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Continuing Tutoring for 11+???

(21 Posts)
LaQueen Tue 13-Nov-12 15:11:06

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

BloooCowWonders Tue 13-Nov-12 16:03:06

Does she need the confidence boost?

Can you move the session to a weekday evening rather than weekend?

How does she feel about stopping?

No answers for, just more things to consider!

piggywigwig Tue 13-Nov-12 16:25:59

May I ask some questions?

What's the format of the 11+ exam your daughter will sit? Is it VR, NVR, English, Maths etc?

What was the book?

bowerbird Tue 13-Nov-12 16:29:00

I think I'd side with your DH. I know it's expensive and inconvenient, but really, you want to be able to look back and say "I did everything I could to ensure my child could have this opportunity". It's not forever and clearly it IS working.

Wishing you best of luck as I'll be you in a couple of years.

LaQueen Tue 13-Nov-12 16:58:22

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

LaQueen Tue 13-Nov-12 17:00:38

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LaQueen Tue 13-Nov-12 17:01:45

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

piggywigwig Tue 13-Nov-12 18:12:52

Thanks LaQueen

Golly, it's a hard call. Do you know if the school or schools you're going for, are superselective? Is it a one tier test, ie you do those two in one sitting and that's it, or do you do the NVR and VR and if you get a high enough score, you get to progress to the next round of testing?

I'm going to be honest and say we don't do NVR in our area and so I'm not familiar with the book but I have seen the VR versions (have them here at home).

In trying to assess whether her results with these tests mean she doesn't need a tutor, you probably find that the difficulty lies in whether the tests in the book were similar in format and difficulty, to the real thing in your area. Can you possibly get hold of a past paper to see how they compare? We don't ever see past VR papers in this part of Essex, so we have to guess that they'll be as hard, if not harder than the GL Assessment series of papers. We found the AFN easier than GL Assessment, Walsh and Bright Sparks, if that's any help?

Can you tutor your DD yourself? If your DD has a natural flair for VR & NVR, then if you're confident, you could buy some "how-to" technique books which can show you speed-tricks. Once you know how to do the questions, then you need to acquire some practice in time management and exam technique. The 11 Plus Exam Forum is an invaluable site for tips for the 11+ and there's regional boards, so that you can get specific help and ideas for the test your DD will sit

If you feel you can work together, then why not consider giving it a go for a while? I appreciate that not everyone has the time and not all DC's will co-operate. I also understand that with some areas, getting a tutor can be very difficult and you may not want to give this one up.

I'm happy to help with more ideas

ninah Tue 13-Nov-12 18:44:38

what year is she in LaQueen?

LaQueen Tue 13-Nov-12 19:04:59

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LaQueen Tue 13-Nov-12 19:10:31

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Wormshuffler Tue 13-Nov-12 19:17:45

Would the tutor be agreeable to stopping now but taking up again after easter? My 2 dcs both passed with us tutoring from Easter. Ours aren't super selective hense us tutoring rather than a tutor.

piggywigwig Tue 13-Nov-12 20:06:23

I like wormshuffler's possible compromise. grin It would certainly be something I'd consider in your situation, given the information you've told us here.

I don't know your DD but I'd cautiously say that with a bit more work on it herself, she'll grow in confidence grin There are quite a few books on teaching the technique for VR and having seen a couple of them, the following is very much geared towards the child reading it themselves, as well as having a tutor or parent sitting alongside for every page:- GL Assessment "11+ Explained Verbal Reasoning" book. I suspect there's a sister book for NVR. Perhaps like wormshuffler says, she could always start again with a tutor at say, Easter time, having gone through the technique books in the meantime.
This site is also amazing because it gives you free guides and practice for the VR and NVR question-types. It's also very good for maths. There's some paying elements but I highly recommend it:

If it's not a superselective, then that's good, in terms of pressure on you all, given the tutor situation. I can only say what I would have done in your situation and I wouldn't have stressed too much. As long as my DD understood how to do it and practised exam technique for speed and time management, then I wouldn't see a tutor every week, or get DD endlessly practising paper after paper for months and months....

Everyone has different needs and goals and you only get one shot at this, which adds to the stresses of the decision-making process. There's no guarantees whether you DIY, choose an external tutor or do a mix of the two. I DIY'd and oh, the hours I spent agonising over the dilemmas, choices and guilt over whether I'd done enough to prepare her sad

This tutoring trap is terrible - it's very hard to step off the roundabout when so many people are "upping the ante" and who wants to face the terrible thought that you didn't do enough for your child...?

kilmuir Tue 13-Nov-12 20:11:26

no, i would stop paying for the tutoring. she has a year to go and doing really well.
my DD sat the 11plus this past September. can buy loads of practice papers nearer the time

ninah Tue 13-Nov-12 23:14:10

thanks! ds is at the same point, Y5 - and I am trying to decide what to do
so far we've just done a couple of papers at home - it's not so much money as time, with the tutoring - I may be on less hours in the spring so plan to really go for it then. We're super selective though and I am in two minds whether to push for it at all. Ds has really grown up a lot latelyl but his self esteem can be fragile.
It sounds like your dd is flying! good luck with it all

PastSellByDate Wed 14-Nov-12 06:42:34

Hi LaQueen:

Several things here. Do you have the time and inclination to support 11+ preparation at home? Some preparation is necessary because basically having familiarity with the types of questions that could be asked is a real advantage.

