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PostPosted: Mon Nov 03, 2014 5:18 pm 
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Joined: Mon Nov 03, 2014 2:28 pm
Posts: 194
Hi all

I am on this lovely journey again with DS2 - my oldest goes to an independent school and is in year 9 and loves it there. I sent him to a tutor (for approx 8 weeks) but it was too far to travel and i figured that i could do it myself as the material he was using was easily accessible and it was hard with the other younger children.

I am not sending DS2 to a tutor and will support and work with him myself and started in the summer holidays.
It has been 3 years now since my previous journey and I would really appreciate other dear parents thoughts and opinions and if anyone has genuinely done it alone recently do you think it is achievable?

Thanks in advance. :)


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 03, 2014 8:02 pm 
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I genuinely did DIY with our dd and she got her first choice gs in brum. We started at the start of summer just before the exams. It can be done. Good luck.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 03, 2014 8:04 pm 
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Joined: Thu May 17, 2012 8:39 am
Posts: 837
General answer, not specific to Birmingham.

If someone who can spend time with the child on a regular basis has a very decent grasp of Maths, it helps. If everyone hates Maths, get help.

Likewise, unless someone in the house speaks English (well) as a first language and has a good grasp of formal English, get help. We've always been awash with library cards and books and we are all avid readers and frankly pretty darn literate.

We're both well-educated and have enough time and energy to figure out what needs to be done to help DD. We also have enough money to buy workbooks and so on, although someone who is at home on benefits or whatever might well find plenty of the material in charity shops or at school fairs if they're observant, organised, persistent and have some time on their side.

DD has made it through to the second round of two of the London super selectives with not a single tutor session or conversation, so it can definitely be done.

Read lots here and on school and borough sites about what's needed for the schools you'd like to apply to. This forum is an amazing resource.

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 04, 2014 9:03 am 
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Joined: Mon Nov 03, 2014 2:28 pm
Posts: 194
Thank you Stroller and Bob1892 for your thoughts.

I wholeheartedly believe that it can be done without a tutor but not without some sort of tuition/coaching/preparing etc from parents/family. After all NVR is not taught at my sons primary school and if children have not seen this sort of thing before it will most definitely throw them out!
General consensus between parents i have spoken to is that they send their children to a tutor purely because other people do and they feel that they only have one shot at this so they want to ensure they get it right.....i understand this as you don't get a second chance so of course you want to give your DC the best chance.
This is my second journey so i am going to go for it.
All i can say it's going to be a bumpy ride..... and a roller coaster of emotions.

..... Good Luck and best wishes to all. :)


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 04, 2014 11:17 am 
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Joined: Sat Mar 24, 2012 11:02 pm
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You need to help them somehow as the competition is stiff.

I know parents who tutor at home and get kids to do online tests...they have done very well.

I also know dcs who go to tutors or Saturday schools that also do well, though some who make all this effort and don't get much over 200...so really an assessment from teachers or a tutor as to their suitability may be advisable.

From my experience, and that's based on about three schools - the very, very bright kids with just a couple of papers practise under their belts got scores of 220s and early 230s, but not over 240s.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 04, 2014 11:55 am 
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Yes i agree Happyrobot that you do have to have an input and help/support your DC and what works for one child will not work for another. My DC are all so different so as a parent you know what will work for your child. DS2 does not cope well under pressure and so i have to use the softly softly no pressure approach and make learning has fun as possible.
I know parents that sit the children down every single day :roll: and make them do test after test and those are the poor children that crumble under the pressure.
At the tender age of 9/10 years- children need to be out and about and enjoying their childhood and not stressing constantly over books and continual tests, after all once they get into secondary school and university and so on.... it is very pressurised and at times my older son has a minimum of 3 pieces of homework per day.
He is extremely organised now ( but wasn't to start with - but he has matured greatly) and to be honest he has to be.... :lol:


Last edited by bluejay on Tue Nov 04, 2014 1:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 04, 2014 1:06 pm 
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Joined: Tue Sep 16, 2014 12:05 pm
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We, personally, didn't want the tutor or tuition group route. We didn't want our kid to feel any pressure etc and adopted a "what happens will be" attitude. We were lucky in that our kid set his mind to wanting to do the test and was very self-motivated.
I asked someone (teacher) at camphill on an open morning the best thing to do. As our thinking he said to do nothing is not an option and said most will have a tutor, either privately or in a group setting. He suggested lots of reading, doing maths when out and about - eg kid mentally totting up a basket full of shopping and working out change etc.
We did do some online daily tests (from the January before the test) which our kid loved(!!) to get non-verbal and verbal reasoning practice but mostly they took a maximum of 15mins per day, some days around 5 mins.
At our school (state primary) the children have never done "exams", just informal tests. So to give experience of an exam environment before the one that really mattered we did book a couple of mock exams which really helped in terms of our kid managing to get a feel of atmosphere and timing.
Our kid also did some practice tests over the summer holidays which we bought in our local bookshop.

When parents of younger siblings (who are wanting to get started 2 years in advance) have asked me what tutor we used I have explained we didn't have one. I am looked at like I am absolutely insane. Time will tell! he got a good mark which on past results looks good enough for camphill. He went into the exam happy telling me he felt prepared. We always made it clear to him we were proud of him come what may and just for trying.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 04, 2014 1:28 pm 
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Joined: Mon Nov 03, 2014 2:28 pm
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mum1115 wrote:
We, personally, didn't want the tutor or tuition group route. We didn't want our kid to feel any pressure etc and adopted a "what happens will be" attitude. We were lucky in that our kid set his mind to wanting to do the test and was very self-motivated.
I asked someone (teacher) at camphill on an open morning the best thing to do. As our thinking he said to do nothing is not an option and said most will have a tutor, either privately or in a group setting. He suggested lots of reading, doing maths when out and about - eg kid mentally totting up a basket full of shopping and working out change etc.
We did do some online daily tests (from the January before the test) which our kid loved(!!) to get non-verbal and verbal reasoning practice but mostly they took a maximum of 15mins per day, some days around 5 mins.
At our school (state primary) the children have never done "exams", just informal tests. So to give experience of an exam environment before the one that really mattered we did book a couple of mock exams which really helped in terms of our kid managing to get a feel of atmosphere and timing.
Our kid also did some practice tests over the summer holidays which we bought in our local bookshop.

When parents of younger siblings (who are wanting to get started 2 years in advance) have asked me what tutor we used I have explained we didn't have one. I am looked at like I am absolutely insane. Time will tell! he got a good mark which on past results looks good enough for camphill. He went into the exam happy telling me he felt prepared. We always made it clear to him we were proud of him come what may and just for trying.


There is nothing wrong with not having a tutor and people only look at you as though you are insane as its a case of "we have to do what everyone else is doing!" mentality. I had parents cross examining me when DS1 did his 11+ and their own children were approx 7 years old at the time and they were already talking about grammar schools - some parents do get overly obsessed and you have to let children be children - being obsessed with 11+ from 7 years is plain crazy :roll: :lol: :roll:


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 04, 2014 10:47 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jul 11, 2012 7:05 pm
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bluejay wrote:

being obsessed with 11+ from 7 years is plain crazy


Unless you live in an area with terrible comprehensive schools!


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 05, 2014 4:35 pm 
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In my experience the people obsessed with the 11 plus from age 7 do not live in the sort of areas with "terrible" schools (whatever they are). In these areas most parents have never heard of grammar schools and have more pressing social concerns than the 11 plus. It is much more about snobbery and status. In many parts of Britain people go to their local school and get on with it.


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