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    I am seeking advice on behalf of my brother. I am his guardian and therefore responsible for his education. For those that haven’t the inclination to read what has turned out to be a large piece of text, I have highlighted my main questions. The rest is background information.

    My brother is 17 years old and was educated in Eastern Europe until the age of 16. His high school education consists of one failed year (in a foreign system), and half a year on an MYP course (this should last 2 years and is the prelude to the IB diploma) at an International School in the UK. His less than satisfactory performance is due primarily to bad company which he kept abroad (gambling, drugs etc) and secondly the death of a close family member. The school in question has judged that due to his lack of work ethic and knowledge base that he is not ready to begin the IB diploma (I agree with them on this point). I am therefore thinking of taking him out of school and providing him with private tutors. He is behind where he should be educationally and does not have the self-discipline to help himself. I feel that intense 1on1 private tuition would maximise the speed of his progression and would compel him to concentrate. I think he would be better suited to A-Levels due to the fact that he could focus on fewer subjects (as opposed to 6 on the IB diploma).

    Does anyone have any experience of home tuition or know anyone that has had it?

    Would A-Levels be a realistic option given the lack of solidity of his existing knowledge?

    There is no doubt that he knows less than others that would be commencing their A-Levels, but would home tuition allow him to progress fast enough to get back up to speed?

    I have been considering which A-Levels would be suitable for him. The problem is that due to the fact that he spent the majority of his childhood and teenage years abroad, his English is not of the best standard. At the moment he definitely would not be able to write quality essays, so subjects such as English or History are to be avoided. I am considering the following subjects for him: Maths, Business Studies and Physical Education. This may seem like a slightly strange combination but Maths is one of the few subjects where his knowledge base is ok (plus it is a serious subject that will teach him how to think and solve problems). Business studies is slightly soft, but will teach him some practical skills (I also know he has some interest in the idea of one day running a business- one of the few plans he actually has for himself). I know he will have to write some mini-essays, but this should be doable. As for Physical Education, I acknowledge that as a third option this is not very compelling from an academic point of view. However I have a limited amount of time to try and instil him with certain life skills. At the moment he smokes, constantly eats junk food, does no exercise (despite the fact that he likes sport and has a predisposition for it), has little to no knowledge of anatomy, nutrition etc. He is not going to be a rocket scientist, it is more important to me that he stops smoking and learns important things regarding looking after his body and nutrition than how many electrons and protons a certain element might have. I am also hoping that if he does subjects which are less demanding (alongside Maths) that this will take some pressure off him and allow him to perform well. Given the lack of success in his schooling thus far, I consider it critical that he sees some success and develops confidence in his own abilities. It is better he gets a B in Physical Education than a D in Physics. Alongside the three subjects outlined I would also make sure he has English lessons to get his writing skills up to scratch.

    Lastly, I have some final questions:

    How important are English writing skills for Business studies and PE?

    What are the differences between the three exam boards? The three I know of are OCR, Edexcel and AQA. Which ones have the best curriculums for the three subjects I have outlined? Which one is easiest? Which ones have the least coursework.

    How does one register to take exams while being homeschooled? How is coursework examined? What other practical considerations are there as regards homeschooling?

    Does anyone have any suggestions for other subjects which fit the bill of being low on essay writing and which could be studied at A-Level without any prior knowledge?

    Thats about it for now. Sorry for the length!
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    Not sure about some of your questions sorry! But I was home educated until GCSE's, and from my experience I didn't get as much work done as I do at school/college, who has the dedication to get up on their own and work from 9-4? But for your brother I think it would be good, he might take longer to learn some subjects, but he could go at his own pace. Consider an open university course?

    Also in my experience edexcel is the best board for maths - it's usually the one colleges use too. Hope that helps
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    Maths and Business Studies are great subjects for home study. PE is harder as there is a substantial practical element to the course, regardless of exam board, that needs assessing.

    Other options for A-level might be Accounting and ICT/ Computing.

    Some universities are sniffy about accounting. business studies and PE A-levels but with a weaker academic background its unlikely he'd be considering those places anyway.

    It's worth entering him for the GCSE / A-level in the language of whichever European country he was brought up in. It will probably be reasonably easy for him and will bolster his academic record.

    When choosing an exam board, go with Edexcel or AQA - OCR is usually considered more challenging. The exam board should be able to provide a list of centres willing to accept entries from private candidates.

    Another option is to just get GCSEs in English and maths and then go the BTEC route. Many universities are prepared to look at a broad range of qualifications for entry and it may be less arduous to take this route than A-levels.
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    (Original post by Skye333)
    Not sure about some of your questions sorry! But I was home educated until GCSE's, and from my experience I didn't get as much work done as I do at school/college, who has the dedication to get up on their own and work from 9-4? But for your brother I think it would be good, he might take longer to learn some subjects, but he could go at his own pace. Consider an open university course?

