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This post was originally published on February 22nd 2019 and updated on March 23rd 2020.

This is the sixth 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.
In this post, Lucy explains what it’s like using learn@nec (our virtual learning environment), and describes the tutor support she receives studying online with NEC.

This year I am taking Maths and Sociology with NEC. I have found learn@nec to be quick and very simple to use. The lessons, in both maths and sociology, are sorted into topics and at the end of each topic you have an assignment. As everything is already organised it’s easy to plan your learning and find the lesson you need. One of the features of the NEC course that I really like is that all the resources are in one place. I do not need to find anything myself – everything is provided. This helps me make the best use of my time as I can just get on with the learning. I was able to plan my learning over the year from looking at the number of topics and linking it to the number of study weeks I had. I made sure I took out times that I knew we were on holiday or I had other commitments. My parents helped me with this as it was a little daunting to think of the coming year. My tutors also checked my yearly plan which was very reassuring.

“This helps me make the best use of my time as I can just get on with the learning.”

I like learning online as, personally, I find it easier to organise my learning because I have everything in one place, rather than in lots of different books and worksheets. In maths after every lesson they have a section full of videos that explain the focus of the lesson further, which is helpful because they show you a range of different questions and how to work it out. Also by using the online platform you can tick off all the lessons and activities you have completed so you and your tutor can see how well you are getting on with the course. This helps to show that you are staying on track.

“My tutors will often check in with me before an assignment is due to make sure that I am happy with what I need to do.”

I’ve found my tutors to be really friendly and helpful. They send me regular messages to check if I’m okay and if they can help me with anything that I don’t understand. My tutors will often check in with me before an assignment is due to make sure that I am happy with what I need to do. I have found this very reassuring. They always answer my messages very quickly and they are always happy to arrange a time to have a phone call or a skype call. This is really helpful as it is often easier to discuss something together. I am able to ask them anything even if I think it is a silly question and they give me useful answers and check that I fully understand. When my tutors have marked my assignment they always give me constructive criticism, they tell me what I did well and then they will explain why I lost a mark and what I can do to ensure that next time I can get all the marks that I missed previously. My Sociology tutor also sends me interesting articles related to a Sociology topic that I have studied. This helps to increase my understanding of the subject as a whole and see how my learning fits in with the real world.

I have really enjoyed learning through NEC. I have found both courses to be interesting, if a little challenging at times! I would definitely recommend this way of working to others.

Click the links to read the previous blogs in the series “Selecting our course provider“, “Getting started”, “Home educating through GCSEs”, “Booking exams”, and “Studying GCSE Sociology” (plus “Studying GCSE Sociology – Tutor response”).

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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