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Saturday, 17 September 2016

A New Season

A new season brings change. This Autumn I have been home educating for 18 years. (Since the eldest was 4). The eldest is now in a permanent job, second eldest looking for a permanent job, and the third eldest started a BTEC in Electronical ,and Electrical engineering.
Why did he choose the BTEC?
Well,after getting through to the final interview stages of a top apprenticeship, and not being accepted it caused him to look at other options. Apprenticeships are like gold dust, and thousands apply with only a handful of places. Doing a BTEC means he gets the hands on and academic studies.-All in the career he wants to pursue. Leading to the equivalent of 3 A levels, which includes Maths. After that is either an advanced apprenticeship, or HND.
Why not university you ask?
Well, the cost would be at least £9,000 a year, which doesn't include living, and that is for four years. Too many employers complain that engineering graduates lack the hands on knowledge to be able to do the jobs required. So, this is a cheaper option, and a perfect balance. I know BTEC doesn't have a wonderful reputation in general, but I believe that is due to the subjects covered being broad; for example you can do a BTEC in hair dressing. It would be easy to argue that would not be the equivalent of A levels.
So, what do you need for a BTEC in Engineering?
At least 4 GCSE's grades C and above. These have to include two sciences, and English and Maths. The maths is really important, as you will be studying Maths to A level standard, and expected to work with complex statistics and equations.
It never stops really! I am finding this is probably the hardest part of my home educating years! Adult children are challenging in a different sort of way, and the added pressure of exams, whilst trying to still teach the youngest four.
Meanwhile, the next three are studying for their IGCSE'S in the sciences, maths, and English. At one point I was seeing exam papers in my sleep!!
So, if you are trying the apprenticeships route first, then do make sure you have hobbies that match the apprenticeships. My son was into turbo CAD software, and made a portfolio of projects. He also has his own oscilloscope, which he used on projects. Don't make the mistake of listing too many other hobbies, they will think you won't have time to work!