Tag Archives: GCSEs

GCSE and A level correspondence courses for home educators

Just sharing a link for home educators looking for GCSE correspondence courses.

If you would like an introduction to the idea of taking iGCSEs or A-levels within a home education context in the UK or abroad visit this site. There are also lots of useful links on the site such as de-registering, socialising, GCSEs, home ed and parenting articles, blogs, media coverage of home ed and more. Subjects covered are Maths, English, Grammar, History, Church History and Geography.

Vanessa Feltz – Emma Thompson should know home schooling is no match for school life

Emma Thompson should know home schooling is no match for school life, says VANESSA FELTZ

haha. this is actually rather comical. Just thinking about Vanessa Feltz on Big Brother years ago… like she has any integrity, morals or standards. She’s just one of the bleeping puppets employed by the propoganda machine that is anti-home ed.

‘It is partly because for much of the time it’s boring, uncomfortable and repetitive that school is such a valuable environment. A free pass to scholastic nirvana, though enticing, may turn out to be an own goal.’  Vanessa Feltz

haha. What planet is she from. What a very strange thing to say. How is that a valuable environment? Wouldn’t a happy, safe, fun, more intellectually challenging environment be better for ANYONE? Especially learning what you love to learn straight away and more intensely than ever possible in school? I wanted to learn latin. Being German I took my German GCSE at age 14. I asked if I could learn Latin after. I was told it was a dying, antiquated language and there was no use of it in the modern world!! What a lie. At 14 I felt knee high to a grasshopper for even asking, stupid.

‘Lots of life consists of doing stuff we don’t much enjoy with people we don’t particularly warm to in settings we couldn’t give a monkey’s about. The test is to rise to the challenge, put up, shut up and weave something worthwhile and long-lasting out of a scenario that you’d never have chosen.’

Why waste your life doing that? Duh.

As an adult, if we were stuck in an environment like that we would remove ourselves from it. I would never hang out with people just because I had to. I’m sure most people wouldn’t. I wouldn’t expect my kids to have to go through anything unnecessary like that either. I want better for them. Their happiness is paramount to ANYTHING. Being 34, though I’m not old (well, compared to a new born I am 😉 ) nor am I that young anymore (well compared to my Grandma I am 😉 ) I am realising more an more how short life is, how precious childhood is, how I wished so much of my own away – JUST BECAUSE I HATED THE BORING MONOTONY of school and NOT LEARNING WHAT I LOVED, amongst other things. Gaia, Emma Thompson and Greg Wises 15 year old daughter sums up what school REALLY feels like – she says “she doesn’t like the sausage factory of formal education.” Nicely put 🙂 I love that Inky loves being home educated, I love that she doesn’t have to deal with the BS that school really is. Higher education is much more fun. The best ‘learning’ I ever did in a classroom environment was when I studied various forms of massage starting at age 24 for several years. Everyone there, genuinely wanted to be there. people were aged 16-60. The tutor was amazing, first name basis, respectful. The class was smaller than regular school and everyone had a common interest. Some dropped out after a few weeks or so realising it was not for them. End of. No snide newspaper articles slating them.

I could go on for pages, but the positive comments at the end of the Express article sum it all up pretty well and give many different thoughts and feelings on what Ms Feltz said. Maybe deep down she wishes she would have been home educated herself 😉

Education, SATS and Exams

It is becoming more and more apparent that education at school is more about the exam results and mass test passing than recognising the individuals talents, abilities and areas they excel in. Education should encompass more than that – the ability to think for oneself, to investigate and observe, to understand and to be able to cope in the real world and all the people in it, to solve problems, use ones imagination, investigate, to improvise and to create. And to just be. ‘Education’ is not just about passing standardised tests, it’s about becoming wise and knowledgeable, and sticking to the things that really matter and are important to the individual. School’s TRY and program kids to all be the same, like a herd of cattle. They are generally suppressed and forced to learn with a reward and punishment system. It is also becoming more and more apparent that the system is failing our children, not the other way round. Of course there will always be those whom school suits to a tee, and if it does great. But if it doesn’t then home educating may be right for your child(ren).

