The Student Room Group

Homeschool for A-levels Advice

Hello guys,

I am a current student in year 12 who is looking for some advice. I was wondering if anyone could provide some clarity on homeschooling routes and platforms, finance options, what happens if you had extra time during GCSE's when you went to school and if that can apply to homeschooler's. Oh and advice on how I can talk to the family about this stuff would also be great. I have included details of my situation below. Many thanks! :smile:

I have been accepted into a prestigious grammar school at the start of the year to complete the international baccalaureate diploma programme but am currently struggling quite a bit. The programme itself is very full on compared to A-levels, having to study English, Maths, A language and a science along with optional humanities/art subjects. Their is also a part of the programme that is known as the 'IB Core', where we have to write a 4000 word essay (the EE), Complete a extra subject (TOK) and C.A.S- 7 activities to complete different objectives.

I have been struggling with my mental health since the beginning of year 10 and am currently going through the process of being diagnosed so that I can receive some professional help. This has impacted my studies so much so that a meeting was called with sixth form staff where they ended up reducing my timetable to see how it goes doing certain subjects (IB Certification route) and if not to consider studying A-levels somewhere else.

For context, the certificate is what a student gets for each passed subject if they failed one in the diploma, and limits a lot of university/further education routes. The school said that they have had students leave to complete A-levels in a year, but with my mental state I do not think that possible, leading me to having to restart year 12. Restarting year 12 is uncomfortable for me especially in school as I feel like a failure, so I have been looking at homeschooling as an alternative. Not to mention due to past experiences I also don't mind working alone.

Whatever I do however, I have to tell my family and there are certain members who will be disappointed as they are the ones who led me to this stage and have particular ideas about my future. So if anyone could help with this and how I can approach them about it too, I would appreciate it thanks!:smile:
Could you perhaps give a list of questions you want answered? I don't quite understand what to answer...
Original post by please help me x
Hello guys,

I am a current student in year 12 who is looking for some advice. I was wondering if anyone could provide some clarity on homeschooling routes and platforms, finance options, what happens if you had extra time during GCSE's when you went to school and if that can apply to homeschooler's. Oh and advice on how I can talk to the family about this stuff would also be great. I have included details of my situation below. Many thanks! :smile:

I have been accepted into a prestigious grammar school at the start of the year to complete the international baccalaureate diploma programme but am currently struggling quite a bit. The programme itself is very full on compared to A-levels, having to study English, Maths, A language and a science along with optional humanities/art subjects. Their is also a part of the programme that is known as the 'IB Core', where we have to write a 4000 word essay (the EE), Complete a extra subject (TOK) and C.A.S- 7 activities to complete different objectives.

I have been struggling with my mental health since the beginning of year 10 and am currently going through the process of being diagnosed so that I can receive some professional help. This has impacted my studies so much so that a meeting was called with sixth form staff where they ended up reducing my timetable to see how it goes doing certain subjects (IB Certification route) and if not to consider studying A-levels somewhere else.

For context, the certificate is what a student gets for each passed subject if they failed one in the diploma, and limits a lot of university/further education routes. The school said that they have had students leave to complete A-levels in a year, but with my mental state I do not think that possible, leading me to having to restart year 12. Restarting year 12 is uncomfortable for me especially in school as I feel like a failure, so I have been looking at homeschooling as an alternative. Not to mention due to past experiences I also don't mind working alone.

Whatever I do however, I have to tell my family and there are certain members who will be disappointed as they are the ones who led me to this stage and have particular ideas about my future. So if anyone could help with this and how I can approach them about it too, I would appreciate it thanks!:smile:

Why not apply to a different sixth form? Which A levels are you thinking of?
I think I can help a little with this!

I went to mainstream school/private school for my GCSEs, where I was a top student and got really good grades. I started struggling with mental health in y10 but school was really supportive and I stayed on for 6th form. I started really struggling mentally then and while we dropped timetable etc as well, I dropped out in December, saying I would take time to get better then start again in September. Making that decision was really hard, thinking about being with the year below and my own year group will go off without me but I came to terms with it.

