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 Post subject: despondent
PostPosted: Thu Aug 20, 2009 8:53 pm 
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Joined: Mon Nov 24, 2008 1:25 pm
Posts: 2556
today was a bad day, chaps.

Our tutor has trotted back from her hols and has been holding "classes". Our get up is different from most in that not only is the tutor just lovely but she has little groupings of maybe 5 at a time in her tiny kitchen and only charges a fiver (happy to overrun, as she did today by half an hour and looked thoroughly affronted when I tried to slip her another couple of quid).

Anyway, I digress.

DS2 (test in 10 scant weeks) trotted along eagerly enough; he has been doing odd bits and pieces throughout the holiday although our actual 10 days away were a 11+ free zone (tank fe** etc). When I met her at the end of the hour, she had her "he's been a silly sausage" face on and basically everything had gone wrong. Pfaffing with pencils, just about everything wrong.

We do just VR in this area and for highly selective schools (no catchment, no sibs etc).

He couldn't do his "find a four letter word hidden between 2 other words", he can't muster any "getting" of the code - word business being terribly confused by which way it goes. Ie if BOAT = TUOP what does MILK =? MILK he could get but if confronted by the code for something, he got confused as to "which way" to go.

Did he understand analogies? (No, of course not.)

Could he match adjective to adjective, verb form to verb form in similarites? (Don't be silly.)

Did he bother taking any notice of whether similarities asked for or differences? (need you ask.)

In the car, he cried. How low can you feel on a lad's holiday? I did all the normal stuff of never mind / learn and move on / dress rehearsal vs real thing / good days, bad days etc etc , but am now feeling wretched and planning a few days off. Throughout I have maintained that although it is important (it is), come the day, if it feels wrong then he needn't do it (a sort of release from pressure thing). He is keen to carry on but we are both despondent. I suppose secretly I've always assumed he'll just do it - the tutor maintains he's more attuned to all this than his brother was (brother successfully about to enter Y8 of grammar) but am now facing the abyss of massive uncertainty, not merely for me and my hopes for him, but more importantly for him and his own "self esteem" etc.

any jolly words or wisdom or "been there, done that" gratefully received. Tomorrow is, as they say, another day, but ... I want it to be a better one! Thank you.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 20, 2009 9:20 pm 
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Joined: Mon Aug 13, 2007 10:47 am
Posts: 3310
Location: Warwickshire.
Milla, try not to panic or to feel guilty. He says that he wants to carry on, so let him. Why not do something to boost his confidence again rather than having a few days off?

Why do you think this happened today? Was he tired, or was he in a silly mood? Was it charactersistic of him or unusual? You say that it was a bad day, so tomorrow could be so much better...

You sound like you have done everything right to me. You have given him a friendly tutor, the chance to go to a GS and not put pressure on him. Perfect!

Incidentally, Ed was a nightmare two years ago! He barely did any work at home as he flatly refused. He dragged his heels around every open day and then exhibited some really serious signs of being mentally stressed by the whole process. It was a nightmare. On the day of the tests though, he pulled out all the stops. Your son may be absolutely fine when he needs to be.

Thinking of you Milla. I think that YOU need a night off from the stress.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Aug 20, 2009 9:35 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 7:10 pm
Posts: 8199
Location: Buckinghamshire
Hi Milla

Please don't despair - it is the middle of the summer holiday, and most of the kids have their brains switched off! You may think I am joking, but it is proven that children genuinely do go backwards in their educational progress during the long summer break.

He's had a nice holiday, he's relaxed, the weather is hot and the 11+ is just not on his list at the moment!

I was in two minds about whether to move this post to the VR section, but I hope that Patricia will amble along shortly to give you specific advice on the question types that are causing problems. If it becomes mainly a discussion on VR technique one of us will move it over there.

There are some basic fixes for most of the problems you list, so just chill out and wait for Aunty Patricia. :lol:

Sally-Anne


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 Post subject: Re: despondent
PostPosted: Thu Aug 20, 2009 10:34 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jul 06, 2007 8:31 pm
Posts: 1192
Milla wrote:

...being terribly confused by which way it goes.

... Did he bother taking any notice of whether similarities asked for or differences?



If he got it all correct then what would be the point in having a tutor?

Enjoy the summer holidays. IMHO The post test stress is far worse than the pre-test stress!

_________________
Animis opibusque parati


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Aug 20, 2009 11:02 pm 
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Joined: Mon Nov 24, 2008 1:25 pm
Posts: 2556
thanks all.

