We're having second thoughts about whether the 11+ is suitable for DD1. We think that neither the test preparation phase, nor the experience of being in a large class of extremely bright girls in the better grammar schools, will suit her character. I'm wondering if there is anyone else who has had a similar experience, and what your thoughts might be. See below for some more background.
DD1 seems to be bright---we've done pretty well academically and university-wise in the family ever since DD1's great-granddad, so it's perhaps not surprising---but we are not sure that she has the strength of character and resilience and stamina to prepare and take tests (11+ as well as scholarship exams), and then cope with a "high-pressure" school if she is successful. To be more precise, DD1 has a propensity to go off in a huff, or get teary-eyed, or become very despondent, at the slightest mistake or gentle constructive criticism of her work. She has just started year 5 and we haven't done much 11+ preparation yet.
She is extremely good at creative writing, has been devouring one book after another since Reception, has a large vocabulary, has a natural feel for words and meanings, and totally loves Roald Dahl's Matilda--which makes us think that she perhaps identifies with the eponymous character. (I don't know what this says about our parenting!) However, DD1 isn't so natural with "hard logic" and maths. She does "get" maths fairly quickly once you show her, but not instinctively. She's different from her little sister, DD2, who isn't terribly creative with words, but started doing simple arithmetic with negative numbers all by herself after observing negative floor numbers in a parking lot lift.
We've started to think that DD1 will probably thrive in a minor independent school with small class sizes, not too much competition, and more individual attention. A large grammar school--which we imagine to be filled with ferociously brainy, athletic and competitive girls--might just not suit her very well.
Any advice/thoughts about this? How do you cope with the "emotional" side of things when coaching your DC? Apart from praise, praise, praise, how else do you instil confidence? Are siblings always so different? Are the leading grammar schools any good at nurturing creativity and helping the "quieter" children? (And while you're at it, do you know of creative writing classes for young children?) We're hoping for lots of replies, so please let us have your thoughts.