September came and I was a little bit better but soon dipped again and went back into hospital so missed the 2nd year too and couldn't go back to in person school so started home schooling

Home schooling has been very different. You need to be very diligent, self motivated etc. You don't have anyone telling you how and when to work to keep on top of things. I subscribed to an online platform though I didnt find it that useful, instead I have tutors who do 2hrs per subject per week, like a big lecture then spending the rest of the week writing up notes etc.

Overall I'm now just about to do my exams and go off to uni and the 2yrs missed really don't matter, there's zero need to get caught up in the 'rat race', we have decades of work ahead of us and we aren't all robots that have to do everything at exact same times.

If you had extra time you may be eligible for an EHCP which would help your situation though they're pretty hard to get. Homeschool isn't a magic solution - I used to want it during early secondary but its lonely and mentally tough too. Talk to your parents about it and see about maybe switching to another school for a levels next year or something, start the conversation first and keep options open
Original post by Obsidian♡Hart
Could you perhaps give a list of questions you want answered? I don't quite understand what to answer...

Ah, I apologise if I wasn't quite clear enough but basically the questions I wanted to ask is the following:

1) Advice on whether to take the path of going to a fully online school/platform for a-levels or getting a tutor and book the exam as an external student with pro's & con's for both
2) I understand it is a private education option but if anyone is aware of any help one can receive for funding it
3) If you can get extra time as an external student still and if so how
4) Guidance on how to approach and talk to some of the family who are quite influential on my decisions and set in their ways (As I do not have a close bond with one of my parent's family).

Hope that is a bit more clearer now and if you could help I would appreciate it, thanks:smile:

Original post by Muttley79
Why not apply to a different sixth form? Which A levels are you thinking of?

Ah because I am concerned with the school setting and how that may potentially cause a repeat of this year. I originally had my year 11 timetable altered quite a bit that they ended up putting me on self study a few months prior to the exams, around a couple of weeks into the January term. I originally associated my troubles with the teaching or rather lack thereof as I always had to learn it by myself later, but where it has happened again this year I believe it is the better to go for the option that has proven to work before and teach myself.

I am a little conflicted on the A-level combination I will go for as 4 can be a bit much, but I am considering Business, Maths, Politics & Psychology. I am also curious about studying the EPQ, though I believe it to be a bit too strenuous for me at this time as I have heard it being the equivalent to the IB's Extended Essay.
Original post by josiethomas289
I think I can help a little with this!

I went to mainstream school/private school for my GCSEs, where I was a top student and got really good grades. I started struggling with mental health in y10 but school was really supportive and I stayed on for 6th form. I started really struggling mentally then and while we dropped timetable etc as well, I dropped out in December, saying I would take time to get better then start again in September. Making that decision was really hard, thinking about being with the year below and my own year group will go off without me but I came to terms with it.

September came and I was a little bit better but soon dipped again and went back into hospital so missed the 2nd year too and couldn't go back to in person school so started home schooling

Home schooling has been very different. You need to be very diligent, self motivated etc. You don't have anyone telling you how and when to work to keep on top of things. I subscribed to an online platform though I didnt find it that useful, instead I have tutors who do 2hrs per subject per week, like a big lecture then spending the rest of the week writing up notes etc.

Overall I'm now just about to do my exams and go off to uni and the 2yrs missed really don't matter, there's zero need to get caught up in the 'rat race', we have decades of work ahead of us and we aren't all robots that have to do everything at exact same times.

If you had extra time you may be eligible for an EHCP which would help your situation though they're pretty hard to get. Homeschool isn't a magic solution - I used to want it during early secondary but its lonely and mentally tough too. Talk to your parents about it and see about maybe switching to another school for a levels next year or something, start the conversation first and keep options open


Oh I a sorry to hear about your mental situation too and going into hospital! I hope you are doing better now though and I wish you luck for your exams coming up.

With all honesty, how you described your studying schedule seems a perfect chance for me to improve both my mental health and my chance of getting the best grades I can. Particularly because as I described in my previous reply, I had to rely on teaching myself content for GCSE's and this style is similar to how I worked. I also don't mind working alone due to past experiences that have practically forced me to do so before, which has resulted to me preferring it now.

