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This post was originally published on February 4th 2019 and updated on March 23rd 2020.

This is the fifth in the series of ‘A home educator’s journey’. Anna and Lucy are a mother and daughter who are sharing their experiences of online distance learning and home education. This post, written by Lucy, describes what it’s like studying GCSE Sociology with NEC. Click the links to read the previous blogs in the series “Selecting our course provider“, “Getting started”, “Home educating through GCSEs” and “Booking exams

‘Sociology makes you see the world in a different way.’

This year I decided to take GCSE Sociology with NEC. It sounded interesting and I wanted to try a new subject. Before I started any of the lessons my tutor messaged me just to introduce herself and discuss the course. She suggested I complete the Learning Plan, which is a yearly schedule that plans out when you’re going to send in assignments and finish the course, so you can organise your revision time. This was really helpful as I was able to plan the course around my other work and any holidays we had. Now I have plenty of time to revise before the exams!

I’ve never studied sociology before, so I was a bit worried whether I would be able to understand all the lessons and vocabulary. However, the lessons are short and simple and very easy to follow. Key points are highlighted and there are fun activities to complete throughout the lesson. This helped me apply what I’d learnt, and ensured I understood the topic. At the end of each lesson there is a glossary that explains and provides definitions of any vocabulary you may be unsure about – this too was very helpful.

At the end of each topic there is an assessment on the past few lessons you’ve completed. These are exam style questions that are marked by your tutor. I find this really helpful as it’s preparing me for the exam as well as giving me the opportunity to apply my knowledge of the topic I have just studied. My tutor is very helpful as she explains what I did well, in the assignment, as well as where I lost a few marks and what I could do to improve next time. Sometimes, she’ll send me research links, or articles relating to Sociology. I find this not only interesting, but useful in developing my deeper understanding of the subject and sociology in general. If I have any questions I can message my tutor and they usually reply quite quickly. If there’s something you really don’t understand you can arrange a phone call or a video chat with your tutor, this way they can explain things to you in person. You can also have a mid-course review, where your tutor will give you feedback, discuss your progression on the course and give you the percentages for your assignments.

I find Sociology really interesting because it makes you see the world in a different way. You learn about different sociologists and their opinions and views about society and why we live the way we do. My favourite topic, I’ve studied so far, is education. I learnt about different types of education, and the advantages and disadvantages of each. This included home-education, private schools, and comprehensive schools. I was able to think about my own experience and how this related to the views of sociologists. Another thing I enjoy about Sociology is comparing the different opinions of sociologists, and weighing up their arguments and theories about a certain topic. I think it has developed my own thinking and opinions about the world we live in today. I’ve found sociology so interesting that after I’ve done my GCSE’s I would like to take sociology further and learn more about it at A-level.

Read Lucy’s tutor’s response to this blog here

If you’re interested in studying GCSE Sociology or any of our courses, you can browse our website or call: 0800 389 2839 to speak to our expert course advice team. 

Find out more about home schooling with NEC here.

Free learning resources

As part of our commitment to those affected by the impact of the coronavirus, and in an effort to help support parents, teachers and students during this difficult time, we are making the learning materials available from our Resources Webstore free to download to the public using the discount code NECFREERESOURCES.

Further information on how to access the resources is provided in the following PDF document: https://www.nec.ac.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/Free-NEC-Resources.pdf

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