home-schooled

How To Prepare For The 11+ or ISEB During The Summer Holidays

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Good morning parents,

As we approach the summer holidays it’s very easy to reduce the focus on learning but this is one of the best times to help your child with 11+ exam preparation.

Make each day count.

Here are some fun ways to do this:

- Make the most of the sunshine. Instead of going outside, study in the park, at the beach or in the garden - it’s beautiful, relaxing and...free.

- Make the most of your local library. It’s a great time to go to the library as a family or even take day trips exploring different libraries across the UK. My local incorporates AI technology (Artificial Intelligence) and children love it.

You could search for some of the UK’s best libraries and spend a day visiting each one or pick three or four libraries to visit over the summer.

- Complete the 10-minute test books. I am a huge fan of 10-minute test books because they’re so convenient for busy children and marking them is quite straightforward. There’s also no excuse when it takes just 10 minutes to complete a paper. Make it a habit to complete a few papers each day.

That leads me to my next tip.

- If you’re travelling abroad, pack a 10-minute book for each subject (English, Maths, Verbal and Non-Verbal Reasoning), plus reading books or a Kindle and electronic dictionary. Go through vocabulary cards, apps or flash cards on the plane, train or in the car 🚗.

The key takeaway is to make everyday meaningful and productive. That doesn’t mean your child need to study excessively, far from it, create a routine that’s easy and enjoyable to stick to so that it’s easy for your child to follow through and complete their revision.

One final tip which was inspired by 11+ Mum, Shola Alabi, is to eat healthy and limit your child’s intake of sugary foods. It’s easy to indulge during the holiday season as there’s an abundance of popcorn, candy floss and sugary drinks but a healthy body fosters a healthy brain so try to swap high sugar foods for healthier alternatives such as fruits, vegetables, water and crackers (instead of chocolates).

Shola also adds that parents should go through corrections. This is vital - your child can complete a million papers but if they don’t understand why they’re making mistakes and learn the correct techniques, they’ll never make significant progress.

I hope the above tips were helpful - if you have any other insights to share please leave a comment with them below 🙂

If you’re looking for great free learning resources, head over here to sign up for worksheets and printables.

Could Cheap Tuition Be Harming Your Child's Education?


I hear it time and time again.

'Your prices are high'

'Tuition is too expensive!'

'I'm just looking for a cheap tutor'

Many parents seem to have a mindset that cheaper is better. But is that really the case?

Do you really think it's safe or wise to place your precious child into the hands of a person who you've hired solely because they're inexpensive?

Do you really believe that it's smart to trust a total stranger to teach your child if they're being underpaid?

Let's reverse roles for a second.

Imagine you're not a parent but instead you're a tutor who is trying to make a living by teaching their knowledge/expertise/wisdom to others. Someone contacts you by phone or email to ask whether you'd be available to teach their child. You say 'yes' and you travel to the parents home to teach. You arrive there and your told that your fees are too high and the parent begs you to charge a few pounds/dollars less. You say 'yes' because you don't want to seem rude or ill-mannered and you start the lesson.

Whilst you'd initially headed over to the house feeling excited about meeting new people, teaching a new student and making a difference. You now feel a little bit different. You feel glum and unmotivated. Naturally, you move from wanting to give your absolute all into teaching this new pupil to feeling far less motivated to teach at an optimal level. Rather than putting in 100% of your energy into the student, you're so bogged down by the fact that you're being underpaid that you put about 70% into the lesson.

Now, step out of the tutors shoes and be a parent again.

Has the 'cheap' parent in this case actually benefited from hiring a 'cheap tutor'?

Realistically, should such a parent expect any tutor (irregardless of experience) to put 100% of their efforts into teaching the student if they're being underpaid?

I'm always amazed that so many parents only think about private tuition from their own viewpoint and they never for one moment consider things from the perspective of the tutor.

The frank truth is that you get what you pay for and if you hire a cheap tutor one of these three things will indefinitely happen:

  • The tutor won't give your child 100% of their time and effort. Ultimately, they won't spend money buying, photocopying or printing education resources because they simply can't afford to. That means that your child will receive an inferior level of tuition.
  • They'll stick around for a brief period, will teach your child for a few weeks or months and then they'll leave.
  • Another parent who's willing to pay the tutor a higher fee will snap the tutor up and the tutor will gladly stop teaching your child.

Just think about how chaotic it would be for a tutor to stop teaching your child a few weeks before their big exam.

It's clear to see that basing your tutor selection on price alone causes havoc both on a long and short term basis.

If you're a smart and savvy parent who really cares about how well their child does, you won't pick a tutor because he/she is 'cheap' or because you can intimidate them into accepting a lower wage.

The moral is that you get what you pay for and quality tutors are not cheap. They're pricey for a reason.

Now I want to hear from you:

Parents, have you hired a cheap tutor? What was the outcome? Leave a comment below.

Tutors, have you been asked to teach for a cheaper fee? Again, leave a comment below and share your experience.

Compound Word List For 11+ Exams

If you've been looking for a compound word list to help your child prepare for their 11+ or SATs exams you're in the right place. I've created a brilliant one which includes 100 of the most popular compound words. Many of these words have appeared on 11+ Verbal Reasoning and English papers over the past few years so it's important for your child to familiarise themselves with the words.

Click here to download the compound word list.

If you'd like me to create more free 11+ resources, tell me what you'd like to see by leaving a comment below.

Enjoy!

