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Support thread for those self tutoring for the 11+

(39 Posts)
Retropear Sat 19-Oct-13 07:30:04

As suggested on other thread.grin

Will be back later.......

ThreeBeeOneGee Sat 19-Oct-13 07:40:07

I have managed to get my first two children through the 11+ by preparing them myself, so am offering my advice & support if required.

CaptainSweatPants Sat 19-Oct-13 07:44:10

If anyone has a load of practice papers I'd love to buy them smile pm me xx

3birthdaybunnies Sat 19-Oct-13 07:57:25

Oh jumping on board. Would like recommendations for materials to start with - oldest is yr4.

Retropear Sat 19-Oct-13 08:07:18

Oh Three that's really encouraging.

Right my worries so far are the essay,maths topics/methods they haven't done/do in school and time(how much and when).

Re the essay just how do you assess that?confusedAlso mine don't seem to have been taught how to summarise in persuasive writing.Any tips or book suggestions.Also do they have to finish it?

Re the maths they do the laborious gridding/chunking at ours and we were told specifically not to teach other quicker methods but the Bond How to do 11+ Maths has the old fashioned methods. Thankfully mine are pretty good at maths so thinking of going over the 11+ stuff and say you do the school methods at school and the other stuff at home.Yay/nay?

Re time,find it so hard to fit anything in.How much is reasonable and any time tabling suggestions would be gratefully received.

I think all of the above is doable but it's hard to find info when you are on your own.

Retropear Sat 19-Oct-13 08:09:07

Captain one tip I read somewhere was to save papers until nearer the end as they are limited.

CPG and Bond look good but not sure what opinion is from those more experienced.

Norudeshitrequired Sat 19-Oct-13 08:23:44

I'm not worried about the maths or reasoning but English is another matter entirely.
Does anybody know of any good (hopefully not too expensive) resources for helping with English other than bond?

Retropear Sat 19-Oct-13 08:28:24

Yes strangely the reasoning doesn't bother us either, you hear so much hype but when you look at it it's pretty innocuous.

Norudeshitrequired Sat 19-Oct-13 08:35:42

Retro pear - my sons school use the gridding and chunking methods but I taught him the old fashioned methods at home and he could do them with ease long before he started doing sums which required chunking and gridding at school. He can now use all the different methods and it doesn't cause him any confusion. Given the choice he will always choose the old fashioned column type methods as he finds them quicker (he actually says the other methods are long winded and not necessary).
Fortunately he has a great teacher who understands that he can use a variety of methods and sometimes asks him to come and show the rest of the class on the whiteboard and explain what he is doing.

If you think that the school will be unhappy about your son knowing different methods then just tell him to keep the traditional methods for doing sums at home.

wearingatinhat Sat 19-Oct-13 11:42:26

I am starting on this journey, so it is very early days.

Another one who is not as freaked out by the NVR/VR, so will leave that until later. OTOH DS is not always a speed merchant (depends on his mood), so he might need a rocket up him at some point. I may have to do some work on speed v accuracy nearer the time.

The best resource I have found so far for creative writing is: Alan Peat's Writing Exciting Sentences. It was recommended on another website. I managed to get it for under £20, but some retailers are charging ridiculous sums. It does not tell you how to sum up persuasive writing but it shows you how to showcase higher levels of punctuation and to use literary techniques to make the writing more interesting, eg use of repetition, alliteration, dramatic effects etc.

DS appears to use both methods of calculations at school (I think they can choose preferred method) and he prefers column methods so I am not too worried about this at the moment.

I would have thought that most schools will be using APP type assessment for writing in the 11+, but assessment does seem to be very subjective.

ThreeBeeOneGee Sat 19-Oct-13 12:34:11

Maths: he revised his times tables, then we went through Bond's 'How to do 11+ Maths' topic by topic. 27 topics, one per week. This highlighted a couple of areas that DS1 hadn't covered at school, so we did some work on those. Then Bond ten minute tests in his own time, building up from one a week to two a week to full length papers by the end of Y5. He started with Bond 9-10y and worked his way up to 11-12 years, then in the summer holidays we introduced some GLA papers for variety.

ThreeBeeOneGee Sat 19-Oct-13 12:38:02

Verbal reasoning: we are in an area that uses standard format and a wide variety of question types (more than 21). I went through the Susan Daughtrey books with them, one question type per week. Then Bond ten minute tests in their own time, working up to one full length paper per week by the end of Y5. Started with Bond 9-10y, worked up to 11-12y plus Athey, Alpha & Bright Sparks papers.

We also did a lot of work on vocabulary. Chuckra card games and looking up words they came across while reading the rather archaic children's literature I gave them.

