Above: NEC learner Kathryn Corrall
Kathryn Corrall is on a high. In September, she’s off to King’s College London to study for an English degree. She can hardly wait to leave her family home in the countryside for a new life in the big city and is already getting her teeth into Cervantes’ Don Quixote, the first novel on the syllabus.
Going to university has long been Kathryn’s ambition but her experience of education has been far from plain sailing. She was severely bullied at primary school and in the early years of secondary school, suffering from anxiety and panic attacks as a result. Home schooling was the answer, despite her fear that she wouldn’t be able to gain recognised qualifications if she wasn’t at school. Her concern was misplaced: all her GCSE-level and A level qualifications except maths (for which she had a face-to-face tutor) have been gained through distance learning, studying at home at her own pace. Her younger sister, a keen photographer, is home-educated too and plans to do a degree or an apprenticeship in photography.
Kathryn knows exactly why distance learning suited her so well: ‘Tutors tend to be less invasive than teachers and that’s one of the things I struggled with at school. I tried to go to a college of further education to do my A levels in 2013 but by then I was used to the freedom that studying at home offers. College just wasn’t right for me.’ What’s more, the experience of motivating yourself, organising your studies and writing essays unsupervised is ideal preparation for university.
NEC attracted Kathryn initially because of the wide choice of courses on offer and because the courses are set out in a style she was familiar with. She began studying with NEC in 2014, signing up for A levels in government and politics and religious studies. As soon as she got started, she found the course notes and exam tips outstanding. She was also impressed by the fact that each course made full use of the textbooks she had bought – an important consideration as textbooks are not cheap.
She says: ‘NEC’s course notes are the best I have encountered. They’re so thorough and well-written that even complicated topics are easy to understand – and that includes the ontological argument in RE! And I’m particularly grateful for the tutors’ ability to mark seemingly endless past papers!’
Kathryn’s advice for young people and their parents thinking about home education: ‘Distance learning gives you more opportunities to express yourself than learning in a classroom and you have as much time as you want to read around a subject. If anyone tells you that you can’t study properly at home, don’t believe them. You can get good results and take exams in just the same way as you can at school.’
If you would like to discuss how NEC can help you, get in touch with our friendly Course Advice Team who will be happy to answer your questions. You can call our UK freephone number, 0800 389 2839, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, talk to us via Live Chat, or find out more through the information on our website.