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PostPosted: Sat Jan 31, 2009 4:21 pm 
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Has anyone ever started with a tutor and then decided to stop?

DS has just started with experienced Tiffin tutor, but I think he would learn far more with me on 1:1 basis than in a class where he isn't given time to finish (and thereby learn from) his corrections.

He is already sitting timed papers (short ones) but in my view he is not ready for that yet and often doesn't finish in time.

I have also heard the tutor gets hold of previous year's past papers - is that possible, or just more rumours!

I'd appreciate views from anyone who's taken their child out of tutoring or from anyone who thinks I'd be mad to do that!

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 31, 2009 4:48 pm 
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Not from your area, Rosette, but have a few points to mention.

Has his tutor been persona11y recommended with good results?
Have you been able to discu55 properly with tutor what your son's progre55 is and other matters that concern you?

The Tiffin exam seems straightforward in terms of what he needs to learn and if you are confident teaching him and he works we11 with you, it might be a good thing to stop with the tutor.

You can manage his workload and the 1:1 attention wi11 enable you to focus on where he needs more practice.

The advantage of group tutoring wi11 be that he sees other children working and might be keen to crack on..
On the other hand, if he feels left behind or lost, he might feel discouraged rather than feel he's learning anything.

As regards to old papers, I don't know but there is always the thought that a tutor has secret techniques or materials that is not avavilable to the general public.

Specifica11y for Tiffin, I would think it is an exam you can prepare your son for yourself with a11 the resources available on this website.

Good Luck.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 31, 2009 5:51 pm 
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Thanks for your reply, lbswm.

Yes, tutor was personally recommended with good results (but certainly not 100% pass rate!). But, tutor does preliminary assessment so only takes on the best to start with.

I thought he'd like being in a group as he's very competitive but it doesn't seem to bother him a bit - I think he'd respond better to bribes from me! And as you say with 1:1 sessions we can concentrate on his weak points.

It's the "secret techniques or resources" that I worry about. Though so far there's definitely no evidence of it! I shall consider carefully before I take the plunge.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 31, 2009 6:05 pm 
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Rosette wrote:
...or from anyone who thinks I'd be mad to do that!


It depends on the tutor. If they have a good track record and you have the £££s then doesn't it make sense to continue?

As for 1:1.... can't you do that too?

If DS is doing tests during tutor time then that indicates that the tutor is probably trying to get a realistic picture of the progress being made in an environment away from parental interference and to a well controlled timescale. Such an exercise does build up a competitive spirit and all the children to compare themselves against the others, something that you cannot achieve 1:1.

As for past papers... maybe.. probably not... but its very likely that feedback will be given by almost all students and together that should give a pretty clear knowledge of the past questions and its that experience that you are paying for.

As for techniques... are you sure? Ask DS. I would expect there are a few tips and tricks starting to sneek in...

How many weeks has he been going?

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 31, 2009 6:50 pm 
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SunlampVexesEel wrote:
As for 1:1.... can't you do that too?

Good point. But isn't that then putting extra pressure on the child? DS has busy schedule of activities (his choice, I encourage within reason). I don't want his year 5 to be nothing but VR and NVR! And doing too much will just put him off. If we just did 1:1 we could as lbswm said manage the workload. And I think it will be a whole lot less stressful as I will know exactly where he's going wrong and be able to help him.

SunlampVexesEel wrote:
its very likely that feedback will be given by almost all students and together that should give a pretty clear knowledge of the past questions and its that experience that you are paying for.
Excellent point. But presumably the same questions won't come up year after year, and if we know the sorts of questions to prepare for, eg 21 VR types, then presumably we have as much chance as knowing what's going to come up this year as any tutor in the know.

SunlampVexesEel wrote:
As for techniques... are you sure? Ask DS. I would expect there are a few tips and tricks starting to sneek in...
Yes there are a few tips, but nothing that isn't either common sense or couldn't be found in a "how to" manual.

SunlampVexesEel wrote:
How many weeks has he been going?

4/5. Early days I know.

SVE, you have rasied some excellent points and I appreciate your words of wisdom, every time I convince myself to stop the tutoring someone like you comes along to cast doubt in my mind! I think your point about feedback from past students is especially worth thinking about. I will continue to ponder...

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 31, 2009 7:00 pm 
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In reality, how much feedback are students likely to give their tutors? Are they really going to remember questions from the VR and NVR exam. Yes, they might remember something like DO-USE especially if they have already done it in a practice paper but they're not likely to remember what shape came next in the sequence are they?

Or do they get paid for each question submitted?!!

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 31, 2009 11:27 pm 
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The 11+ is a weird test in that there are no-retakes. Some places, e.g. Bucks, have 2 tests and the score is the best of 2... some like Kingston have one test... you get one chance and one chance alone.

I'm 100% sure that it's possible to get by with home practice and the help and advice available here... but... given a good tutor and the £££ why would you even consider giving up?

As for Sport and not doing too much in Yr5.... I guess that's very laudible but consider how you'll feel when the results come out... it's an arms race!

Some would consider you lucky for being able to get a decent tutor (if that's what they are).... and would I'm sure be happy to take the place, then it's their DS not yours getting the 'tips and tricks' if they exist!

Tricky stuff Yr5 and the 11+.... Welcome to the nervous breakdown.

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SVE

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 01, 2009 10:14 am 
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Rosette - go with your instincts and home tutor - this site has enough resources for any 11+ format.

Keeping up sport and other activities is important - too much focus on 11+ is counter productive.

Sunlampetc. - I thinlkyou overstate it - if they need that sort of intensive prep they will not cope at GS.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 01, 2009 11:44 am 
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Guest55 wrote:
Sunlampetc. - I thinlkyou overstate it - if they need that sort of intensive prep they will not cope at GS.


Possibly. But you do only get one chance.

Regards
SVE

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 01, 2009 3:56 pm 
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My son was being tutored (in a group) in Kingston and many times I thought that I would stop and tutor him myself. I think the reason I carried on with the tutor (to the end) is that I thought that I could never get him to do the work for me. I bought loads of extra papers but it was a battle to get him to do these. He would quite happily do the tutor's work (I think he was scared of being told off). There were many ocassions when I thought I was wasting my money. This web site is excellent and has more than enough material. I have a DD in year 4 at the moment and I will definitely be tutoring her myself next year. However, I have had a whole year of VR and NVR so I am a lot more confident in tutoring myself.


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