We have officially entered exam season. my eldest son started his Cambridge exam’s which he writes as his previous high school. It’s been a mixed bag of emotions for both of us. It’s his first official exam in a school setting since we started homeschooling. He was met with trepidation and excitement at the thought of going back to his old high school, which felt so strange to him returning as a homeschooler.
When he started at the high school he was given a little booklet of the rules of the school and a lot of it was focused on correct uniform, so he understands how strict the school is regarding uniforms. So been a homeschooler he gets to wear regular clothes when he writes the exam, which he quite enjoyed.
Seeing all his old friends again was awesome for him. They haven’t seen each other in 2 years. They were surprised that his homeschooled and had many questions about the new path we’ve taken. They were also amazed at how tall he’s gone.
His first paper was AS level Afrikaans paper 1 and paper 2 followed in the next few days. This is his final Afrikaans paper. Should he pass these papers he will not need to revisit this subject, which was very appealing to him. We’ve had an Afrikaans tutor who has been assisting him throughout the year, since Afrikaans is not my strong point.
For the 1st Afrikaans paper he had two compulsory comprehension questions. Paper 2 was an essay question. In the beginning of the year Cambridge specifies 4 topics which he had to prepare four different essays, then choose one topic out of the four he prepared. The final paper has the four topics but worded differently. Even though he prepared on the topic, he couldn’t write the exact essay because the question was worded different.
I told him how in matric, I sat to write my Afrikaans Opstel but couldn’t really understand what the topic was about, had never seen the topic before and was expected to write at least two pages. He had an advantage of at least knowing the topic beforehand and was able to prepare.
The entire Cambridge exam because of the vast number of subjects, is spread over a period of six weeks. It’s also an International course so they cater for the many students who write around the world. His exams are therefore spread out quite well over the next few weeks which allows him to study. He also has his TCE (Theocentric Christian Education) syllabus and exams which he will complete in the next four weeks while simultaneously writing his Cambridge exam. I can see he is a little overwhelmed by this because normally in public school all other work ceases when exams start.
He will write Cambridge English paper 1 and paper 2 next week, and end of October Maths paper 1 and 2 and Physical Science paper 1. The last Physical Science exam as well as Business Studies will be written in the beginning of November. He will then start with the TCE exams which is History, English Literature and Character of God (Biblical Studies).
I’m certain that I have prepared him as well as I can for this exam. I need to rest in the fact that he now must apply himself and study and God will strengthen him and guide him through this season. Once completed, the exams are posted off to the Cambridge head office in London to be marked. He will get the results by the 2nd week of January.
We have an intense few weeks ahead of us and I’m praying that he excels.
Deborah Pretorius is a mother of 3 kids and a BCom graduate on the amazing adventure of home schooling her family.