homeschooling

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.

Alternative Words For 'Said': A Key Primary Resource For 11+ and SATs Prep

I've observed that one of the biggest reasons why children don't succeed in their11-plus school entrance exams is because of limited vocabulary.

This limitation can take various forms such as:

Should My Child Study During The Summer Holidays?

should my child study during the summer holidays?

As a parent it can be difficult to know whether to allow your child to simply enjoy the summer holiday break or encourage them to keep a regular academic routine.

It's natural for most children to want to play, have fun and sit in front of the TV all day. However, doing these things can also negatively affect their academic progress.

So how do you as a parent strike the balance between allowing your child to have fun whilst also encouraging them to study?

Here are a few quick tips to help.

#1. Treat the summer as a time for progress and rejuvenation. 

The summer is a time for you and your child to recharge and unwind and it's therefore essential that you give your child at least some time to have a break. Do your best to have a positive mindset about the summer months and think of it as being a time for progress and rejuvenation. 

#2. Schedule fun time and work time.

One of my favourite quotes is, "if it's not scheduled, it's not real." This simply means that if you don't schedule things then they're never going to happen. To maximise your child's progress during the summer months it's pivotal that you carve out specific times for work and for play. You could for instance have study time from 11am-2pm and then fun time from 2pm-7pm. This will help your child to follow a routine and it will ensure that they study without feeling over worked. It'll also ensure that they wake up at a decent time each morning as many children have the habit of waking up in the late afternoon when they're not at school.

#3. Create a curriculum.

Which subjects or topics is your child struggling with? Is it 11-plus verbal reasoning, trigonometry or writing compositions? Make a note of the areas that they need to work on and create a curriculum that will cover all of the key areas that they need to study in more depth. Use the summer as a period where they can make progress in areas that they were previously struggling with.

If your child is struggling with English you can enrol them in an online course such as The Clever Comprehension Academy so that they can go through subjects like reading, inference and vocabulary in a way that is convenient. Furthermore, the course can be accessed 24/7 so your child can study in their own time. Click here to learn more about it.

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