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Before reading on, ask yourself:
'Does my child understand why they are working in preparation for the 11 plus examination?'
This is a question we ask our parents on our 11 plus courses. It may seem like a simple question but you might be surprised at just how many children are not fully aware of what the 11 plus is and why it is potentially so important to their future. It is not unusual for them to think that it is just an 'exam' or test and not actually be aware that it is the gateway to attending a top class school that will prepare them for the future.
At such a young age, the children often need to be shown the school they are working so hard to get into. This effectively allows them to share the vision and goal that they are trying to achieve.
As parents, we understand that the 11 plus affects our child’s forthcoming education, social relationships, career prospects and life expectations. However, in and amongst all of the stresses involved in preparing them for the 11 plus, it is all too easy to forget that we need to convey these concepts to our children. Remember that this is not only a stressful time for you as parents, but it is also potentially a stressful time for your children.
This is a time when your positive support and encouragement will really aid your child’s well being. However, hard work will be required from both of you. It is not enough to simply expect them to put in work every day if they do not understand why they are doing it or see a valid reason for them to do so.
Now ask yourself –
“Would I give 100% dedication and effort to an activity if I was unaware of the potential reward?”
Certainly the answer for most people would be “No!” – and rightly so. After all, why would you devote your time and energy to an activity when it is apparently to no benefit?
Attending school open days as a family to explore the schools facilities and opportunities can be a great motivator. The key here is to put yourself in your child’s shoes and think ‘what would make you want to attend a particular school?’ In understanding this exercise your child can really start to gain an insight into what all of their hard work, focus and dedication is helping them achieve. Furthermore, it also allows you, as a family, a chance to share these important aspirations in a relatable fashion.
Whilst at the open day, keep in mind your child’s interests and hobbies. If they enjoy sports point out the excellent sports facilities and success stories of the school’s various sports teams. Similarly with, for example music/drama – attending one of the schools concerts can be great fun for all of the family. Equally so with things such as first class IT facilities, laboratories, travel opportunities or famous past pupils etc.
Goal Setting – Acknowledgement and Recognition
We cannot stress enough that preparing for the 11 plus requires a lot of dedication and focused activity from your child. As parents, it is extremely important that we take the time to acknowledge the continued effort; if the children start to feel that their hard work is going unrecognised, motivation quickly fades and the work becomes an unbearable chore. However, if recognised with an enthusiastic positive reaction – well… success leads to success!
At KSOL, we are always keen to emphasise the importance of acknowledging good performance with recognition and praise. We do this in all of our KSOL tuition centres by presenting weekly trophies to the children in recognition of their hard work and progress. Periodically, we set children achievable weekly goals related to their online work and reward them with certificates when they achieve a set goal.
Goal Setting Action Plan
Creating a goal setting action plan can act as a great motivational tool, constantly reinforcing to children what they are working towards achieving whilst at the same time allowing them to see a track record of their progress and development.
Firstly think about what you want your child to achieve; what are their strengths? What are their weaknesses? Where is there room for improvement?
The next step is to then start breaking down your goals into smaller more manageable tasks. By breaking down a goal, for example, ‘Improving my handling of fractions’ into a series of smaller, more manageable tasks, it makes the end goal seem a whole lot less daunting. Not only that, it also allows children to see their progression and development over time as well as feel sense of fulfilment in completing each task.
Our Masterclass program is the perfect balance between daily online tests and centre based tuition.