Home Education

The Awards can be used within Home Education

The open framework of Dynamic Youth Awards and Youth Achievement Awards enable them to be suitable for learning in any context, which makes them a useful tool for home educators such as Janet Wilson.

Between them, Janet's two children have received eight awards, covering a great variety of work.  We asked Janet what motivated her to use the Awards.

"I began to realise that at the age the girls are at it is difficult to find something that would recognise their achievements.  They had badges from the Guides, but I was looking for something they could do every day.  The girls are forever looking for more challenges, more things to stimulate them, and the Awards seemed to fit that need."

What are the key features of the Awards for you and your children?

"The girls do things they wouldn't normally have done because of the Awards.  For example, when we are doing projects the girls are pushed to go that extra mile, always being asked to consider what else they could do.  They help the girls take on more responsibility.  They are now more capable to self-critique: if an activity they do now doesn't work for them, they critique it and look at ways of making it better. They have also learned how to forward plan.  This helps with school work, because your youth awards have helped them become better at prioritising and planning.   

"Through doing her Youth Achievement Awards Gold level, Adel has learned to delegate.  She had started the award by trying to do everything herself, but soon realised that leadership isn't all about taking on all the work herself."

Home Education
Does the process of external moderation add value to the award?

"Yes.  When someone else externally moderates your work, you get feedback and know where your work is at.  This helps the girls by making them think further through their evidence collection technique because it will be people who don't know them that will moderate what the girls have done."

In what way do you think they support home education?

"The girls do their curriculum at home with me but when it comes to free time they choose what they want to do.  We have a block of days free for them to take on a particular project which we may be able to put forward for an award.  It means we go out and do something they we probably wouldn't have done.  They sometimes aim for dual accreditation with other awards.  They always want to do more - the Awards stimulate further interest."

Our awards don't come with a programme - does that help or hinder?

"It can do both.  What we like about the freedom is that the girls can decide what they want to do."

Home Education

What have your children done to collect their awards?

"Lots!  They have written poetry, taken photographs, attended a felting workshop, written diaries, wrote music, videoed themselves played the harp, worked on a deaf-friendly project, an anti-bullying project, studied the Greek way of life, completed a coastal walk for charity, fundraising, a project on the power of dreams, a personal journey, paintings, made exhibitions in the library, learned about marine conservation and learned about making risk assessments.  They have learned to take minutes, record a meeting, how to form film..."

What do your children say about the Awards?

Karina (age 10) says - "the DYA have helped me achieve and I love doing them"

Adel (age 14) - "the youth awards help me become more confident and I have expanded my knowledge.  I have experienced things which I wouldn't have done if it wasn't for the youth awards - for example, exploring lava tubes in Tenerife."

What is your advice for other homeschoolers?

"I say they should take the opportunity to do the Awards because it gives your children that extra bit on their CVs when they are older.  In school it's easier for children to enter award schemes: they get access to information we don't.  Dynamic Youth Awards and Youth Achievement Awards help them gain recognition they might otherwise miss out on. "