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PostPosted: Wed Nov 29, 2006 9:57 am 
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Joined: Fri Jul 14, 2006 11:06 am
Posts: 36
Location: Plymouth
:( Just wondered if anyone is having a similar problem to me.... my daughter is due to take her 11+ in Plymouth in January and although we have been working steadily since Easter towards these exams she has always had a bit of a lazy streak and although she has the ability, her motivation has always been her downfall. These last few weeks Im getting alot of huffing and puffing at the mere mention of homework and tests. Don't get me wrong, Im not force-feeding her tests as soon as she gets home from school, but Im having real difficulty in getting her to understand that if she wants to go to a high school (which she says she does) that she has to put in 100% until January. I feel like pulling my hair out although my husband can't see the problem (arrgh!!) I suppose its because I know she still has quite a bit to master before the exam whereas my husband isn't the one sitting with her going over tests and practise papers.

Phew! Getting that all off my chest felt good! Anyone else having motivational issues? All tips gratefully received!!


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 29, 2006 10:03 am 
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Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 7:10 pm
Posts: 8204
Location: Buckinghamshire
Hi Mad Mum

It's the end of a long and busy term for the children, and there is a risk of burn-out. I speak from bitter experience. My son's 11+ tutor gave him homework for every day of the summer holidays, and he burned out 4 weeks before the 11+, failed his school practice papers so horribly that I nearly wept, and then missed the real thing by a few marks.

Try drawing up a practice timetable with your daughter, taking into account the likely amount of homework and the need to prepare for the 11+. Give her a couple of days off each week with no work at all, and plenty of small rewards for sticking to the timetable each day/week.

Far better that she does a modest but regular amount of work each week than she throws in the towel completely, and you and she become stressed.

Good luck!
Sally-Anne


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 29, 2006 10:42 am 
Sally-Anne wrote:
Hi Mad Mum

Try drawing up a practice timetable with your daughter, taking into account the likely amount of homework and the need to prepare for the 11+. Give her a couple of days off each week with no work at all, and plenty of small rewards for sticking to the timetable each day/week.

Far better that she does a modest but regular amount of work each week than she throws in the towel completely, and you and she become stressed.

Good luck!
Sally-Anne


I agree with Sally-Anne. I drew up a timetable for my son for the last three months before the test, I put on it all his other commitments so nothing would clash and then spread the work out evenly with a break during mid-week and at weekends (with an occasional practice test on a Saturday). I actually found he would come home from school, check his timetable and get on with it. I gave him a small reward at the end of each week.

I think having the amount of work set out in advance so your child knows what they will be up against helps to focus the mind, rather than coming home from school and not knowing for certain how much extra 'homework' they're going to have to do.

Best of luck.
K


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 29, 2006 11:06 am 
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Joined: Fri Jul 14, 2006 11:06 am
Posts: 36
Location: Plymouth
Thanks for those tips - I have tried timetables but then she just feels like Im nagging when I remind her that she should be doing something. I suppose it all boils down to her own choice doesn't it? If she doesn't want to put in the work then I maybe I should pull her out and try and get my choices with the school admissions board changed. I know that seems a bit dramatic but I really am getting fed up with continually having to tell her that 'the only one you're letting down is yourself'. I did ask her last week if she really wanted to do her 11+ because I was quite prepared to pull her out and have done with it! I think I'll have a quiet word with her tutor tonight and see if she'll be more receptive to someone else.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 29, 2006 12:08 pm 
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Joined: Fri Nov 17, 2006 8:54 pm
Posts: 1770
Location: caversham
Been there done that !

Sometimes it worked best when I backed off for a week ( very hard I could see time slipping away ) eventually my son decided he wanted to restart the studying and as the motivation came from within him results improved and we had a more positive relationship.

The last three weeks we wound down and did short fun sessions which helped us to arrive on the day feeling relaxed, well he was relaxed I was not.

Try to keep a sense of proportion ( sorry that sounds bad ) my experience was better to have a good day on exam day than try to cram more in and have a disaster.


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 Post subject: Motivating
PostPosted: Wed Nov 29, 2006 12:54 pm 
Hi Mad Mum

last year I tutored my son from Feb. When it came to September(he sat the test in NOV), I thought that maybe he was getting a little burnt out.

