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 Post subject: 2nd Child Syndrome???
PostPosted: Wed Nov 08, 2006 10:49 pm 
Our scenario is.... my oldest is academically inclined, top of top sets and therefore I think would flourish in a grammer school. Alas My 2nd child is not as inclined :roll: , still in top sets, probably middlish. As we DIY prepared oldest for 11+, our 2nd was/is adament that he wants to follow in big brothers footsteps.

Do you prepare them for it?
Do you sit them down, and explain it's not really for them, and thereby saving future heart ache?
Will it mentally scar them to find a)they sat tests and were not as good as older sibling or b) they were never given the chance to try?
Whats the best thing to do for their long term?

Any Ideas?

SS


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Nov 09, 2006 8:47 am 
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Joined: Fri Sep 15, 2006 8:51 am
Posts: 8112
Only fair to give them a go - tell them they will have to work hard to get there and when they are there.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 09, 2006 8:59 am 
I remember my sister talking in a similar vein, only her's was 'fifth child syndrome'.

That was many moons ago - he's just started at Oxford.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Nov 09, 2006 9:11 am 
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Joined: Tue Dec 13, 2005 12:49 pm
Posts: 1647
Location: berkshire
If thats what he wants then let him try. Some research shows that the children that are 'borderline' grammar students are the ones that benefit most from being in a grammar.
Just make sure that he is OK with a fall back option.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 09, 2006 10:56 am 
SS wrote:
Our scenario is.... my oldest is academically inclined, top of top sets and therefore I think would flourish in a grammer school. Alas My 2nd child is not as inclined :roll: , still in top sets, probably middlish. As we DIY prepared oldest for 11+, our 2nd was/is adament that he wants to follow in big brothers footsteps.

Do you prepare them for it?
Do you sit them down, and explain it's not really for them, and thereby saving future heart ache?
Will it mentally scar them to find a)they sat tests and were not as good as older sibling or b) they were never given the chance to try?
Whats the best thing to do for their long term?

Any Ideas?

SS

Hi

Exactly the same position as you. Son in year 10 in grammar doing very well tutored by us at home. Second child (home tutored again) missed the pass mark by 2 got to same school on appeal.Before we appealed we explained she would have to be prepared to put the effort in if we succeeded at appeal.
She just didn't have the same attitude to the home tutition really not interested in sitting down and listening to our help.Even though she desperately wanted to go to the same school as her brother.
She has just started in year 7 and doing well, settled down, knows she has to put the work in and she is.I know it is early days yet!
Just give them all the help you can and give them a chance.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Nov 09, 2006 11:02 am 
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Joined: Sun Oct 29, 2006 10:04 am
Posts: 144
I did a DIY job on my eldest and he got through - he got top marks in his SAT's too. My second child would just look at the NVR questions and say, 'It's B' (and it was!). I'd be frustrated because eldest child would have said, 'ahh yes, rotate once to the left, flip over, turn inside out, add on 7 and divide by 11 and the answer is B.' This was so much more reassuring! :lol:

I discovered that my second child has the exact same learning capacity, but a whole different approach - far more laid back and prone to laziness, :roll: so whereas 1st child needed stimulation, 2nd Child needs motivation, but both achieve really good results. Third child is a mixture of the two!

Recently 2nd child (in top group for maths) took a calculator paper and came bottom of the class! Big brother went over the paper, explained stuff - short-cuts, methods etc, and last week the class did another calculator paper and he got 33 out of 35 - 91%; top in the year group... It really wasn't that he couldn't cope with the work, it was that he wasn't motivated!

I'd let your second child go for it, (being keen to take the test is half the battle it seems - I'd rather have a child looking forward to it than one who is dreading it!) but like all kids, they need to understand competition is fierce and not to take it for granted that they will pass.

I kept the scores for my 1st child's practice questions and compared them along the way to my 2nd child's and they are virtually the same, and at times (suprise surprise) my second child even excells in correct answers. Maybe this is because the tutor (aka me!) is getting better!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Nov 09, 2006 11:22 am 
What a dilemma!
Luckily my two are the other way round. Capable but not gifted just got into grammar (home tutored) and I'm expecting an easier time with my second. Both are very keen and I think this is half the battle.
Is it possible that having one very capable child you maybe don't give the other child the credit they deserve? Escpecially if they are in the top sets. I think I maybe guilty of this myself as is being proven to me.
I think you should give your second child the chance - if they don't get in, I'm sure you could console them with a good reason why maybe they didn't quite make it. More difficult maybe to justify not giving them at least a shot.
Having a good fall-back that they are happy with would really help.
I have to say, I took my son to look around 6-7 different schools and although he wanted the grammar, he would happily have taken any one of them (other than private!) At 10 years of age they are easily swayed be impressive sports facilities/well stocked music room/IT suite.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Nov 09, 2006 12:07 pm 
I remember reading somewhere that siblings are always within 10% capability of each other, so I do believe that the attitude is what makes the difference. My eldest has taken the exams this year however my youngest has no intention of going anywhere but the local school. I do believe this is because she does not want the hard work involved - but it is her choice. If your child does want the same school as your eldest - let them go for it - perhaps explain that some years the standard is higher than others so therefore if they do not make it then it is not a reflection on ability.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Nov 09, 2006 9:03 pm 
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Joined: Sun Oct 29, 2006 10:05 am
Posts: 445
Location: LONDON
Do you sit them down, and explain it's not really for them, and thereby saving future heart ache?
Will it mentally scar them to find a)they sat tests and were not as good as older sibling or b) they were never given the chance to try?


Whose heartache are you thinking of, yours or theirs? Your child is likely to be far more resilient than you think.
If they have made a decision that they want to try for grammar why not let them have a go - after all we know that persistant people are often the successful ones in life.
If they decide during the process its not for them, then its their decision and at least they won't resent you further down the line for 'denying them the opportunity to try'.
If they try and fail just make sure you're there to pick them up, dust them down and prepare them for comprehensive school (which naturally will be sold to them as a really good alternative to grammar - just incase).
If they succeed then you all celebrate together.

At the end of the day remember you know your child best and all the advice given on this forum is just that---advice---so ultimately you need to do what you feel is best for your child.
Good luck whicever route you take.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Nov 09, 2006 9:37 pm 
Our eldest is a high flyer - top of grammar, but our second daughter didn't get in (despite wanting to follow her sister). She was upset for a bit and we had a few tears but we always stressed that we thought her talents lay elsewhere rather than in VR and that it would be their loss not to have her.

Luckily, we had a good comp as a back up and she is now very happy there and has even said how pleased she is NOT to be at the same school as big sister.

I think the trick is to keep it low-key. Do enough practice that she'll pass if she has the ability and likes VR (or whatever is being tested), but not so much that she'll be drained and devasted if she doesn't pass.

Jed


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