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PostPosted: Sun Jul 04, 2010 9:52 am 
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Joined: Mon Mar 08, 2010 10:28 am
Posts: 299
Location: kent
I wonder if anyone could advise what the most effective method of tutoring is, or share their experiences.

When DS1 sat his 11+ last year, he had no practice at all, because I didn't know this sort of thing existed, and although he passed I know I would be kicking myself now if he hadn't got through because of my then igonorance about this sort of thing being available.

My intention is to tutor DS2 one way or another in preparation for when his turn comes in 2011, but wonder what the most effective method would be.

Does anyone have any suggestions to what the best approach would be. Choices I have are a home tutor, but quite expensive, a local tutor who does group work, who is very cheap but has a good success record and tutoring myself using NFER papers.

How does tutoring work - is it about familiarising the child with the types of questions available and if so, then would NFER papers alone be enough (we live in East Kent Area)?

Home tutoring is probably not going to be an option for me because of the expense, but I am considering the local tutor who does group work and the NFER papers. I would prefer to do it myself if possible, but I want to feel the ground a bit and find out more about others' experiences first.

Also, some teachers that I have spoken to say that Selective School teachers can usually tell which chidlren have been tutored for the 11+ within the first term, because they 'fall behind' or don't do as well as expected. Is there any truth in this?

My DS1 tells me that the Kent Test was very similar to the CAT tests that he did in Year 5, but much harder. I assume that the two tests are slightly different, but in what way apart from one being more difficult?


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 04, 2010 12:16 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jun 02, 2009 9:28 pm
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Different people find different options works best for them. Some prefer to home tutor, others employ a tutor.

We use a tutor. The approach she has taken is to teach him the different techniques for the different types of questions, and improve his maths ability. Generally, he has an hour's lesson a week, plus homework. Schools do not cover all the maths needed for the Kent test.

I think the best option to choose is the one you are most comfortable with. I would never have the discipline to home tutor so a tutor works well for us. Regarding choosing a tutor, the best recommendation is from satisfied customers so speak to former children's parents.


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 04, 2010 12:44 pm 
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Joined: Mon Mar 08, 2010 10:28 am
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Location: kent
The local tutor that I was thinking of focuses a lot on English. Although this area doesn't do an English paper as part of the test, they do take part in a written piece which is only used if a headteacher appeal takes place.

My DS says that some of the Kent Test questions he had learnt at school already - the NVR and Maths, but not really the VR. He did say that a very small bit of the Maths hadn't been covered at school though, and stressed that the Maths in particular was quite hard, even though it is a subject he is particularly strong in.

I only know two parents who used a home tutor - one whose child passed but only just and one whose child didn't, so I don't really want to get a recommendation from them.

DS2 is due an assessment with the local tutor who runs group sessions, so I could find out a lot more about how she goes about it when she comes, but I am not too keen on the strong English focus as they don't do an English paper in this area.

I was thinking of getting hold of some NFER papers and just use them, but don't know if this is enough on its own which is why I am looking into the other options.

If there is anyone who self-tutored their DC could you let me know your experience and exactly how you went about it, which papers you used, any other books etc?

I really am 'feeling around in the dark' a bit here, as this is something that I have never done before.


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 04, 2010 1:36 pm 
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Joined: Sat Oct 31, 2009 12:22 pm
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Hi Frustrated
One of the advantages that outside tutors can bring is that they are in the system and are aware of what is relevant to teach for your area's test and they can offer an initial assessment of what your DC's needs are. This was invaluable to us- if our DD had been assessed as too borderline then we wouldn't have put her through it.
We have tried the home approach for other things and put it this way it was painful for all concerned. Home tutoring works for some but the more formal disciplined approach the tutor brought to our situation was indispensable- she also benefitted from the 1 to 1, as her confidence was rather low at this point she wouldn't have done so well in a group.
Her school work and confidence improved enormously and the tutoring stopped after the test but she has maintained her studies well and is blossoming- at the moment that is, hope it continues in the GS in Sept...
It might be an idea to have some input from a tutor in your area just for some initial guidance from an expert.
Hope all goes well.

