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Monday, July 06, 2009

Steps to Eleven Plus Glory

You may think sometimes that your child is approaching the eleven plus syllabus almost as if he or she is learning by grazing. A little knowledge is nibbled here and a little understanding there. This system of learning may seem to be unorganised and lacking in any direction – but it may suit a particular stage of learning.

Some parents will argue a convincing case for structure. Indeed a number of eleven plus teachers may feel constrained to follow a highly systematic order.

What ever the `system’ that is used the overall aims must be remarkably similar.

Step 1
Try to encourage your child to become an independent learner. Some children find this hard – they are so used to being told what to do by all concerned at school and at home.

Step 2
You may need to explain the relevance of what is being learnt. This could be very difficult on some types of verbal reasoning question – but less so for mathematics topics like ratio or proportion.

Step 3
You may need to try to help your child to use time effectively. Some parents will need to organise their child’s time. I met a family this weekend who wanted to start eleven plus work at the beginning of the new school year – when their son entered Year 5. On two nights a week he had two activities after school. On the other three days he only had one activity – and only one on a Saturday. When would he have time to read? When could he spend time on a paper? When as his time to reflect? Could he ever have time to day dream?

Step 4
Parents will, at times, need to `get involved’ and struggle with finding answers to questions. I met some parents over the weekend where both parents went through an eleven plus paper the night before their child worked through the paper. The parents went to these lengths because of the nature of their child. This degree of involvement will not suit all families – but may be useful on occasions.

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