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Tips wanted on how to make it stress free and enjoyable
https://www.elevenplusexams.co.uk/forum/11plus/viewtopic.php?f=32&t=21269
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Author:  menagerie [ Tue Jul 19, 2011 9:05 am ]
Post subject:  Tips wanted on how to make it stress free and enjoyable

We are this summer just starting to prepare DCs for 11+ exams, all of which in our area are super-selectives, so they'll need to be in the top 10% to get in. They are bright enough but have been at a very laid back happy school.
They are keen to learn. Very. (I found my DS1 last night working out pi and testing it on circles he'd drawn. Not been taught this at school or by us. He'd come across it in a book and wanted to learn more so googled it then grabbed some paper and was teaching himself.) But he and his brother are less keen on the basics - times tables, punctuation, anything they 'have' to do.

We are going to sit down every night for half an hour (they get almost no homework and it takes 5 mins anyway) with them, but I'm concerned they don't get jaded. And I really don't want to build the exams up to be some big test of their worth. The plan is to prepare them very well and then be ultra laid back about the exams, so they get in there and do their best instead of getting into a tizz. If that's possible.

I'd love some tips from parents or tutors who've already done yr 5 with their children, on how to keep the interest high and the stress low.

Thanks so much.

Author:  scarlett [ Tue Jul 19, 2011 9:23 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Tips wanted on how to make it stress free and enjoyable

I don't think you can keep it completely stress free...they know the stakes are high without us telling them...it depends what your plan b is ? I really wanted to scream at DS at times that he would end up somewhere dodgy, but as that was a possibility you just need to sit them down at the beginning and say wherever they go you will help and support them, they will make friends etc but don't you feel so and so school looks really nice ? you can do this and that there and then go on the school open days so they can see how nice it is.

My DS probably didn't like doing the work but I did try to keep it short and sweet and let him know we will do this amount and then you can do what you want.I did have to control myself, as I wanted to keep going if he got things wrong, as I'm that type of person ,but the jaded look on his face stopped me ! I also bought him little ditties here and there as motivation.

Really, the key is to make a planner for yourself each day to work out what needs doing and then just sit them down to do it....it's all organised and you won't be suddenly trying to stuff things in madly at the last minute.Be prepared too that at times they might suddenly get 20 % on a paper.Try not to shout Dim Boy at him..that seems to be normal, so just tell him not to worry and look at it another time...oh, and make sure you have a room with a sturdy door where you can quietly boo your eyes out to DH about your worries and then emerge as if nothing's wrong !

How old are your boys ?

Author:  Fran17 [ Tue Jul 19, 2011 9:33 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Tips wanted on how to make it stress free and enjoyable

Wow menagerie, it sounds like you are off to a flying start with your DCs. Being so keen to learn is a gift and I can see why you wouldn't want to stifle that enthusiasm with any pressure. A friend of mine gave me some advice which I think really paid off, we sat down together and worked out a study timetable, nothing too over the top and not every night of the week. It was very flexible and we often found ourselves unable to stick to it but I think they liked the fact that they had some control over what they were doing. My youngest DS hated learning his times tables so we decided to do them in the car every morning on the way to school. He memorised them very quickly and I brushed up on them too. We did some mental arithmetic in the car too, that way it didn't seem to eat into his day.

Mine didn't get stressed but I found whole thing very stressful - my DSs have told me since that they didn't know that I was stressed so I guess I managed to hide it well, thankfully.

Author:  Manana [ Tue Jul 19, 2011 2:34 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Tips wanted on how to make it stress free and enjoyable

Try not to shout Dim Boy at him

Ha ha-that really made me laugh! Too true, though it's very difficult to cheerfully ask 'darling, are you sure that's the answer you mean?' when you want to shout 'HOW many times have we been through this; have I been talking to myself!'

Author:  menagerie [ Tue Jul 19, 2011 2:43 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Tips wanted on how to make it stress free and enjoyable

Scarlett I always love your posts! Dim Boy! Thank you for that.

Fran I'm very impressed you managed to hide your stress and stop it from passing on to your DC.

Teachermum, are we not supposed to howl, 'HOW many times?' and bite the table? Oh.

Author:  pheasantchick [ Tue Jul 19, 2011 3:47 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Tips wanted on how to make it stress free and enjoyable

Plenty of red wine! :lol:

Author:  sherry_d [ Tue Jul 19, 2011 5:58 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Tips wanted on how to make it stress free and enjoyable

pheasantchick wrote:
Plenty of red wine! :lol:


...and EPE therapy. It helped me through last summer. I can vouch when you think its all going pear shaped, you will be sure to find someone here going through worse...a visit to Rehab always work wonders :wink:

Author:  Fran17 [ Tue Jul 19, 2011 8:13 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Tips wanted on how to make it stress free and enjoyable

Haha - I think red wine may have helped me not to pass my stress on!

Author:  scarlett [ Tue Jul 19, 2011 9:34 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Tips wanted on how to make it stress free and enjoyable

Actually, I blame this place for my increase in drinking...it's you lot discussing the virtues of a good red.

Author:  vasu [ Tue Jul 19, 2011 10:21 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Tips wanted on how to make it stress free and enjoyable

I dont drink so I plan to chew on raw coffee instead :wink:
My son and I have decided to do one paper every day after breakfast and online interactive mini test after evening milk at 5:15pm. Nothing on weekends cause dad would be home and will be off every weekend exploring all corners of England :). Everyone is happy.

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