Exams and Homeshooling: Preparing homeschooled children for qualifications

Picture has a clock sitting on a notebook with a pen and a mortarboard hat to represent qualifications.
(Last Updated On: 25/04/2022)

Exams have to be the most stressful thing any student has to go through. Children become noticeably stressed, and parents start worrying too. Not to mention the parents who home school their children. No parent wants to see their child fail a test, let alone do one when they are not “fully” prepared. However, this can be so hard if you are unsure which way is the best to use while preparing your children for an upcoming exam.

 How to prepare homeschooled children for exams

1. Start early

Something about the last-minute rush never sits right with me, especially when the rush involves reading and understanding concepts minutes or hours before the test. The key to feeling ready for an exam, a test, or even an interview is to start the preparations early. Set small achievable goals you can select a topic or two a day, and go through them as if you expect to be tested later that day. Knowing that exams are around the corner, planning your revision strategy will help keep you in ensuring that you are fully prepared. This tip applies to children in private or public schools and homeschooled children. “I have the best cramming power,” they say. However, overcramming hurts anyone who uses the technique to study for an exam. It adds unnecessary pressure making it hard for the student to reason clearly during a test.

2. Create a revision timetable

As a homeschooling parent, you also have your projects to deal with, meaning that you will not always be with your child preparing for the exam. Therefore, creating a revision timetable shows how you can tackle your workload and your child’s exam preparation. Identify your child’s strengths and weaknesses and allocate time accordingly. For example, your child might not be that good in math, and you want them to get a better grade, take the chance to allocate more time for math study in the revision timetable. Here is a trick that might do it! Start the revision during the morning hours with the complex subjects first. When your homeschoolers’ minds are alert and processing fast, it is necessary to do so. As much as you are preparing your child for exams, remember that these are children, and they need to catch a break. Add break sessions to their revision timetables and try as much as possible to keep the timetable as flexible as you can.

3. Do past test papers at home with a timer.

As a parent, revision alone is not enough for your child. There are some factors like timing that you might overlook only for them to be a cause for alarm during your child’s exam. Timing your child as they would in an exam room is advantageous. It helps them avoid the pressures they encounter while doing a timed task. Timing is everything in a test! Practice makes progress, and the more they do practical timed tests at home, the more they will improve and be ready for the timed exam.

4. Understand the purpose of the test

Helping a homeschooler prepare for a test would not be as hard if they understood why they were doing the test in the first place. A student who knows the importance of an exam will be more willing to study and pass the test without feeling overworked. An exam could test a student’s skills or even use the grades to determine entry into a specific program or school. On the other hand, students who feel like exams are only set to torture them will not adequately prepare for a test since they are not motivated enough.

5. Teach homeschoolers how to pace themselves properly

Like everyone else, dealing with a high-stress situation like an exam might cause panic. As a parent to a homeschooler, you should show them how to properly pace themselves during an exam in a cool, calm, and collected manner. It will enable them to deliver quality work that has been thought through without rush. It should be made clear to them that finishing first does not always guarantee you a win, but writing what is correct and required for you in the paper. Skipping a problematic question to gain marks on the ones you know should be criteria homeschoolers should be enlightened on. Focus on one question you might not even find the answer to eventually is not a smart move in the exam room.

6. Select the centre for the exam

As a homeschooling parent, you have to know where your child will take the exam. It could be a school or an examination centre where other students will be. However, a parent might feel that since their child has been homeschooled, they may not fit in comfortably in the set examination centres. Therefore, while deciding where the exams will happen, the parent might settle for having their child take their tests from home. It is not a bad idea if the parent is qualified to invigilate the exam. For this reason, it is necessary to set up a room in the house which will be fit to set up as the examination room. Make sure a clock is available and do not give any unique treatments regardless.

7. Motivate your child

Just like reading and understanding are critical factors in exam preparations, a motivated child will feel more confident while preparing for an exam. Tell them that no matter how they feel, you still believe in them and are confident they will do their best. Remind them consistently how proud of them you are and that they are ready to conquer the exams because they can. Children feel more ready when their parent shows them no doubt.


Exam preparation is vital and helpful if done correctly. You might be shocked how much a child can improve their scores if you properly help them prepare for an exam.

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