    Also in my experience edexcel is the best board for maths - it's usually the one colleges use too. Hope that helps
    Thanks for responding My brother wouldn't need to work on his own 9-4. I would make sure he has 4 hours of private tuition 5 days a week, therefore he'd have nowhere to hide. Plus I'd make sure he does homework every day. Open University is definitely an option I have thought about for the future, but he needs a highschool education of sorts. I also did edexcel if I remember correctly. Any reason why it is considered best for maths?
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    Thanks for the indepth reply!

    (Original post by JCM89)
    Maths and Business Studies are great subjects for home study. PE is harder as there is a substantial practical element to the course, regardless of exam board, that needs assessing.
    I guessed as much, might be a logistical nightmare trying to organise examiners for the practical element. I'd be prepared to try though.

    (Original post by JCM89)
    Other options for A-level might be Accounting and ICT/ Computing..
    Great minds think alike! I'd considered ICT, its probably more academic than PE and would teach him some good practical skills. Trouble is he spends 6-7 hours a day playing on the computer, which I'm trying to get him to cut down on. ICT would guarantee he spends all day and night on it. As for accounting, I'm trying to keep the subjects as interesting as possible for him. I think I'd have trouble getting him enthusiastic about it.


    (Original post by JCM89)
    Some universities are sniffy about accounting. business studies and PE A-levels but with a weaker academic background its unlikely he'd be considering those places anyway.
    Exactly so. I'm aware that the choices would restrict him from the top universities, but I'm realistic that he isn't going to be targetting them anyway. If he took harder subjects he'd end up getting worse grades, thereby excluding him from the top universities in any case.

    (Original post by JCM89)
    It's worth entering him for the GCSE / A-level in the language of whichever European country he was brought up in. It will probably be reasonably easy for him and will bolster his academic record.
    I agree entirely, but the problem is that they don't have the language in question.

    (Original post by JCM89)
    When choosing an exam board, go with Edexcel or AQA - OCR is usually considered more challenging. The exam board should be able to provide a list of centres willing to accept entries from private candidates.
    Ok, thats good to know.

    (Original post by JCM89)
    Another option is to just get GCSEs in English and maths and then go the BTEC route. Many universities are prepared to look at a broad range of qualifications for entry and it may be less arduous to take this route than A-levels.
    I'd considered BTEC as well. However that would require college attendance? I don't think he'd do pretty well in anything right now, if left to his own devices.
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    (Original post by Someones_Big_Brother)
    Thanks for responding My brother wouldn't need to work on his own 9-4. I would make sure he has 4 hours of private tuition 5 days a week, therefore he'd have nowhere to hide. Plus I'd make sure he does homework every day. Open University is definitely an option I have thought about for the future, but he needs a highschool education of sorts. I also did edexcel if I remember correctly. Any reason why it is considered best for maths?
    Edexcel's maths papers are easier than OCR, in my experience anyway. I think their syllabus is easier to understand too. And like in the other users response a BTEC, or some such course with a higher percentage of course work might be better if you home-school, which sounds great with the private tuition to get your brothers work back up :yes: , as he could get more help.
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    He needs to of passed his English with atleast a C at GCSE so make sure he picks that up if he doesn't have it.
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    Out of curiosity which european language is it?
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    Just a thought - these people do GCSE English and psychology online (as well as A level English). You do the entire course online and then sit the exam in Sheffield or an exam centre closer to you. Might be worth a look as they seem to get good results and its aimed at people with non traditional educational backgrounds.
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    (Original post by Choirboy)
    Out of curiosity which european language is it?
    Serbo-Croat/Serbian/Croatian (they're all basically the same language).
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    (Original post by JCM89)
    Just a thought - these people do GCSE English and psychology online (as well as A level English). You do the entire course online and then sit the exam in Sheffield or an exam centre closer to you. Might be worth a look as they seem to get good results and its aimed at people with non traditional educational backgrounds.
    Thanks for that, might be an idea to get him to do GCSE English.
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    Well I teach myself at home, which is a slightly different situation but I can answer some of your questions:

    Exam Centers:

    You will have to get your brother to register at an exam centre that allows external candidates, schools do not usually allow this (although it'd be worth asking), you'd be best asking a local college or similar.
    In order to do this you will probably need your brother's education history and a cheque to pay for the modules (approx £40 each if you get them in before a given date...otherwise you will be charged late fees).
    Details of who will be marking practical work (outlined below).

