What can you expect from us and what do we expect from you?
What you can expect from your ECHO Tutor
Before beginning the course
We have written the course introduction to help you get started but please do email your tutor if you have any questions about how to get started. As with anything it will become easier as you get started and begin to build a working relationship with your tutor as you send questions and Follow up work. You may find that IGCSE level work feels like a large leap from learning you have done before – many students do find this and it is nothing to worry about. You will soon adjust.
We will mark one topic at a time, via email, within 48 hours of receiving it. We will mark each topic only once although you are welcome to work through the course several times if you have time. We will give full feedback along with links to other websites or videos if more help is needed. If the questions are incomplete or answers contain significant errors your tutor may give you hint and encourage you to try it again and send it again for marking. Please note that we work Monday to Friday. You are welcome to send questions or marking over weekends but we will respond the following working day.
We will reply to questions, via email, within 48 hours. In our experience contact via email is best as we can write out an explanation, send links to websites and videos and give further examples and practice questions.
Occasionally, however, in the unusual event, that a better explanation could be given by phone we will arrange a mutually convenient time to speak. We answer questions Monday to Friday. We also continue to work throughout school holidays so you are able to continue working whilst schools stop. We will be able to write explanations or send you links to Youtube clips or other resources to help.
Once you have finished the course you will need to revise and complete as many past exam papers as you can. We are here to help and advice and, for an additional fee, we are able to mark a set of past papers with full feedback. We recommend that you aim to complete the course at least 2 months before your exam if possible to then focus on revision.
What we expect from parents
Before beginning the course
Please read through the course introduction with the student to make sure that they know how the course works. It may help to set up a weekly timetable looking at the number of topics and the number of weeks over which they hope to complete the course material.
Some students need support from home, whilst others are able to work more independently. If your child requires support please ensure that they are sending their work at the end of each topic to their tutor. Also please ensure that they are reading and working through the feedback from each topic. There may well be things there that they need to put in place as they go along and corrections to incorrect understanding that they will need as they progress.
Do encourage the student firstly to try and find out the answer themselves. Almost always the answers are in the textbook or a simple Youtube or internet search will give them the answer and allow them to move forward. Please support the student in contacting us themselves with questions relating to the topics. We find that this contact with the tutor helps us to build a relationship with the student and to help them in the best way for them. It helps us to understand exactly what it is they are stuck on too.
Obviously if your child has a learning disability and requires your help this is fine.
Also, if you have any questions regarding other aspects of the course, registering for the exam etc please contact us. We are all home educators ourselves and are very happy to share our experiences if you feel they might help.
Most of our courses come with a revision guide – please go through this with your child and help them to set themselves a revision timetable. You will need to book them into an exam centre approx. 3 – 4 months before the exam. Your child may need you to help them to mark past papers and to decide what examiners are looking for in the mark scheme.
What we expect from students
Before beginning the course
Please read through the course introduction before you begin. It will explain exactly how the course works. If you have any questions then do email your tutor for advice. We do recommend that you make yourself a timetable – look at the number of topics in the course and then number of weeks over which you hope to complete the material This will help you to finish in advance of the exams and give yourself plenty of revision time. Make sure that you know how you will email your work to your tutor and save her email address for asking questions as you go along.
Please complete the Follow Up Work at the end of each topic and on the sheets from the course. Scan or photograph it and email it to your tutor. Use Black pen for what you know and blue if you had to look things up. The answers are all to be found in the textbook although if you get stuck you can always look up the answer online. It is better for you to use the textbook or internet to find the answer you are looking for while you are thinking of it, rather than to leave it blank and wait for us to complete it. This is a perfectly valid learning tool at this stage.
In the first instance may we ask that you read through the question you are struggling with several times and look through the textbook to find the answer. Then before contacting us we suggest you try BBC Bitesize – type in your question and BBC Bitesize GCSE then the subject area (e.g. chemistry). This allows you to actively solve the problem and move on rather than waiting for us to reply. Please email specific questions to your tutor as you go along. We are all home educating mums and very used to helping our own and other home educating students with their studies, so if you can, please contact us yourselves. When you do please include: Which subject ie Biology, Chemistry etc Which exam board: CIE, Edexcel If it relates to a set book, give its name and the page number. If it relates to a page from an Echo course, please be specific. If it relates to an exam paper – please give the subject name, the exam board, which paper, which year, and sitting. As you can appreciate each tutor has many students all at different points in the course and this will speed up our ability to respond. Please do cancel your question with your tutor if you work out the answer – our tutors can spend up to an hour writing out a detailed explanation to find students reply to say ‘oh don’t worry – I worked it out!’
You will need to work though past papers and revise each topic. Your tutor will be available to help if you have any questions or need any advice. You should aim to re watch all the Youtube clips in the course and make revision notes.