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PostPosted: Sun Sep 21, 2014 11:00 pm 

Joined: Wed Jul 11, 2012 7:05 pm
Posts: 220

Firstly well done to all the children that got the results they wanted, and well done to all the mums and dads that supported them.

While the exams were designed to be tutor-proof, the reality is that some of your children were coached/tutored. What I wanted to know (which will hopefully help other parents with younger children), what methods and techniques did you use? Nothing, home study, tutoring, Bond or other books, intensive courses etc etc.

Also, would you do anything different?

Many thanks

PostPosted: Mon Sep 22, 2014 9:49 pm 

Joined: Wed Jul 11, 2012 7:05 pm
Posts: 220
Wow - Over 200 views and not a single comment.

Seems this subject is as taboo on the forums, as it is at the school gates!

I spoke to a well regarded tutor who told me, hardly anyone recommends him until their dc has started school. Even then it's rare and according to him - parents just don't want to admit their children had help.

PostPosted: Mon Sep 22, 2014 10:01 pm 

Joined: Sat May 30, 2009 12:06 pm
Posts: 2239
Location: Birmingham
In fairness, I think that I have answered this quite a few dozen times over the years, and that information is still freely available on the forums.

While I don't unfortunately have time right now to repeat everything, I would say that without meaning to appear glib, the following poem sums quite a lot up in terms of the VR and literacy prep:

The most important thing we've learned,
So far as children are concerned,
Is never, NEVER, NEVER let
Them near your television set --
Or better still, just don't install
The idiotic thing at all.
In almost every house we've been,
We've watched them gaping at the screen.
They loll and slop and lounge about,
And stare until their eyes pop out.
(Last week in someone's place we saw
A dozen eyeballs on the floor.)
They sit and stare and stare and sit
Until they're hypnotised by it,
Until they're absolutely drunk
With all that shocking ghastly junk.
Oh yes, we know it keeps them still,
They don't climb out the window sill,
They never fight or kick or punch,
They leave you free to cook the lunch
And wash the dishes in the sink --
But did you ever stop to think,
To wonder just exactly what
This does to your beloved tot?
'All right!' you'll cry. 'All right!' you'll say,
'But if we take the set away,
What shall we do to entertain
Our darling children? Please explain!'
We'll answer this by asking you,
'What used the darling ones to do?
'How used they keep themselves contented
Before this monster was invented?'
Have you forgotten? Don't you know?
We'll say it very loud and slow:
THEY ... USED ... TO ... READ! They'd READ and READ,
AND READ and READ, and then proceed
To READ some more. Great Scott! Gadzooks!
One half their lives was reading books!
The nursery shelves held books galore!
Books cluttered up the nursery floor!
And in the bedroom, by the bed,
More books were waiting to be read!
Such wondrous, fine, fantastic tales
Of dragons, gypsies, queens, and whales
And treasure isles, and distant shores
Where smugglers rowed with muffled oars,
And pirates wearing purple pants,
And sailing ships and elephants,
And cannibals crouching 'round the pot,
Stirring away at something hot.
(It smells so good, what can it be?
Good gracious, it's Penelope.)
The younger ones had Beatrix Potter
With Mr. Tod, the dirty rotter,
And Squirrel Nutkin, Pigling Bland,
And Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle and-
Just How The Camel Got His Hump,
And How the Monkey Lost His Rump,
And Mr. Toad, and bless my soul,
There's Mr. Rat and Mr. Mole-
Oh, books, what books they used to know,
Those children living long ago!
So please, oh please, we beg, we pray,
Go throw your TV set away,
And in its place you can install
A lovely bookshelf on the wall.
Then fill the shelves with lots of books,
Ignoring all the dirty looks,
The screams and yells, the bites and kicks,
And children hitting you with sticks-
Fear not, because we promise you
That, in about a week or two
Of having nothing else to do,
They'll now begin to feel the need
Of having something to read.
And once they start -- oh boy, oh boy!
You watch the slowly growing joy
That fills their hearts. They'll grow so keen
They'll wonder what they'd ever seen
In that ridiculous machine,
That nauseating, foul, unclean,
Repulsive television screen!
And later, each and every kid
Will love you more for what you did.

Roald Dahl

PostPosted: Mon Sep 22, 2014 10:12 pm 

Joined: Sat May 30, 2009 12:06 pm
Posts: 2239
Location: Birmingham
I often get asked what children in Year 1 and 2 should be doing to 'prep' and seriously, reading, and being read to, are worth far more than any workbooks at this stage.

PostPosted: Mon Sep 22, 2014 10:14 pm 

Joined: Thu Mar 14, 2013 6:30 pm
Posts: 583
Just to provide an alternative prospective; my child hates reading and had probabl completed 10 books in his life. It's not for everyone. I prefer watching the movies rather than waste a week reading the book. One size does not fit all. By the way, he passed all grammars... Good luck

PostPosted: Mon Sep 22, 2014 10:20 pm 

Joined: Wed Jul 11, 2012 7:05 pm
Posts: 220
Thanks, that's an amusing poem and I'll share that with dd - She loves reading and she loves Roald Dahl.

In terms of reading, we used the book lists on this forum, and scoured bookshops and libraries to find some of those books. One challenge we had is when she came across a word she didn't fully understand in a story, she just used the rest of the text to fill in the missing blank. However, we had other strategies in terms of improving her vocabulary.

PostPosted: Mon Sep 22, 2014 10:48 pm 

Joined: Sat May 30, 2009 12:06 pm
Posts: 2239
Location: Birmingham
You can buy handy electronic bookmarks where a child can quickly type in a new word and see the meaning. My dd had one - they're not perfect as it didn't have all the words she tried - but overall it was quite useful.
Obviously with Kindle books you can immediately click/look up a word, but I am not a massive Kindle fan, I have to admit.

PostPosted: Mon Sep 22, 2014 10:49 pm 

Joined: Sat May 30, 2009 12:06 pm
Posts: 2239
Location: Birmingham
You have to get that in sbarnes :D but I stand by my principles....Read!

(Or if Arabic works better for you, Iqra! :wink: )

PostPosted: Tue Sep 23, 2014 12:41 am 

Joined: Mon Feb 14, 2011 1:42 pm
Posts: 1002
Location: Birmingham
Oooh, careful um, some forum users might start to feel isolated by your use of a single word! :D

Definitely encourage more reading. But sbarnes is right - there are some children who just hate fiction. DS3 loves his fact books and encyclopaedias so I read the stories to him (which he enjoys) and I leave him to read non-fiction in his own time.

I think you will find that most people on here have gone down the preparation method. I chose DIY as I wanted flexibility and the work to be more focused around their needs. See the CEM prep sticky for various approaches.


PostPosted: Tue Sep 23, 2014 5:51 am 

Joined: Wed Dec 18, 2013 3:58 pm
Posts: 230
If you look on general 11 plus thread there is a post near the top about what people do to prepare.

I did very little, I was of the mind that if they have the natural ability that these tests are supposed to tease out then I didn't want to over tutor just for them to then struggle at grammar.

We looked only at the age 10-11 Bond 10 minute tests!

The result, one of my twins has enough points for a place (I think as not confirmed until March), and one didn't pass.
Obviously I am gutted for the one who did not pass BUT if I think about them as individuals and their own characters he is probably not suited to the grammar environment.

Good luck x

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