Author: Zuzana Vrtalova
Life is all about preparation and as adults, we know how vital it is to be prepared for certain challenges that we face. However, children don’t have that life experience and so, preparing for their 11+ exams relies on parents to guide them in the right direction, ensuring that they are adequately prepared.
Exams can prove extremely stressful, even for younger children. So, imagine how they would feel going into an exam without any prior preparation. They’ll feel frightened, alone, scared and even experience the feelings that come with potential failure. Negative feelings at this point in their life will have a negative impact in the future but that can be avoided.
As an adult, we have all heard of the saying “Fail to prepare, prepare to fail” but we can step in and help our children in a positive way. We can give them the encouragement, skills and ability to take the 11+ exams with confidence and self-belief.
So When Should You Begin Preparing?
There is no hard or fast rule here but taking your time is always a smart move. Every child is different and some learn quickly and are better at absorbing information in readiness for using that information quickly while others take time to store that information. However, in most cases, slow and steady gives your children the ability to learn at a pace that is free from pressure and worry. Gradually, it’s possible to enhance their learning and prepare them in a way that leaves them feeling confident.
Preparing for 11+exams can prove daunting but the sooner you begin the process, the more beneficial it will be.
There is no such thing as starting too soon, so don’t be afraid to begin the process when your child is in year three. It’s about creating a steady and consistent flow of learning that does not pin your child down to a few months leading up to the exams. They’ll embrace the process better and get more from it.
Children might have a superb ability to retain information but that doesn’t mean that they can learn everything in a matter of weeks or months. They have to be given time to familiarise themselves with the questions they are going to be asked and the subjects that will be covered. They are going to need to improve their vocabulary and widen it considerably but this is not about memorising but about instilling it in them so they can recall it when required during the exam. This is a process that cannot take place overnight but instead requires time. The more time they have, the better they will learn.
The learning process involves a lot of learning materials.
Just seeing the sheer volume in one go can prove daunting and frightening. So, by taking more time and spreading the learning process over a longer period, it is possible to create a timetable and a structure that works. The material can be introduced, studied and the information retained in a way that is stress-free. It also provides more time to cover areas that take longer to learn. The more time you take, allows you to find natural gaps for breaks without feeling as though it all has to be crammed in.
With time and the right structure, preparing for 11+ exams does not have to be a challenge for both you and your child.
Find out more about our 11 Plus Tuition Programmes, or read more about helping your child pass the 11+ Exam on our blog.
We all know that inside schools there are many colourful displays, posters and infographics to help the children learn, but what about when they are learning online?
Believe it or not, creating a space for your child’s online learning can create a positive impact on their learning too.
Here are 5 tips on how to create a perfect home classroom.
1) Have a dedicated learning corner (or space)
Dedicating a specific quiet area for your child to study will help your child relate the space with concentration and study which in-turn will help create a positive learning routine.
2) Make sure the space is quiet (without distractions)
Dogs barking, children screaming and lawnmowers growling aside, these noises would be highly distracting in the classroom, learning online is just the same! We understand that sometimes this might be difficult but can be remedied by buying earphones for your child to help them concentrate.
3) Don’t help too much!
Getting it wrong is part of the journey and everything is wrong before it’s right, that’s how we learn! When your child is learning at home it can be difficult to not help when they are confused or do not understand a question. Don’t worry – that’s what we are here for! Our dedicated team of tutors will be able to help your child and by letting them get used to asking a teacher for help, this will help them get into a positive routine when needing help at school!
4) Eat before class!
Munching chocolate might be incredibly tasty but it can definitely make a mess of your workbook! Just like at school, try to eat before the class and after to recharge! Eating during the class can create distractions and a lot of mess!
5) Always have a pen and paper at hand
Working out your answer might not get you the correct answer, but you still get marks for your working out! Encouraging your child to use a pen/pencil and paper to investigate questions can not only create a positive learning routine but can also identify places of strength and weakness. Whether you are drawing a pie chart, writing a story or working out X in algebra, working out your answer is always the best first step.
