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Positive Tutoring Stories Please.

(16 Posts)
fluffycushions Fri 07-Mar-14 21:44:36

I would like to hear your tutoring stories, please.

I would like to hear from those of you who have an able child at an ok school and decided that you wanted them to do better so that they could get the skills necessary to maybe go to a selective school later on.

What did you tutor in? How often and how long? What subjects were worth it and what not? When did you start?


missinglalaland Sat 08-Mar-14 11:09:39

I think you need to head on over to the 11+ forum. Plenty there!

fluffycushions Sat 08-Mar-14 12:48:01


ReallyTired Sat 08-Mar-14 14:21:34

I think a lot depends on what you hope your child will get out of going to a tutor.

My son and one of his friends went to a tutor to help them with writing because the school was (OFSTED rated) inadequate. Gaining essential skills meant that both boys flourished at secondary school in year 7. There is a difference between wanting your child to cope with a mixed ablity class at comprehensive and hot housing them to oblivion to get them into a grammar. I think it can be damaging long term to coach a child beyond their natural ablity.

There has to be definate clear reason that a child is not reaching their potential for a tutor to make a difference. IMHO the child needs to want the tutoring to be sucessful.

Taffeta Sat 08-Mar-14 14:22:01

11+ forum is populated by a lot of people that self tutor IME.

DS (10) has had a tutor since The Autumn, he is doing 11+ in Sept. The tutor mainly does Maths and some VR/NVR.

The big thing for me is that DS hates being taught by me, and adores the male tutor we have. They spend a lot of time laughing and having fun and the tutor had a good idea of what DS needs to work on and what he's fine with.

DS is doing well at school, the tutor is there to build his confidence and provide him with practice and tips on the test. DS flounders a bit in tests so this is important, as much for his confidence and ability to de stress as much as anything else.

Quinteszilla Sat 08-Mar-14 14:26:38

DS1 was tutored term time from Christmas Y5 until January in Y6. He did an hour per week, and either literacy and numeracy. Towards the end he did a few sessions of Nvr and vr, along with interviewing technique.

We did not have 11+ in mind when we started, the idea was to bridge the gap in his learning as he had been educated overseas and jumped from Y3 in Norway to Y5 in the UK.

He sat Level 6 maths for SATs, and is now in Y7 in a selective independent. (not super selective) The tutor did a brilliant job on him. But his primary is ofsted outstanding and topping the league tables in the borough, so that has also helped.

wheresthebeach Sat 08-Mar-14 14:44:25

We had literacy issues. Tutor did a great job of building confidence and gently working on weaknesses. Made a huge difference. Three of DD's friends from different schools go to her now because her gentle approach is great.

fluffycushions Sat 08-Mar-14 21:16:54

Well, specifically, I was wondering whether tutoring would work in this situation (and also how much work you feel it would require per week...):

Y2 child, doing well in an ok school with no formal input from me.
Reading L4c, writing L3a/b, maths L2a/b
(child on top table for maths, which leads me to think maths poorly taught rather than that kids simply not very good at maths).

Child motivated to learn.
Teaching very patchy further up the school, and particularly in maths.
School historically has failed more able kids.

i was hoping to get a tutor/kumon from Y3 to cover empty spots in maths and then maybe a maths tutor from Y5/Y6 to build on these basics and make maths more interesting.
I'm hoping I can manage the literacy bits myself by continuing to do what we do anyway but perhaps I need a literacy tutor as well?

Re NVR/VR - do people need tutoring in these? Aren't they just IQ test questions? Or is it just to get used to the format? (Needs less of a run in).

The goal of this tutoring would be to have the option for selective secondary/grammar later on. The reason I am thinking about this now is that I remember the gaps in my education age 11, and how hard it was to catch up at secondary school. I'd rather go slowly from seven, than try and ram it all in over the course of a year at ten.

kilmuir Sun 09-Mar-14 00:20:26

Blimey, my DD just did a few practice papers leading up to the 11+.

Quinteszilla Sun 09-Mar-14 00:29:17

Why the surprise Kilmuir, is it hard to understand that some children may need a little more support in their learning than your child?

fluffycushions Sun 09-Mar-14 10:58:10

I think it partly depends on the school. For e.g. my daughter's school is 'good' but is in the bottom 40 per cent of schools overall, and in the bottom quintile of that group. Overall standards are not that high, despite good teaching. Tutoring will be to fill gaps. (Even the new teacher said to me that the class seem to have been taught to add but not to take away).

Taffeta Sun 09-Mar-14 11:35:55

Kilmuir - how arrogant you sound

selftutoringisok Sun 09-Mar-14 13:33:42

Name changed for this...

I think maths is one area you can comfortably help with at home with some workbooks.

At the start of year 1 DD disliked maths and had very little confidence in this subject. So I got the Carol Vorderman books, however there are lots to choose from, Letts do some amazing one e.g. Mythical Maths.

DD calls these books 'fun maths' and has worked through the two books, for ages 5/6 and the first book for ages 6/7 and she's just about to start the second book for ages 6/7.

All I wanted for her was that she was confident in the basics. Like your DD she is very motivated to learn, however I've still been surprised at how often she wants to do them.

A few months on and she has gone from the support group to the top set at school, and her teacher has levelled her as 2a. More importantly she now enjoys maths!!

BudsBeginingSpringinSight Sun 09-Mar-14 14:31:33


I have just ordered those books and they arrived yesterday my DD also really enjoys them. She is quite good at Maths, but makes simple errors, like you I want to build up her confidence.

however I've still been surprised at how often she wants to do them

Captilse on this while you can while school is still fun and exciting! I think speaking from personal experience Maths is one subject you dont want to be left behind in, it can happen quickly and its very hard to catch up.

BudsBeginingSpringinSight Sun 09-Mar-14 14:53:16

fluffy if you can afford a tutor go for it.

Quinteszilla Sun 09-Mar-14 21:06:24

There are lots you can do yourself, either instead of, or before getting a tutor involved.

Literacy: Reading: expose your dc to all kinds of good books, and talk to them about what is happening in the book. Ask questions and explore the story, and extend beyond the story, saying stuff like "what do you think would have happened in stead of A doing X, he did Y or Z instead to fuel their imagination beyond the story.
Writing: Make alternative story-lines or endings.

Numeracy: Go through bond books, or general maths books appropriate to the childs level, start a level earlier if there are gaps or uncertainties.

Verbal and non verbal reasoning, you can just buy a sample pack of each and work through it on your own with the dc.

General: Visit museums and exhibitions, talk about current affairs and events.

My son got such a wide range of questions during interviews I was thankful we had been to so many museums and exhibtions, and that he is generally a child who is very interested in things. He was shown a painting and asked to explain it, and he was asked about the Spanish Armada of all things. With the exams you know there will be literacy and numeracy, but you have no idea what will be covered at interview stage.

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