MN


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 04, 2010 5:57 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jun 18, 2007 2:32 pm
Posts: 6966
Location: East Kent
it all depends how well your child works for you. I know my children never listened to me!

as well as the Nfer papers focus on knowing tables really well, also prime numbers, square numbers and cubes. The numbers involved in the maths are often quite simple and if a child knows their tables well number relationships will be obvious, eg 9 and 27.

Vocabulary plays a big part in the VR exam, The tutors CD/downloads are suitable for the Kent test too. Practise antonyms, synonyms and homonyms as these crop up a lot and spellings. Little things like knowing the alphabet well also.

playing games like spot the difference , jigsaws and tetris, help with the skills needed for NVR.

Make sure you buy the multiple choice papers not the standard versions.

Feel free to ask if you need any help.


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 04, 2010 6:40 pm 
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Joined: Mon Mar 08, 2010 10:28 am
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Location: kent
Ooh, synonyms shouldn't be a problem - I have an awful (?) habit of saying something and then repeating a word in different ways, also when reading with my DS, I ask him if he knows what a particular word means. Terrible habit :lol:

It all looks like it will be 'a walk in the park' when you explain it like that, yoyo :lol:

I'm off to get a tetris game, some nfer papers and perhaps some of the CD/downloads too.

DS enjoys learning with me as he says that I make it fun for him, especially when when he works out his homework questions quicker than I do :wink: , so hopefully it won't be problem when it comes to practising!? :?

I'm quite looking forward to it myself now :)

I'm sure I'll have more questions when the time comes though. Watch this space...........


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 04, 2010 8:01 pm 
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Joined: Tue Sep 01, 2009 3:38 pm
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Location: Maidstone
I have gone the DIY route and you may just want to get hold of the NFER papers just to see the type of questions. My initial reaction was shock horror looking at the NVR and VR papers. However people on this forum directed me to the right materials and honestly it looks rather easy to me now.

Home tutoring is another option to consider. I was like an army commander in the house when we started. She was forever moaning but I didnt give up and stuck to a timetable. On a few rare occassions like when its very hot or she is tired I let it pass, now she just doesnt fight anymore. She realiased it was fighting a losing battle :( she just gets on with it now but it took a lot of initial discipline even on my part. I also had to prepare for each and every lesson in advance at first as I didnt want to look dumb and I wanted her to get confidence in my teaching...Now I am working a lot more on building self confidence which I think has been dragging her down.

So if you are prepared for the intial tantrums and rows then diy is another option to consider and Yoyo is spot on here
yoyo123 wrote:
focus on knowing tables really well, also prime numbers, square numbers and cubes.

_________________
Impossible is Nothing.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 05, 2010 9:31 am 
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Joined: Mon Mar 08, 2010 10:28 am
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Location: kent
Thankyou

DS does take a little time to get motivated sometimes (but not as bad as DS1 who is a nightmare!)

I think that I will give the local tutor a go as well, as it might be a bit better for him having some formality, and then make our sessions at home as enjoyable as possible so that he doesn't feel too overwhelmed.

How should I break down the 'sessions'. Should I do little bit of each for a set amount of time, or should I focus on one subject at a time?


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 05, 2010 2:16 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jun 18, 2007 2:32 pm
Posts: 6966
Location: East Kent
it depends on how you work best. I usually start my sessions with something to get the brain warmed up.

often use a pack of cards (picture cards included K=13, Q=12,J=11, A=1) and then turn two over, child has to multiply the 2 e.g 6 and 9 =54 and then shout out answer. If it is right they get the pair if not I do. You can turn over 2 or 3 and get them to add them too.

Then some practice on one of the subjects, working through a couple of examples together, usually finish up with a game on the computer or a board game like Boggle

eg this one
http://www.arcademicskillbuilders.com/g ... eteor.html

or this
http://www.arcademicskillbuilders.com/g ... /frog.html

this helps spot bits missing from words, you can play as 1 against the computer or compete against other players
http://www.arcademicskillbuilders.com/g ... -dash.html


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 05, 2010 4:53 pm 
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Joined: Wed Aug 13, 2008 4:25 pm
Posts: 2610
Yoyo is there anyway we can have some of these educational games sites you suggest put on a sticky? You have suggested so many good ones but I always forget to save them.


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