We’ve decided to press ahead with Maryam and Danyal’s A-levels despite Danyal having only done 3 iGCSE’s – he’ll probably do two more this coming November and January.
Maryam has been working on her A-level Biology with Isabelle for a few months. I’ve decided to keep the momentum (ha ha!) with their Physics iGCSE and go for the Physics A-level rather than a Maths A-level, which we’ll do later. Also, given I have a degree in physics, I feel a little nostalgic about it all, so physics it is.
We have 4 months until their Physics A-level exams – it was either that or drag it on for an extra year. 4 seems like a good a challenge.
A lot of people ask me why the urgency? My response is why the complacency? We’re not doing 12 hour days – we’re doing a total of 5 or 6 hours of study during each weekday, no homework – and there is tons of time for sport, reading, meeting friends and pissing about.
I told them on the day they started studying for their Physics A-level that the spoon feeding needs to stop – they can grab me if they don’t understand things, they have the text book, they have Google, they have each other. They work when they want, if they want. It’s their lives and it’s up to them, not me, to get the A* so not have to go through the pain of a resit.
The pep talk has worked. The physics text book is 166 pages, and four days into it they have gone through 65 pages – so that’s 40% of the syllabus (hello?) – but bear in mind it’s the first 40 pages so it’s mostly covering iGCSE stuff they’ve already done – and at this stage there would be some gaps in their understanding of the material they’ve covered. Hopefully they’ll be done with the text book in another 2 weeks and then it’s just past papers, which will fill any gaps, until they do their exams.
How can my kids even have a chance of doing an A-level in 4 months? Trust me, they’re not geniuses – it’s just that they are leveraging off the power of intensity.
I’ll keep you posted on progress…
Someone has already asked me how the kids will do the practical exam. I’ve found out that although the board, Edexcel, says it’s ‘compulsory’, it is really optional – it doesn’t affect the grade, and if one does the practical they just get an extra 1 or 2 next to their grade, which no-one cares about. Do I care that the kids will not learn how to do physics practicals? No.
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