I have just been in touch with a tutor who came highly recommended.
I was hoping for reassurance that the optimum time to start preparing for the 11+ would be at the beginning of Year 5. In fact, the advice I received was that to wait until Year 5 would be cutting it fine! This particular tutor (who as I say came highly recommended) swears by early preparation, and believes that 'cramming' is often counter-productive. He claims that his best successes have been with children he has tutored for 3+ years. This I find very worrying.
My instincts tell me that he is probably right with regards to 'cramming', but surely 12 months prep cannot be regarded as 'cramming'? The tutor was very pleasant, but am I being quietly frightened into 'buying' something I do not actually need? Or is he right? I live in North West London. The grammer school choices in this area are limited, particularly for boys; effectively it boils down to QEB or Latymer, and we will have to move within the next couple of years so that we are in a location where our son could travel to either school fairly easily. I wonder whether the limited choice, and the fact that the above schools do not have formal catchment areas, (I am aware that for Latymer is that the school can be reached by public transport within an hour) makes the competition in this area particularly fierce?
I had planned to concentrate on helping my son with his Maths and English, by doing some extra work with him at home, and then if necessary engage a tutor in Year 5 as I would not be a good tutor in the run up to the exams. Is that still the best plan?
Any advice would be greatly appreciated.