I have been discussing it for awhile now, particularly with the parent I live with and my cousins on this side as they are going through homeschooling from year 7, which whilst it is insightful, doesn't really relate to my studies or situation at the moment which is why I am trying to get some more details on here. Whilst I guess you could say I have kind of already decided about homeschooling, I am waiting to I have gotten all the small details so that I can come up with a full on plan for the future to present to my more difficult family members but I am still very nervous on approaching them with this topic as I can't talk comfortably with them about anything anyway let alone this:frown:

Thank you for bringing up the EHCP, I have briefly looked it up and it may be possible for me to get it, I need to do further research though.
Original post by please help me x
Ah, I apologise if I wasn't quite clear enough but basically the questions I wanted to ask is the following:

1) Advice on whether to take the path of going to a fully online school/platform for a-levels or getting a tutor and book the exam as an external student with pro's & con's for both
2) I understand it is a private education option but if anyone is aware of any help one can receive for funding it
3) If you can get extra time as an external student still and if so how
4) Guidance on how to approach and talk to some of the family who are quite influential on my decisions and set in their ways (As I do not have a close bond with one of my parent's family).

Hope that is a bit more clearer now and if you could help I would appreciate it, thanks:smile:


Ah because I am concerned with the school setting and how that may potentially cause a repeat of this year. I originally had my year 11 timetable altered quite a bit that they ended up putting me on self study a few months prior to the exams, around a couple of weeks into the January term. I originally associated my troubles with the teaching or rather lack thereof as I always had to learn it by myself later, but where it has happened again this year I believe it is the better to go for the option that has proven to work before and teach myself.

I am a little conflicted on the A-level combination I will go for as 4 can be a bit much, but I am considering Business, Maths, Politics & Psychology. I am also curious about studying the EPQ, though I believe it to be a bit too strenuous for me at this time as I have heard it being the equivalent to the IB's Extended Essay.


I'm in year 12 at a state sixth form taking 3 a-levels and an as-level, and even that has been a lot! I would not recommend taking 4 a-levels, especially if you want to take an EPQ as well. No universities require 4 a-levels, but the EPQ is looked at highly. Most schools would let you start the EPQ and then you can drop it if it becomes too much work and you change your mind. 3 a-levels with an EPQ makes more sense than 4 to save yourself the extra work (if you decide to follow the a-level route!) Hope this helps :smile:
Reply 7
Original post by josiethomas289
I think I can help a little with this!

I went to mainstream school/private school for my GCSEs, where I was a top student and got really good grades. I started struggling with mental health in y10 but school was really supportive and I stayed on for 6th form. I started really struggling mentally then and while we dropped timetable etc as well, I dropped out in December, saying I would take time to get better then start again in September. Making that decision was really hard, thinking about being with the year below and my own year group will go off without me but I came to terms with it.

September came and I was a little bit better but soon dipped again and went back into hospital so missed the 2nd year too and couldn't go back to in person school so started home schooling

Home schooling has been very different. You need to be very diligent, self motivated etc. You don't have anyone telling you how and when to work to keep on top of things. I subscribed to an online platform though I didnt find it that useful, instead I have tutors who do 2hrs per subject per week, like a big lecture then spending the rest of the week writing up notes etc.

Overall I'm now just about to do my exams and go off to uni and the 2yrs missed really don't matter, there's zero need to get caught up in the 'rat race', we have decades of work ahead of us and we aren't all robots that have to do everything at exact same times.

If you had extra time you may be eligible for an EHCP which would help your situation though they're pretty hard to get. Homeschool isn't a magic solution - I used to want it during early secondary but its lonely and mentally tough too. Talk to your parents about it and see about maybe switching to another school for a levels next year or something, start the conversation first and keep options open


Do you have any recommendations on how to go about doing homeschooling/online schooling? I got kicked out from first year due to my mental health declining.
Get in contact with the council to see if you’d qualify for an EHCP which would cover the costs and provide access for you however I got started before this by subscribing to an online learning platform (Oxbridge home schooling, but there’s many other similar ones) and finding tutors to give me lessons 2hrs per subject per week.

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