SLVE don't PLEASE remind me of post test stress. Been there, felt the nausea: so looking forward to that particular frisson overload kicking in round about lunchtime on November 7th. (Think I should have tattooed on all visible parts of self, "do NOT cross-examine child about each and every question 90,000 times")

Sally Anne, yes, I was wondering about posting in VR and then thought that since it was about my fear (as much as about my boy) and general exam-approachment freak-out (which doubtless cross-refers to all stressed parents everywhere), I'd put it here - good to hear that all children everywhere are regressing terribly!

Ed's mum, you are so right it's me, as much as anything. Fear I give off terrible vibes, marching round the supermarket clouded by a readybrek fuzz of Verbal Reasoning, "outta my way, I'm a woman with hidden four letter words on my mind, none of them pretty." I try so hard to be mellow but it's all gained a bit of a momentum of its own that it's hard to see the wood for the trees without seeing a crazy great forest.

A fun evening has been passed compiling about 30 hidden-word sentences, all beginning with vowels. If you're in the market for a concealed apse, echo or oath, I'm your girl.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Aug 20, 2009 11:05 pm 
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Joined: Wed Aug 13, 2008 4:25 pm
Posts: 2610
With hindsight 10 weeks is a long time although it didn't feel like it last year. Your tutor thinks he has got the ability he is probably having a blip. It is interesting comparing my two in the way they cope with differing types. Ds1 never really got the four letter words and I can't remember how many times he missed the word 'eyes'. Kept thinking surely he is going to spot it this time but no.... :roll: .

He passed though and I think that's the point your tutor thinks he has it and he probably does and some how it just happens.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 21, 2009 7:14 am 
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Joined: Mon Jan 30, 2006 4:07 pm
Posts: 2660
Dear Milla

How long has he been with a tutor?

Is it that he genuinely cannot grasp the concept or is it because he has been away from the weekly regime of VR teaching?

If its the first then is he up to it or do you need to find a new tutor?

If its the second then as soon as he gets back into the swing of learning VR he should be OK, especially if you still have 10 weeks to the test.

Patricia


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 Post subject: despondent
PostPosted: Fri Aug 21, 2009 10:42 am 
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Joined: Fri Sep 05, 2008 4:33 pm
Posts: 866
I think it is really easy to fall into thinking that the Pates exam is very difficult and you have to get everything right to get a place. My DD did the exam 2 years ago and when I went to collect her we were surrounded by other children many of whom were shouting about how easy it had been!
DD on the other hand had missed out an entire section (of a multiple choice paper - yes, I know!!) ans had considerable difficulty with another 13 questions. We confidently expected her to fail but she passed and was in the middle of the 120. So you do not have to be perfect to pass. DD could never ever do those code questions and no amount of practise or bribes or threats could help!
Try not to worry too much about your son because some of the information about standards is hype - a child can in our direct experience afford to get quite a few wrong and still be fine


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 21, 2009 12:03 pm 
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Joined: Tue Dec 04, 2007 9:27 am
Posts: 645
Location: Buckinghamshire
DS1 did 11+ last October. We tried to keep ticking over during the summer hols but gave it up as a bad job. When he went back to school in September we tried to pick up where we had left off and it was awful - he had been getting mid 80 - mid 90% and dropped to around 50-60% with just 6 weeks to go - I was petrified. In typical boy manner he was completely unphased and wouldn't entertain doing a little extra to get up to scratch - "it'll be OK", "I can do it", "I want to go to ...". October came and he sat the tests and I was still worried that he wasn't back up to his pre-summer level and some boys had been attending intense tutoring over the holidays - aagghh. Anyway he passed comfortably and we know that it was his own ability took him through.

So - don't panic, trust your boy, if it's something he wants to achieve he will do it for himself and s*d everyone else!


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 21, 2009 2:01 pm 
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Joined: Mon Nov 24, 2008 1:25 pm
Posts: 2556
again, thank you. All reassuring stuff. Must say, Patricia, that he really is most certainly up to it, hence my panic at it all slipping away. Other slip away stories are good to read. He is very clever, extraordinary vocabulary and mental maths, agog to learn but very, er, individual.

I suppose because I've been through it once, 2 years ago (successfully), I'm more coiled as I'm more aware of it all. He's been going to his tutor nearly a year (in group sessions) and a friend who is both a tutor and in Ed Psych thinks he's extremely intelligent and very unusual and interesting. Possibly borderline -isms, I don't know.

I was having a little turn last night and needed to splurge, so thank you for indulging me and giving encouraging thoughts. I think we're doing all we can, while still having a life.

Out of interest, Magwich, how did you know where your child was placed within the top 120? I thought that they guarded that information.


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