I first started homeschooling because I found my grades and morale slipping in mainstream school.
This, however, did not mean I hated learning. On the contrary, I loved learning and the extra curricular school activities such as debate and choir, but the school environment and people in it really put me off learning. I was on a constant path to burnout every day which negatively affected my mental health.
“I have been studying with NEC for about two years now and it is the best decision I have ever made.”
I could plan my own hours and spend more time doing things I enjoyed like my sports and hobbies. I even got a year long internship at a bakery and managed to fit in time for work and fitness a few times a week.
My perception is that people on the outside think: “oh you get lots of free time and sleep then,” or “it’s easier than normal school.” I have to admit that I thought this for a while too but boy was I wrong.
When you aren’t being spoon-fed information it’s down to you to maintain your grades and believe me it’s hard.
I used the Young Learners Service and got a tutor with NEC. They were very helpful and answered my questions when I got stuck. Over time I became less dependent as with experience I made my daily study timetable more rigid, setting aside six hours a day minimum to study for my five GCSE subjects.
I have developed my own system of study and revision which maximises my time. I actually enjoyed colour coding material and writing oodles of notes. I also used a study tracker to be more productive and importantly slot in study breaks. Reading mark schemes further prepared me for exams.
With all this exciting stuff happening in my life, I also made sure to create a steady sleep and wake routine.
As such self-study has been a blessing in disguise. I really look forward to going back into mainstream school because I now feel like I have the discipline and mental strength to complete schooling more than I ever did before. I now have A levels to look forward to.
“Self study also made me realise that learning never stops. It’s not a race, not a sprint, not even a marathon, but a lifelong journey and you need to pace yourself.”
The path isn’t necessarily linear. You’ll have to sprint sometimes, maybe near exam season, and you can walk when you need a breather.
I look forward to getting my results this summer because I know I have put in the hours. I hope to achieve some A’s and I’m glad I pushed myself to take Higher Maths instead of Foundation.
I hope anyone out there who wants to take homeschooling as their learning option has a fantastic experience like me.
Natalia – GCSE Maths, English Language & Literature, Combined Science and History student.