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PostPosted: Mon Jan 24, 2005 10:40 am 
I am planning to put my daughter in for the 11+ later this year and am deciding whether to work with her myself or to enlist outside help.

In my area most parents are already sending their kids to classes run by tutors for around 2 hours a week with upto 3 hours of homework a week. The Headteacher of the local school does not believe in the 11+ and therefore no 'extra coaching' is provided by the school.

I feel I can teach her myself but I also feel that maybe that is the wrong decision based on what everyone else is doing.

Any feedback would be most appreciated.

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jan 25, 2005 11:44 pm 
We decided to use a tutor for an hour a week. My son found the sessions very enjoyable and valued outside input and a relationship outside the family and school. As the exams approach things can get stressful and a good tutor provides a safety valve as someone who is not as emotionally involved as a parent. They are also a very good source of advice as to where your child is academically and again a good tutor can provide realistic assessments as to the likelihood of success. We could not have got through the past year without our tutor!

 Post subject: Tutor or not
PostPosted: Mon Feb 07, 2005 1:12 pm 
I also have a child doing the 11+ in November this year, I am not going to get him tutored. My reason for this is what happens when he goes to grammar school and cannot cope with the work given, at least if he gets an A on his own steam he will be able to cope with grammar.

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Feb 07, 2005 7:56 pm 
I think this very much depends on the primary school your son is at. In our case, it would have been unfair on him not to give him extra support through a tutor as this merely put him in the same position as other children who had the benefit of a school with good overall teaching. We found that he had to make up several months of maths with the tutor; his school simply hadn't covered all the ground he would have needed to pass the 11+. It's not always necessarily a question of whether they will cope at grammar school - ie are they academic or not - but a question of knowledge. I have no doubt that he will cope with the work at any school he goes to; I also have no doubt he would have really struggled to pass without a tutor.

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Feb 07, 2005 10:14 pm 

Joined: Thu Jan 20, 2005 6:04 am
Posts: 6
Anonymous wrote:
They are also a very good source of advice as to where your child is academically and again a good tutor can provide realistic assessments as to the likelihood of success.

Don't count on it friend. If a tutor says "no chance" that is the end of the teaching and his/her pay. The temptation is to be optimistic.

Sadly the hardest thing in the world to find is good unbiased advice.

PostPosted: Tue Feb 08, 2005 8:46 pm 
Parents for next year should get a grip. There is no excuse for being naïve.

As a parent you need to roll your sleeves up and do your own ‘self assessment’. Buy a couple of relevant past papers (Nfer-Nelson used by most Grammar School entrance examinations), and test your own child. As a rule of thumb if he scores 65%+ and he has 6 months or more before the examination go then he is very likely to be regularly scoring in excess of 90%+ by examination time. My son improved from 60%’s to 90%’s after 2 month of intensive coaching/practice at home (awaiting results)! This was done without a tutor.

If your child is not up to the standard, best not to attempt the examinations, irrespective of what the tutors say, for he/she will only struggle even if they get in to the school.

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Feb 11, 2005 7:49 am 
I agreee with the last post totally.

One side benefit of this is that we also found that our daughter was way below standard in maths; the school did not cover the exam content which is bordering on KS3. So we set to with maths KS2/3 Maths and English material (cheaper than the 11+ stuff for verbal reasoning!) and brought her up to speed. 'Intensive' meant that for us, it totally filled my evenings getting stuff ready, marking and analysing... trying to make every minute of contact time worthwhile. It is hard work for you and your child but will bear fruit either way.

So go for it and even if you don't get a good feeling from the 11+ itself you *will* put your child in a good position for streaming in the next choice school based on SAT's results.

PostPosted: Sat Feb 12, 2005 3:29 pm 
I totally underestimated the impact coaching my child would have on my personal well-being and our relationship, which has suffered somewhat.

I meticulously carried out my research, almost to the point of obsession. I gathered and prepared materials relentlessly and made sure I could tackle every question I expected my child to attempt. The intense preparation lasted 4 months and for that entire period everything else in my life was put on hold. I totally immersed myself.

Despite showing great enthusiasm for the school my child was less keen to put in the necessary effort. Often rebelling in various ways, but at times demonstrating brilliant understanding of KS2/3 work. I despaired. In the end I also began to dread our work sessions.

My child took the test which was apparently rather “easy”, yet failed to achieve a high score (although passed). I was numb with disappointment. My child on the other hand was very calm/nonchalant and only asked if I was disappointed. This question really made me think.

Unless you have a child that is truly keen I would advise finding a good tutor and play a supportive/secondary role, if you must. Furthermore, be honest with yourself and pay attention to your child’s attitude/behaviour. Is it what they really want?

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Feb 14, 2005 11:01 am 
I decided to tutor our son myself for the 11+ exams he had decided to sit. I have to say I did find the thing stressful, but very rewarding. My son and I got to know each other in a way we had not done before. By the end of the sessions, I could predict which questions he would have problems with, and already had material ready to deal with any queries. Just by spending so much time together on our own, we have a much closer relationship and if he doesn't gain a place at his chosen school on 1st March this year, all will not be lost. The work we did will come in useful for his Sat's later in the year. A word on Tutors: my personal opinion is choose carefully. A neighbour of ours had a Tutor for her daughter last year to help with preparation for 11+. There is no way she stood any chance of gaining a place, but the tutor took the money for 18months. At the end of KS2 she only acheived 3 level 4's, this is obviously not the kind of standard required for grammar school, and they were very disappointed when she didn't get a place. Be realistic of your childs abillity!

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Feb 22, 2005 2:00 pm 
My child is refusing to have tutor, claiming 1 hour a week is not worthwhile, totally unnecessary and a waste of money.

I believe 1 hr a week is the norm. Any comments?

My child has assured me however that his behaviour will be perfect should I decide that he is to have a tutor!

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