Christmas wishes,

The Tutoress

How To Motivate Your Child To Do Their Homework

Homework! teaching your child to read

It's one of those words that make most children shudder.

It also greatly affects busy parents who simply don't have the time to sit with their children and help them solve tough questions, equations and conundrums.

Whilst most children hate doing their homework, the fact remains that it is an essential part of their learning progression. Research shows that children who engage with their school or academic work on a daily basis significantly improve their grades.

So how do you motivate your child to do their homework?

Here are a few tips to help parents like yourself.

Schedule it.

It is so important to embed the mindset that homework is a daily activity (that should always be done) into the mind of your child. The more they become accustomed to doing work at an already scheduled time, the more likely they are to do it and they'll be more used to doing it. Growing up my parents for instance made it clear that homework was to be done for an hour after school every single week day. The only exceptions were the weekends or holiday periods when we'd be expected to do at least three hours of homework or studying per day. To motivate your child to do their homework, schedule a fixed time for them to complete it every single day. Stick to that time and get them into the habit of doing the work. For instance, 4pm-5pm could be 'homework hour.'

Give incentives.

Your child is human and like most humans they sometimes need a little incentive to motivate them to do things.

Whilst I'm not a fan of over-pampering children, bribing them or throwing incentives at them, I do however recommend giving them a good incentive for consistently great behaviour. For instance, you could set up a reward chart and whenever they complete 10 pieces of high-standard homework (without being told by you to do it), they receive a prize or gift. This method is brilliant for encouraging children to consistently work at a high standard. If they forget to do their homework or don't do it to a high standard then they simply don't move up the reward chart which means that they're one step further away from getting the incentive.

Be direct.

Communication is absolutely essential when it comes to handling children of all ages. It's therefore crucial that you make it clear to them that you have high expectations for them. For instance, let them know that they are expected to complete all of their homework and there are no excuses for missing it. The better you are at communicating with your child, the more likely you are to have a better relationship with them overall.

Are there any other homework tips that you'd like to share? If so, leave a comment below.

PS. If you'd love to have parenting and homeschooling tips that go straight to your inbox, subscribe to my free newsletter. Click here and simply enter your name and email to subscribe. (It's free!)

Homeschooling 101: The Benefits of Online Tutoring

benefits of homeschooling Considering the number of assignments students need to take care of during a term, it sometimes becomes quite important for them to seek a professional's assistance who would teach them a bit about time management and help them understand different concepts. That's when most students consider making use of online tutoring services.

Sometimes, students choose tutoring services on their own; on other occasions, parents take this responsibility to ensure that their kids don't have to struggle with a particular area of learning. Whatever the case, it is a fact that online tutoring offers numerous benefits that play a big role in improving students' learning abilities. Here is a bit more about different benefits associated with online tutoring.

  • Live Interaction is probably the most impressive benefit associated with online tutoring. Many people have always been against of 'distance learning' models because they believe that it keeps students from enjoying the benefits that are associated with face-to-face interaction. Considering the use of modern technologies in online tutoring, it has become possible for tutors to interact with each student. Not only can tutors interact with students, but students can also communicate and share ideas with other students. Moreover, the use of video and voice conferencing software has made it easier and quicker to communicate with tutors.
  • Online tutoring is often more beneficial as compared to traditional tutoring because students have easy access to a large variety of resources. Students can interact with each others using multimedia resources, and, at the same time, they can make use of the wealth of informative and educational materials available online.
  • You don't have to go through a lot of hassle to find a qualified tutor for yourself. Even parents can conduct a simple search online and shortlist a few tutors. Here, it becomes easier to find a specialist who could teach a particular subject with authority. This is usually quite difficult when you have to go out and hire a tutor to come to your house for regular visits.
  • Online tutoring is available in different forms, and anyone can use them as per their needs and budget constraint. For instance, some students are good in math or English, but they sometimes need help to understand a particular topic. It means they don't need regular tutoring, but they simply need a professional to help them learn a few important concepts. That's where you can go online and hire a tutor for a couple of hours or sessions. You don't have to continue with tutoring once you have completely understood a topic.
  • Yet another impressive benefit of online tutoring is that different service providers have tutors available 24/7 – they are qualified but are from different countries, so someone is always there to help. What it means is that students don't have to work as per a tutor's schedule, but they can start a tutoring session whenever they are free in the day. Similarly, some students are comfortable studying at night, but they cannot enjoy this luxury in traditional tutoring model – online tutoring is just what doctor ordered for them.
  • The biggest benefit of online tutoring is that though you will have qualified tutors to learn from, you will be able to study without having to leave your home, or the comfort of familiar surroundings. For some students, it's difficult to study when they leave their study room or go to a new location. It is a fact that your learning abilities improve when you are comfortable and your mind is at ease, which is why it sometimes become difficult to study in unfamiliar surroundings. This will not be a problem with online tutoring. You can study from exactly where you are, and a tutor will deliver lectures online.

There is absolutely no doubt about the fact that online tutoring enjoys a growing record of facilitating long-lasting learning with a number of interesting benefits – both logistical and educational – over traditional tutoring and face-to-face education. The only thing you need to bear in mind is that these benefits of online tutoring will come your way if you take your time and conduct some research before selecting a service provider. Make sure you opt for an experienced company where they have qualified tutors for one-to-one assistance.

This is a guest post by Sonia Jackson. Sonia writes for the Australian web-site http://www.essay-bag.com which provides well-written and quality essays and research papers for college and university students.