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11 Brilliant Books For 11+ Boys Who Hate Reading

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Click the play button below to listen to the list of recommended books as well as additional tips for helping your son with his reading.

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Happy bank holiday weekend!

I hope you’re having a wonderful Monday and are enjoying the warm weather.

As we prepare for our 11+ summer course, I am inundated with messages and calls from parents asking for tips on how to help their sons with reading. 

Generally, it seems that reading is the domain of girls and I’m always amazed by how much my female students tend to love reading whilst the majority of my male students hate it. There are so many potential reasons for this but if I start on them, I’ll be writing forever.  

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As a proud bookworm, I’m constantly looking for the best books and stories for children aged 8-12 and always become incredibly excited when I stumble across a great undiscovered book. It’s like finding a hidden gem.

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If you have a son who absolutely hates reading, then hopefully this quick list of 11 of my favourite reading books will be helpful. It’s not a definitive list but it should act as a starting point and hopefully inspire you and your son to keep hunting for more great stories.

Without further ado, here we go:

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  1. Storm Breaker by Anthony Horowitz 

  2. HIVE by Mark Walden 

  3. The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins (this trilogy is especially great for helping children to come up with clever ideas for cliffhangers, inspire their creative thinking skills and improve their story writing structure. I’m a huge fan!)

  4. Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer

  5. Shadow jumper by JM Forster

  6. The Maze Runner by James Dashner 

  7. Thieves Like Us by Stephen Cole

  8. Evil Genius by Catherine Jinks

  9. Traitor Series, Andy McNab

  10. The Door or No Return by Sarah Mussi

  11. Sure Fire by Jack Higgins

There are a few other great finds such as The Cherub Series by Robert Muchamore.

Has your child read any of the above books? Which was their favourite? Are there any other great books that you love?

Let us know by leaving a comment below.

 

Why Being an Early Bird is Key to 11+ Success

Are you the parent that hasn't read a single book, article or blog post about the 11+ and have no idea about what the process involves?

Are you the parent that's left everything to the last minute and now you're nervous about how to help your child pass?

Or are you the parent that's researched every area of the 11+ since your child's first birthday? 

Are you the parent that's immersed themselves in reading as much 11+ guidance material as possible?

You see, there are two very different types of 11+ parents.

The first type is the one that leaves everything to the last minute and then freaks out when they realise that their child doesn't even know the basics.

The second type is the parent that's so well prepared that they've studied every piece of literature known to man.

As 11+ experts, we've noticed that the second type of parent is far more likely to have a child that passes the exam simply because they are prepared! They are an early bird and as they say, the early bird always catches the worm.

Time and time again, we come across parents that are the first type and they leave everything to the last minute. As a result, their child is overwhelmed and struggles to score higher than 50% in practice tests. Such parents have no idea how to help their child improve and quite frankly, they often expect miracles from tutors like ourselves. They expect us to magically take a child that doesn't have a grasp of the basics and turn them into geniuses.

Sometimes, there are rare instances where we can help such students but often enough it's the children that have been studying for at least 1.5 years and have worked consistently hard that end up passing the 11+.

So what can you take away from this?

Start preparing for the 11+ as early as possible! 1.5 years is the ideal amount of time.

The exam is meant to test natural ability and potential so ultimately a child that has built an exceptional vocabulary and has a wonderful grasp of English and Maths from an early age is much more likely to pass than one who is trying to cram at the last minute.

Leaving things to the last minute is one of the worst things that you can do when it comes to the 11+ so try to prepare as early as possible.

PS. It's okay to teach your child yourself but it's also good to have your child assessed by a tutor at least once before they sit the exam. It's even better to enrol your child in an 11+ mock exam so that you can find out how they're doing in comparison to other students and identify any weak spots that need addressing.

If you liked this post, please leave a comment below or share it with a friend that might also benefit from reading this advice.

Wishing you the best of luck with exam preparation.

TheTutoress.com.

 

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

Important things to know before starting a dissertation

 

During the dissertation hand-in day, all students feel stressed out about the achievement of these important papers that have resulted from an exhausting crusade of researching, structuring and writing. For me, more than one year has passed after my fist encounter with the Undergraduate Dissertation Handbook and I still remember how I felt my heart trembling with the thought of the massive amount of work that was in front of me. Now that that stressful episode of my life has passed, I am beginning to identify the things that would be very beneficial for me if I was aware of them back then.

This article will provide useful tips to those who are currently working on their dissertations or will start working on them soon.

You need the best supervisor!

If you have been assigned to work with a supervisor who doesn’t provide effective recommendations or is unresponsive, you need to make a change. Don’t be afraid to ask for a change because if you don’t get the right advice, you won’t use your best potential and you will deliver mediocre work.

There should be a valid reason for making a switch and the request should be made early in the process. You don’t have to look for the best expert on the topic you are developing. What you need is a supervisor who will always be reassuring, reliable, approachable and detailed in their feedback. During the process of developing your dissertation, you will have some weird questions that will require email correspondence. Your supervisor should always be there for you, no matter how important those questions are.

Prepare for an unimpressed environment

When you start preparing yourself for the dissertation, your friends, family and all known and unknown people will start asking what you will be writing about. When it comes to dissertations, people always expect for impressive answers and you won’t be able to impress the environment in the early stage of the process. You should be prepared for some discouraging looks of disappointment and confusion, but you must not be affected by that kind of feedback. You should be aware that most people expect some dramatic answers when they ask about the topic of your dissertation, such as genocide, war and revolutionary ideas. After all, they are not the ones working on the dissertation and if you feel confident about your topic and you are interested in developing it further, make sure to stay positive about it.

Never ask your friends about the amount of work they have done. This would only stress you out and make you paranoid, or it would make them paranoid. Arrange your time effectively according to your own research and writing abilities, not according to others’ schedules.

Prepare for the freak out phase

During the dissertation development process, you will certainly experience a phase during which you will doubt the entire thesis and you will wish to leave everything behind and start from zero point. This usually occurs a couple of months before the ultimate deadline. The decision to start over is justified only if your mentor recommends you to do so because of some serious flaws in your work (which is a highly improbable scenario). You have to be aware that it is normal to panic, but you must keep focused and that stage of insecurity will pass.

Staying focused: Final tips

Don’t be disappointed by the fact that a lot of the early material will have to be edited out from the final version of the dissertation. Don’t be inclined into including all possible ideas that you have, because that would disturb the flow of the dissertation and make it look pointless.

Be prepared for a lot of printing! This may take a large portion of your weekly budget, so make sure to print only the necessary files and try using the free services of your friends and relatives during this process.

Writing a dissertation is a serious process that requires an immense amount of work and devotion, which means that you will have to put it on the first place, in front of other essay demands, sport commitments and social life in general. Even if you are extremely organized, you will have to go a step further and make more detailed plans of your time, without leaving any space for deadline panicking attacks!

Don’t be afraid of all the work in front of you because finishing your dissertation will definitely be one of the best experiences in your life. Every single atom of effort is worth for this important piece of work, so make sure to do everything in order to make yourself proud at the end of the process.

This is a guest post by Lois Weldon. Louis is a writer at uk.bestdissertation.com. She lives happily in London with her husband and daughter. She adores writing tips for students and is passionate about Star Wars and yoga.