Curricula Ideas

ONLINESCHOOLS.ORG

 Knowing families are faced with identifying the best educational route to take, OnlineSchools.org has created a guide for K-12 online education options. Much has been written about online college education, but online elementary, middle and high school courses are growing in popularity and practicality, especially given the tech-based society we live in. The K-12 resources listed below walk families through the how, the why and where, and answer common questions.

You can see the entire guide along with some of its features here:



A TYPICAL QUESTION PUT BY THOSE CONTEMPLATING HOME EDUCATION: 

when your child is ready for college, what credentials are you going to  present, and how (more important, WHEN) do you start working towards getting those credentials? 

A REPLY FROM VINEETA SOOD 

I am Vineeta. I have two sons, 15 and 11. Both of them have never gone to a traditional school. We all have been involved in the process of learning at home and during our three year stay in Delhi, they have gone to an alternative school…… I have just finished enquiring about the requirements for education beyond tenth class. Thought I can share with you what I have found. 

In fact, all your child needs to get an admission in a Pre University college ( pre degree two year college equivalent to 11th and 12th)  or class 11th in a senior secondary school is a tenth grade certificate. Various Boards through which you can do your tenth are CBSE, ICSE, NIOS, IGCSE and some new coming international agencies. CBSE and ICSE are generally the boards which the children going to regular schools opt for. For a child learning through alternative systems, the options are NIOS, IGCSE (through British Council) and any other international board. NIOS is National Institute of Open Schooling established by Ministry of Human resource Development, Govt. of India. You can find more information about this from NIOS website:  www.nios.ac.in. For IGCSE, you can go to google and search for IGCSE. You will come across various sites. CIE is one operating in India. There you will get lots of information. If you have some specific questions that I can answer, please let me know. 

So far as 'when to start preparing' is concerned, the child learns a whole lot of things as he/she grows and explores when not hounded by adults all the time. The last two years are enough to do a focused study keeping in mind the volume of the syllabus involved and training to write an exam. My son is now preparing for his tenth grade. He will appear for tenth grade exam through NIOS in April 2006.

I hope this information will help. In case there are any queries that I can clarify, I will be very happy to respond.  

Vineeta is willing to enter into correspondence with those who have further questions. She can be contacted at: vineetasood5178@yahoo.com


Cambridge International Exams
Cambridge International Exams (CIE) are an attractive option to many home-educators. See their website athttp://www.cie.org.uk/qualifications/academic/middlesec/igcse/overview

And there is also information on the British Council site, who are involved in the administration of the CIE -http://www.flyingcolours.org.uk
 
The syllabus for the IGCSE curriculum can be downloaded from the official website of the education department of the government in UK. The link is http://www.standards.dfes.gov.uk. Browse through the site. It has a plethora of information. lf you go to the subsection, http://www.standards.dfes.gov.uk/schemes3, you will find the curriculum by subject and Key Stage in the order it should be done.

Regarding books, most of the Cambridge Books are now available in almost all book stores. But if they are not available or too expensive then other resources can be used and tested against past exam papers downloaded off the net from sites like cie.org and edexcel. There is an excellent site for older children, which has a lot of study material, with study guides and essay type questions. It is called www.sparknotes.com.  For younger children a very good site to help them learn and test themselves would also behttp://www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice/learningenglishhttp://www.britishcouncil.org/kids.htm and especiallyhttp://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/websites/4_11


IGCSE (the old 'O' levels) is equivalent to class X examination and 'A' levels is equivalent to class XII examination, when compared to Indian system of education. “AS” is equivalent to the first year of the A level course. There are also lower secondary and primary programs.

How CIE meshes with the Indian Exam System
For 'O' levels, to be recognized by all the Indian universities and boards, there are a few conditions. The candidate must select minimum of five subjects. There are three main sections, languages, sciences and social sciences and the child needs to select at least one subject from each major area and then appear for all the subjects in one sitting. This means the child cannot appear for two subjects in September and three in April or any such split. (This applies for NIOS also.) Having done that, the child's result must be declared before 31st of July to be accepted as a candidate in class XI in the given year. However, IGCSE exam results are out only in sometime in August. This means suppose the child needs to seek admission in class XI (through a school or PUC) in June 2010, the child must appear for his/her exams in September 2009 so that his result is declared by Jan/Feb. 2010 and he can apply for admission in the schools/colleges.

ICSE expects the child to have cleared any one Indian language as a second language in class X to be eligible to appear for class XII through ICSE board. However if the child wants to continue with IGCSE for class XII as well then there are no problems. one can split the exams as one feels like. 

How and under what conditions, 'A' levels are accepted by Indian boards and universities, I have yet to do my research on that.
To Register for CIE
To register for IGCSE, you can follow two paths. One is registering through the British Council Library and the other, you can find out which are the schools in your city which are registered with CIE or Edexcel. The exams are held twice a year. once in sept/Oct and then in April/May. You can register three months prior to the month of examination. However, it helps to make all these enquiries about a year in advance so that you don't miss out on any crucial information and if there is something to be taken care of, one has enough time to do so. All the requirements you can find out either from the British Council or from the school through which your child will appear for IGCSE exams.
IGCSE exam requires a bit of expenditure which is not so any Indian boards. I had enquired about it two years ago and found out that British council is more expensive as compared to a school registered with these agencies. 

Vineeta.
 
National Open School of India
(also known as the National Institute Open School of India)
http://www.nos.org/index.htm

 
The Education Satellite "EDUSAT"
was launched by Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) on 20th September 2004. The main purpose of this is to provide education to all people primarily children from remote areas of the country who cannot go to schools or colleges. To continue please transfer to this page EDUSAT.

An example of a Unit study on India 
- by Svani

An educational programme for the children of farming communities 
- by Nyla Coelho

"ImprovEDU”

Dedicated to connecting those wanting to learn with educational materials available online for free 


LearnEnglish Kids - http://learnenglishkids.britishcouncil.org/en/ - free online games to help children learn English the fun way.

English Grammar Basics - http://www.talkenglish.com/grammar/grammar.aspx - 30 lessons on the principles of grammar.