Should I use a Private Tutor to Prepare my child for the 11 plus exam?
Navigating the decision to engage a private tutor for your child's 11+ exam preparation is indeed a significant undertaking, laden with considerations ranging from safety to the efficacy of the learning program. It is, as you aptly put it, the "sixty-four thousand dollar question." Let's delve into the key aspects and expectations surrounding the involvement of a private tutor in your child's 11+ journey.
Safety and Trust:
Safety is paramount. Parents must ensure that the private tutor is honest, trustworthy, and poses no threat to the child's well-being. Background checks and thorough vetting processes are prudent steps to take.
Group Size and Personal Attention:
Consider the class size. Smaller groups or one-to-one sessions can provide more personalised attention, a crucial factor in effective learning. In a setting resembling a school classroom with 10 or 15 pupils personal attention may be compromised and this type of private tutor may be a waste of not only your child's time but your hard earned money.
The tutor's learning program should be meticulously designed to maximise understanding and skill development in core subjects like Maths and English before moving onto more complicated 11+ Verbal and Non-Verbal Reasoning. It should foster a desire to learn, promote self-learning skills, and cover topics progressively, building on previous knowledge.
Focus on Reasoning:
A significant challenge lies in teaching 11+ Verbal and Non-verbal Reasoning, which often involves material not extensively covered in schools. A skilled private tutor can bridge this gap, particularly when schools might discourage preparation for the 11+ exam.
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Timing of Preparation:
The question of when to start preparation varies. Some recommend a year in advance, others suggest two or three years. The decision should align with the child's ability, interest, and knowledge, keeping in mind that a private tutor's time is a valuable and expensive resource.
While a private tutor may significantly aid your child's preparation, there are no guarantees of passing the 11+ exams. The exam is demanding, and success depends on various factors, including the child's effort and readiness.
Tailored Tuition for Reasoning:
Tuition for 11+ Verbal and 11+ Non-verbal Reasoning should be tailored to match the specific styles of questions in the 11+ exam your child will take. The content can vary widely between counties, schools, and online formats.
Understanding the Exam Content:
Parents should familiarise themselves with the content of the 11+ paper your child will sit. A clear understanding allows for better support and collaboration with the tutor to the benefit of your child.
Value for Money:
Given the demanding nature of the 11+ exam, time is a crucial factor. Parents should ensure they get value for money from private tuition. Sometimes, resources like well-crafted "How to" books can be equally effective in supporting learning.
Recommendations and Reputation:
Recommendations from friends and family can be valuable in identifying a reputable tutor. A good tutor will be in great demand but will usually yield positive results and foster an environment that is conducive to good learning by your child .
A Symphony of Success:
Beyond the academic rigors, the private tutor becomes the "conductor orchestrating a symphony of success." It's not merely about passing the 11+ exam; it's about instilling a passion for learning, nurturing curiosity, and fostering a mindset that extends beyond the immediate challenges of the 11+.
Partnering with Parents:
The private tutor isn't just a standalone figure in this journey but a collaborator with parents. The partnership extends beyond tutoring sessions, involving parents in the learning process and creating a holistic support system.
Beyond the 11+ Exam:
Success in the 11+ exam is a stepping stone to a broader educational journey. A proficient private tutor plants the seeds for a future where the student not only excels academically but also embraces the joy of learning for learning's sake.
In essence, the decision to enlist a private tutor is a major investment, in both time and money, that transcends the boundaries of a single exam. It's about sculpting a mindset, instilling a passion, and preparing the student for a lifelong journey of intellectual exploration. The symphony of success, conducted by a skilled tutor, resonates far beyond the 11+ exam, echoing through the corridors of a lifetime of academic achievement and personal growth.
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