Home Educating an older child

Yes home educated children can take exams

Home educated children can sit exams at any of the island’s secondary schools or University College Isle of Man

You will need to contact the Exams Officer and ask if your child can be entered as an independent candidate. There will be a charge for this; the cost of entering the exam and an administration fee. You will need to know the exam board and code for the exam you wish your child to be entered for. The school or college will need to be an exam centre for the exam board you choose so you will need to know the exam board and code for the exam wish your child to be entered in.

There are limits to the exams that home educated children can sit as we do not have access to teachers who can assess coursework or undertake teacher controlled assessments. You may be able to travel to specialist home education exam centres in the UK for this service but this is usually cost prohibitive.

So what exams can home educated children do?

Any qualification that is assessed by examination only will be easiest to arrange. Most IGCSEs are exam only. However, there has been a move away from coursework in the new GCSES so some of these are also suitable for independent students.

Check each of the exam boards and look at the syllabuses for the subjects your child is interested in. Also make sure you look at past exam papers and sample materials. Then chose the syllabus which you think is most suitable for your child and buy the course textbooks – most can be bought second hand. Youtube is also a great source of information for exam studies. Just google your exam board, qualification and subject for lots of free resources and lessons eg Edexcel IGCSE History Hitler’s Germany.

The exam boards offering IGCSEs are Cambridge and Edexcel.

Other exam boards are AQA and WJEC. The Open University is also a popular choice for home educators.

Home educated children tend to take the qualifications they need for whatever it is they want to do rather than the standard number of IGCSEs taken by children in school. Make sure you check what qualifications are required for your child’s chosen career path and ensure that you are preparing them for it. There is also no need for home educating children to complete qualifications on the same timeline as school educated children do. IGCSEs can be taken at age 16+ or earlier than 16 if that suits your child. Also, many home educated children take IGCSEs spread across a number of years rather than taking them all at 16.

Some home educated children only do qualifications specific to their needs which may be different to IGCSEs. For example, some don’t take IGCSEs or A Levels and start on Open University courses instead. There are many options available. Look at these links for information:

There are also online course providers, including MOOCs – free online courses from top universities. If you look, there are lots of options and flexibility for older children. Here are some ideas: