17th September 2021
Homeschooling GCSEs comes with challenges for both you and your child, from knowing what to teach them to understanding how you can support them. We’ve gathered some of our best tips for supporting learning at home, so your child can ace their GCSEs!
And if you need a bit more help, we’ve got you covered: sign up for a free trial of Your Favourite Teacher to access GCSE English, Maths and Science courses online.
To learn more about our GCSE learning platform and the features we have to offer, watch our guided walkthrough video now.
For parents who have worked from home, you might understand the importance of separating work time and personal time. This is often translated into having a certain area to work, that is away from an area where you typically relax.
The same idea applies to your children learning at home! Having a designated area that is just for learning can improve focus and productivity.
When choosing a space, you should consider if there are any distractions and if your child can easily access everything they need. This means that their bedroom might not be a good option, as this is also typically an area that teenagers enjoy relaxing in.
Another key way to improve productivity with home learning is to create a learning timetable. It is undeniable that having a schedule can help your child get into that important learning routine. It will also reduce the time you spend planning each day.
A schedule can be as simple as planning time slots for certain subjects, on certain days. For example, your child will know that on a Tuesday, they have English Literature from 10am-11am. You can then use this to plan in advance what you will cover in each slot, for example, you might plan to learn how to analyse Macbeth’s character traits.
It is also crucial to remember to include breaks in your schedule. Regular breaks can keep your child motivated at home. Having these at the same time each day will also ensure they can get into their routine.
When studying for GCSEs at home, your child will need to be registered with an exam board for each subject. The most popular exam boards include AQA, OCR and Edexcel, but there are many out there, so taking the time to look through each option is always recommended.
Every exam board has different specifications and requirements for each of its qualifications. Some subjects might require your child to complete a higher percentage of coursework than others, and the subject material can differ with each exam board. For example, the lists of texts that can be studied for English Literature are unique to every exam board.
So, spend some time with your child to discuss which exam board will be right for them. You can then download or print out the subject specifications to refer back to.
If you’re wondering how to book GCSE exams or submit coursework, you can find more information on your exam board website:
For every GCSE exam, students will be required to know certain subject knowledge. This is all covered in the national KS4 curriculum. This is just an overview of all subject content that is typically followed in schools.
The GCSE syllabus varies depending on the exam board you choose so it’s important to get to know this and understand the level of detail needed for each topic.
A specification can be downloaded for each subject which outlines the subject content, scheme of assessment and scheme of assessment. In this example from AQA, they have outlined the subject specification for GCSE English Literature.
Sticking to the set syllabus will ensure that no key topics are missed, meaning your child will be prepared for every question that can come up. It can also add structure to your child’s learning, as content will slowly build based on previous learning.
The Your Favourite Teacher platform caters to the syllabuses of the major exam boards and can be used to help your child learn from home in a thorough, structured way.
There are plenty of resources available to you online if you find that traditional textbooks aren’t effective. Online learning is actually a very interactive way to learn, and can help your child build valuable skills such as using initiative and taking responsibility. Plus, it can take away a lot of the pressure on you to keep your child motivated.
You will also find that online platforms provide valuable information that is constantly updated, as opposed to textbooks which can become outdated quickly. With Your Favourite Teacher, your child will learn GCSE subject content in a fun and engaging way, as well as be able to tailor their learning to their needs.
Speaking of regular breaks, letting your child take control of their own learning is important for their progression. Allowing them to take responsibility and learn at their own pace is much more productive than forcing them to rush through topics.
This way, your child can absorb knowledge without added pressure. As a parent, you’ll quickly see how your child learns best, so being adaptable to their needs is the way forward. You’ll discover their strengths and weaknesses, which can also affect how you create your timetable.
With the Your Favourite Teacher platform, it is easy to let your child learn in a way that suits them. They can watch videos and come back to them later to fresh their memory, and tailor their lessons to specific topics they might find trickier.
Learning subject content will take up the majority of learning time when your child first starts GCSEs. However, you’ll never know how much your child is learning without regular tests, quizzes and exam practice.
By integrating tests into your homeschooling routine, you’ll be able to identify gaps in knowledge, strengths and weaknesses and what grade your child is working towards. It will also help them to practice those all-important GCSE exam techniques, and give them exposure to what the exams will be like.
You can find practice papers from previous years on your exam board website:
Alternatively, you can get creative with custom quizzes. With Your Favourite Teacher, the challenges of testing are alleviated. Your child can complete quizzes and worksheets based exactly on what they have just learnt, and you can easily track and monitor their progress.
Looking for online GCSE courses for homeschooling? Our courses cover all the core subjects, including GCSE English Language, English Literature, Maths and Science.