Sixteen year old Lucy recently achieved 4 A’s, 2 A* and two B’s in her IGCSEs with Wolsey Hall. She discusses her experience of being a homeschooling missionary family and offers some advice to other students.
“Although originally from Northern Ireland, my family are missionaries and as a consequence I have lived in other countries. I spent the first five years of my education in a local school then moved to an international school, but after four years of paying very high fees and having to do some subjects I didn’t enjoy, I decided to try homeschooling.”Ex-pat Family Zeb and River's Story
“I started studying with Wolsey Hall just in time to prepare for IGCSEs. Having attended regular schools previously, I found my homeschooling experience strange at first – adapting to no classmates, no school run and no uniform!
“I am now at the start of my third year and it has become second nature to me. Although life can get a little lonely (not having the same contact with people as you would in a normal school), the positives definitely outweigh the negatives. As it’s just you in the class, the work gets done a lot quicker, and you can do it at your own pace – if there is a module you don’t understand, then you can spend as long as you need to finish it.
Furthermore, tutors are always there to help you, answering any questions you might have and will grade your assignments in half the time it would take at a normal school.
However, you need to be disciplined to get the work done as there is not a teacher constantly checking up on you (although my mum did a good job of that!). Above all, the one thing I love about homeschool is that I decide my hours and my holidays, which allows me to travel back to Northern Ireland to visit my older sister whenever I want without getting behind with class work. Homeschooling also gives me more time to focus on my hobbies – music (piano and guitar), running and going to the gym.
“Last year my favourite subject was English. At the start of the course I found it difficult as Portuguese had been my main language, but thanks to my tutor and some extra tuition via Skype, I grew to enjoy English. I also studied Spanish, Latin, Maths, Physics, Chemistry, Business and Computer Science.
My top tip
“For anyone starting their IGCSEs make sure you choose subjects you have an interest in. I would also advise, in your second year, to start serious revision early for the exams, making sure you understand everything. Leave time to sit plenty of past papers to ensure you know how the exam will work. Although all this hard work will seem never ending, it is worth it as you will be rewarded with great results.
“On the subject of sitting exams, I went back to my old school, where I saw all my old friends which was good. I felt prepared for the exams but even so, I was nervous and doubting if I had done enough. I found some exams very hard but when the results came out, I was both shocked and delighted to find out that I had done well (even in Latin!).
“I am about to begin my A Levels in Maths and Business with Wolsey, as well as Portuguese Language and Literature. I am also studying AS Spanish. This combination will open lots of pathways for university and hopefully will allow me to pursue a career in nursing.”More About Homeschooling Abroad