Go to navigation
It is currently Mon Nov 29, 2021 10:18 am

All times are UTC [ DST ]




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 12 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next
Author Message
PostPosted: Fri Jun 25, 2021 7:19 pm 
Offline

Joined: Fri Apr 30, 2021 11:37 am
Posts: 10
We only came to the decision in April to pursue the 11+ for a local grammar school and our daughter was very positive about it and doing well for the most part, though doing extra study time at home after school and at weekends has often been tricky, esp when the sun is shining.

We've been doing one day each of English, VR and Maths (about an hour of each; Eng/VR with me; Maths with my husband). She's a strong student, one of the top in her class at our state school, so even though we're starting late, I think she could have a good chance of getting where she needs to be for the exam if she can stay focused. She is, however, becoming more and more resistant, and I'm not doing a very good job of motivating her.

We're looking at getting a tutor - maybe that will relieve some of the pressure she feels is coming from me (and the pressure I feel being responsible for her success in this). But now she's saying she's just not going to try any more and she'll take the exam but not try to do well and that she doesn't care and wants to quit. :cry:

I know that time is somewhat against us, but when she is focused she does quite well on the test papers. We know she could do well on the exam and we don't want to let her quit. But it feels like the negativity is spiralling out of control now.

Help? Advice?


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Jun 25, 2021 8:05 pm 
Online

Joined: Wed Jan 18, 2012 12:41 pm
Posts: 10877
Location: Essex
maus wrote:
We only came to the decision in April to pursue the 11+ for a local grammar school and our daughter was very positive about it and doing well for the most part, though doing extra study time at home after school and at weekends has often been tricky, esp when the sun is shining.

We've been doing one day each of English, VR and Maths (about an hour of each; Eng/VR with me; Maths with my husband). She's a strong student, one of the top in her class at our state school, so even though we're starting late, I think she could have a good chance of getting where she needs to be for the exam if she can stay focused. She is, however, becoming more and more resistant, and I'm not doing a very good job of motivating her.

We're looking at getting a tutor - maybe that will relieve some of the pressure she feels is coming from me (and the pressure I feel being responsible for her success in this). But now she's saying she's just not going to try any more and she'll take the exam but not try to do well and that she doesn't care and wants to quit. :cry:

I know that time is somewhat against us, but when she is focused she does quite well on the test papers. We know she could do well on the exam and we don't want to let her quit. But it feels like the negativity is spiralling out of control now.

Help? Advice?


In the nicest possible way - just back off, perhaps?

Who made the decision to 'pursue the 11+', you or your DD? If it was your DD, after she has had a nice rest from the pursuit for a week or two, get her to have a think about what prompted her to decide that it would be nice to see whether she could add the grammar school to theist from which she and you can decide which schools to express as preferences on your CAF.

If you as her parent were the driver of the chase, so to speak, perhaps sit back and have a think what your reasoning was; your DD is usually near the top of the class, normally(?) shows an interest in school work, would benefit from the faster pace of work at the grammar school? Do you believe that to have an extra option is better than not? Or do you want her to go to.the grammar school because going to grammar school is sort of objectively 'the best', whether or not it is necessarily 'the best for an individual child?

Possibly she has come to the not unreasonable conclusion that grammar school will be one long extra slog, just like her experience of preparing for the exam and that the game isn't worth the candle, as the saying goes?

The trying to give themselves some extra possible schools to apply for idea worked pretty well with our three, but I have to say that if I had taken it into my head that trying to make them fit the school by giving up so much out of school time in the pursuit, rather than looking at them and thinking that a grammar school would probably be a good fit for them as they were, I hope that someone would have sat me down and got me to give my head a good wobble :).

_________________
Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read.Groucho Marx


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Jun 25, 2021 10:11 pm 
Offline

Joined: Fri Apr 30, 2021 11:37 am
Posts: 10
We're fairly new to the UK so the whole grammar school thing is unfamiliar terrain. We knew there was one in our area but that it was significantly further away than the very good state schools we're in/near catchment for, so we didn't feel it was something DD absolutely had to do. 

We revisited the idea, though, after our head teacher suggested that the grammar school would be a great fit for her. We talked with DD about it and about how it's good to have options. The grammar school would be one choice but the local choices are also great, and we've told her that getting offered a place doesn't mean she'd have to accept it. She could choose a local option if she preferred. We're hoping we can do on-site Open Evenings in the autumn so she can get a feel for herself of what the schools are like. 

We are definitely not at all of the mindset that a school is "the best" option just because it's a grammar school. DD seems to be naturally academically inclined, so the grammar would probably be a great option for her. 

Our primary school doesn't give much homework so I think part of the issue is that she's suddenly having to do structured study time at home, which is out of the ordinary. It's the end of the school year and we're all ready for a break. 

OTOH, given that we only have four months in total to prepare and are halfway through, I think we do need to stay focused over the next two months. It's how do we do that without so much strife? I don't think letting her throw in the towel now because it's started to feel like hard work would send a good message because she often retreats from things that are hard. It would be great if she could do well enough on the exam to get an offer, but I think the process of setting a goal and working towards that goal is also important.

And I guess another aspect of it is that I feel a bit let down by our school. They've always been hesitant to "label" anyone as "high attaining", and maybe, not knowing the system, we didn't know how to dig for the right feedback. We knew she was doing well, but we didn't know how well compared to other kids and I wish I'd known sooner that the grammar option was potentially a great match so we could have started earlier and given her an even better chance of being well prepared.

Our 11+ prep has also revealed some gaps in her learning (nothing drastic, but still, there's some catching up to do to cover all the material). So I'm probably feeling pressured, I suppose, to fill those gaps and that's affecting DD. And I worry that despite the excellent reputations of our local state secondaries, they (like our "outstanding" primary) might in practice fall short of expectations, so the grammar option has started to feel more appealing than it once did (despite the downside of the long commute).


