Hints and Tips from Flying Start Tuition
The Eleven Plus can be a stressful time for children and their parents. At Flying Start we have helped hundreds of children prepare, and would like to share some tips with you to help make the experience as stress free as possible for all the family.
- Be realistic about holiday revision. You may love the idea of a child who happily works through their revision and practice schedule without complaint, but in reality expect the occasional outburst, sulking, or demands to so something (anything!) instead.
- Be mindful of sibling rivalry. Siblings who aren’t taking the exam can feel a little side-lined, feeling that they are receiving less parental attention. This is particularly true for younger siblings who haven’t experienced sitting tests and exams at school. However, older children who were successful in their own 11+ can sometimes make their younger sibling feel pressure to pass as well. Alternatively, if the older child was unsuccessful in their own exam they may feel a little resentment towards their younger brother or sister.
Keeping those in mind, how do you help everyone in the family cope better in the run up to the exam? First, let’s look at what you can do over the summer holidays.
Plan for success: Work out a revision timetable early on with your child so that he or she has enough time to cover all the elements that they need to work on. Planning the timetable with you will help your child feel more in control, and as they have had a say in revision planning they will be less likely to rebel against it when they think there is something better to do!
Celebrate small steps: Simply ticking off topics or revision sessions can help revision seem more manageable. Your child will see that each tick moves them closer to completing their revision. You can also celebrate milestones such as covering a certain topic or finishing a mock test. Celebrations that include the whole family, such as a day out or trip to the cinema, will help to avoid sibling rivalry.
Break it Up: Revision is best in small chunks. Hour-long sessions can work well and are necessary when sitting a full practice test but, where possible, break it up into 20- or 30-minute sessions with short breaks in between. Plan in some days off too, to give their minds a rest. Aim to revise for 5 days out of 7.
Keep it interesting: Using a variety of techniques will help the information sink in. There are lots of websites offering revision games, timetables and activities, as well as practice papers. Check with your child’s school or tutor for suitable suggestions.
Stay involved and interested: Your child will find it difficult to stay motivated if you give the impression that their revision time is an inconvenience to you. Ensure that you are available throughout the scheduled time to support and answer questions (give yourself a quick refresher course in answering 11+ style questions), and encourage them to reflect on each session. Asking questions such as “How do you think you are doing?” or “Is there anything you need a little more help with?” will let your child know that you are there to listen whenever they need it.
Create a calm environment: Ensure your child has a quiet, clear, space with lots of light, and all the tools and books they need – and keep the fridge stocked with healthy snacks and drinks. (Saving a slice of chocolate cake as a reward for revision can work wonders too!) Encourage your child to get in the Learning State (read more about this technique here, it will help them to stay calm and focus.
If your child is well prepared they should feel confident that they can go into the exam and do their best. To support your child’s preparation, Flying Start offer Eleven Plus Revision and Practice courses over the summer, as well as Mock Experience Test Days, with same day feedback. Also available are our popular Mocks in A Box (click here for special offer) – a kit full of practice papers for your child to tackle at home, or on holiday to keep up the momentum.
We wish everyone sitting the Eleven Plus this year the very best of luck.
For information on Flying Start Tuition’s 11+ holiday courses and mock tests, visit our website: www.flyingstarttuition.co.uk
or contact us:
Tel: 01494 772898