Having just gone through the 11 + with my son (accepted a place in chis and sid)
I thought I would offer advise based on my experiences
1) You really need to be in the catchment area or on the borders unless you are aiming for your child to get 95%. Otherwise it is really unfair on the child to work so hard, do well in the exam only to rejected because you live too far out. Consider renting near the school or moving is my strongest recommendation.
2) I don't believe the exams are hard. Rather they just need preparation. You can teach them yourself or get a tutor. I am not a big fan of tuition groups except they give motivation studying in a group. But at that age they really need tailored tuition. (PM me if you need a tutor)
3) Bond books are fine ..if you child gets 80-90 % than he or she is ready. VR needs practice and can't really be taught. Maths needs tuition.
4) It is also worth doing the kent exams a week early...even if you have no intention of going there. It is good for practice (mock exam is not good idea as it is copy of one GL papers and therefore gives a false impression of the exams being easy)
5) Do some Mock tests under exam conditions near the end once you have covered all the syllabus.
Finally - kids develop at different ages. It may well be that your son/daughter is not ready at this age. if not send him to a good state school and get him some private tutors.
Hope this helps
These are very good points but I disagree that VR cannot be taught. VR can be taught but it needs a bit mastery of vocabularies by the pupil. They need a lot of practice as you have said.
Some children are good, they need less work than others, some can easily understand instruction, some can read widely so they have bank of vocabularies in their head, some can easily think like contestants in "who wants to be a millionaire", use elimination by substitution method to get the right answer and guess right. Some needs motivation and mental preparation etc. I have worked with children and still working with them. All children are not the same. There are practice papers that are more challenging than GL assessment papers. Doing well in Mock does not guarantee pass in the 11 plus as the children are aware that nothing at stake to lose but mock papers can expose their weak areas to develop on and timing as well.
Well done for self tutoring your child. I have promoted this as well. The truth is not many parents have the patience to work with their children, sometimes I have to send parents away from their children vicinity. Your points will help many. Well done once again.