Like most parents, I am very keen to support my children to do as well as they can at school. And now that my two boys are in their GCSE years, the pressure is really on. It’s time to translate potential into the kind of results that will open doors to the next stage of their lives.
Now, much as I love him and am blinded to his faults, it’s very apparent that one of my lovely boys could never be accused of being overly engaged with his schoolwork. ‘Do enough to get by’ is usually his motto. Don’t get me wrong, he has a phenomenal ability to focus and stay on task when he is interested. I have no doubt that when he finds his niche he will fly with it. It’s just that his passion and self-motivation seldom seems to coincide with what he is studying at school.
Not ideal for upcoming GCSE examinations.
So when I was contacted by Audiopi to do a review of their GCSE/A Level audio tutorials, I spotted an opportunity. Audiopi offered me free access to all their revision tutorials in return for an honest review. Quick to spot the faintest chance to ignite an interest in actual school topics, I readily agreed.
Predictably, the boy was less keen and not the least bit enticed by the offer of a treasure trove of learning – so I resorted to bribery and offered to pay him a fiver out of my own pocket to do a review for me. Anything to get him at least looking at the website. (Don’t judge me you parents of tweens – just wait till you are staring down the barrel of GCSEs and then we’ll see how many are left on the moral high ground!).
He negotiated me down to just bullet points and retreated to his bedroom with laptop, headphones and a pen and paper. Later, he presented me with a crumpled piece of paper and seemed jolly enough, though not especially forthcoming. I had suggested he pick a History topic and he claimed to have listened to a whole tutorial. ‘Was it interesting?’ I asked. ‘Yes,’ he said. ‘Did you learn anything helpful for school?’ ‘No. But I learnt lots about weird medical instruments in the past.’
Rookie parenting mistake – I should, of course, have been more specific. He had chosen to listen to a podcast totally unrelated to his actual GCSE curriculum which covers modern history and the Cold War. (To be fair to Audiopi, it must have been a deliberate decision as the tutorials are clearly labelled according to exam board and topic).
If you’re interested, his bullet point review is below. If you want my opinion, then I would say that it’s probably worth providing as many and as varied opportunities as possible to support your children in their learning. Just don’t be surprised if not all of them work. Sometimes it’s the trying that counts.
- very easy to use and find the topic you want to learn about
- good clear audio
- lots of audio tutorials
- would be better with a script you could read along with
- good facts and formal teaching
- I would recommend this to a friend
- could have an option to have a shorter less detailed audio tutorial
For advice on supporting teens with learning see How to support teens and tweens to become better students and Teaching teens self-organisation skills.
Disclaimer: I was not paid to write this post. However, we did receive free access to all the Audiopi tutorials. Ever the optimist, I am still hopeful that maybe with the older one, or perhaps at A level, we might get some use out of it. See Disclosure Notice for more info on how I work with brands. I did give my son £5 for his input.
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©Anita Cleare 2017