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 Post subject: Four Saturdays to go!
PostPosted: Fri Aug 17, 2018 5:23 pm 
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Joined: Fri May 04, 2018 3:25 pm
Posts: 236
I was looking at the calendar today and I still can't believe there is such a short time left. I am trying to appear calm for my son, but I just feel so anxious for him :?. How have other experienced parents spent the last few weeks, anything to be specifically mindful about?

Edited due to grammatical errors.


Last edited by Skylark on Sat Aug 18, 2018 11:47 am, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 17, 2018 7:15 pm 
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Skylark its been stressful, as she can do most of it when not under a time pressure, so we need to work on speed without worrying her. We only started the process in the last few weeks, so I understand being stressed. I managed to go from 35%, to passing my tests to get onto my PGCE within a month and they are very time pressured!! Sadly the 11+ test seems to be a test of those that can think quickly, its not measuring blue sky thinking or even particularly difficult maths.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 17, 2018 9:00 pm 
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Location: Buckinghamshire
Please forgive me for this. I've been on here a very long time, and I try to never be negative, but your combined posts made me laugh.

Skylark wrote:
anything to be specifically mindful about?

Yes. Apostrophes.

If you are supporting your children's preparation, and checking their work, a little light revision of the use of apostrophes would be in order, assuming that neither of you are simply the victims of random auto-corrects on your phones.

Skylark wrote:
Four Saturday's to go
Skylark wrote:
How has other experienced parent's spent the last few weeks

Both Saturday and parent are plurals, and therefore no apostrophe is needed - just the ""s" to indicate more than one.

Four Saturdays to go.
How has [have] other parents spent ...

halsea wrote:
Skylark its been stressful
halsea wrote:
its not measuring blue sky thinking

"Its" is a contraction/abbreviation of the words "it is" [&edit] "it has", so the apostrophe is needed to indicate a missing letter.

It's been stressful
It's not measuring blue sky thinking


Here endeth the lesson from the Queen of Random Commas! (I also wish your children the best of luck with the test. :D )


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 17, 2018 10:13 pm 
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Joined: Fri May 04, 2018 3:25 pm
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Hi Sally-Ann,

I thought this was a forum I was writing in and not a formal letter. I thought I could get away with typing on my phone while holding a baby. It seems not! I have edited per your requests
or have I made any more errors? The advice I had in mind, was not really my grammar, but thank you nevertheless.

Oh and English is my 4th language, forgive me in advance for any future errors.

Sorry if I sound snappy. I just had a baby and feel under alot of stress, trying to navigate my child through this maze of 11+. I appreciate that you have been on this forum a long time but it feels as if you are saying- don't write on this forum if you haven't written grammatically correct and you can say all these things because you have been on here longer. Is that correct?


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 17, 2018 10:27 pm 
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I doubt Sally-Anne intended to offend you - her reply was probably tongue in cheek and prompted by the two posts together - otherwise she would not have given clear explanations of what was wrong and how to fix the problem. Apostrophes are widely misused by native speakers too, even those with professional qualifications. They’re obviously right or wrong, so it’s one easy topic to work on with with your child before the exam.

More generally, any practice tests should be timed at this stage. Remind your son to attempt every question, but move on to a new question swiftly if he gets stuck on something. Every mark counts, but you don’t need to get every answer right.

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 18, 2018 12:52 am 
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It was honestly tongue in cheek humour; I quite enjoyed it :lol:

English is my first language and I still make typing errors - especially on my phone - nobody judges here really!

On a serious note, children are very clever and they can and will pick up on parental anxiety.
I know how hard it is to stay completely calm and positive - I've done this 4 times with my own children and cannot fully claim to have been either :roll: but right now they desperately need you to show this calmness and optimism.
I have genuinely seen able and intelligent children fall apart in the last month due to parents' fretfulness and stress and pessimism.
Find ways to de-stress together.
Watch some great movies (for reasons I cannot fully explain, we did the entire Hobbit and LOTR chain of movies in the last month, with me helpfully and continuously pointing out that the exam would be easier than dealing with trolls/orcs/wraiths/goblins/dragons/getting to Mordor).
Go for a run, or bike ride, or (in my case, since I can neither run nor ride a bike) a walk.
Watch comedy and laugh together.
And set time for practice and time for relaxation.


