One of the most common problems about preparation for the 11+ English exams is lack of motivation. If your child is very happy at their current school, they may not want to think about moving up to senior school. Likewise, your child may feel resentful about the extra work they have to do. Children can feel overwhelmed and exhausted with extra tuition: their lives are full enough. So it’s hardly surprising they may not be feeling inspired!
The key is to keep it real.
School visits can be a useful incentive as ‘doing the 11+’ can seem a bit nebulous at time. If your child has seen the schools to which they are applying, it makes the whole process more meaningful. Open days are a must. Talking to current pupils about life at a particular school can make all the difference. When my son discovered that rugby was non-compulsory and that 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 desperate to go.
For some children one-to-one tuition offers the bespoke attention and support they need. Yet, for others it may feel too intense. That’s one of the reasons 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. Children share ideas and build a sense of camaraderie with the others in their group. It makes studying more fun and engaging.
The best tactic is to reward your child for the effort they make, rather than their achievement. It is fine 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 the all the hard work they are doing, can be a powerful motivator. It should not be conditional on whether they win a place or not. Give your child something to look forward to. 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.