Homeschooled in Belgium

Seventeen-year-old Faith has always been homeschooled in Belgium but she began studying with Wolsey Hall Oxford when she was aged 14. She completed her IGCSEs, achieving a very impressive set of results – 8 A*s.

Faith is now continuing her studies with Wolsey Hall by taking A level Economics, Psychology, English Language and Sociology.

A week after enrolling with Wolsey Hall, Faith discovered that her grandfather had also studied with Wolsey Hall in the 1950s!

IGCSE English Lieterature student reading a set text

Wolsey Hall Oxford has been supporting students worldwide for 130 years.

Is there a typical day?

“Every day, we start schooling around 9am, and we generally finish school around 4pm, depending on the evening’s schedule of after-school activities. We don’t have a set schedule stating which subject we will do each day, as this usually depends on which assignments are due and what we feel like. That’s one of the great things about homeschooling – if I’m excited about and on a roll with Psychology, for instance, I can choose to spend the whole day on that and keep the momentum going. If we need a change of pace, we can just pick up one of the other subjects.”

“I enjoy all my subjects (although I admit that I find English, especially language analysis essays, to be the most challenging), but my favourite is definitely Economics. I generally find it to be a very clear and logical subject, making it quick and easy to grasp – and I just love drawing graphs. In terms of times of day to study, I generally prefer to study earlier in the day, and definitely while the sun is still up. I find it much easier to stay focused in natural light, even though it is, of course, necessary to burn the midnight oil at times closer to the exams.”

Faith is homeschooled in Belgium

Life outside studies

Faith has a busy life when not studying for her A levels. She enjoys dance, tennis, archery and reading alongside her musical and scouting activities.

“I’m involved in quite a range of extracurricular activities, all of which I’m very enthusiastic about. I play the violin and the piano, and these music lessons fit well into our homeschooling routine. In terms of musical achievements, some of the pieces I am proudest of are ‘Maple Leaf Rag’ by Scott Joplin, which I was very passionate about playing and thus learnt very quickly on the piano, and the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto in E Minor which was a big challenge – but very satisfying when I finally learnt and performed it!”

“In addition, I’m a British Explorer Scout and an Explorer Scout Young Leader. I volunteer with two younger Scout sections – the Cubs (8-10 years old) and the Squirrels (4-5 years old).”

“I’m currently also working on the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award – gold level (having completed the bronze and silver levels) and the King’s Scout Award. My Gold Adventurous Journey, which I completed during the summer, is one of my favourite achievements. I led my team as we hiked in Luxembourg; researching the Battle of the Bulge which took place in that area and writing a powerful letter reflecting on the destructive nature of war; and compiling all our knowledge of Adventurous Journeys into a video project helped me develop plenty of teamwork skills.”

Advice to other homeschoolers

“Wolsey Hall does an excellent job of preparing you for your exams, so make sure you get the most out of your courses. When preparing for my exams, I did piles and piles of past papers, studying not only the content of the syllabi but also exemplar answers, past questions and most importantly – mark schemes. Knowing how your paper is marked will give you a checklist in your head, helping you to make sure you give the examiner what they are looking for. I marked my past papers together with my mum, who teaches and revises with my siblings and I – going through everything carefully like this was a very big help.”

“The support and feedback from my Tutors on the assignments and mock exams was also very valuable, helping me identify areas to work on. I would also emphasise how essential it is to have a positive spirit when approaching your subjects – even those you find difficult or less interesting.”

“A low assignment grade? Find out why your grade was low and what you need to change so you don’t make the same mistake twice. Do you feel like you’re trudging through a module, getting lost in the details? Switch to a different subject for a while to give your mind a change of scenery. A subject feels faraway and complex? Find a way to relate it to your daily life! Discussing topics with my family proved very helpful, as it clarified that I knew the information and helped me remember the topic exam by thinking back to that conversation (which often had some memorably amusing details!). And you know what? The subject you think you’re worst at, usually turns out to be your best – in my case, English!”

Faith has always homeschooled in Belgium

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