8 Posts)
homerboy12 Tue 07-Feb-17 12:50:06

Interested to hear of your experiences with GCSE/IGCSEs and home ed. We are also looking to use Oxford Home Schooling as a resource too.
DD has firm sight in future to attend college and due to her anxieties/ocd we feel that this could be a successful option for her, she is bright, articulate and able to excel but struggles in a large pressure/peer related environment.
Thoughts welcome, or stories
Thanks

QueenStreaky Fri 17-Feb-17 15:41:43

Hi. I HEd my son from age 10 right through to IGCSEs. He has autism and adhd, couldn't cope with school and he got no support. At home, we spent a couple of years finding his comfort zone and helping him to settle, then started out on IGCSE work.

We used Pearson/Edexcel resources for most subjects (apart from CIE for Computer Science). I used students from our local RG uni as tutors, which worked very well because they were young and groovy and he was happy to engage with them. They were also very cheap, not embedded in NC, and keen to get some experience for their CVs. He also used Catherine Mooney for English Language but in conjunction with his tutor who worked with him to make sure he could work fully independently before setting him to the assignment tasks - this meant he needed no real guidance from CM because he already knew what he was doing by the time he submitted his work to her.

The most productive tool was past papers, which he did loads of, and went back over his gaps (either alone or with his tutors) to work out where he'd gone wrong.

It also helped to have a good exam centre, experienced in taking external candidates, and in particular home educated teens. We worked with the SENCo, JCQ and the exam boards to get the appropriate access arrangements in place, and that made a big difference.

He took eight subjects and got 7 A*s (Maths, English Language, Chemistry, Physics, Biology, History and Computer Science) and a B (Business studies) and is now in sixth form college doing A levels. He has an EHCP to ensure good support.

HTH.

crazycrofter Sat 18-Feb-17 21:37:04

That's amazing Queen! Can I just ask - did you use tutors for every subject? How long did you use them for and how often?

MarthaSF321 Sun 19-Feb-17 13:18:18

Also interested! It seems a bit confusing especially with all the changes over the next few years!
queen your story is very encouraging!
homer how's the first few weeks going?

QueenStreaky Sun 19-Feb-17 18:08:36

We used tutors for English Language, the three sciences, History, Business Studies and Computer Science. As we used students, we could afford it - none of them charged more than £15 an hour (plus the occasional bacon sandwich and paracetamol for student hangovers wink).

Most of them were once a week, though it got a bit erratic at times when the tutors had exams or assignments due. That's the downside of economy, unfortunately. But they worked in 2 hour slots to keep ds focused, and that worked well.

Sciences ds more or less worked through the syllabus as far as possible himself, then the tutors helped him fill the gaps. In between times he'd do practice papers and towards exam time they'd focus on those and the topic areas he wasn't sure of.

His tutors were quite inspirational, to the extent that ds is tutoring himself now, in Maths and sciences, and loving it smile.

homerboy12 Thu 23-Feb-17 12:51:44

Hi there, waiting for the resources to arrive and starting next week hopefully.
Still concerned about the isolation and social side but she is not going back to school (her choice) so this is our way forward.
Anyone know if on facebook there are any groups for home education teenagers?
Thanks

QueenStreaky Fri 24-Feb-17 19:09:48

Are you in contact with your local HE FB network? They often have sub-groups for different ages and other specifics like SN. FB search Home Education and your town/county.

The social thing is a bit of a myth. My son had far more social opportunities in HE than could have been possible if he'd stayed in school. Most HE parents I know say that the hardest part (in a socialisation context) is finding time to stay home and get some academic work done, because they're always out and about smile. Don't forget you don't have to stick with HE groups - all the usual mainstream stuff is still there too. My son did drama, martial arts, volunteering at a local science centre, swimming lessons etc etc. HE is growing rapidly and loads of places are including groups in outreach work that previously was restricted to schools, so the opportunities are very broad.

Cornucopia55 Tue 14-Mar-17 08:52:07

There is a brilliant home education exams support network - a Yahoogroup and a Facebook group. It is hard work doing exams from home, but if you need to, you can make it work. In areas with a big HE community you will find some group classes, and my feeling is that these tend to work better for discussion subjects like English than they do for maths and sciences, because the ability spread in the latter two tends to be just too wide for HE classes to work out. But regardless of whether you find a group, you need to do the majority of the work independently as groups tend to be just one hour a week compared to the 2+ hrs they'd be doing in school plus homework.
Don't rush into paying for distance learning packages; for some subjects they are worth it, but for others (particularly maths) they don't seem to add much, and there are cheap online options which offer pretty much the same thing. Many of us have also gone for a DIY method, using the right textbook plus online resources. Your best friend in all this is likely to be the Home Education Exams Wiki at www.home-education-exams.org.uk, which is a community project. There are links from there to the Yahoogroup and facebook group.
Re socialising - experiences vary. It is usually harder for teens new to home-ed to find a group of friends than for younger kids, just because teenagers are more selfconscious and don't particularly want to hang out at groups full of parents and younger children. I've found that those focused on an activity seem to work best, but so much depends on where you are and what's on locally. As QueenStreaky says, there are plenty of socialisation opportunities outside HE too.
In terms of success stories for taking exams from HE - we have lots here: he-exams.wikia.com/wiki/Personal_experiences_of_home_educators but do remember that this is not representative, as there are also people who get no qualifications , or who get just a few at low grades - just like school, there is a big spread of abilities in HE. However, what these case studies show is that being HE doesn't need to stop you getting great grades.
Home-ed Teens Hangout on Facebook is a social group - parents join too just to keep an eye out.

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