A home educator’s journey – Part 10: “You have nothing to lose and everything to gain” Wednesday, 08 January 2020

In part 10 of our ‘home educator’s journey’ series, Lucy discusses how the self study skills she developed through NEC prepared her well for sixth form.

As a home educated student I have used NEC to study for GCSE sociology and maths. Over the last year I have used their online programmes and sat the exams in summer. 

I am pleased to say that I got very good grades. The grades I achieved enabled me to take my place at sixth form this month to study for the International Baccalaureate. 

I have really enjoyed being home educated as it gave me the opportunity to work flexibly around my interests in performance. I have been able to perform in a number of professional productions whilst studying for my GCSEs

The online study programmes from NEC meant that I could plan my work around my own timetable. The clear programme of work meant that I knew how much I had to do and could work out how to fit it around my lifestyle. It was clearly set out so you could see the topics that needed to be completed. 

I found the tutors for both subjects very friendly and approachable. Throughout the year they gave me good pointers on how to improve my work. The regular assignments helped me to see my progress and also developed my understanding of a particular topic. The tutors would also post links to interesting articles in the news on the subject. This helped to deepen my understanding of topics in sociology and helped me to relate what I was learning to current affairs.

If I needed any further advice I could ask my tutors questions by email or phone and they responded very quickly. The tutors also kept in regular contact during the revision period to check that I was on track with my revision and to see if I needed any help. It was reassuring to know they were there if I needed them and I found it helpful that they checked that I was on track in what can be quite a stressful time. 

Remote study can be quite isolating as you do not have a class to discuss areas of study on a regular basis. To help with this, NEC have set up online forums where you can post questions about the topics you are studying. I did read the forums but didn’t actively post. I think if I was to have my time again I would be a more active user of this service because talking about what you are learning can be really helpful in embedding your learning. 

When I was applying for my sixth form course they were interested in the fact that I was home educated and they did notice that my self study skills were advanced. Although it has been challenging at times, I think that using NEC to study in this way has helped me a lot for future learning. I developed the ability to plan my work and seek advice if needed. I was able to work at my own pace and take more time over topics that I found more complicated. 

I am very proud of  what I have achieved over the year and I wouldn’t hesitate to use NEC again if there was another subject I wanted to study. If you are thinking about applying for a course and are unsure I would say go for it: you have nothing to lose and everything to gain. 

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