How will your husband or you react if your DD doesn't pass on the day. Will it cause a problem for you or your husband that you stopped the tutor?

Your daughter sounds very bright and able and perhaps the compromise would be to 'do-it-yourself' 11+ practice, for familiarisation of the types of questions. This can be done either through work books or through on-line 11+ practice websites - and really can be done by your DD practicing and you just supplying a snack and the computer/ workbook.


ohforfoxsake Wed 14-Nov-12 06:58:34

IMO tutoring starts at Easter. DS1 has just done his entrance exams and DS2 will do his next September. Although many of DS2s friends have started already, our tutor is adamant that this is too soon. Also, she doesn't give homework unless they need to do more. Nearer the time we do papers at home and a couple of extra practice sessions.

Trouble is, DS2s friends are learning more than they have covered in school so he now feels he is not keeping up with his tutored friends. I am not falling into that trap, it's bad enough having to go down this path for the exams to create a level playing field, I'm not doing it for school as well.

blisterpack Wed 14-Nov-12 11:13:46

I would stop the tutoring. It sounds like your DD is doing very well. IME the good tutors (and I don't mean good just in terms of how many children are on their waiting list but good as in honest and upfront) discourage too much tutoring and say that it's sufficient to start in January or after Easter.

After much discussion, and a couple of trial lessons, we did not use a tutor. And DD did well at her exams, including one for a superselective. You need to make sure that yours does some work at home. It's much cheaper, easier (as you can choose your own hours, no need to decide between tutor or party on weekends etc.) and more effective to do it yourself at home. If you have younger DC you can reuse the books when it's their time so even more cost effective (our daughter wrote out all answers in an answer book so all papers are as new). Since it's not a SS area, according to your statistics it looks like being in the top 1/5 of the class is enough to get in. In that case I think tutoring of a bright child is a waste of money and weekends.

One thing to remember is, this is just one paper you have scored her on. Some papers are much easier than others and may be different to the one you may get. Go on the 11+ forum and check which publishers are closest to the exam your daughter has to do. I am guessing that since this was a paper given by the tutor it should be quite close, though it may not necessarily be so.

mumteacher Sat 17-Nov-12 21:52:19

Tutoring from Easter sounds (in theory) a great compromise in this situation. However many people have this approach and good tutors get booked up fast. Is this tutor going to have a place available for your DD? I know how busy I get around that time. You may just have to bite the bullet and pay for these few extra months!

Good luck.

simpson Sat 17-Nov-12 22:11:03

How often does she have the tutor, weekly??

Can you go to having every 3 weeks or so just to keep her going??

I hate the tutoring aspect too, but feel I may be in the same place in a few years although DS is only in yr3 so not making a decision for a while grin

HesAwayAgain Mon 19-Nov-12 12:52:24

Hello LaQ. I think I'm at the opposite end of your county, and my dd has done very well in the county 11+ this year, and also got into the other school that does its own test as an out of catchment "very impressive" pass (that's where she'll go).

I didn't pay for any tutoring. Like you and your dh, we are very competent, and dd was compliant in practising. My dd did not need teaching how to do the tests, but did benefit from practice to get quicker. The timing is the toughest part of the tests, and more so in the VR paper (as the NVR is split up into sections).

I bought a selection of test and practice papers - probably spent about £80 in total, intending these to be used by all 3 of our kids. Last September, dd started to do some of the Bond 20 questions. She enjoyed these and found them easy, but we didn't do them very much at all. Around May, I tried to encourage more frequent practice and had moved on to the Letts questions (as suggested by the local grammar as being closest match) and IPS. The IPS seem to cover a much wider range of question types, which I was keen to do for the other school rather than the county-wide tests. Over the summer holidays, she did some of these. During Sep, she had a test every Saturday. We did one or 2 practices during the week, and due to boredom with these, dh or I did them alongside her for a bit of competition (we'd get into the school of our choice too!).

I did instigate an incentive scheme of 5p per question attempted plus 5p per question answered, which helped her along... she reached about £35 this way, so you can see she didn't do an amazing amount of practice. A lot of other parents were promising prizes if they passed and I didn't want to do this as passing is reward enough, and I wanted to reward her putting in the preparation instead.

We did very little NVR practice, as dd was so very good at these, that I just did not see the point (and CGS only does VR papers, so 3 out of the 4 papers were VR for dd). VR, it is possible to improve technique more easily. dd's head teacher gave out a list of words to know - sometimes with dual meanings or archaic words, like vessel (a container, a ship), and this made us talk over the year about words we came across. dd is an avid reader and this is undoubtedly the best preparation for VR!

I don't know what the criteria are for your local grammars are. The ones nearest us vary. The closest one does not distinguish on mark at all - you just have to get over 220 - and then it's down to distance from school. dd probably wouldn't get in as we live at their maximum usual distance. The 3rd closest admits on mark rather than distance so she'd get in there (but they haven't filled their places the last few years, so passing would probably be enough too).

I agree with you - I think with your compliant and academic daughter (and academic parents), you don't need to do the tutoring thing. I'm glad we didn't do more, and will repeat with our other 2. The only thing that would make me go down the tutor route for them would be if they were less compliant. And even then, I'd start around May of test year. Of the kids that were tutored from dd's class, the ones that passed were the ones that I would have expected to pass anyway. I think 10 kids sat the tests from dd's school. 4 will be going to grammar. Only 1 of those 4 was professionally tutored - the others had parent tutoring.

Long post, but hope it has some useful info for you.

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