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PostPosted: Wed Jan 20, 2010 11:41 pm 
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I am posting on behalf of a friend of mine, who feels she is banging her head against a brick wall with her DD over the 11+. Exam is October, so there are still 9 months to go. My friend had originally engaged a tutor, who has let her down. Even before this happened, though, there were issues with the lack of academic motivation on the part of the child in question, and the parents were questioning whether it was right to sit her for the grammar school exam.

The child's school have noticed that she doesn't appear to be putting in any effort, and at home there is apparently the same problem - although what form that takes, I'm not sure.

My friend's DD is very keen to go to a particular grammar school and understands that the exam is very competitive. My friend says her DD is completely unmotivated, although again I'm not sure what my friend is basing this on. As far as I know the parents haven't actually sat her down and given her any 11+ practice yet, and as I'm writing this I am wondering if their assumptions are based on the child's attitude rather than any actual evidence of refusal to the the necessary work.

The parents feel that X is capable of passing, given plenty of practice, and the Headteacher at her school is apparently supportive and feels that X may well pull herself together when she gets to grammar school. Problem is that if she doesn't do a decent amount of work (we are talking highly selective school) she will never get there in the first place.

My friend is wondering if it would be better to forget the 11+ and send her DD to the decent local comp. I personally feel this would give X the message that she isn't even good enough to sit the exam, never mind pass it, which would compound a possible lack of confidence.

Has anyone else experienced this, or have any views on either how to motivate X or whether it would be better to abandon the 11+? My friend is really struggling with this and is unfortunately comparing her DD with mine, who is 9 going on 30, organised, motivated and determined to get to the grammar school in question. I can't explain how we have cultivated this attitude in our child and if I could I would gladly give my friend the instruction manual. :(

Any help much appreciated. I feel my friend is very much looking to me for answers with this - life has been hard for her family over the last year or so - and I feel I owe it to X to help if I can.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 21, 2010 2:21 am 
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Hi pixiequeen,

I would advise your friend to sit her daughter down and inform her on the choices she will have to make in the near future. High school is not for everyone, but if the daughter wants to go to the school, time will need to be sacrificed. This allows time for a handful of practice paper to be done before the tests commence.

I would also suggest the parents try and arrange a walk through, the proposed school, to allow the daughter to see what the school has to offer. This will also give her the opportunity to get a real feeling for the school and to see, first hand, the type of girls that currently attend the school.

I would also state that, it will be to late for the child to get motivated, or prepare herself to be motivate, once she has already started high school. As she may lose the chance to go to a good high school , if action is not taken sooner.

If the girl is really unmotivated, the parents can practice a reward system, whereby the daughter gets a small gift/money/computer time, for three consecutive high marks.

I hope this helps. :)


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 21, 2010 9:21 am 
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It could well be an idea to take the unmotivated one around a few of the worst local comps so that she can see where she might end up if she does not do any work. I know quite a few local parents who have found this has a salutory effect and indeed next year we have a lovely itinerary planned for the somewhat idle Master Magwich!


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 21, 2010 9:50 am 
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Hi

When we started the 11+ process in Sept 08, DS was a very reluctant and lazy learner - he was pretty much at the top of his class without having to put in much effort at all. This was partly why we started having him tutored as we felt he was coasting along doing the bare minimum to get by!

We had quite a few tears and tantrums (and that was just me :oops: ) in the early days but eventually DS realised that we weren't going to give in on this and that the sooner he got on with is work the sooner he would be able to do what he wanted to do. It helped that we found a tutor that was very patient with him but also firm and they shared a common interest in that they both liked drawing (the tutor also taught it) so at the end of each lesson she would give him a few minutes to do some drawing that she would then advise on.

The perseverance paid off in the end with DS passing the 11+ and nows gets on with his school homework straight away - often now, I don't even need to prompt him and I think DS actually learnt how to study and concentrate more, which whatever the outcome of the 11+ exams he will take with him to senior school.

Good luck to your friend - although it may be a struggle to start with, it will be worth it in the end.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 21, 2010 10:29 am 
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Thank you everyone for your replies. The child in question has already been round the grammar school so she knows what is on offer. She hasn't been round the catchment comp (which in fairness has a decent reputation) as I suspect her parents are worried she will opt for that instead (which obviously makes the whole issue the parents problem not their daughter's.)