Need any advice on setting up your online classroom? Get in touch with us today!
We might be stuck at home due to COVID19 but that does not mean that we cannot stay motivated and continue learning and having fun Online!
At inTuition Clubs Online, we believe that supporting your child and their learning journey is the most important goal, therefore we want to give you some handy tips on how to start the day productively.
As the old saying goes, “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day” and that is completely true. What we consume at the beginning of the day will set us up for the remainder of the day. Along with this, what we give our bodies after several hours of fasting is vital and can determine how we perform.
When it comes to giving our children the right breakfast, it can seem like a minefield. There are so many options and so many different choices that it can be difficult to know where to begin but it doesn’t have to be. While the little ones will prefer sweet options and cereals that come in boxed adorned by friendly characters, it is important that we do our best to avoid giving in and make sure that we give them the best foods to kickstart their day. So, with this in mind, what should we give them?
Children are still growing and developing and that is why it is important to ensure that we give them the right foods. When we do this, we give them the best platform from which to learn, play, perform and grow.
Avoid High Sugar Foods
The little ones love sugary treats and there are too many to choose from at breakfast time but in reality, if you give your child these, you won’t be doing them any good. The smile on their face might brighten up your world but they won’t be any good for them as the day progresses. That high hit of sugar will give them endless amounts of energy but that will be short-lived. Therefore, in a few hours, they will be low on energy as their body requires more sugar. As a result, you should opt for a breakfast that is low in sugar such as porridge. Packed with goodness, they will provide slow-release energy that will keep the little ones fuller for longer and that will help them to concentrate.
Fibre is Crucial
We all need fibre as part of our diet and we can give that to our children in many different forms. Wholegrain toast is packed with fibre as is cereal such as Weetabix or Shredded Wheat. These will give your children then fibre they need to process other foods but will also keep them feeling fuller for longer. This again will stop them from craving a snack or losing concentration while they are in class and it will ensure that it keeps their digestive system healthy.
The Right Vitamins
Children also need the right vitamins to help their bones, teeth and brains grow, not forgetting their muscles and the rate at which they develop mentally. One of the best foods your child can consume is eggs. Of course, they can be cooking in a number of ways so whether they have them poached, scrambled or boiled, they will be getting a wide range of vitamins. Eggs contain Vitamin A which is vital for the development of the immune system while vitamin D helps the absorption of calcium. Eggs also contain Vitamin B12 which ensures healthy Red Blood Cells and keeps energy levels up. Along with this, eggs contain a range of nutrients as well as protein that helps build muscles, keeping children healthy and strong.
A Healthy Start
Now you have made sure that your child is eating the right foods to ensure they stay motivated. Why not try our lessons online free today! Start with your free session and see how we can support you and your child excel in English and Maths!
As we receive updates about the new information on COVID-19 and your children are still away from their schools, it’s time to look at some of the benefits of Online Tuition and how we can best support your child through this tough time!
As adults, we take our vocabulary for granted and we do not appreciate what it took to get us to where we are today. Our children are clean slates and so, we have the perfect opportunity to help expand their vocabulary and improve the way in which they converse and write.
While they will follow a specific in school, it is important that we offer something different when they are out of the school environment as this is where they can really expand their vocabulary. With Online learning we have access to a wealth of resources to engage any child and satisfy their curiosities and passions for learning. From different situations to environments and the things they see, their active minds will keep them learning, even when they are not in the classroom but how can you expand the vocabulary of your child?
Reading is an important part of enhancing and expanding the vocabulary of your child. From the moment they begin learning to read, their vocabulary will improve and you can continue that at home. Depending on their level of reading, you can choose books that challenge them and give them the opportunity to confront difficult and new words. In doing so, they will be able to pair up the new vocabulary within certain contexts and that can help them to understand that there is more than just the basic words out there. Why not look for your favourite book as a child and see if you can find it online for your child? Share your favourite stories with them and revisit your childhood too!
