Thursday, 9 February 2017

IGCSE update

I had every intention of doing an update at the start of this term with specific regard to how Eldest and I are doing with his exam studies.  But it's almost half-term and we are being kept very busy with said studies, leaving little time for blogging! Oops!

Anyway the delay is probably just as well as in the last couple of weeks we have decided on a change.  Instead of taking Geography and Biology this summer, Eldest is going to go for Geography and Maths instead.  We had ruled out Maths before as I had the idea he was too far behind. However, when we were visiting friends toward the end of last term, I spotted a Maths GCSE book  of theirs and flicked through it.  It was the lower grade course which only goes up to a C, but even so I was surprised to find that most of the contents were well within Eldest's grasp.  I called him to have a look and he agreed.  We have been considering since then, and when balanced with the suspicion that Eldest is not going to be ready to take Biology just yet, it seems to make sense to switch courses, with a view to taking Biology in the winter.

Many home educators agree that Maths is a better one to start with anyway as it is so straightforward to revise for: you either know the material or you don't.  I called the exam centre this week to register and am waiting to hear back, but all being well he will be booked on to the exams asap... and then the countdown will really begin - eek!

Meanwhile he has almost finished reading through the Geography coursebook, so we will be starting revision in earnest once that is done.  We have been referring to the videos & tests on BBC Bitesize as we go, which are helpful for revising knowledge, and will be using as many past papers as we can get our hands on to work on exam skills.

For Maths we have found a new site called Absolute Maths started by Home Educators and aimed at helping GCSE revision.  We had a bit of a clunky start understanding the registration, log in etc, but the lessons and tests are proving to be very helpful.  We're aiming at the higher Maths paper as it's supposed to be easier to get a C on that than the one that only goes up to a C, and Eldest seems to find it fairly easy to grasp new maths concepts.  He's not a fan of algebra (to quote him: "they decided English and Maths weren't annoying enough as they were, so they stuck them together!"), but I am impressed by how quickly he has got to grips with it.

So basically, I think we're doing OK.  There is still a large part of me that wobbles a bit when I think about the responsibility, and the fact that it's our first time doing exams as HEors so is all pretty unknown, and is sort of an expensive experiment.  But on the whole I have peace that we are on the right track, and we keep plodding forward.  Summer - and the exams - will be here soon, so forgive me if my updates are few and far between! ;)