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Is your child home-schooled? Look at some Private Candidature options

After the major decision to home-school your child has been taken and implemented at home, parents of children who are nearing the end of the high school curriculum often need guidance on the next step to be taken:

How to assess my home-schooled child at a national or international level? How do I as a parent ensure the best future for my child for college and further studies?

Home-Schooled children have the Private Candidature option to sit for exams taken by the regular school children. Which means, your child can take the examination along with regular students as a private candidate for school leaving assessment.

However, there are a few things to bear in mind:

Choosing a curriculum that supports Private Candidature

Consider some of the major educational boards in your country (assuming home schooling is legal) – for instance in India, they are CBSE, NIOS, ICSE, Cambridge International etc. Here, parents should note that ICSE and CBSE do not entertain private candidature, meaning if you have chosen CBSE curriculum for your home-schooled child then be aware that at the end of the schooling, your child cannot sit for the common CBSE school leaving exam along with regular students. This is the case with many state boards as well.

The NIOS (National Institute of Open Schooling), which is an autonomous institute under the HRD ministry supports Private Candidature.

Alternatively, the Cambridge Assessment International Education, —namely the IGCSE (Class X), and Cambridge ‘AS’ and ‘A’ levels (Classes XI and XII) exams are also available to home-schooled children.

Hence, parents should ensure they choose the curriculum for their child with this very basic requirement in mind.

Choosing an Exam Board based on type of examination

For Private candidature, just choosing a board based on subjects that will enrich your child’s education is not enough. Do look into the type of examination conducted by the exam board – what are the specifications for each examination? Browse through enough sample assessment material available online or offline and then make an informed choice for your child.

Your child may excel at the curriculum, but at the end of the day, if private candidature is taken, then the type assessment tools used during the final examination should also be considered.

Recognition of the Exam Results Nationally and Internationally:

Apart from being allowed to take the examination for home-schooled children, parents should ensure that the exam results are acceptable or recognised at a national level. With students increasingly opting for under graduation degrees abroad after high school, it is imperative that the exams results are recognised internationally as well.

With home education becoming more popular in the US and worldwide, including India, there are fewer number of people questioning the academic excellence demonstrated by home-schooled children. As per several surveys conducted in each country, many home-schooled children perform well in school leaving class X and XII exams and standardised tests as private candidates. Do check with the national home-schooling educational websites that provide detailed information on Private Candidature with the most up to date news.

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