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 Post subject: Saying hi
PostPosted: Wed Sep 03, 2014 4:30 pm 
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Joined: Tue Sep 02, 2014 6:25 pm
Posts: 275
So hi, new first time mom when it comes to eleven plus, son starting year 5 at primary and hoping to do the 11 plus next year. I've spent the last 12 months reading up on the KE exam (realistically it's KEFW or nothing for us due to travelling distance and routes) and gathering resources though we haven't attempted any preparation yet - we have agreed to start this year (DIY route).

I feel fairly confident in terms of being aware of the content and subjects that we need to cover, and son and I have agreed we will do 2x 1 hour sessions each week together in order to "prepare" him. Reading is not part of the plan as he reads widely and happily and although I still read to him he also has the option of an extra 30 minutes before he goes to sleep if he wants to read another chapter himself which is generally taken up.

I've tried to create a plan up to half term which mixes up the various areas (NVR, maths, comprehension, syns/ants, cloze etc) into short book based activities/tests/worksheets etc. and planning to leave school holidays free to be holidays for now at least. I've given pretty much equal time to each aspect that I think we need to consider - I guess I will review this as I start to see where his strengths lie and then focus more on weaker areas?

I don't know any other parents who are considering/doing prep and I feel like I've pretty much made up my approach. I wondered whether it sounds realistic/reasonable to other parents who took a DIY approach? I want to support him without expecting unrealistic amounts of time to be spent on prep - he's still only 9 after all - and at the moment is quite willing so I really don't want to overdo it and cause unnecessary battles over extra work. I anticipate needing to review the term time only approach as we get closer to the exam!

Does this sound too much/little/about right as a starting point (in terms of time, I appreciate no one can really comment on the quality of my DIY planning attempt!).

One thing that does concern me is hearing from moms who are privately educating that most primary aged children in the private sector are tutored from an early age for the KE exam and the subtle inference that my child may not stand a chance. I have no idea how true this is and how much is just "gossip" and am firmly placing this to the back of my mind but am unable to get away from my niggly doubts about whether I am going about this the right way!

Hmm, so I've said hi, outlined my plan and asked my question - it would be good to hear others approaches to DIY-ing...


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 Post subject: Re: Saying hi
PostPosted: Thu Sep 04, 2014 10:19 am 
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Joined: Mon Aug 31, 2009 3:04 pm
Posts: 376
I think that sounds like a reasonable approach, although I didn't DIY, my daughter went to a tutor for an hour a week then she probably spent about an hour in total on homework for the tutor, she did this throughout year five. During the summer holidays she didn't go to her tutor at all, I did a little bit of work with her each day (unless we had other plans or were on holiday) she sat the Warks exam which is similar to Birmingham and passed comfortably. The important thing is that the child wants to do it, my daughter loved going to her tutor and didn't complain once when I used to take her, when we were working in the summer she was happy to do it because she said she didn't want to be sitting in the exam knowing she could have done better if she had done a bit more preparation.


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 Post subject: Re: Saying hi
PostPosted: Thu Sep 04, 2014 1:37 pm 
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Joined: Wed Oct 27, 2010 10:40 am
Posts: 32
I agree - I've DIYed 2 now and have 2 more to go. We've principally used a diet of Bond initially plus some spellings and mental arithmetic and then sprouted into wider resources after 6 months or so (including things like cloze which we haven't looked at generally until second 6 months) and then spent the last couple of months mostly doing practice papers. In terms of time, about 3 half hour sessions a week for DC then an hour with me at the weekend going through what they have done and trying to proctise on identified areas for improvement. Everyone is extolling the virtues of reading these days so encouraging regular reading has also formed part of our arsenal. Sounds like you have a good plan and balance - they are kids after all and grammar entry isn't actually the end game, is it, rather the start.


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 Post subject: Re: Saying hi
PostPosted: Thu Sep 04, 2014 1:45 pm 
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Joined: Wed Oct 27, 2010 10:40 am
Posts: 32
Sorry 2 other things - 1. Private schooled primary kids are definitely groomed more for these entry/11+ tests - they do NV in school and have it for homework for example, whereas our state primary doesn't do any prep - they are pure core curriculum. I did once suggest to the head that perhaps he might lay on a couple of intro lessons for those that might want to sit the exam (like the grammar schools are now doing in some primaries in fact) but whilst he considered, he never did. But I don't think its terminal - just means we have to do some prep ourselves or have tutors help or have fantastically bright kids who need no prep (if such things exist). 2. Whilst I DIYed, I did have mine sit a mock and half way through the year see a tutor for a view on where they were compared to the tutor's own children - which I think enabled me recognise comparitive weaknesses/strengths. Good luck


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