Pick Challenging Words When Having a Conversation
Whilst your children are at home, make the most of it, get talking to them! One of the best things that you can do when helping your child to expand their vocabulary is to have a conversation with them that uses challenging language. When you do this, you are not only presenting them with new words that they might have never heard before, you will also bring out their inquisitive side where they might ask what you mean. When they do this, you will need to explain what the word means or the sentence in general and that will give them an idea of what the language means.
Head to The Online Library
Whilst reading a good book has always been a favourite pastime, in this digital world, our laptops are our new libraries which means it is one of the best places for a child to expand their vocabulary. This is all down to the fact that they are surrounded by stimuli and literature. If you give them the freedom to choose their own books or get involved in initiatives that internet offers, it will mean that they can begin to absorb all of this new vocabulary at the same time. What’s more, they will also be able to choose books that appeal to them and that can open up them up to a whole new world of vocabulary.
Play Games Online
Children love games and when something is fun, they are more likely to be consumed by it and that means that they will absorb more information than they usually would. So, younger children love games such as I-Spy where you can choose things that they might have never heard of before but it will then give you the chance to explain your choice when they are unable to guess the answer. Older children can also benefit from playing games such as scrabble whereby they need to understand the words on the board to understand whether they are real words or not.
One of the biggest advantages to teaching Online is the amount of multimedia and games we can use within their learning to not only build their confidence but to learn whilst having fun.
There are so many things that you can do to expand their vocabulary but in doing so, you can make a huge difference to the way in which the learn.
Want to find out how inTuition Clubs could help expand your child’s vocabulary?
The reality is that the world has changed and is unrecognisable from the world we once lived in. When it came to teaching in years gone by, children were prepared for life outside of the classroom, where the types of jobs were limited. However, with the limited number of jobs came an understanding of what was required of them. Whether they were going to become a foreman in a factory or a secretary in an office, the skills required came from everything that they learned in school.
In contrast to this, if we consider the jobs that are out there right now, many of them did not exist just 15 years ago. What this means is that many children in primary school today will enter jobs that currently do not exist. With this comes the challenge of providing them with the right preparation. We cannot see into the future and we cannot predict what the world of employment will bring but how can we help them to prepare as best as possible?
Focus on Key Skills
Whatever jobs are created over the next 15 or 20 years, there is no doubt that they will require basic skills and some of the key skills that children can learn in school today.
If we look at key skills, it is clear to see that they are something that children can carry with them through life. What’s more they are skills that they can call on in any kind of role, even if that role does not exist at this moment in time.
Communication is vital. Whether we do most of it on our smart devices electronically or by phone, the way in which we communicate has changed. Despite this, it is a skill that any role will require because even if someone is working on their own or as a team, they will need to interact with others in some way. Communication can go a long way, particularly when pupils can speak and interact clearly with very few problems.
Problem-solving is another vital skill that can assist the children of today in many roles, even those that are yet to be created. Any industry, regardless of how high-profile or simple the role might be will require problem-solving. The problems can be both intricate or complicated but giving children the ability to call on this skill when they need it will enable them to stand out and get noticed in the workplace.
A growth mindset
A growth mindet is a very crucial aspect of preparing a child for a role that does not exist. If someone has a fixed mindset then they will believe that that have reached their potential and that their skillset is set in stone. However, a growth mindset is the perfect skill for the future workplace. If the roles do not yet exist then in the future, they will have to develop, grow and learn new skills. Therefore, a growth mindset will enable them to adapt and evolve, giving them a greater chance of success.
Confidence is an integral part of life but everyone possesses different levels of it. There are those who prefer to blend into the background while there are those who love to be in the limelight while making the most of opportunities that come their way.
