I groan inwardly as soon as I have to think about GCSE's, its not that I have anything against them really, its just that for home educator's they throw up some real problems. Do you go down the IGCSE road or try and find a centre where you can sit GCSE's?? I have to admit I had thought that the children would probably not go down this route and maybe would end up doing them at college later on. Bailey had a go at doing an IGCSE last year although we never made it to the exam as he just wasn't ready and I have to admit I did not enjoy the experience. Lats month though, when Bailey attended the Games Britania festival he came away really wanting to do Video Games Design, we have looked into it for a few weeks and found that he really needs 5 GCSE'S/IGCSE'S. I've really let all the exam stuff go over my head thinking it wasn't for us and found myself completely out of my depth trying to understand all the different routes.
By some stroke of luck an email on our local home educating forum meant that an opportunity to possibly do an online Maths and English GCSE came up. I rang and spoke to the local college and explained our situation to her and she gave me the contact details for the course tutors. Bailey had to do a maths assessment, which needed to be in very quickly, we initially thought there were no places left for him on the course but found out very quickly that he had a place!!!!!! It was the same for English, he had to do an assessment and then he had to email it in, literally two hours later and he was offered a place!!!!
I'm so very proud of him, I know the really hard work is yet to come but when we have spent several years not doing formal maths/English its so reassuring to know that he hasn't got behind. Its done his confidence the world of good and I have to admit I'm relieved that whilst I can help and support him a lot of the work will all be set out from the college and he will still be able to be at home. There are some 14-16 places available in college and I imagine for some children that's perfect but neither Bailey or us feel he should be in college yet. He just isn't ready for that and this gives him the opportunity to be able to get the qualifications he needs to do the course he wants, and even if he changes his mind in the future Maths and English will always come in handy for other things.