Step 1: Decision
It is important to know that, when you start homeschooling your children, either part time or full time, you as a parent is going to take up the responsibility to ensure your children is having the needed education.
If you are not able to educate your children full time, you could always get assistance from some private learning centers/tuition centers in your local area. But please bare in mind that these private learning/tuition centers are there to help, they are NOT a formal school.
Home education is a marathon. You can’t give up halfway before reaching the finish line; for example wanting to send your children “back to school” when you feel you cannot or do not have time to continue the responsibility anymore. Chances are, your children would get rejected due to the absence of formal primary school certificates.
So you may wonder, when/what is the finish line?
The finish line is the final exam at the end of the secondary level education － IGCSE / O Level.
It is NOT at the primary level. Most parents make this mistake, thinking they could home educate their children up to the primary level, then send them to a formal secondary school later.
This is called ‘halfway marathon’. The primary level is not the finish line.
So, make up your mind that you will finish the marathon. You can also take the ‘halfway marathon’ － continue reading to find out how to do that.
Step 2: Choose Your Curriculum
You can always follow your local government school’s curriculum. Otherwise, IGCSE / O Level is a good choice for homeschooling.
IGCSE syllabi are written for the current international audience. You will find interesting content addressing the global arena, as opposed to the more locally oriented curriculum such as O Level and GCSE.
Children who learn global facts at an early age would be more likely to be open-minded and able to mix with and respect other cultures.
Step 3: Plan Your Teaching Programmes
Once you have chosen your curriculum/exam board, you need to plan your teaching programmes from start to finish.
It might sound intimidating for a start, however, if you plan well, it would be very fun and rewarding.
Here are some suggestions you could use:
Generally, primary Year/Grade 1 would start from age 6/7, depending on which country you are residing. In our example, we will stick to age 7 as the standard Year/Grade 1 age for most of the countries worldwide.
You may choose to educate your child for 6-year primary programme － that is a normal practice and minimum requirement internationally.
Your child would finish primary programme at age 12.
Your child would NOT obtain any primary school leaving certificate, nor any formal primary exams certificates.
If you think these certificates are important, you may plan to enter your child into a formal primary school at Year/Grade 5, just to proceed to Year/Grade 6 and sit for the formal primary exams.
The reason why you should do it in Year/Grade 5, that is because no schools in the world would take new students in Year/Grade 6.
These certificates might be helpful if you suddenly can’t cope with the teaching nor have any more time to complete the secondary programmes by yourself, and want to register your child with any formal secondary schools, you certainly need those certificates.
This is the ‘halfway marathon’. Please put this in mind from the start.
Lower Secondary Stage:
Once you have accomplished primary programme, it’s time for you to start ‘Lower Secondary’ programme. At this point in time, it would be Year/Grade 7 for schooled children.
The lower Secondary programme can be quite flexible if your child has very strong basic and could cope faster.
The general Lower Secondary programme lasts for 3 years － Year/Grade 7, 8 and 9.
If you think your child could do 2 years only, then proceed to the Upper Secondary programme, you are more than welcome to do so.
But please know that we do not encourage speedy zooming through this stage just to get your child graduate faster. What’s the point at the end of the day? Is entering university at very young age a vital and meaningful goal to achieve? Guess not.
If your child follows the normal 3-year Lower Secondary programme, he/she would be 15 years old at the end of the programme.
If you make a shortcut, just do a 2-year programme, then your child would be 14 years old at the end of the Lower Secondary programme.
Again, your child would NOT obtain any formal Lower Secondary certificates, nor this is required for the final exam in IGCSE / O Level.
This is where the stamina to keep going on for home education gets low, and problems would arise if you want to send your child to any formal second school. Since your child does not have any formal primary certificates (assuming you did not get one for them from the suggestion above), no schools would accept him/her.
Upper Secondary Stage:
This is a 2-year programme, generally. This is where the IGCSE / O Level programme starts. For the schooled students, it would be Year/Grade 10 and 11.
Again, you might accomplish the whole IGCSE / O Level programme in just 1 year － that is entirely up to the capability of your child (not how parents want it, sorry 🙂 )
Once your child is ready to sit for the final exam, search for the nearest exam centers in your local area. Your local British Council is the best option for private candidates. If you can’t find any British Council near you, you can always try to approach any Cambridge School which accepts private candidates to sit for the exams HERE.
If your child follows the normal route, he/she would be 17 years old when he/she sits for the final exams. Otherwise, cutting short a year would make him/her sitting for the exams at age 16 － that’s the benefit of being home educated.
Finally, this is where your child obtains the official IGCSE / O Level certificates as a home-educated child. This marks the end of your journey in home education for your child － congratulation!
So you see. Home education is a marathon actually. You need to have the strength and stamina to keep going for 10/11 years (starting from Year 1-Year 11) until your child obtains the one and only official exam certificate in your child’s life, that could be used for further studies － either A Level or any other equivalent level.