The way in which we develop as children can have a detrimental effect on the way in which our confidence develops. Therefore, ensuring our children possess the right amount of confidence is vital to how they develop as they grow.
Whether it is all about succeeding in an academic environment or in the workplace when they grow up, confidence will be a vital characteristic that they will rely on. In the school environment, confidence will help them to answer questions, ask questions and form friendships. In the workplace, it will enable them to take advantage of opportunities that come their way while it will give them the skills they need to develop.
As a parent how can you help to boost their confidence?
Make Time For Play
Children like to feel wanted and they love attention and so, playtime is a crucial way to help them improve their confidence. They can play games using their imagination and that can help to boost confidence in themselves. What’s more, when you play with them, you can encourage them and show them that they have your attention and time. This will give them confidence to believe that others are willing to listen to what they have to say as well as watch what they do.
Help Them To Learn
It is important to remember that we were all once in a position where we had to learn skills. Whether it is something as simple as washing our hands or something as complex as learning to tie our laces, we all had to make mistakes to learn the skill. If you leave your child to do it on their own, they will become frustrated and what’s more, if you lecture them for getting it wrong, it will dent their confidence and prevent them from wanting to try other things. Therefore, help them to give things a try and when they make mistakes and help them to try it all again. When they eventually achieve something, they will get a feeling of satisfaction and that will give them the confidence and belief that they can achieve.
Encouragement is Key
Children need encouragement. Encouragement can give them the confidence to believe in themselves and when they know that you are there with them, they will know that they are not alone. Encouragement can be something as simple as understanding when they have achieved something to encouraging them to do something that puts them out of their comfort zone.
Children need to be given the confidence to make their own decisions and know that what they are doing is right. However, confidence also comes from making mistakes and they need to understand that this is fine too. Helping them to increase their confidence will only help to set them up for what lies ahead of them in life.
One of the first significant challenges your child will face in school is the 11 plus exam. Of course, school presents certain challenges from the moment they start school but an exam is a different kind of challenge and is one that requires the correct approach.
As a parent, you are going to want your child to do well but how can you help them to pass the exam?
Take Things Slowly
The aim is to not push your child into preparing and learning for their exam in a short period of time. This can leave them feeling lost, rushed and it can cause them to lose confidence. Therefore, it is important that you understand their ability and then begin to prepare for the exam in advance.
Just a small amount of work each day, such as 10-15 minutes, is enough to get them focused without putting too much of a strain on them. Large blocks of learning might mean that they forget things or are unable to process all of the information efficiently.
One of the most important things that parents can do is to encourage their children. Parents want their child to do well and children want to do their parents proud, but as adults, it is vital that you find that right balance. You want to encourage them to do their best and so, when they do well, encourage them. It will give them the confidence they need. However, if they are struggling, don’t be too hard on them and try to help them find a solution.
Cover All Aspects of the Exam
It does not matter what exam board administers the exam, they will be tested on the same subjects and that will consist of mainly English, Maths, Verbal and Non-Verbal Reasoning. As a result, you should try to make sure that they have a schedule that covers as many topics as possible without it being too full on. As part of the English exam, they will be testing on the following:
● Sentence structure
Consider Both Question Formats
The exam will consist of two question formats known as multiple choice and standard. Multiple choice questions will require your child to choose the right answer from a number of options while the standard question will require your child to create a written response. Too often, the focus is put on the standard questions but in reality, both formats should be practised. Despite multiple-choice questions providing the answer, they still require a certain set of skills to identify the right answer. Therefore, it is important that both formats are practised.
Private Tuition Provides Focus
Private tuition is a great option for those parents who feel that their child can benefit from it or for those parents who think that they are unable to prepare their child correctly. However, private tuition will provide children with a structured learning experience that will identify their strengths and weaknesses before providing them with the correct level of learning. It is not forced or pressured but delivered in a way that can help them enter the exam with confidence.
