11plus General Tips
Your mission is for your child to pass the 11 plus exams and it is great to do this in a calm and relaxed manner. Children will pick up on your concerns and any anxiety you may be showing so most importantly the key thing is not show any signs of the above.
The school and parents are the ones which will guide the child through the 11 plus process. The school will only give you so much advise and you may have questions that they can not answer. As a parent whether your child goes to a state school or private school it is up to you to discover all the relevant information before your child embarks on the 11 plus journey. I call it this as that is exactly what it is, from the time you start coaching/tutoring your child at the end of year 4 to the day your child receives the exam results.
There are many tips and below are just a few to start with.
Plan in advance a coaching schedule for your child. Plan when your child is going to sit down and practice past papers for all subject areas, and book in coaching sessions. If you feel your child needs a tutor remember you need to find the right tutor. All tutors coach differently. If your child is highly kinesthetic and the tutor teaches more through visual aid you will not be getting the most out of your tutor. Get this time table down on paper and put in a place in the house where your child can access it easily.
Book in workshops or individual sessions of 11 plus coaching for your child as early as possible at the beginning of year 5 is good. Passing the exams is not all about memory and learning its also about confidence and coping in a certain environment.
Book in as many sessions for exam practice in the summer holidays just before starting year 6. At this point your child is well equipped with understanding of the core subject and can focus on exam techniques and how to answer questions. You will also get an insight into how the child is performing and what they need to improve on.
Sit down and explain to your child the importance of these exams
Put in practice a reward scheme for your child as soon as they hit a goal reward them. Its nice for them to know that their hard work pays off as we all know incentive are a real boost for both children and adults.
Reading every day is crucial let them read a variety of books,magazines and news papers. When reading books before your child turns to the next page get them to imagine what will happen next in the story and why the characters are acting/feeling the way they are. What would they do in their position this allows the child to think outside the box and will help in comprehension questions for the 11 plus as a lot of the questions are based on the child using their imagination. When reading if your child comes across a word they do not know the meaning off have the mobile phone near by and show them a picture of it, this is better for a visual child to see a picture rather than to explain to the meaning to the child.
Look out for the new 11 plus guide for parents due out later on this year.