    Costs (not specified but useful):
    Books, try second hand on Amazon.
    Tutors (sounds like the best idea in the circumstance)
    Modules, without late fees £40.00 x 6 x 3 for three full A levels :£720 in total...if you split that in to 4 even exam sessions (depending on what timetable you set) That's £180 each exam session.

    Practical Work:
    Any coursework (if it occurs) could be marked by Tutors if they're qualified to do so, ask before making any agreements.
    PE practical work may have to be done at a local school...ask any that you can travel to as I doubt you can get a PE tutor like you can get a math tutor. I do my physics practicals at a local school, but the modules are registered at the college where I'll be sitting my exams.

    Best Exam boards/Subjects:
    I did Math on OCR MEI which was amazing but sadly contains coursework...I'd take Skye333's advice and use Edexel
    As for courses and course structure:

    http://www.ocr.org.uk/qualifications...gce/index.aspx
    A-Z list of OCR A levels

    http://web.aqa.org.uk/qual/gce.php
    AQA A levels (panel on left hand side shows subjects by group)

    http://www.edexcel.com/quals/gce/gce...s/default.aspx
    Edexcel A levels (the scroll bar may look transarent....but the list doesn't end with history )

    After you've checked out A levels maybe try searching around for other qualification types that may be suitable

    Also notice that there a various math qualifications if that's your brother strength...you could try Statistics perhaps? Further Math is also available but think it may be too much of a challenge given the circumstances...

    Time frame:
    Give yourself at least the same amount of time studying as you would do in school..if you think your brother may take a long time getting into studying try starting a few things in the summer rather than plunging in in september, it'll be easier for him to be disciplined if he has tutors...but it is important, especially things like reading around the subject and doing homework independantly
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    (Original post by skipp)
    Well I teach myself at home, which is a slightly different situation but I can answer some of your questions:

    Exam Centers:

    You will have to get your brother to register at an exam centre that allows external candidates, schools do not usually allow this (although it'd be worth asking), you'd be best asking a local college or similar.
    In order to do this you will probably need your brother's education history and a cheque to pay for the modules (approx £40 each if you get them in before a given date...otherwise you will be charged late fees).
    Details of who will be marking practical work (outlined below).

    Costs (not specified but useful):
    Books, try second hand on Amazon.
    Tutors (sounds like the best idea in the circumstance)
    Modules, without late fees £40.00 x 6 x 3 for three full A levels :£720 in total...if you split that in to 4 even exam sessions (depending on what timetable you set) That's £180 each exam session.

    Practical Work:
    Any coursework (if it occurs) could be marked by Tutors if they're qualified to do so, ask before making any agreements.
    PE practical work may have to be done at a local school...ask any that you can travel to as I doubt you can get a PE tutor like you can get a math tutor. I do my physics practicals at a local school, but the modules are registered at the college where I'll be sitting my exams.

    Best Exam boards/Subjects:
    I did Math on OCR MEI which was amazing but sadly contains coursework...I'd take Skye333's advice and use Edexel
    As for courses and course structure:

    http://www.ocr.org.uk/qualifications...gce/index.aspx
    A-Z list of OCR A levels

    http://web.aqa.org.uk/qual/gce.php
    AQA A levels (panel on left hand side shows subjects by group)

    http://www.edexcel.com/quals/gce/gce...s/default.aspx
    Edexcel A levels (the scroll bar may look transarent....but the list doesn't end with history )

    After you've checked out A levels maybe try searching around for other qualification types that may be suitable

    Also notice that there a various math qualifications if that's your brother strength...you could try Statistics perhaps? Further Math is also available but think it may be too much of a challenge given the circumstances...

    Time frame:
    Give yourself at least the same amount of time studying as you would do in school..if you think your brother may take a long time getting into studying try starting a few things in the summer rather than plunging in in september, it'll be easier for him to be disciplined if he has tutors...but it is important, especially things like reading around the subject and doing homework independantly


    I know its been a while, but I need some advises.. I dont know if you did your physics a level with edexcel (new spec)? But I will be doing mine this year as an external candidate (coming from Belgium) and I would like to know if just doing the coursework for the 2 practical units would be enough for those units or do I have to do a practical work also?
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    (Original post by skiliya3)
    I know its been a while, but I need some advises.. I dont know if you did your physics a level with edexcel (new spec)? But I will be doing mine this year as an external candidate (coming from Belgium) and I would like to know if just doing the coursework for the 2 practical units would be enough for those units or do I have to do a practical work also?
    Sorry, did mine on OCR A but here's the edexcel spec. for international Candidates, haven't read through it, but looks like there's an 'International Alternative to Internal Assessment' which may solve your problem :

    http://www.edexcel.com/migrationdocu...ec-Physics.pdf
 
 
 

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