A Guide for Students & Parents to Prepare GCSE at Home

A Guide for Students & Parents to Prepare GCSE at Home

December 21, 2023 | 5months | Home Education

Key takeaways

Preparation for GCSEs normally starts at the age of 14 and continues until the age of 16, when teenagers finish high school. However, this training is only compulsory for students in the mainstream school system. For families who prefer to have their children study at home, there is good news: students can also study GCSEs at home, and can even fast-track GCSEs to shorten study time. Here is a quick overview of the advantages and disadvantages of homeschooling GCSEs and what you should keep in mind if you decide to make it easier with online academies.

  • Homeschooling involves creating your own programme and curriculum. This can be difficult, but it also means that you can adapt the traditional plan to your own preferences and strengths.
  • Homeschooling can offer more flexibility, as it allows students to set their own schedules.
  • Parents who do not have an education background may find it difficult to provide their children with the right knowledge and skills to successfully sit GCSE exams.
  • Online academies can help simplify homeschooling, as they provide the necessary materials, schedules and tutor support to replace a traditional school, taking advantage of the flexibility of studying at home.

What are the benefits of homeschooling?

Although some parents may be reluctant towards homeschooling, it can be beneficial in many aspects.

Strengthening parent-child bond

Accompanying children on their learning journey requires spending more time with them. Children attending mainstream schools usually spend more time outside than with their parents. That is why homeschooling can be considered a better option for creating stronger bonds between children and parents.

Fostering independence and responsibility

Since students have to create their own timetables and study programmes (with the help of parents), homeschooling contributes to strengthening students' independence and sense of responsibility.

Reducing distractions

Studying with a large group of peers can sometimes be difficult. If the class is noisy or if time is shared with friends, it can be difficult to concentrate on academic topics. Studying at home reduces this problem, as having a dedicated space to study alone can make it easier to concentrate on studying for a longer period of time.

Customizing the student’s curriculum

Parents and students can create their own curricula, adding and removing topics as needed, although there are many compulsory topics that, ideally, every student should learn. This flexibility allows students to target the topics in which they are strongest and go even further than students in traditional schools.

Create your own schedules

Homeschooling means not having to follow set schedules or enter and leave school at specific times. In this way, homeschooling offers greater flexibility to organise lessons at one's own pace. Both children and parents can adapt their schedules according to work, extracurricular activities and free time.

How to prepare for GCSE at home?

Although homeschooling has many advantages for both parents and children, it can also present several technical difficulties, mainly related to the organisation and creation of programmes. Homeschooling does not mean not having a syllabus, but developing one on one's own. Here are some tips about how to take GCSE privately.

Considering legal requirements and regulations

There are no specific regulations for homeschooling, apart from ensuring that the student receives continuous education from the age of 5 until the age of 16 (or 18 if they want to access further education). Furthermore, the topics learned, and the teaching methodology must be effective and age-appropriate.

Choosing private tutors or online courses

Homeschooling does not have to depend 100 percent on parents. Although some people choose to educate their children on their own, the support of specialised tutors and online academies can be helpful in determining the curriculum that the child should follow. Enrolling in online GCSE courses can be useful for those subjects with which parents are not very familiar and also to establish a programme for studying throughout the year without missing any important subjects.

Setting goals and objectives

Developing a roadmap involves setting goals and targets for the learning path. At the age of 14, the ultimate goal is likely to be GCSE exams, but setting short-term goals along the process can also be useful. Achieving milestones can increase motivation and improve organisation, as one can have a clearer view of how the process is going. For instance, you can set up targets related to covering the topics on your syllabus and complete them on CloudLearn’s platform, CloudLearn. This way, every time you finish studying each of them, you can cross them out to keep track of your pendings, and watching the list getting shorter feels good!

Selecting subjects

How many GCSEs do you need to take? Students aiming for GCSE qualifications have to choose around 10 subjects from dozens of options, which can be quite difficult. It is advisable to think about what you want for your academic and professional future and decide accordingly. For example, if you want to become a psychologist, you can research the A-levels required to enter psychology courses at university and, based on this, choose your GCSE subjects. For students who do not have a set plan, it is recommended to choose 'facilitating subjects', which are accepted by most universities and offer training in skills useful for all careers.

Creating a study programme

Although studying at home means not having to follow a fixed schedule, we strongly recommend creating a study routine. This will make it easier to get organised and maintain a constant rhythm throughout the year, establishing days and times to study in order to maintain a balance between this and other scheduled activities.

Gathering necessary learning resources

Gathering the material needed to learn 10 different subjects over two years can be difficult, especially if you are not studying with a tutor or an online academy. CloudLearn, as well as other course providers, provides students with all the necessary learning resources to use as a guide and to make sure no subject is left out.

Dealing with overcoming challenges

Many challenges can arise when studying for GCSEs. At school, teachers and specialised tutors can help address them, but it may be difficult for parents who do not have the pedagogical tools to do so. In these circumstances, the assistance of tutors appointed by online academies can provide students with a better understanding of topics in case of doubts, offer additional study material and assess concepts through mock tests before the official exam.

Another possible problem for home-schooled students is the lack of socialisation. Although many parents decide to homeschool their children because of bullying or other social conflicts, sharing time with peers can be beneficial when studying. Creating study groups can increase concentration, develop discussion skills and foster teamwork. On the CloudLearn platform, users can chat with other students to share knowledge and ask questions in a safe and supportive environment.

