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PostPosted: Tue Aug 09, 2011 7:56 pm 
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Joined: Wed Mar 09, 2011 2:22 pm
Posts: 710
I'm worrying that I'm selling my son short! He is my first child to go through this and despite passing my own 11+ and being a teacher, I'm concerned that I'm not doing it right! The more people I speak to, the more I realise that I my DS is actually the *only* child I know sitting the 11+ next November who hasn't got a tutor and I am having a wobble as to whether I'm doing the right thing.

He is going into Y5 in September and is currently working at a L4; I am confident in his abilities, but I obviously want to do the best for him. He's been doing one Bond English paper each week (finished 8-9 and moved onto 9-10, though we mix these with the Schofield and Sims) and are working our way through the grammar/punctuation in the Haydn. He also does one Bond maths 9-10 paper and is secure in times tables 12x12-we're now working on inverses and will move onto 13/14s. For VR, he's worked gradually through the age-appropriate Bond papers, but since Y4, we've been looking at the IPS techniques and will think about doing the starter questions. We also read a lot, play Boggle, compound word games, Scrabble, Free Rice (he's less keen on this for some reason!), and I've started giving him some spellings to learn as they don't do this at school.

It worries me that other parents are doing all these things with their children every week anyway and DS is missing out on whatever *extra* they are doing with the tutor! Can anyone enlighten me on what actually happens during that session or tell me what else we could do? Or are we doing all the right things already? I would really appreciate any advice!


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 09, 2011 8:36 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jun 02, 2009 9:28 pm
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You sound very capable. Phaps you should become a tutor! You definitely sound like you are on the right track.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 09, 2011 8:45 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jul 21, 2009 9:56 pm
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Sorry don't know what area you are in, and only have secondhand experience myself, but it sounds like more than a relative of mine did with a tutor. The tutor did what you are doing - maybe less!!


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 09, 2011 8:53 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jul 16, 2010 9:22 am
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My son is the same age as yours...I feel worried now that I'm not doing enough after hearing about your tutoring...in fact I'm sending my son to you . :)

He's just starting the Bond 9-10 VR and NVR and working through a Letts english and maths book...we're in Kent so it's probably different for us.I am trying to incorporate scrabble etc into our time off but he keeps hiding in the tree house and I'm not keen on heights :evil:


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 09, 2011 9:14 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jul 21, 2009 9:56 pm
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You could play scrabble on facebook if he took the laptop up there with him.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 09, 2011 9:21 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jul 16, 2010 9:22 am
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Oh no Mystery.....I can't manage cold turkey from here for the amount of time that would take.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2011 6:46 am 
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Joined: Tue Mar 02, 2010 12:28 pm
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You are already doing more than most so I wouldn't be worried. Not sure what area you are in and how competitive it is for places but most people here don't start working for 11+ til after xmas in Y5. Your DC must be very dedicated to be doing this work but make sure you dont burn out with overdoing papers. Do check what is needed for your particular school or area because then you can focus on that when you tutor, you may not need NVR or separate English and maths papers. Lots of people DIY (inc me) and you can ask on this forum for hints and tips for tutoring. Basically you or a tutor would be doing the same thing - familiarising with the question types, showing some tricks for speeding up and encouraging good vocab/x table recall and doing timed papers nearer the time. Make sure you stay "mum" and don't bring 11+ into everything!

There are some great games links (thanks yoyo!) provided on this site for maths and vocab which make a fun alternative.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2011 10:07 am 
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Joined: Fri Oct 12, 2007 12:42 pm
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Location: Chelmsford and pleased
Plenty of children are home tutored. When we moved to Essex I was told to book a tutor for DD who was then in year 3. This was by the mother of a bright child. Her son began tutoring in Y4 and passed his 11+. DD began in earnest working through papers the summer between year 5/6 and now goes to GS too. She didn't need a tutor.

Prior to this I did cover basic skills in maths with work books from Smiths and she enjoyed reading and writing.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2011 12:23 pm 
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Joined: Wed Mar 09, 2011 2:22 pm
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Thank you everyone, that's really useful to know. I just wondered exactly how the sessions are set out-I presume they don't get children to set a 50 minute paper and then mark it the next week, but do question types, tables squares and work on weaknesses? Which maths areas would you cover that don't really come up in the NC-eg I see algebra comes up-is there anything else?

What about comprehension; would you just read a passage together and talk through it, then answer questions? Do tutors set papers to be completed at home (with help or independently?) which the tutor would then go through? I really appreciate all your advice, it's really helpful to know what some 'tried and tested' ideas are!

For those that asked, we're in Essex-but we are within catchment for the Southend/Westcliff schools, so aren't going for the super selectives.

It's the English that worries me the most, as I think he'll be ok with the Maths/VR but I think the CSSE papers have been awful!


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2011 12:32 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jul 21, 2009 9:56 pm
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In my own limited secondhand experience, the tutees have completed the "papers" at home, and the tutor session has been about working on identified "weaknesses" or new material, plus techniques for saving time and building up speed and accuracy. The tutor sessions also include something "fun" but linked in some way to the learning.

I think some children are tutored in groups, and then probably they work through more papers during the tutorial time than children who are one to one tutored. Personally I wouldn't want to pay for a child to sit there ploughing through questions on their own, but I guess if it doesn't happen at home for some reason then it's worth paying for.


The very specific benefit that some tutors may have over and above DIY - and only some tutors have this advantage - is that they invigilate the actual exams and thus get to see and quickly work through the real papers themselves.

Sure you'll get lots of experience to share on the Essex forum.


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