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PostPosted: Thu Oct 06, 2016 5:39 pm 
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Hello,
I really don't have the £30 per week to pay for tutoring and my son is quite disciplined when it comes to homework so I think I could tutor him myself. We live in Kingston upon Thames and he wants to try for Tiffins. He's currently in Year 5. I've looked at the list of books/papers to buy on this site and that is very helpful but:

1. When should I start the preparation?
2. How often should he practice?

I am wondering if I might be biting off more than I can chew and if further down the line I find I can't explain things clearly to him it might be too late to find a tutor with space.

Has anyone successfully or unsuccessfully tried tutoring themselves? What would you advise?

Many thanks


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 06, 2016 6:22 pm 
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We tutored on our own and DD got into Tiffin Girls. She is naturally diligent and academic so it came quite naturally to her.
We started in October Y5 and just worked through all the standard books & papers we could find. We started with one maths and one English paper in one weekend, then in the summer moved to two each every weekend. We did the Sutton Grammar mocks (I'd put the dates into your diary now) not because the papers are usefully similar but so you get experience of a large exam room, and to get an idea of your ranking amongst 2000 children. We also did a couple of other random mocks held by private tutoring companies but didn't find them very useful as they don't give out the papers or the answers. I think it's important to understand yourself how to answer English comprehension questions.. there is a technique in answering them properly to gain all the marks and that needs to be shown over and over again before they get it.
Good luck - I firmly believe that no paid tutor can possibly understand or care about your kids or their education as much as the parents, so if your son is up for it (that's the important bit), DIY can really work.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 06, 2016 7:01 pm 
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Strontium wrote:
We started with one maths and one English paper in one weekend, then in the summer moved to two each every weekend.


thank you,
Looking at the list of practice materials/books on this site recommended for Tiffins, did you start straight away with the tests or did you start with the practice books first?


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 07, 2016 8:22 am 
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Joined: Wed Jul 13, 2016 8:36 pm
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I think DIY does really work as you can give your full attention to your child, specially with maths as there are lots of good books our there. I’d struggle with English as it’s not my first language. Look at the book recommendations in this website. I’d start with assessment papers (bond book, CGP etc) and move to practise test papers around Easter.
We did some mock exam where they give out the question & answer sheets so I could tell where my daughter was making mistakes.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 12, 2016 4:46 pm 
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This part where you find the weaker areas where the child needs more practice n attention can only be done by a parent even if the child is tutored. And from my experience I think that is THE most important thing.
Plenty of material to practise, mocks etc will definitely help.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 12, 2016 6:05 pm 
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We would do a paper, identify the areas that she was weak at, then do lots of practice of those bits. When we did it, we had to do VR and NVR so a lot of time was spent on practising them. Now you can probably cut the NVR at least.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 12, 2016 7:52 pm 
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Joined: Fri Nov 11, 2011 10:00 pm
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Location: RBK
Quote:
Now you can probably cut the NVR at least.


Definitely, not probably.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 20, 2016 7:21 am 
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It can be done and surprisingly in can also be fun and a different bonding experience with your child. I've done one already now in year 8 and she faired really well and got into her top school of choice. I'm in the midst of doing my second child (boy) and he will take the 2nd stage Tiffins in November, but has also passed all of the Sutton schools and can also include all of them on his CAF. March will tell. I started slowly in year 5 with the 10 minute bond book tests. Those were easy and very little pressure. They can do them in the morning before they go to school if they're only 10 minutes. Once I could see they were understanding, I introduced other things here and there on weekends. I didn't do any mocks, but closer to the time we did our own mocks at home using GL, CEM, Bond and some sample papers from other schools I found online. I explained what it would be like, we timed the test and we brutally checked them together which was a great learning experience. I'm better at English, so that was easy for me. For Maths I had to really pay attention to what they were doing in school and I had to study the books I bought. Sometimes, I brought in other family members who were really good at Maths to explain things I couldn't. Skype can be great for that. Regardless of weather they get in or not, it is valuable and can boost their confidence if done gently which will help them wherever they end up. My kids don't hate me for it, they actually have appreciated the time and care. Daughter flying so far and I have been able to be hands off since she started Secondary which is freeing. :D Good Luck!


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 21, 2016 9:57 am 
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Mumtries,

I was holding back from responding until DS received all his results. I am happy to say that DS cleared all the exams he sat for (Wilsons and Sutton - 2 stages, WCGS, Kent, Bexley and Olaves - 1st round) ---- His preparation was 100% DIY.

As a background, my son goes to a local state primary school, and has been part of the top table for the last few years. He has an academic bent and is an avid reader.

How we did it?
    * We remembered that kids are still 10 and therefore, exams will not cover Rocket science or Brain surgery. They are mostly based on their current curriculum.
    * Having said that, DS still needed practice and other materials to supplement his skills. We spent a lot of £££ on books. Spread over a year, we spend roughly £250-£300 on books.
    * Youtube has plenty of videos to teach tricky stuff and it is free. We found it to be very helpful for teaching tricky NV stuff such as Nets.
    * We, as parents, were committed to help DS succeed and adjusted our personal routines to suit his.


Be warned though
    * You will need to spend lot of time with you DC. Teaching, Planning, Scheduling, Managing exams, Correcting, Teaching, Planning ... you get the idea. I spent at least 30 minutes to 1 hour a day for more than a year. Don't underestimate the effort from the parent's side. If you can't spend this time, go the tutoring route
    * It would definitely help if you have experience in competitive exams. I had this and therefore, I kind of knew how to approach this - as of July 1st, I developed a day wise plan that would take my son through to Sutton exam dates. I copy pasted the plan for Aug 12th as an example below:
      CGP Maths - Assessment 4
      Schofield and Sims - 30 mts
      Peter Robson - 30 mts
      2 * 10 minute tests (CGP)
      Corrections
    The plan took me considerable time to develop as you need to know your DCs strengths, weaknesses etc.
    * In short, DIY is possible, but only if you are committed to helping your DC.

As I said in another thread, it is a long journey and kids usually respond amazingly well to parents than they would to an outsider. I believe this experience helped me get closer with DS as we fought a battle jointly, and will always look back at this with fond memories.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 21, 2016 10:22 am 
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Location: RBK
Good tips, diydad.

Few comments:
Quote:
Youtube has plenty of videos to teach tricky stuff and it is free. We found it to be very helpful for teaching tricky NV stuff such as Nets.
Tiffin has dropped NVR since last year.

Also parents would need lot and lot of patience. If they don't have lot of patience and become stressed or angry, the result would be a spoiled relationship. Some children listen to tutor better than parent. Know your child before going on diy only route.

If one can do it i.e has time, ability and patience, nothing like going diy route. We did diy too. But also had a tutor for a weekly session for a term, mainly to know DC's strength among the peer group.


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