Saturday, 28 July 2018

Learning At Home With Exemplar Education

Earlier this year, we took the decision to remove our 5 year old son Tyne from school in favour of pursuing home education.

There were many reasons we chose this route, but one of them was that we weren't happy with the standard of education he was receiving at school and we felt that we would be able to meet his needs more fully from home on a one to one basis.

It's now been 6 months since our Home Ed journey began, and throughout that time we've tried lots of different educational tools to help us along the way. We've chosen not to follow the national curriculum strictly, but to use it as a loose guideline for the core subjects of maths and english.
These are the subjects that we feel are the most important and the ones that will be most beneficial to him during his lifetime, and so right now they are our main focus when it comes to his education.

We use a few different approaches to learning...some days Tyne will do some workbooks, other days he'll use apps...and as Home Ed is still pretty new to us, I'm always on the lookout for new tools we can use to help us along the way.

One service we've discovered recently is Exemplar Education.

Exemplar Education is an online tutoring platform to teach Maths & English to children from Year 1 through to Year 12. You can start using it at any point along the way, but obviously we're starting from the very beginning.

In order to use the Exemplar system, you need to request a free home visit from one of their representatives who will come and do some simple assessments to check that the programme will be beneficial for your child and to ascertain where on the programme they should begin.

We had a lovely guy named Satinder come out to visit us, he was very friendly and personable with Tyne and made the quick and easy assessment fun for him. He took the time to demonstrate how the Exemplar programme works not only to us but to Tyne himself as well, which I thought was really important.

If you decide after your no-commitment meeting that Exemplar is right for you, then the representative will get you set up on the system. Satinder told us that the subscription includes a laptop with the programme installed which I thought made the whole thing sound like great value for money when you compare it to the cost of private tuition, and the use of their own laptop makes it super straight forward too.

Exemplar uses a combination of video and interactive questions to teach children - when a new topic is started, a video produced by real teachers takes the child through the lesson in an age appropriate way, and then the child has the chance to practise what they've just learned with a series of questions.

There are regular tests given to check their learning along the way too - if a test result shows that a child has some gaps in their learning, the programme won't allow them to move forward until they can demonstrate their understanding of that particular area - encouraging them to go over it until they're confident.

If you prefer to, you can download worksheets from the system to use too which is something we've been doing quite often.

The topics are automatically set in order by Exemplar so the child works through them one at a time, moving on only when they've achieved an 80% pass mark in the end of topic assessment.

What I love about Exemplar's service is that the parent area allows you to see how your child is doing, how long they're spending working and how long each assessment is taking them. I find this really useful as I can see whether or not Tyne is just flicking through the questions or actually taking time over them.

Another great thing about the service is that your subscription gives you access to a Freephone helpline where you can speak with their Tutors if you or your child are struggling to understand a certain topic for extra support, or even just if they have a homework problem from school that they're struggling with. There's even an interactive whiteboard facility which can be viewed by both the teacher and student at the same time so, although they are not physically in the home, they can offer visual learning assistance as though they were.

Because of course, Exemplar isn't just good for Home educated children but it also offers a fantastic resource for school children who would benefit from extra help too.

As a mother of more than one child, I was also pleased to find out that Exemplar Education gives access to all children within a family - allowing each of them to have their own logins and progress through the system at their own rate - for just one price.  Now of course it isn't exactly a cheap service, but when you tally up the cost of private tuition for 3 children over the course of the number of years they would have left at school (so the full 12 years for us!) and add a laptop to certainly works out more cost effective.

There are a number of ways that you can pay for Exemplar Education, including finance arrangements and pay as you go options, and of course the finance arrangements are monitored by the FCA and there is, as always, a 14 day cooling off period.

We've been using Exemplar for just over a week now, and we think it's a fantastic service. Tyne finds it very straightforward and engaging to use, and I love that it removes the pressure for me to find and organise maths & english work for him regularly - it's perfect for us!

If  you feel that your child would benefit from additional support with Maths & English but you don't feel that a private tutor is right for you, then Exemplar Education could be the ideal solution.

 You can find out more at

*With thanks to Exemplar Education for partnering with us on this review

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