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To send DS2 to 11+ tutor against his wishes?

(104 Posts)
Fourarmsv2 Tue 09-Jun-15 16:14:51

We live in a county with several grammar schools.

DS1 took his 11+ and will be going to a grammar school in September. He started one hour once a week tutoring in about Nov of Y5.

DS2 is not a reader like DS1. He's also a July baby. So I've booked him in a little earlier (June Y4).

He doesn't want to go and is in tears. AIBU to send him anyway? I'd rather not, but because I don't want to deal with him being difficult about going. DS1 was the same and I sent him anyway. DS2 always feels a little more fragile to me so I know I give into him more than I do DS1.

He's due there in just over an hour.


Klayden Tue 09-Jun-15 16:17:09

Good lord, no. It's not compulsory. I would not send my crying child to a tutor.

PHANTOMnamechanger Tue 09-Jun-15 16:18:40

I wouldn't force him. It is a lot of pressure if they dont even want to do it.
DS is Yr 5 and we have JUST started tutoring him ourselves for the 11+ in september, because he decided that he would like to give it a try. His 2 sisters are already at grammars, he is a different kettle of fish (ie bone idle), but he has decided he wants to do this and is getting on with it now. because he wants to not because we were forcing him to.

BrilliantDayForTheRace Tue 09-Jun-15 16:19:05

Very hard for the tutor to teach him if he doesn't want to be there. I think it's likely to be a waste of money and totally counter productive.

You've still got ages. Postpone for a couple of months and them reassess.

11+ scores are standardised to adjust for age. Ie a July baby needs a lower raw score to pass than a Sep baby.

Goldmandra Tue 09-Jun-15 16:20:18

It depends what his worry is and whether it's well founded.

If he'll be OK once he realises that the tutor is nice and the activities are enjoyable then send him.

If he doesn't want to take the 11+ and will carry on like this you're wasting your money because he won't be learning enough.

I would only send a child to be tutored in the format of the tests so they were familiar. If he needs more than that I don't think it's fair to send them unless they really want to do it.

sparkysparkysparky Tue 09-Jun-15 16:20:58

Personally I wouldn't if it is a thing for him. Perhaps later. Perhaps you can tutor him.
What are alternatives?
I don't live in grammar school area but db and dsis do. All 4 nephews /nieces went to grammar. It suited 3 but not 4. 4 was pushed down an academic route that we now know didn't suit. 4 now at college.
I was 1st year of comprehensive in my area which merged the grammars that db and dsis went to.
Frankly I wish we were in a grammar area but aren't so I am not against them in principle.

Fourarmsv2 Tue 09-Jun-15 16:30:31

Thanks. I feel rubbish. He's adamant about it. But I know we need the discipline of a tutor to facilitate getting work done at home because otherwise other things will take priority.

He's amazing at maths so I think it's the right thing for him.

I'm a teacher at one of the grammars. And I've taught at our local comp. I'd really like him to go to the Grammar.

selly24 Tue 09-Jun-15 16:31:37

As a former tutor I would say try a different tutor. This far from the test they should be focusing on having fun with and building a relationship with your son, keeping things light and getting him to believe in himself. Perhaps part of him feels like he will fail/ can't live up to big brothers standard. I would say that this (new) tutoring is NOT for 11+ but to help him generally with his learning. I have lost count of the hours spent playing table tennis, boggle, consequenses, table football, generally just messing about I spentvwirh my ex charges and they ALL got in to top schools because they didn't feel the pressure. They believed in themselves and WANTED to do well FOR THEMSELVES!��

Noneedtoworryatall Tue 09-Jun-15 16:34:26

Why would you not tutor him yourself op?

Klayden Tue 09-Jun-15 16:35:52

He's only 8 years old, not even 9 yet. Why does he need this pressure?

Lonecatwithkitten Tue 09-Jun-15 16:37:33

Selly is right they have to want to do it. My DD deliberately failed the entrance exam for a super selective. She didn't want to go as she would have been towards the middle of pile. She wanted to be in a school where she was at the top of the pile.

whois Tue 09-Jun-15 16:42:52

Why would you not tutor him yourself op?

Sometimes it better to have an external tutor than the parents. Different dynamic, different teaching style etc. More experience of teaching for the 11+exam also? If op teaches A level politics she's not going to be as well placed as a specialised 11+ tutor to help.

Fourarmsv2 Tue 09-Jun-15 16:53:45

I'm really good at teaching my subject, but I can't teach him the skills for an 11+ CEM test. I tried with DS1 but my methods, although they got the correct answer, were not quick enough.