There are some fairly bad schools they could take her round for motivation but I'm not sure X would fall for that as she knows which is her catchment comp - I shall suggest it though.

I will also suggest rewards but I suspect this may not have the desired effect as this is a household where if X wants it, Daddy will buy it and he's not very good at sticking to rules imposed by other people....Computer time might work though.

I do wonder if a tutor is really the answer. I'm not sure how one goes about finding a reliable one, since the only one my friend had been recommended is the person who has let her down. No one talks about the 11+ here even though many children sit it so it's impossible to know who's having tutoring and those that have found someone good are often not willing to share their info... :roll:

Thank you again for your thoughts - my friend is coming over for lunch later and I'm glad to have some constructive ideas to suggest. :D


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 21, 2010 4:46 pm 
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Do you know anyone with DCs already at grammar schools? It might be worth asking them for tutor recommendations. I found my tutor from a friend who has DCs at another school which actually publishes a list of tutors - not all necessarily for the 11+.

Plum


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 22, 2010 6:08 pm 
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Just read this thread with interest. I have two very different children - one very motivated who loves school. She is bright but has to work at it, and manages to be in the top groups. From the word go she wanted to go to grammer school and sat the 11+. My youngest however is a different kettle of fish. Although I would say she is the smarter one she goes to school to socialise and will put in the minimum of effort. When her time comes I will again give her the choice of taking the 11+ or not. I really want her to because she is more than capable, but she really isn't that interested in school and I know it will be a battle to get her to put the work in. Being a teacher myself I see some children struggling to cope in a grammer setting and I feel that perhaps it isn't the be all and end all, but hey what do I know? I do think that a child will thrive in the right setting with the right conditions and if that is the local comp is that so bad? Having said that, kids never fail to surprise us and your friend's son may not show willing now but could change his mind when he realises what's at stake, as long as he is given every opportunity, including a tutor, that's all as parents we can do. The rest is up to them


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 28, 2010 9:20 pm 
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[quote="pixiequeen"]I am posting on behalf of a friend of mine, who feels she is banging her head against a brick wall with her DD over the 11+

Dear Pixiequeen

I personally agree with some of the above views!
From my our experience i.e our DS is currently in a GS, I would strongly suggest your friend to get a good tutor for her DD.The tutor who will work with your friend's DD to reach the level required for the 11+ exams.Your friend should stear clear away from the Tutor who only give practise papers for the preparation(a DC might be lucky and pass using this method but the chances are he/she might struggle once there....unless that DC is a super genius!)
Most GS are hot houses with plenty of homeworks,competitiveness among children and high expectations from the teachers.Unless a DC is used to putting in hard work and self-motivation from his/her years in primary school,it can be very demotivating and one can experience a sense of being lost.
As with all selective school, there was a possibility of our DS not passing the entrance exams but we were certain that the skills he had gained would make him excel in any comprehensive school.
We wouldn't have achieved this by tutoring him ourselves due to lack of time and expertise.
Tell her to keep on looking for a good tutor and not to loose faith just because she was dissappointed with the first one.Believe me they are good ones out there who are worth every penny you spend.

Good luck!

Deha


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 29, 2010 9:23 pm 
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Joined: Sat May 30, 2009 12:06 pm
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Location: Birmingham
perhaps they should talk to her about her ultimate goals and ambitions in life. not put words in her mouth or decide her career but let her think about all the opportunities she has to do pretty much whatever she wants. opportunities that most kids in the world can't even dream of. she needs to make the mature leap to realising this and write something down, 'my goal' and how she will get there. chances are a grammar school education will make this easier, and she will become more motivated to go for it.
bond's 11 plus parents guide also offers strategies/charts to motivate children. she may also be helped by being in a small tutor group thus having competition. not all tutors and children 'gel' well - she may still be lucky to find one who motivates her
fortunately the comp, as you said, is a good one so she shouldn't suffer too badly going there, it takes some of the stress out of the whole thing.

sorry no caps got baby.


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