How to Pass the 11+ examination
I firmly believe in the saying: Failure to prepare is preparing to fail. I also say that preparing your child for 11+ success is like building a house: you must dig out and prepare the foundations first before you can start laying the bricks otherwise the house will crumble and eventually fall down.
Even if you do not employ the services of a tutor there is an enormous amount that you can do to help your child get ready for the 11+. It is an unfortunate fact that many families simply cannot afford the services of a tutor but what I can say is that I am passionate in spreading the word regarding what you can do for your child either for free or on a shoestring.
Endless hours of tuition is no guarantee for success as, ultimately, your child will sit the test on their own. I have always said that tuition does not begin and end with the hour I am with a child. All I can do is offer guidance in the hope that the child [and their family] will take on the challenge and put in 100% effort to achieve success.
As a tutor, I have reviewed a number of textbooks and found that the Bond and Schofield & Sims series of books are excellent for ongoing learning. The Bond books offer a broad range of questions and allow you to chart your child’s progress, challenge your child and they are specifically geared towards preparing your child for 11+ success.
The Schofield & Sims books are also a really useful source of Mental Arithmetic tests which assist a child’s development in a positive, progressive way.
The Holistic Approach to Preparing Your Child for 11+ Success – Physical preparation for the 11+ – Exercise and Diet
We live in an age of ‘instant gratification’ where children expect to be entertained by either someone or something.
Long gone are the days when children would voluntarily sit down with a book and read for pure entertainment. Finding such a child is a rarity indeed! It is considered ‘normal’ for most households to have an X-Box [or similar] and unfortunately these do not encourage children to get outside and be active or indeed develop an imagination in quite the same way as reading or creating a game of their own. This is because the images are presented to them on a television/computer screen and they have no need to ‘visualize’ the characters. Therefore, when preparing for the 11+ it is vital that such computer games are restricted so that other activities can be engaged in which do proactively encourage your child to think for themselves.
Exercise and play go hand in hand so it is important to create a balance in your child’s physical wellbeing. Too much studying can, of course, be as bad as too little. Furthermore, what you feed your child is also a vital consideration if you want your child to perform well.
It is certainly not my place to dictate what food is given to your child but what I am trying to get people to understand is that you need to have an awareness of what certain foods can do to your child. Sweets, sugar and fizzy drinks etc can all be included in their diet as occasional treats but please be mindful that certain additives can have a detrimental effect on your child’s body and brain functioning.
We have all heard about ‘E’ Numbers, artificial colourings and children who go ‘hyper’ after eating lots of sugar or misbehave and drive their parents round the bend. Concentration and brain functioning can be badly affected by these external food factors and it is wise to be mindful of this.
Mental preparation – Routine – The brain is like a muscle: If you don’t use it you lose it.
Long school holidays are wonderful for children but not so great for 11+ preparation. Regular practice is essential and your child needs to understand that doing a little bit of work on a regular basis will be beneficial to them. Emphasize that the short term pain of doing extra work can have longer term benefits. Ask them the following questions: –
1. Do you want to live a comfortable life?
2. Do you want to earn a decent salary?
3. Do you want holidays when you’re grown up?
4. Do you want to drive a nice car?
5. Do you want to live in a lovely house?
Most children will answer ‘yes’ to these questions and so, they need to take on board the hard lesson that life is not always fair. Hard work, excellent exam results and great schools do not guarantee you will have a wonderful life. However, you need to stress that they will certainly have a much higher chance of achieving a better standard of life if they work hard and understand that not everything will be handed to them on a silver platter.
Many children have an inbuilt expectation that they will always go on fantastic holidays, be taken to expensive theme parks, be given expensive presents etc without having any understanding of how those treats are paid for.
Understanding that life is a lot about hard work and mental application is an important milestone in your child’s development. The 11+ exam is part of that understanding because getting into a good school can open so many amazing opportunities. In any event, even if your child was unsuccessful in passing the 11+, they will still have learned a number of valuable life hack lessons that will assist them throughout their lives.
To you and your child’s success!
Rachel A Hill LLB [Hons]
Tel: 07407 643547
Twitter: https://twitter.com/StarTurnTuition / @StarTurnTuition
I also love to tutor people about earning extra income and gaining more ‘time freedom’. Do you need more money for school fees, holidays, treats etc but feel you don’t have time? Find out more about what I’m doing by clicking on this text!
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