A look at home learning for work or fun- my son tackles an online teaching assistant diploma course.

When the last of my babies was about to start school I panicked slightly. After years in an office writing for paper-based media followed by a looooong career break as a SAHM I wasn't sure what I'd be qualified to do. I just knew I didn't want to go back to the office.

I decided to use the skills I was confident with - writing and communicating - and thought I'd have a crack at building an online career.

Four years later I may not be making loads of money but I don't regret my decision for a minute. I blog and write for websites in the UK, Canada and the US.

I can work even when the children are off sick or on holiday, when my fibromyalgia is playing up or if I'm away from home - the picture below is me working at night in my pyjamas in Cyprus!

It wasn't easy though. I needed to up-skill and with help from a geeky friend (thanks Jon), search engines, other bloggers and blogger conferences I tweaked and fiddled to make my site and social media work for me. I'm still learning as I go.

It actually didn't occur to me to look for an online course but nowadays you can find one you can complete online or on paper with online tutors for almost every career or hobby. There are lots of providers, so you are bound to find one to suit your tastes and budget.

Take NCC Home Learning for example. The site offers a vast range of courses from criminal profiling to creative writing, proof reading to psychology and marketing to mental health.

My son works as in childcare and volunteers at our local school. He hopes to become a teaching assistant but has failed to find a suitable course which fits round his job and volunteer work.

We were delighted to spot that NCC Home Learning offers a course which lets him work online towards a teaching assistant diploma which he can do from his laptop any time and anywhere.

Teenager studying for Online teaching assistant diploma

The teaching assistant course is aimed at people like my son who are working or want to work in an education setting as a teaching assistant. It offers a broad base of skills and knowledge with optional modules so you can really tailor make the course to suit your particular skills and interests.

Mandatory modules include;
  • Providing support for learning activities
  • Supporting children’s development
  • Helping to keep children safe
  • Contributing to positive relationships
  • Providing effective support for colleagues
Then you choose two of the following optional modules;
  • Supporting a child with disabilities or special education needs
  • Supporting children’s play
  • Creating displays
The modules are clearly described - the course works on the basis that he reads about the subject then checks his understanding with multiple choice questions.

When he's finished all the modules he will take a test and if he passes, will be awarded a certificate.

I had a quick peek at the modules and have to say I was impressed. Module 6 for instance is "Use information and communication technology to support pupil's learning" with areas covered including details of the ICT curriculum, planning, monitoring and evaluating the use of ICT resources, ICT assessment and  supporting the learning of children with special educational requirements using ICT.

He's already decided to choose supporting a child with disabilities or special educational needs as one of his optional modules.

My son accessed the course using a unique code and login and has found the course so far interesting and very easy to access.

As I mentioned, there are a variety of courses at a variety of prices. The course my son is doing is currently discounted to £345.60 - it would cost more than that for him to catch a bus to college every day.

You can secure your place with a deposit of just £30 and choose to pay the balance in full or monthly. He does the modules online but you can choose to work on paper if you prefer.

Stuck on something and need help? There is an online tutor available to help via mail or email. You have a full 12 months to complete the course from registration so even the busiest people should be able to complete the course around the rest of their hectic life.

I will update once he has completed the course to give a full review but so far so good - pop along to the NCC Home Learning site and see what they can offer to enrich your career or home life.

online teaching assistant diploma

Disclaimer: We were offered free access to the NCC Home Learning course for the purpose of this honest review.