Mad Mum wrote:
I've just posted a query on 11+ Exams under general comments so I was relieved to read everyone's comments here - my daughter doesn't do her 11+ until January but I am struggling with her lack of motivation at the moment. I feel as if things are degenerating into a pitched battle with me on one side nagging and her on the other watching TV etc. etc. - basically anything except what she should be doing. I know I should not pressure her for fear of demotivating but to be honest we are passed all that and I just feel like 'oh what the ****' - do as you want and I just won't bother. Did any of you feel like that? I was heartened to hear that some of you have had tears and tantrums too.
First off Mel - I'm a husband and I've been the one spending time helping my son with his practise papers...
There have been plenty of tears along the way especially when faced with a hard test paper and when child is not in the mood. My son is quite highly strung and it doesn't take much to send him over the edge. He never accepted that he had to work hard on this - although he knew the reason why - and much preferred to watch telly. Oh if only they had a test on knowledge of the Simpsons I would never have worried.
He also struggled to complete the papers in time and so although I know he is bright and the school expected him to do well I had doubts. I'm sure there are many bright kids who don't do so well in a VR test.
I felt for a long time that given any individual question he knew how to answer it (didn't always want to - but knew). However he did not have experience of doing tests under pressure and so the key was to make him practise under test conditions. This was difficult because it is quite
a committment for both him and myself to take an hour out twice a week just to practise. The rarely went smoothly although he did show improvement in presentation and timing that reflected in his test scores.
In the last few of weeks before the test he had a couple of bad VR papers where he just didn't want to do the codes and other hard sections - and so didn't and just cried and said it was too hard. So in the two weeks leading up to the test I backed off and just gave him short sessions practising codes etc. This was hit and miss but did seem to relax him somewhat. I spent more time talking him through what to expect on the day and reassuring him that even if he didn't do well and didn't get his choice of school we still loved him and were proud of him (of course I was still thinking that he could have worked harder to prepare but I didn't tell him that!)
On the day he went in fairly relaxed and came out with a big beaming smile saying he'd finished both papers. (This was unexpected as the VR in Hertys is 100 questions in 45 mins and we'd only ever practised 80 in 50 mins.) I know that if he's finished them he's probably done OK. Whether it is good enough I don't know but I'm happy that he's done as well as I could expect.
Not sure this ramble will help you - however I guess the point is if you can relax a bit your child might and on the day they may well surprise you. That was the hard bit for me - letting the child do their way rather than me trying to over prepare him. God I'm glad its over!