help your child with comprehension

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.

3 Ways To Help Your Child Improve Their Comprehension Skills

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Many parents complain that their child struggles with comprehension.

Perhaps it’s because they struggle to understand the text, or perhaps it’s because they find it difficult to figure out what the question is asking of them.

Whatever the reason, there are things that you can do to help your child improve their ability to read and understand even the most complex of texts.

Here are five of our favourite comprehension boosting tips:

Create an environment of literacy in the home.

This is a piece of advice given by the wonderful Dr Kathryn Weston and it’s one that’s stayed in my mind for a long time.

What does it mean?

Well, many parents completely dismiss literacy at home and often prioritise Maths and Sciences because English is often deemed a less important subject. And then, all of a sudden they realise that their child actually needs to have strong English skills because literacy is assessed throughout a child’s education. Such parents then frantically begin hunting for an English Tutor and panic because there isn’t much time to help their child improve their comprehension skills.

Instead of doing this, you can create an environment of literacy in the home by doing some of the following:

  • Reading to your child at night.

  • Asking your child to read to you for 10 minutes each day.

  • Using vocabulary flash cards during meal times so that you can create table topics around them.

  • Asking them to re-write some of the stories they’ve read recently and read them aloud to friends and family.

By doing this, your child begins to understand how important it is to build strong English skills especially with regards to comprehension.

Encourage them to read a variety of classic and modern texts.

It’s so easy to encourage your child to stick with the usual “fun” books such as Diary of a Wimpy Kid but such books don’t necessarily encourage much creative thinking or help a child develop their deduction or inference skills. By encouraging your child to read a variety of texts, you’ll be helping them to create the skills needed to make studying comprehension much less difficult.

Use 10-minute boosters.

We love the CGP and Bond 10-Minute series of books because they enable children to improve their comprehension skills in such a short space of time. It’s therefore worth purchasing some of these books and gradually working through the books with them. Start by going through the books together, discuss the passages and then eventually encourage your child to complete the comprehension papers on their own. It takes just 10 minutes and it’s so worthwhile.

So, there you have it. Three of our favourite tips for improving comprehension skills.

If your child needs additional help with comprehension, consider purchasing our online course which enables students to study at their own pace. Click here to learn more.