Contrary to common belief SATs are not actually necessary to a child’s education. They are not mandatory. All they are supposed to do is check the level of teaching and if the child is reaching it. It is more for the school board satisfaction that teachers are doing their ‘job’. all it does is stress most kids out. By being tested and stressed children don’t actually learn anything! It sucks the joy of learning anything straight out of a child if they ‘fail’ or made to feel incompetent. Parents actually have the right to withdraw their children from taking these exams if they wish. Over the course of our 10 year home ed journey so far I have met plenty of parents who took their kids out of school for this very reason, some of the parents even being teachers themselves who became dispassionate of the daily rigidness and dreariness of teh classroom.

Being home educated generally works in the childs favour – they are taught a wide and diverse range of activities in a loving, unhurried quiet environment. As they grow in to young adults, from what I have seen from my friends teenagers and heard from others is that their child(ren) generally do better when sitting GCSEs (externally) than their peers. They don’t take as many GCSEs, rather the ones they are interested in and the ones necessary to go on to higher education if this is what they choose to do. Some choose to go straight to work with the skills they have learned, go travelling, join the family business or are budding young entrepreneurs . Places of higher education are fast recognising the potential of home educated children and so many of them go on to getting degrees even without the ‘standard’ exam passes, such as GCSEs. There is also the internet where you can do on line degrees or even Open University where you study at home, college, evening classes and other routes.

RELATED LINKS

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benefits of home schooling

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Benefits of Home Schooling

* Children are taught by their parents who know (and of course love) them the best.
* There is a lot more time to spend together as a family.
* More time to pursue subjects that aren’t taught in public schools.
* Children are able to learn at their own pace, as much time as needed can be spent on a given subject.
* Children will be able to focus and concentrate better without disruptive classmates.
* More outdoors time which is healthier than being in a classroom for most of the  day.
* A sense of responsibility and values is instilled as children (hopefully 🙂 )help out with running the day to day household such as washing up, drying up, laundry, cooking, tidying and helping out with younger siblings
* Life skills are learned in a natural way as more time is spent with adults
* Family bonds are  deepened
* There is more time for non-academic pursuits such as art, astronomy or music, and things like reading, drawing and watching movies, which Inky loves to do,
* Children will feel more responsible as they help design their own education.
* Rather than always ask their teacher for help and who generally doesn’t have much time for much one on one, children will be able to seek alternative assistance from various other sources and ask their parents for help.
* Rather than working for external satisfaction (as in teachers) they can work for internal satisfaction. This helps build them in to confident and happy beings.
* Children will learn to judge the quality of their own work, rather than their teacher doing it for them. They aren’t just trying to satisfy the teacher.
* As there is no risk of being embarrassed in front of fellow classmates or being criticized by the teacher, children will be more outspoken and creative.
* There will be less peer pressure to grow up quickly.
* There will be an immediate response to a child’s work rather than them having to anxiously wait for a teacher to mark it to find out where they went ‘wrong’.
* There is no need for testing, grading or strict deadlines (until its time for those GCSEs!)
* What the children gain in knowledge and understanding is the reward for studying in a happy environment, rather than constantly seeking a teachers approval.
* The child’s energy is channelled into what they want to learn rather than what they HAVE to learn. * Children will have friends based on common interests and choice rather than being placed in the same age groups. There is more time for ‘socialising’ contrary to what lots of people think.  Lots of play dates, birthday party’s and sleepovers that often turn in to 2-3 day sleepovers …
* There are more opportunities for field trips, especially when kids are at school and everywhere is quiet, waiting to be explored. A lot of places now have special home educator rates. I shall be compiling a list in the future – watch this space!
* Going abroad at off peak times is another great perk! We love taking full advantage
* Morality and love will be more valued than money and status.
* Rather than waiting to grow up to explore their passions children can start right now
* Children are offered a more complete, rounded and adaptable education.
* They are free to be themselves and never have to change to ‘fit in’,  or hide who they really are.