Isobel Hughes


Isobel Hughes, home-educated NEC student

Home-educated Isobel Hughes found learning with NEC to be a fantastic way to study for her IGCSEs before moving on to work towards A levels in a college.

Isobel’s father taught her maths himself, but she chose four more IGCSEs from NEC to study at the same time. She opted for English language, geography and biology, seeing them as key subjects, as well as child development, which she thought would help prepare her for motherhood later in life.

Having completed her IGCSEs, Isobel’s now taking a gap year before deciding what to do next. One thing she clearly won’t be doing is sitting around twiddling her thumbs.

‘Within this gap year,’ she says, ‘I am learning AS mathematics – possibly A2 as well – doing a cookery course, an art course, driving lessons, piano lessons, babysitting and hopefully visiting some friends in Florida. So basically it’s a very practical year out to discover what I would like to do in the long term and also to learn things that I might never have the chance to learn or do if I were to get stuck straight into A levels and then a job.’

Having completed her IGCSEs, Isobel has the following advice to anyone looking to learn by home education themselves: ‘Really plan it all out so that you know exactly how much of each subject you have to do per day and you don’t find yourself panicking and rushing everything at the end before the exams.
‘Exams two years away seems like forever but by the second year they come up fast and you save yourself a lot of trouble if you are organised!

‘Also, if you are doing English language or literature, practise writing your essays within a certain amount of time and then spend some time on the editing. This way you will learn to produce good-quality essays in a limited time, which is essential in the exams.’

Another excellent tip from Isobel is to take a close look at exactly what topics each course covers, and to prepare yourself as best you can for any exams.

‘For all the subjects you need to leave plenty of time for the revision which not only involves memorising but also collecting the information to revise. I would advise printing out the syllabus and then making memory cards with key words as well as pictures of the information that you know will be in the exam due to the syllabus.

‘Don’t be at all hesitant to contact your tutor if you need any help – that’s what they’re paid for!’

When she’s not studying or learning something new, Isobel enjoys being in the company of her family and devoting time to her faith.