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PostPosted: Sun Apr 14, 2013 3:06 am 
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Joined: Sun Apr 14, 2013 2:33 am
Posts: 6
Hi all,

Just new to the forum. I have found some really useful info here and some quite panic-inducing stuff. So I am here to share my experience of the 11+ drama. My son was offered a place in the first round for QE BOYS-way hay!!! He did really, really well,passed the Latymer and was in the top 50 if we had accepted and put it as our higher preference. Likewise the same for Dame Alice Owen school but QE was first choice.

I just want people to know that if your child has potential and you have the time and energy you can get your DC through the 11+ without throwing away wads of money. You just have to believe in yourself and your child. I had NO experience of the 11+, but got books, test papers and battled away from last Easter right up until the last Latymer test last year.

I spent 2 hours each night with DS alternating topics,the summer hols were intense as we started doing timed papers. It was hard work and it paid off!

ALthough bright I would not say he was top of his class but we beavered away. The 1-1 and the fact that I COULD MONITOR HIS PROGRESS and knew his strengths and weaknesses meant that I was able to sort things out straight away rather than rely on a tutor to mark the work perhaps a week later when it would have been 4gtn by DS.

So folks panicking out there - yes I know it is stressful, I have been there - sometimes wondering what kind of magic the tutors were working on DS's classmates, there is the option to DIY and even in a short space of time.

I did try a tutor for a month at £40 an hour and found that I could do what she was doing but better and save money.

So if you don't have time but have money then private tutoring might be the only option but a bright child will do well anywhere. Many kids at DS school tutored who had rich parents but left everything in hands of tutors and not all got in to grammar schools.

MORAL-if you can do it, do it yourself!


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 14, 2013 7:17 am 
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Joined: Thu Mar 04, 2010 2:51 pm
Posts: 1035
Good for you. Your ds is clearly very bright to have passed all those exams and i wish him well at qe. However not everyone can home tutor their child even with all the help from this site. We must all do what we feel is best for us and our child. Time, patience, confidence in ourselves all impact on what parents believe they can or can't do. Personally we did a bit of both. Other friends wholly used tutors and even those who were teachers used tutors as they felt they didn't have the patience to tutor their own children.so whilst its great you did it on your own and as you say if you can do it and that other parents should have a go but some just cant. Best of wishes to your ds at his new school. I'm sure he will do extremely well there.

NB- £40 per hour seems a bit excessive for tuition. :?:


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 14, 2013 7:55 am 
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Joined: Wed Sep 05, 2012 6:08 pm
Posts: 373
Gladitsallovermum, I am pleased to read your story. And it's true, not all DC will need a private tutor. I am very fortunate to have a super clever DD who did absolutely nothing apart from a couple of papers from the north London consortium to check on timing.

Not everyone is as fortunate, I know. It is a very hard decision and if she had been a different child I should have done much more, but like you, I would have tutored her myself.

Well done.


Last edited by Kingfisher on Sun Apr 14, 2013 6:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 14, 2013 8:12 am 
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Joined: Mon Jun 18, 2007 2:32 pm
Posts: 6963
Location: East Kent
You are right, there is a lot of advice available on this forum and always someone to lend a helping hand.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 14, 2013 8:49 am 
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Joined: Mon May 16, 2011 1:05 pm
Posts: 4019
Location: Reading
We successfully DIYed as well. If you have time and patience (and advise from here) it is a good way to go.

However there are those who don't. To those I'd say keep an eye on what your tutor is teaching your DC and ensure that it is the correct topics and that your child is making progress. Just because you are paying someone else, it doesn't mean you can ignore your responsibilities. I've read one too many stories on here about tutors who really don't know what they are doing, but seem very good at convincing parents that they do.

I know a tutor around here that charges £40/hour for group sessions, but then they are very successful.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 14, 2013 12:50 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jun 02, 2009 9:28 pm
Posts: 2439
How long did you spend doing 2 hours per night? That's more intensive then a lot of people. My sons were tutored for one hour per week, then had up 1-2 hours of homework per week, not day.

You don't need a tutor, but for many people, they don't have the skills, confidence or time, to prepare a child themselves. Often it's these other factors, rather than cost, which influences whether someone goes down the DIY or tutor route.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 14, 2013 1:07 pm 
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Joined: Thu Mar 14, 2013 6:30 pm
Posts: 583
And often it's the overheard chats between other parents in the playground that can induce panic measures.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 14, 2013 10:12 pm 
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Joined: Sun Apr 14, 2013 2:33 am
Posts: 6
Thank you everyone for your replies. I am saying this from my personal experience, I do not have a backgound in tutoring, I have two kids UNDER 5, working part-time and keeping home. So it was not like I had spare time - I made time. What I am trying to say back in the day parents didn't pay to tutor kids, they just spent time with them reading, talking and playing games and standards of education was high. Now due to the lack of time, pressure to keep up with other parents , kids becoming easily bored if they aren't playing on their games consoles etc etc...we don't get to spend that time helping with homework, listening and reading to kids (I KNOW I WILL PROBABLY GET STICK FOR SAYING THIS), there has developed a market for PRIVATE TUTORING. And parents are led to believe that if their child isn't being privately tutored then somehow they are failing their kids. I felt like this till I realised I can DO IT MYSELF. And parents who knew I wasn't tutoring my DS were sceptical about my method but it worked because DS had potential.

Yes £4o was a lot and you can probably see why I had to factor in cost because at the end of the day being tutored doesn't guarantee you a place at a selective school.

Someone said two hours seemed like alot but we would go through a particular topic in the first hour together and then DS would have a break and then attempt some questions on the topic in the 2nd hour. So I was technically spending an hour with him, and when kids in bed I would mark work and could give him feedback next day. We only seriously started doing timed practice papers in summer hols.

And like Tinkers said keep an eye on the tutors too, I'm sure there are some tutors out there making lots of money from desperate parents as there are dedicated ones.

i just wanted to give reassurance to parents by way of my example that don't fret about not tutoring/tutoring too late etc...because even within a short space of time with a bit of effort you can DIY with your child.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 14, 2013 10:31 pm 
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Joined: Wed Mar 04, 2009 2:01 pm
Posts: 6683
Location: Herts
But your ds was tutored, he was tutored by you and you spent a lot more time tutoring him than any tutor would. Being tutored simply means doing work outside school. Are you planning to continue to work with him when he starts Y7? DG


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 14, 2013 10:44 pm 
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Joined: Mon Mar 15, 2010 2:45 pm
Posts: 4604
I agree, is one hour/week with a tutor, with a small amount of homework "worse" than 2 hours a day for a 10 year old?

Well done to your DC & you, but if I felt that much work was needed, I'm not sure I could have put my DCs through it.


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