Choosing an exam centre

Approximately six months before the examination date, students must book their place at an examination centre. However, not all of them accept homeschooled students or may be too far from home. CloudLearn is one of the few online academies that offers the possibility to avoid the hassle of finding an examination centre. When you have finished your course and feel ready for the big day, contact the Student Service team who will guide you through the process of booking your examination at the most suitable centre.

Building a supportive learning community (for parents)

Homeschooling can be challenging, not only for the students but also for the parents, especially those with no teaching background. To make sure you do a good job, take a look at these tips.

Connecting with other homeschooling parents: Join online forums and support groups

Many parents decide to educate their children at home all over the world. The reasons may vary, as do the teaching methods. That is why contacting them can broaden your horizons and give you new perspectives on the best ways to teach your children.

Encouraging socialization and extracurricular activities

Since studying at home can be quite lonely, we advise parents to encourage children to meet peers in other environments. Sports, language or craft courses can be perfect for meeting new peers and developing their social skills and teamwork, in addition to academics.

Seeking professional guidance

Parents do not have to know everything and, just as teachers meet to find new methodologies, parents can turn to professionals to find the best way to educate their children. Consult your child's old school tutors, educators or online teachers for advice and new perspectives.

Opt for mixed methods

Homeschooling does not have to represent 100 per cent of study time. Many parents prefer to have a mix of traditional, homeschooling and/or online lessons. This can be a good choice to get the best of all three systems. For example, students can prepare themselves for purely theoretical subjects such as History, while studying practical subjects such as Maths with an online teacher, and attending classes that require physical experiments at school, such as Physics or Chemistry. Each parent and each child can find the perfect combination for a successful outcome.

Preparing for examinations

How to do GCSEs online? You will first have to enrol in online classes. Simply enter our website, choose the subjects you want to take and fill in the form to start your preparation right away. During business time, you will receive your access details within the next 15 minutes, allowing you to start your GCSE journey straight away. Since then, all you have to do is log on to the platform to access the material for every course you have chosen and start studying.

After the preparation courses, the time comes to take the examinations. Six months before your chosen exam date, you need to research exam centres and find the most suitable one to book your place. This can sometimes be difficult, as already mentioned, because not all of them accept homeschooled students or do not offer the subjects you have prepared. Studying on CloudLearn is of great help in this case, because we save you the hassle of this step by doing all the paperwork for you in one of the private GCSE exam centres we collaborate with. You only have to pay a fee and follow our instructions to save your place for the exam day.

After registration, you will have another six months to complete the syllabus and review the topics. This phase is extremely important, as this will give you an overview of how prepared you are for the exams. Enrolling for CloudLearn courses offers you the support of a tutor, who will guide you through all the topics for a thorough review, assess your knowledge with mock exams and help you develop exam-solving strategies. This will aid you in coping with anxiety, as you will feel 100% ready to perform well on exam day.

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Success stories and experiences

Many of our students, and also their parents, have expressed their opinions on our courses on TrustPilot. Here is what they’ve got to say:

“I get an urge of excitement when I log onto my portal to learn. They have lots of useful links for further progression, whether that's going to university or alternative pathways. There are student forums/chatrooms, which is really nice and engaging. Makes you feel a part of a community.”

“As for the learning material itself-, I highly recommend this Learning Platform for anyone considering returning to education. You have access to your own Tutors, who are very quick in responding to any queries about the course and are more than happy to help. The Staff are very polite and will help you out in any way that they can, They truly prioritize your education and I have thoroughly enjoyed my time with Cloud Learn.”

“Over the moon with our experience of Cloudlearn so far! My daughter is thoroughly enjoying her courses and Keli provides excellent customer service on every occasion that I call! She went over and above to extend her course by a few months and is super helpful with exam queries. The course materials are well laid out and she is confident and knowledgeable and fully prepared for her exams. We will definitely be interested in completing further courses with Cloudlearn in the future. Thank you for inspiring my daughter to learn further!”

Prepare for GCSE success at home. Trust the experts

Although homeschooling may involve some risks, finding the right path can be easier with the help of online academies. Let your children study at home without having to worry about creating customised programmes, collecting materials or evaluating the topics studied. Contact our student advisors at CloudLearn to learn more about our platform and study for GCSEs today.

FAQs

Can you homeschool for GCSEs?

Yes! Students can prepare for GCSEs in traditional schools or study at home, either completely on their own or with the help of an online academy, such as CloudLearn.

Can I redo my GCSEs at home?

If you have already tried the traditional method and did not get the desired results, you can always choose to study from home through online academies. These offer greater flexibility, as you can study at your own pace, create your own study schedule and access the platform from anywhere in the world.

How many hours do you need to study for GCSE?

Our experts recommend a total of 120 hours of study per GCSE. This number of hours guarantees passing the GCSE exams and even obtaining excellent grades!

How much do GCSEs cost when homeschooling?

The average cost of CloudLearn's online GCSE courses is £310. If you decide to also book the exam at one of our partner exam centres, the total cost is around £570. Booking exams by the bulk can reduce costs! Save up to 5% by enrolling in two courses, 10% with three courses and 15% for 4 or more courses. This price may vary depending on the subject and exam centre you choose. It is worth noting that there are no additional charges for the total cost of GCSEs when you choose CloudLearn.

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