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IGCSEs and GCSEs - Do I really need a tutor?

Approaching IGCSE and GCSEs with your teens can be extremely daunting. I remember it well. We so enjoyed the early years of home education, we were very flexible and learning was based mainly on things that my daughter was interested in. She would constantly come up with ideas and although we consistently worked on Maths and English, everything else was fairly student lead. Starting to consider IGCSEs changed much of that.

We started with where we thought she wanted to end up (although clearly that changed over time). We knew that she would need at least five GCSEs and that these would include Maths, English and the Sciences in case she wanted to become a teacher later on in life.

We just needed to decide on a couple more. Environmental Management was recommended and seemed to be a great first IGCSE.

We bought the text book and I spent many, many, many hours planning, developing ideas, making resources and checking mark schemes over and over again. Despite being a Qualified Teacher, somehow the responsibility of taking on new subjects for my own daughter was overwhelming. Whilst the text book was great, my daughter found it rather dull and needed something a bit more animated. We supplemented it with games, videos, worksheets, visits etc.

During Covid I decided to draw all of my work together and write my two distance learning courses (Environmental Management IGCSE and Citizenship Studies IGCSE) to enable people like me to manage almost independently without the need for a weekly lesson. One step up from completely going it alone (which for many is more than doable), having a distance learning course provides the regular marked work and feedback that most parents and students are seeking. It makes this support far more affordable than a 1:1 tutor and is also flexible in nature - so you can go at your own pace.

Others prefer the structure and support of weekly lessons, be they online or face-to face. It really is a case of 'horses for courses'. There should be no judgement of either option. Just as there are many ways to home educate (structured to autonomous), there are many ways to tackle IGCSEs.

I hope that by providing group online session, ad hoc 1:1 support, drop- in sessions and a distance learning course, that I have it ALL covered!

Jeanette Pugh

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