This will be (if I can get him in) his first session. He'd be the same with anyone. It means staying at a stranger's house. It's a big ask.

Sadly our 11+ is early Sept so only just over a year away.

sparkysparkysparky Tue 09-Jun-15 17:02:45

Does he have a good relationship with his big brother - can you trust his brother to give him words of wisdom and encouragement ?

vodkanchocolate Tue 09-Jun-15 17:06:58

oh gosh, thats a lot of pressure. Please dont send him. Its not the same but one of my neighbours sends her daughter to dancing lessons she absolutely hates it had her hiding out in my garden last night (not that I knew)

SirChenjin Tue 09-Jun-15 17:07:13

You're forcing a crying 8 year old to go to a tutor so that he can (maybe) go to a grammar school in 3 years? Good lord - yes, yabu.

Mamiof3 Tue 09-Jun-15 17:12:04


Just wait for him to be a bit more ready
Have you actually asked him how he feels about the 11+
Maybe it's not right for him, as he doesn't seem to handle the idea of extra academic work too well and it will only increase as yr6 approaches

Theas18 Tue 09-Jun-15 17:16:48

Depends on the tutor. I know things have changed but 12yrs ago with DD1 the tutor did loads of exciting stuff to enhance thinking skills rather than endless papers- programmable lego for instance. DS tutor did some art with him too as he was convinced he was "useless at it" .

If you have a flexible effective tutor then take him and say something like " can you do the 11+ equivalent of foundation stage at the moment and ease him into the formal stuff gently" an hour of learning how to play chess if he doesn't already, or playing with 3D shapes etc ( the non verbal reasoning requires that you can visualise these from different angles eg a cone looks like a triangle from the side and a circle from underneath).

If it's an hour of sitting doing " tests" I'd say that was a pretty poor tutor at this stage. Ours did the papers at home and went through them in part of their hour each week and did something more interesting after.

googoodolly Tue 09-Jun-15 17:21:37

Good God, YABVU. He's eight!

SirChenjin Tue 09-Jun-15 17:29:28

So how do grammars work then? Those who can afford tutoring (but not private school) pay for their children to be coached to pass an exam at 11 - rather than getting there on merit alone? confused
What happens once they get to grammar school - are they then tutored for the next few years to ensure they keep up with their peers and pass exams? And at University. ..same thing there?

PurpleDaisies Tue 09-Jun-15 17:31:44

I'm a private tutor and I sometimes work with kids of this age. I'm really careful to make it fun and light so it isn't anything like school. They mainly learn through discovering things for themselves and I am usually told by the parents (and it is obvious from the kids) that they really enjoy it. I don't know what your tutor is like but if they're very serious and strict and your son is sensitive no wonder he doesn't want to go.

But if I've read your posts right he hasn't actually been yet so could it a bit of trying something new first time nerves? Could you stay with him for the first session and if he doesn't enjoy it leave the tutoring for a while. If you're a teacher you must know that if the kids don't want to be there they'll learn nothing at all and you'll have the double whammy of wasting your money and (more importantly) making your son really miserable.

PHANTOMnamechanger Tue 09-Jun-15 17:38:02

SirChen the head of our local boys grammar stood up one year at the Y7 parents evening in October and said something like "it is already blatantly obvious to us which parents had their children tutored to pass the 11+, and we want you to know that we expect you to keep that up throughought their school lives so that the standards we achieve are maintained"

I think it is very wrong coaching children to just scrape by, when they may not be academically suited to the hard slog that is grammar school. The loads of homework, the constant assessment.

It's competitive parenting at its worst. then when the child does not pass 11+, it's blame the tutor, and when they drop out of grammar/fail to get the top grades, its blame the school.

schokolade Tue 09-Jun-15 17:38:07

Probably too late now, but I'd make a deal with him. Try the tutor for three weeks and if he doesn't like it, no more going.

iwantgin Tue 09-Jun-15 17:38:32

DS is at a selective grammar - and had no tutoring. Many of the children did have - subsequently the school have amended the entrance exams so they aren't traditional 11+ and are more difficult to be tutored for.

I can't see the point in all the extra tuition before the school. If the student doesn't have the ability to get in, then how will they fare once attending the school?

If he wants to sit for the school, then help him yourself. I certainly wouldn't force any child to go to a tutor - you will be wasting his time and your money.

PHANTOMnamechanger Tue 09-Jun-15 17:40:04

the old 1970s system (in Kent) where everyone in Yr 6 did the exam, and it was not a big deal, they did not even know when it was, seems much fairer to me

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