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Thursday, July 23, 2009

Eleven Plus Holiday Reading

The school holidays are here. Your eleven plus child can not spend the whole time doing papers. There is, perhaps, a little time to do some reading. What could or should be read?

An eleven plus child is naturally reading independently. This has probably meant that for some time you, as parents, have had little to do with the selection of books and reading materials.

You may, however, decide that your child needs to read books that will be of value. This is where you feel that you have the competence to be able to present your child with material that enrich and expand the eleven plus vocabulary. This is where a trip to the library could help. “I have a bright ten year old child; please suggest some books around the thirteen year old level.”

If you, and your informed sources, get it wrong all you will have achieved is frustrating your child. This is where you will be informed, in no uncertain terms, that the book is boring and that it fails to hold attention. (Or words to that effect.)

You may also overcompensate by choosing a book that is too easy or too hard.

Teachers call the process of arriving at the right level of book as an `Informal Reading Inventory.’ Of course some parents will need to present the book on bended knee and offer a credible bribe to read the book. Other parents will be able to leave the book lying around rather casually in the hope that their potentially avaricious reader will fall on the book and attempt to devour it in a sitting. Most children will enjoy a holiday reading path some where between these extremes.

Many book shops tend to group books in bands of readability. Internet searches can also offer fruitful rewards.

And now for the parents' `Informal Reading Inventory’.

“Did you enjoy that book?”

“Would you like to read another book like this one?”

“Were some of the words a bit too hard?”

“Would I enjoy reading it?”

“Should we suggest this book to any one else?”

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