Even when younger home school children and their families decided against following a curricula, often as home schooled children grow older, parents decide to give their child the opportunity to gain qualifications like GCSEs and A Levels, and in this case the home education system and teaching tips for children learning at home aged between 14 and 18 might be very different to their earlier education. This article discusses ideas for learning at GCSE and A Level, and gives tips to motivate children through their home school education during these years.
Teaching Tips for 14-18 year old Home Schooled Children
Lesson ideas for children studying GCSE, and A level, plus the preparation years for GCSE and A Level curricula will depend on the subjects taken and exam board for qualification. Research in advance which exam boards to choose, as each will offer different proportions of coursework and exam options. Coursework – projects or essays which count towards the final exam grade – can be helpful for children who are easily stressed by exams, however coursework has to be marked by an independent person, and this can be difficult in home schooling. Another option is to take International GCSEs, IGCSEs, which are marked entirely by exam results and do not include coursework.
When choosing GCSEs, it’s important to remember that some A-level courses may need students to have already studied the topics on the curriculum of the subject’s corresponding GCSE, while other, vocational courses, may not require any previous qualifications.
Teaching ideas for home schooled children will often be more active than theoretical, so it may be important to take this into consideration while choosing a 14-18 study path. Note that there are several different ways to obtain qualifications like GCSEs. One option is a correspondence course, usually with an assigned tutor who will advise the student and mark work. Another option is to continue working with a parent or tutor at home, with recommended books, which are often issued by examining boards, and with past papers as a guide. Parents will have to organise an exam room for students by registering the child as an external candidate at a local school.
Motivational Tips for 14-18 year old Home Schooled Children
Tailor the curriculum, even when you have ordered a particular scheme, to your child’s own interests. When studying maths, for example, tailor the exercises to a child’s own interests: learning speed/distance time graphs, for instance, can be placed in real-life examples such as the time it takes for an athlete to run a race. Don’t encourage competitiveness within the home schooling environment, such as telling a child that another student is already on the next text book or doing past papers, instead focus on your own child’s progress and development.
Show your child a good example in learning. For example, if your child can see you sitting down to read in the evening, they might copy your example. Likewise, if while reading you come across a word whose meaning is unclear, and you have a nearby dictionary to look up a definition, your child might follow this practice. It’s important to learn in a suitable environment, so if possible do not teach a child in his or her bedroom, instead having a room set aside which has important and fun books and writing supplies nearby, plus tools like a calculator, measuring tools and globe with posters and maps on the wall.
Don’t over focus on instant rewards such as trips or goodies if academic work goes well: this will lead to the child being briefly motivated, but will hinder the long term home school education objective of encouraging a love of learning for its own sake. Instead encourage your child to become self-motivated by making learning fun and enjoyable. Talk to other parents about their home schooling lesson successes, they will usually have at least a few sessions that will readily come to mind where a child’s eyes lit up with understanding. These will be particular to each child, but discovering how other parents teach and learn with their children might help your own educational style to develop.