Ensuring success in any (I)GCSE as a home educator
1. FOLLOW THE CORRECT QUALIFICATION
This seems like such an obvious one but I’m always shocked at how many home educators follow GCSE science resources for an IGCSE qualification. Of course, there are many cross overs, but no matter what exam board you choose the content required to learn is high. I recommend not wasting time working out what is or is not relevant to your exam. So, step 1.... follow an up to date course, book or resource that matches your GCSE or IGCSE exam board. Anything extra really is just a supplement.
2. HAVE A SCHEDULE AND STICK TO IT
This one isn’t always easy, but it’s the best way to ensure you are prepared and (fairly) stress free for the exam. Our courses are fully scheduled to start September each year getting you to the end relaxed, ready and fully exam prepped. If you aren’t following a pre-prepared schedule, make one. Sit down with the book or the specification and plan what you will complete each week to stay on top of your studies. You’ll realise sooner if you get behind which could prevent last minute expenses on panic tutors. Make sure you schedule time for things not covered in textbooks or resources like problem solving, math skills and scientific method. These can make up a large portion of the exam. You don’t want to miss those marks.
3. BE REALISTIC (AND KIND TO YOURSELF)
Sometimes we just need to get things done, but if we are not under any time constraints, why put ourselves under any stressful ones? Does it really need to be complete in 6 months? Is an IGCSE in this timeframe worth the potentially lower grade and burn out? Home educating my own teen I’ve found some GCSEs to be easier than others but taking any in a 9 month academic year can be mentally draining, especially those new to the game in unfamiliar subjects. The stress isn't just isolated to the student either. Guardians suffer too so be kind to yourselves and enjoy the journey.
4. CALL ON SUPPORT WHEN YOU NEED IT
Everyone reaches roadblocks in their studies. You’ve read the book, even attended the live lesson and followed up with desperate YouTube attempts but it still hasn’t gone in. Don’t be afraid to call on the support of others. Following a course as a team can help, as can home ed Facebook groups and tutors for one off sessions. Our courses come with full teacher support throughout.
5. STRIVE TO UNDERSTAND
Don’t just memorise the material, understand it. This is the very best preparation for revision and a high final grade. Combine this with your schedule and each week you’ll make solid progress towards your goal. Leaving things not understood can wreak havoc during revision when you’re trying to learn something from scratch. Understanding isn't always easy but with the support of others and hard work it is always possible!
Good luck on your journey! I love starting a new GCSE (more than the kids I think sometimes). There really is nothing like home education to expand your learning.