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 18, 2018 6:19 am 
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Location: Buckinghamshire
Skylark wrote:
it feels as if you are saying- don't write on this forum if you haven't written grammatically correct and you can say all these things because you have been on here longer. Is that correct?

No, not at all, and my comments were indeed "tongue-in-cheek". It was simply the conjunction of your question, as to what to bear in mind at this stage, and the two posts with the exact mirror images of how the apostrophe can be misused.

The defence of the apostrophe is one of those peculiarly English pursuits in certain quarters https://www.apostrophe.org.uk/ (I do not subscribe to that website). However, more seriously, correct use of the apostrophe comes up in the 11+, so it does matter as part of preparation.

Congratulations on your new baby, and I wish both your and halsea's children the very best of luck in the tests.


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 18, 2018 10:20 am 
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Stroller wrote:
I doubt Sally-Anne intended to offend you - her reply was probably tongue in cheek and prompted by the two posts together - otherwise she would not have given clear explanations of what was wrong and how to fix the problem. Apostrophes are widely misused by native speakers too, even those with professional qualifications. They’re obviously right or wrong, so it’s one easy topic to work on with with your child before the exam.

More generally, any practice tests should be timed at this stage. Remind your son to attempt every question, but move on to a new question swiftly if he gets stuck on something. Every mark counts, but you don’t need to get every answer right.



Thank you Stroller for the advice. I do try to encourage him to not become to preoccupied with one question and move on. What he finds difficult is slowing down and reading questions properly. He is so worried about the time element that he makes silly mistakes.


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 18, 2018 10:28 am 
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Joined: Fri May 04, 2018 3:25 pm
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halsea wrote:
Skylark its been stressful, as she can do most of it when not under a time pressure, so we need to work on speed without worrying her. We only started the process in the last few weeks, so I understand being stressed. I managed to go from 35%, to passing my tests to get onto my PGCE within a month and they are very time pressured!! Sadly the 11+ test seems to be a test of those that can think quickly, its not measuring blue sky thinking or even particularly difficult maths.



Halsea, congratulations on passing your tests for the PGCE. Well done to you! I hope your enjoying the course. I am sure she will do well, it's so difficulty knowing what to do. All we can do is keep practicing and reassuring them that it will all come together. I think the mocks have helped my son, it has taken the fear out of what to expect on the real thing.


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 18, 2018 10:58 am 
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Joined: Fri May 04, 2018 3:25 pm
Posts: 236
um wrote:
It was honestly tongue in cheek humour; I quite enjoyed it :lol:

English is my first language and I still make typing errors - especially on my phone - nobody judges here really!

On a serious note, children are very clever and they can and will pick up on parental anxiety.
I know how hard it is to stay completely calm and positive - I've done this 4 times with my own children and cannot fully claim to have been either :roll: but right now they desperately need you to show this calmness and optimism.
I have genuinely seen able and intelligent children fall apart in the last month due to parents' fretfulness and stress and pessimism.
Find ways to de-stress together.
Watch some great movies (for reasons I cannot fully explain, we did the entire Hobbit and LOTR chain of movies in the last month, with me helpfully and continuously pointing out that the exam would be easier than dealing with trolls/orcs/wraiths/goblins/dragons/getting to Mordor).
Go for a run, or bike ride, or (in my case, since I can neither run nor ride a bike) a walk.
Watch comedy and laugh together.
And set time for practice and time for relaxation.



Thank you um for the advice, we have incorporated lots of trips and a movie every Saturday at home. We enjoy daily board games and reading time. Since this is all new to us, it's nice to have this forum to express my anxiety :) . The feeling of uncertainty is not a nice one. We shall keep trudging on!


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