I sat him down and asked him when 'He would like to' study. We then planned his practise around what he wanted to do. Now I know that sounds so simple but like your daughter he did say he definitely wanted to pass so we agreed he would definitely haveto do the extra work(we hadnt done alot in the summer because of moving house and holidays etc, so he needed the extra) but at the same time I didn't want him to miss out on his fun,(you know how it is lovely summer evenings with friends calling for him and him having to keep saying I can't come out I'm practising). I asked him what he felt he should do and he then did actually agreed to do a test Mon, Wed, Frid. We agreed we should leave the weeknds out. I got him to absolute commit to that on the basis he wouldn't moan and as soon as he finished the test he could go out or do whatever. However he never used to go straight out as he always wanted to know how he scored and sometimes we would discuss the results and sometimes we would discuss them later. It did work. We did also cut down on the stuff we felt he did easy and concentrated more on the stuff 'HE' felt he needed to. Dont worry about seeming hard (suggetsing you will pull her out) I bet we have all said that at some point. But do ask her what she wants.

I feel you do have to remind them that it is all down to them really. I believe if a child really wants to pass then If they do they will feel elated if they don't they will feel very dissapointed, you can't sit the test for them, they have to make the effort and they need to know that it's up to them.

Finally can I say if she is getting good scores then maybe it is time to realx. You can only do so much.

Best of luck to her and to you

Mel


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 29, 2006 1:07 pm 
It helped my son to have a simple timetable and I limited the sessions to a half hour maths/english/vr worksheet after school (half an hour to relax and half a drink and snack first).
We would then spend some together after dinner going through anything he got wrong. (Apparently it's good to leave it a day or 2 before you go through their mistakes becuase they can sometimes see where they went wrong after a break). We always laughed and made this a fun time together. He really enjoyed the bonding and so did I. It was much easier towards the end as there were fewer questions to go through.
Although we had a routine, I varied where he would sit to do the work and sometimes I would sit down and we would go through it together which was fun and I could clearly see where he was struggling.
Maybe try changing the material you are using. My son used to like using the monster workbooks so I would draw some cartoons on the boring bond books and we used to call it a 'fun' rather than a 'test'. Try anything!


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 29, 2006 3:37 pm 
It might be a good idea, at this stage, to give her some time out. I know January is just around the corner, but if she is lacking motivation it may be that she is tired - it's that time of year when we all seem to be tired. Is she eating/drinking properly? I know it sounds a silly question, but a nutritious balanced diet is good for the energy levels.

K


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 29, 2006 10:04 pm 
My daugher got bored too doing practise papers, so to make it more fun, we photocopied the practise paper and my husband did the paper at the same time as she did, they both sat at each end of the table so their work was private, and I timed them both, and they both enjoyed the challenge!

It turned the boring practise into a bit of game, they had good fun doing this.
I wont tell you who got the best results though!!! You'd be surprised!


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 07, 2006 9:17 pm 
Hi Everyone
I can identify with you all, My Daughter did the Bexley exams in November and we had started preparing her since the beginning of the year with Extra lessons which included (My wife and i doing it in turns) taking her for extra tution on Friday evenings, Most of Saturday and Sunday evenings (and also all of the past Summer Holidays just gone too!) Name the exam papers or CD'S OR ANY EXAM MATERIAL THAT WE HAVENT GOT....... IN FACT WE CAN OPEN A BOOKSHOP WITH IT NOW, anything downloadable was downloaded and anything avaialble was bought.in fact Waterstones made a forture out of us!!(My wife more like.....)

She still has the Kent exams to do in Jaunary although most of her friends and classmates only did the Bexley exams so she is not finding it funny still studying hard (and going for the extra tution still....) for the Jaunary exams which most of her friend have finished theirs

Last Sunday while waiting for them to finish their tution , us parents did notice that the law of deminishing returns had begun to set in (on both Parents and children alike) but because of what we want the end result to be...ie getting into A GRAMMAR SCHOOL) we are still hanging in there until the middle of January next year .. and Boy! i cannot wait for it all to end. i always feel sorry for my daughter especially when we have to get her to start her work just as she comes back from school....with some breaks here and there but not too much as they tend to forget..and you have to start from groundlevel again to get them up to speed...... but we all know that the end justifies the means and we know that God will reward all our efforts with success in Jesus name

She does have her good moments and she has her huffing and puffing ones too but we let her be when she goes into one and she comes back to life after a well earned break---- sitting in front of "Thats so Raven" and Hannah Montana" fo a while (laugh!!)

So yeah ! i hear y'all and feel for ya too!! dont worry it will all be over by the 3rd week in January (at least for us any way) and boy..............I CANNOT WAIT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


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