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Jun 25, 2021 11:01 pm 
Offline

Joined: Mon Mar 03, 2014 11:24 pm
Posts: 1736
Location: Petts Wood, Bromley, Kent
DD never did more than an hour a week (home familiarisation) aged 10 and she was driven and motivated. She would have been put off by nightly lessons and she likes tests and exams! Yes she did start after the school play autumn of Y5 but it wasn’t a huge swathe of time.

If you need to do so much it may be a case of not meant to be, or you just back off as others have suggested and give your DD a huge vote of confidence and tell her nothing lost by trying the exam and how proud you are of what she has done so far.

A formal tutor may not have capacity right now. If your DD does want to give it a go a bright grammar Y11 who has been through the process about to go into Y12 may work for you? DD is doing private tutoring (and has no capacity so not an advert!) and is getting good progress as I think the girl and boy she is tutoring relate better to her than a teacher come adult tutor.


Last edited by PettswoodFiona on Sat Jun 26, 2021 7:05 am, edited 1 time in total.

Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sat Jun 26, 2021 4:52 am 
Offline

Joined: Tue Sep 27, 2016 10:52 am
Posts: 279
Hi maus,

I did write a long answer but lost it so I’ll keep this brief. While it’s less stressful for everybody to have a slow relaxed preparation over time, successful prep of a good candidate for 11+ can be done in much less time. We started working with DD much later than you have and she got into the GS we were hoping for.

Firstly, it sounds like your daughter just needs a break. Make sure she knows that none of the work she’s doing is a waste. It all helps - grammar school or not. Also, vary the work you do and how long. 10 minute tests are great for speed and aren’t too big an ask. Make sure she knows exam technique eg guess rather than leave a blank, not too long on any question. Make sure she’s familiar with the format of the 11+ exam she’s sitting.

With all the hours you’re putting in, is there a chance you’re aiming higher than necessary? Some parents feel the need to teach more advanced material or feel their DC need higher scores than actually necessary. See some of the raw score threads to see what actually makes a qualifying score.

Mostly though, have a rest, play some games, read some books. It’ll help more than carrying on as before.

HTH
PS


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sat Jun 26, 2021 7:18 am 
Offline

Joined: Fri Sep 15, 2006 9:51 am
Posts: 10461
At 11 your daughter won't have understood what she has let herself in for, she may also worry that she will let you down. I agree with the others, give her a break (as long as necessary) and see what happens. There are many kids who do little more than familiarisation, get the hang of the whole thing and get through fine.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sat Jun 26, 2021 8:57 am 
Offline

Joined: Sat Oct 13, 2018 5:00 pm
Posts: 340
Totally understand where you're coming from. My youngest didn't like doing any work outside school at all for 11+ and had never been required to by his primary school. He wanted to go to GS as his sibling was there but any home learning I tried to do with him over the summer became stressful, which I think was because he felt pressure to live up to his sibling.
Ability-wise he was fine and looking back I should have not worried too much about forcing him to do practice papers and instead just concentrated on making sure he was ok with exam technique and timings etc.
I think an hour at a time is too long, your daughter will become resentful of study and you don't want that. Don't try to cram too much in, thinking you've left it late so you need to cover a certain amount in a short time. Ask her which things she finds difficult and just cover those.
And try to relax a bit yourself. If you're worrying that will affect her. I don't think ten year olds are actually able to make the decision about which school they should be going to, they can express preferences but ultimately as their parent you have to make decisions on their behalf. You understand better than they do about the importance of a good education in their future. If two of mine had been given a choice at age 10 they would have said that they just wanted to play football and Xbox and never do any work! As soon as they actually started going to their grammar schools they loved them and actually wanted to do the work because it was presented in a way that they liked and they wanted to know more.
Keep going but try to reduce the time your daughter has to sit with her books. Quality not quantity, and just be encouraging, don't let her feel that there's a heavy weight of expectation on her.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sat Jun 26, 2021 11:17 am 
Offline

Joined: Fri Apr 30, 2021 11:37 am
Posts: 10
Thanks, everyone. Some good advice, which I appreciate. I'll think about cutting back our "formal" study time a bit.

I know people with kids in private schools who say they're doing 4 days of after-school study plus every day over holidays, which sounded like way too much to me. I had thought 1 day/week for each subject (so 3 days/week) was a good approach. Given that DD only does one after-school activity (her choice) that was still giving her three days off, without homework or extra studies, during the week.

In any case, we don't want this process to be traumatic for her and she is getting a lot of praise for her efforts.

Thanks again.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sat Jun 26, 2021 1:06 pm 
Offline

Joined: Fri Sep 15, 2006 9:51 am
Posts: 10461
maus wrote:
I know people with kids in private schools who say they're doing 4 days of after-school study plus every day over holidays, which sounded like way too much to me.


:shock: :shock: DD was in a private school and did (I think) about 4-5 over the holiday before the exam, they weren't timed and I think she marked them herself

DS didn't do any prep in the holiday


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sun Jun 27, 2021 12:06 am 
Offline

Joined: Tue Feb 12, 2013 1:38 am
Posts: 175
The amount of work your daughter needs to do will depend on the school she is aiming for. Not sure if there's a girls equivalent of QE boys but someone has posted an analysis of their results. I doubt anything but a full on concerted effort would be rewarded with a place. And if I had a £1 for every parent that has told me their child did very little work....I could have educated mine privately.


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 12 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next

All times are UTC [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 7 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Privacy Policy | Refund Policy | Disclaimer | Copyright © 2004 – 2021