This has been a heated topic in the past but never under a title on its own, and if my memory serves me right has always involved Parent123. This is also closely related to ‘ how much time’ should a child spend a day preparing for the exam. It was concluded in that argument that it should be tailored to the child’s need and was roughly around an hour a day (in my case I did more than that a day).
Having got my twins through last year I have sort of now ‘understood’ the pressure argument. In general the people in these forums are in the minority and have gone the extra mile to search for forums and extra bits of information, and their results have been on the positive side. After my journey last year I offered/gave away all my materials to my colleagues and friends of my DDs (6 in number), and only one I believed used them and came back with questions, they had a good result for their DC. The others, some started but could not maintain the commitment others just did not bother looking into it.
This is where I see the issue of pressure lies. I mentioned above that 1 hour a day is a good baseline, now let look at what is involved during that 1 hour, leading to and after:
• Research on the 11+
• Research on the syllabus
• Research the schools and their admission criteria
• Research on 11+ changes, as most areas are undergoing changes
• Research on style/format on questions
• Research on best material
• Set out what work the DC should do for the hour
• Mark maths work (I am assuming everyone can do year 6 maths.)
• Mark comprehension; which means you also have to read the passages and be able to discuss
• Do correction
• Find areas of weakness
• If there is NV and VR involved you need to do some work on these
Not all are done every day but it is a continuous cycle
This list is not for the child but the bare minimum (IMO) needed from the adult. It is not just the case of giving the child a Bond book and let them go ahead and complete it.
From my limited experience this is where the pressure comes in. Parent also need to commit that time every day, and not everyone can cope with it and probably have a job to hold, a house to run and other siblings to attend to.
Let say you start in January, heck let’s say April; that is at least 150days of setting aside 1 hr a day not for the child but for yourself to help the DC.
So maybe added to the original question we should also ask “is it worth putting myself under this amount of pressure for my child”
Oh my word!! How much time!? Let me be clear, I am not talking about supers electives here, although one of our grammars had a full 15 points higher qualification than the other.
I also got twins through to qualification, with nothing anywhere near an hour or that kind of pressure. Each to his own of course and it does depend on the child and how happy they are to put that kind of time in. We had a tutor. He came and gave them half an hour per week for sept to August. They then had 20 mins homework on 5 days a week. I can't say they didn't feel at all pressured, one was very laid back, the other less so, but we would happily have withdrawn him and told him so many times, but he insisted on carrying on. I did not want my boys to feel pressurised, grammar school is not everything, it's really really not, and I simply couldn't have made them do that much extra work.
I'm not saying our way was right for everyone, it was right for our twins, both qualified and both are managing their new schools well.
They are 10. No matter how important you may feel their secondary school is, if there is any hint of them being stressed by the pressure my feeling is it's best to back off.