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PostPosted: Thu Feb 10, 2011 12:25 pm 
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Joined: Thu Feb 10, 2011 11:50 am
Posts: 51
Hi all,
I'm new to this forum (and also new to the Bucks 11+ system). My DS is in Year 5 and is due to sit his 11+ this year. His vocab is weak. He loves reading and is currently reading a Harry Potter book (not sure what the vocab is like in this book as I'm not exactly a Harry Potter fan myself). The problem with vocab has been highlighted to me through the fact that he scores very very low on closest meaning, opposite, same meaning and missing 3 letter words questions (the rest are just a case of practice I guess).

I've printed off the list of words (posted up by Patricia in the past - Thanks Patricia), but what I would like to know is how are other parents teaching new vocab to DD and DS? It's got to be a fun way, otherwise I fear I'll put him off and won't hold his interest for very long. Can anyone recommend reading material (for him/me), vocab word playing games....anything

some may say I have a lot of time yet, but note that I work full time and I'm constantly travelling for work, we have some long holidays booked for Easter and summer. I have 2 other children, DD 7 and a DS 1, the kids also seem to have a hectic schedule with constant after school activities/friends and busy weekends so life is pretty hectic in my house and finding time to sit with one child for any period of time without being distracted by another can be quite a challenge! Although, I am still determined to go down the DIY route if it makes sense (although now I am beginning to wonder....)

Any ideas would be gratefully recieved (sorry about my choice of 'Username' I just could'nt think of anything more appropriate as I was scoffing a doughnut!!!). :P


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 10, 2011 12:43 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 18, 2010 6:55 pm
Posts: 247
Hi and welcome (btw like the name!).

My DD took the 11+ last year and to help with vocab we were recommended some edited by Moderator (not sure if I am allowed to say this?) and also made our own flash cards in a sandwich box of any unfamiliar words. I tested her on these words every 1 or 2 weeks making sure we covered all the past ones again to reinforce memory! We ended up with quite a wadge of cards but it's encouraging when they start to whizz through them. Little DD heard them so often she would chip in with an answer or two as well!

I think about now is the right time to start if your DC is taking it this year as like you I had lots of other stuff going on to juggle - best to take it steady and for it not take over lives at the last mo!


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 10, 2011 12:54 pm 
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Joined: Thu Feb 10, 2011 11:50 am
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Thank you for taking the time to respond Jules7 and I appreciate your advice. I'm now off to look at that 'site' to see what I can find in relation to Flashcards. Great idea and that way I can get both DD and DS involved :)


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 10, 2011 1:02 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jun 18, 2007 2:32 pm
Posts: 6966
Location: East Kent
try www.freerice.com

also games where you have to think of as many words as possible beginning with a letter of the alphabet. Scrabble (allowing use of a dictionary).

try googling synonym and antonym games, there are lots of fun online g.ames to try


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 10, 2011 2:01 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jan 25, 2011 1:34 pm
Posts: 230
I would say if your child is reading Harry Potter, then that's a good sign. My DD's tutor has said the vocabulary in it is very challenging. One of the things we do is to write new words we come across, though the tutor said don't even bother with this for the Harry Potter books as it would spoil your enjoyment of them, as there are so many difficult words for the children.

I find the vocab thing a bit of a chore, as well as a shot in the dark, as who knows what words will come up??

On a personal note, we are cutting down on after-school activities (at least not starting any new ones) until the 11 plus is over as there doesn't seem to be enough hours in the day to fit it all in. Good luck.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 10, 2011 3:07 pm 
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Joined: Thu Feb 10, 2011 11:50 am
Posts: 51
Thank you Yoyo123 for the good suggestions, especially the 'think of as many words as you can starting with..' one as I'm sure both my DD and DS will enjoy that with me and it's one we can play in the car as I'm driving.

Lillie,
I agree with you that it is a 'shot in the dark' with vocabulary. It's a very subjective question as to what vocabulary an 11 year old should be expected to have. I still come accross new words at my age!! i.e would you expect an 11 year old to know what an invoice is? I certainly don't expect that my DS does. Surely, the majority of times you would come across the word 'invoice' would be in a business context.

We've already dropped the martial arts classes and as time gets closer, swimming and afterschool clubs will also be in line to get dropped (but it all depends on how far progressed he is at the time)


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 10, 2011 4:18 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 18, 2010 6:55 pm
Posts: 247
Re the vocab thing - it is tricky but this was one bit I/she didn't mind too much as it will all come in useful later anyway for general knowledge/English etc (assuming that at least a certain % gets retained post 11+!). In the Bucks 11+ every mark really counts so those few words that come up might make the difference between achieving 121 or not.

I also had to drop one of DDs activities but kept the others up (dancing, singing etc) as I think they need something they enjoy as a release. I also promised her that she could pick a new activity after it was all over which she looked forward to and is very much enjoying now. We only did 11+ related things once a week at this stage but after Easter and in the summer moved to maybe twice a week as tests were introduced and timings had to be practiced. IMHO anything more frequent than that risks them getting fed up. However each child is different and I know there are experts on this site with tutoring experience who can give you a much more informed opinion on frequency etc.

Hope some of this helps and good luck!


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 10, 2011 4:41 pm 
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Joined: Thu Feb 10, 2011 11:50 am
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Thanks Jules. Maybe you can also assist me with my next question as you already have been through this process with your DD. What score should I be aiming for at home (the papers are mostly 80 questions)? would 69 out of 80 give me the magical 121?
My DS is July born (the youngest in his class).
I have just done a search and found a post on 'raw scores to standardisation' or something to that effect, but still don't quite understand it. :?:


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 10, 2011 6:07 pm 
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Joined: Sat Feb 25, 2006 1:21 am
Posts: 2125
I asked the same question a short while ago. Here is the thread:
viewtopic.php?f=3&t=18206

Some good ideas in there.

Good luck!

Edited to add: I would suggest that raw scores of 70+ are needed in order to be confident, however 69 might be OK for a July birthday. This has also been widely discussed - if you do a search for "standardization" you might be able to find the threads.

_________________
Marylou


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 10, 2011 7:38 pm 
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Joined: Thu Feb 10, 2011 11:50 am
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Thanks Marylou :)


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