To IB or not IB?

To IB, or not to IB?

What is the International Baccalaureate and can it be home-schooled?

I’ve had several requests from parents in the past for a private tutor for the International Baccalaureate, or IB. As one of the three main education systems it is an internationally recognised and well-respected course that, in many ways, has the edge over traditional UK or US systems. With a broader range of subjects and a deeper level of required knowledge, it’s easy to see why parents would be keen on such a pathway.


Where’s the debate?

What’s confusing for parents is that the IB can’t be home schooled – at least, not in the same way as UK or US exams can. Because the IB has to be assessed in a particular way it can only be taught in IBO registered schools. It is perfectly possible to study the IB course content at home, or adopt an IB-style teaching method, but you can only take the exams in an IBO-registered school.
Is there any place for the IB in the home schooling system?

Definitely. There are private tutors who can offer after-school or holiday support for children in IB schools, which can make a huge difference to a student’s exam results and widen their subject knowledge, something very advantageous for a system like the IB.

There are, of course, also lots of good things about the UK and the US systems for home-schooled students. For the US route you only need to be registered in a school (or online school) in order to complete a transcript and graduate, and with the UK system you don’t even have to be enrolled, just take an official exam at the end. Indeed, some home-schooled children study both at the same time to broaden their horizons and future options.

However, the IB does have many benefits, in terms of its international recognition and its challenging material. Focusing on helping young people become socioculturally aware, with inquiring minds, the IB does not spoon-feed pupils with dates and facts.

And that is why many parents believe the IB to be the best educational route. Nevertheless, home schoolers looking for a full-time tutor for private tuition need to understand that although the IB philosophy and course material can be studied privately, their children won’t be able to be assessed in the official IB exam.


What’s the solution?

If you’re home schooling your children and impressed by the IB then private tutors can offer a means to emulate it. By tutoring the US or UK curriculum styled around the IB’s ethos and rigorous assessment, your child will get best of both worlds. This type of tutoring can promote active and engaged learners and also allow them to gain recognised qualifications.

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Where can Home Educating families buy the IB curriculum so they can follow it?