Understandably, children may feel overwhelmed and exhausted with the extra workload. After all, their lives are full enough for them! Even the well-meaning suggestion of extra tuition may frustrate them further, leaving them feeling less than motivated or inspired by the 11+ English exams process as a whole.
If you want to motivate your child for the 11+ English exams, the key is to keep it real.
Help your child embrace the next stage of their education
Involve your child in the process. School visits can be a useful incentive as ‘doing the 11+' can seem a bit nebulous at times. If your child has been to visit the shortlisted schools they’re considering applying to, it helps make the whole process more meaningful.
Take the time to attend them on official open days. Talking to current pupils about life at a particular school can make all the difference and help put your child’s mind at rest. When my son discovered that rugby was non-compulsory and he could learn Italian at his future school, he was delighted. It spurred him on to tackle reading comprehensions when he'd rather have been playing football. He was actually desperate to go to his new school.
Consider investing in additional tuition for the 11+ English exams
You may decide that your child needs additional tuition for the 11+ English exams. For some children, one-to-one tuition is a great solution, as it offers the bespoke attention and support they need. For others though, it may feel a little too intense. That's one of the reasons why I offer both one-to-one and small group tuition as part of my online 11+ English program. Learning in a small group can be a better way to prepare for the 11+ English exams. Those children who work in small tuition groups will often share ideas and build a sense of camaraderie with the other children in their group. It makes studying more fun and engaging for them all.
When motivating your child for the 11+ English exams, opt to use a reward system
One of the best tactics you can use, to motivate your child for the 11+ English exams, is to reward your child for the effort they make. Rather than rewarding their achievement, reward the time and effort they spend on their studies. Remind them that it is OK to make mistakes in the practice papers in the run-up to the exam. In fact, it is the best way to learn.
Offering a reward (or bribery, if you prefer!) for all the hard work they are doing, can be a powerful motivator. However, it’s crucial that you don’t make the reward conditional on whether they win a place or not. You want to give your child something to look forward to and to work towards. Going on a special day out or planning a holiday for after the exams, shows your child that there is life after the 11 plus.
A lack of motivation is one of the most common problems parents face when helping their child study for the 11+ English exams. But it doesn’t have to be. When you take the time to help your child embrace the next stage of their education, provide them with any additional support they need, and reward them for their efforts, you’ll help keep them motivated on doing the best they can for the 11+ English exams.