ThreeBeeOneGee Sat 19-Oct-13 12:43:23

They also made lists of vocabulary: names for baby animals, collective nouns etc.

SueVeneer Sat 19-Oct-13 13:02:41

Thanks for this thread. Phew! Im just starting on this long journey and am nervous as so much is at stake. It seems. My ds is in y5 and does well in school however 11+ content seems to add another layer onto whats taught at school. There seems so much to do in such short time!!

Perhaps im one of the few actually quite worried about the VR tests as ds doesn't read enough and doesn't enjoy reading that much. He will read if prompted but the meaning of the words don't seem to stick. That means his vocabulary range is quite limited. We are compiling a word book and play word games in car etc. Does anyone have any other suggestions please? am really encouraged my ThreeBeeOneGees successes - huge well done you and your dc!!

3birthdaybunnies Sat 19-Oct-13 13:39:24

Do you mind me asking what age your dc are and what you are aiming for? Dd1 is in yr 4 so 2yrs to go, kent exam so don't know what the format will be when she does it. It's just selective, not wanting a super selective (don't think it will be right place for her). Also have other options so not entirely committed to 11+ but it is the school she wants to go to so want to give her the best chance. About half the class usually pass in her school, would say she is in top half, but not right at top. Maths is her strength, not tried reasoning but she is good at logic problems etc. She will need to work on literacy, spelling particularly. I do need to find a good assessment tool though to get a bench mark, have done no preparation yet.

wearingatinhat Sat 19-Oct-13 14:41:35

We're yr4- aiming for a superselective eek! We are in a superselective only area. Also considering some of the highly selective London indies. is recommended for vocab on other sites, but we have not used it ourselves. We just tend to read classics and older books for the language as threebeegees said. Am thinking of buying DS an electronic dictionary, so he can check words without too much effort, he would really then have no excuse!

ThreeBeeOneGee Sat 19-Oct-13 17:03:42

Yes, they both have electronic dictionaries, DS1 has the kind that is also a bookmark. Also useful beyond the 11+ for reading challenging texts in secondary school.

Once I realised how archaic some of the VR vocabulary seemed from my boys' point of view, I found my old copies of The Water Babies, Swallows & Amazons, Peter Pan etc.

ThreeBeeOneGee Sat 19-Oct-13 17:06:34

I have no experience of coaching my children in English or NVR as those aren't included in our exam, but would have thought that VCOP might help as a prompt.

ThreeBeeOneGee Sat 19-Oct-13 17:12:33

Google level 5 VCOP pyramids, make one (or get your child to make it herself to practise her nets of 3D shapes) stick it on her desk and praise her when she uses it in her work.

ThreeBeeOneGee Sat 19-Oct-13 17:18:45

Also research "big writing" as this seems to feature strategies to improve composition.

missinglalaland Sat 19-Oct-13 23:27:51

My dd is in year 5. She attends a good state primary, and we will sit her for some indies and a super selective grammar next year.

I'm mostly concerned about her maths. Last year was a bit of a mess. Her class had 4 different teachers. She managed to progress in reading and writing, probably because she reads a lot for pleasure, but her maths progress suffered.

I started doing some Bond books with her, and was alarmed by the math gaps. Now, I am ploughing through the level 4 curriculum with her making sure she has actually learned all the topics. She is an easy pupil, and I hope the "clean up operation" will be done by Xmas. No point doing practise exams etc. when one hasn't learnt the curriculum!

loopsngeorge Sat 19-Oct-13 23:35:16

Can I join you? DS is in year 5, in a super selective area. We've been doing Bond books for a while but still feel a bit overwhelmed by the amount of stuff to cover! Vocab is the main problem for us with the VR and English comprehension.
Missinglalaland - so am I! Did you live there??

3birthdaybunnies Sun 20-Oct-13 06:55:14

Any recommendations for apps? There seem to be a few 11+ ones around.

Talked to dd1 last night and she wants to start with English - had a look at a few free papers last night including a scary extract from twelfth night - not going to show her that one yet! I think we will start with vocab building and spellings which will help her in school anyway.

threebeeonegee is the bookmark electronic dictionary good- the amazon reviews were a bit mixed.

Retropear Sun 20-Oct-13 08:16:08

Not if it's that white thin one.

My son bought it with his pocket moneyhmm and a lot of the words aren't in it.

He was considering the Kindle paperwhite and during my investigations I found out it has a dictionary in it and some kind of flash card thing I think which would be ideal.

Problem is all 3 of mine are avid readers and I realised unless I got them all one so they could swop books it would cost me a fortune as at the mo they swap books.If one had a Kindle I'd have to buy hard copies and e copies.

Retropear Sun 20-Oct-13 08:33:41

Three which electric dictionary do they have?

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