Maths could be considered to be one of the most challenging subjects when it comes to school. However, once children begin to learn maths, they can see that it helps them with solving maths problems and it helps them get by in everyday life. Despite this, to get to this point, they will need to overcome challenges, frustration and difficulties all of which can result in children becoming disheartened with the subject,
From algebra questions to geometry, there are many aspects to teaching maths. If we set the right foundations and make maths a subject that children enjoy learning, they will be adequately prepared for that time when GCSE maths questions become a part of their education.
With this in mind, how can parents make primary maths fun again?
There are so many games out there that bring maths to life. In fact, many children are probably not too familiar with old-fashioned board games but they still provide plenty of excitement nonetheless. Therefore, give children the chance to explore games such as monopoly or the Pizza Fraction Fun Game. These games are packed with fun while encouraging children to use their maths skills without them barely realising.
Part of the learning process now involves technology and this is where smart devices can come into play. Children love using them and with so many apps and games available, parents can help them to improve their primary maths skills while enjoying the interactive aspect of apps.
Include Maths in Everyday Life
Whether parents are filling up their car with fuel, travelling on a journey or shopping, we are surrounded by opportunities to learn maths.
Parents can get cooking with their children and ask them to weigh out their ingredients before using some of the ingredients and working out what is remaining. If parents are driving on a long journey and are asked how long is left until they arrive at their destination then they can explain that the total journey is 150 miles and they have already driven 45, so how many miles are left? All of these questions pop up in everyday life and that provides the perfect opportunity to get children thinking.
Help Them To Understand the Purpose of Maths
For many children, they do not see the relevance of maths in day-to-day life. However, we all need maths, particularly when we are shopping. Therefore, if you are at the supermarket then parents can ask their children which products offer the best value or what will be the total cost of a range of items. Once they realise that this is all part and a parcel of everyday life, they will value it more and enjoy working out these kinds of things when they are out and about without the need for a prompt.
Ask Relative Thoughtful Questions
Children love nothing more than being asked questions and being asked questions is a crucial part of making maths fun again. If you can tie in these questions with their interests then you can really ignite that spark inside them. If they are a football fan, you can ask them to total up the number of goals scored in several games or if they enjoy pizza then you can ask them if ½ of a pizza is bigger than ¾ of a pizza. These are the sort of questions that will mean something to them and will enhance their experience of maths.
If you can bring their interests to life by asking them questions, then you will encourage them to continually work out maths-related questions each time.
So, maths can be a testing and challenging subject for children. However, parents can play their part in ensuring that they make it as interesting as possible while giving children the chance to learn and progress.
As far as learning goes, we all do it differently. There are those who are confident and those who are not. There are those who are better in a group environment and those are better on a one-to-one basis. Different things work for different people but what are the benefits of small group tuition?
It Creates a Collaborative Environment
Students enjoy engaging in activities
Most students enjoy working together and that is why small group tuition is highly effective. It enables students to engage with others while learning together, helping to develop confidence and competencies.
Group tuition is practical
In a standard classroom environment of around 30 pupils, it is challenging for the teacher to give as much attention as possible to those who need it. What’s more, there are those who learn at different rates and all of this can lead to a different learning experience. However, small groups of around two to six pupils will enable them to receive more attention from the tutor. This helps them to learn more effectively while also having the chance to interact with others.
It teaches children to work with others
While individual tuition is highly effective, it also removes the ability to work with others and so, small group tuition almost brings with it the best of both worlds. Pupils will have the opportunity to speak, listen, work in pair and benefit from tailored teaching methods than enhance the learning experience.
It Can Avoid Mixed Abilities and Styles
Again, in a large classroom, it is common to have a variety of pupils who are receptive to different learning styles, not forgetting the different abilities. Some pupils prefer a hands-on approach to learning while there are those who might be more visual. There are those who might be better at a certain aspect of a subject than those but when it comes to small group tuition, this is not the case. This is because it makes it possible for tutors to place pupils with others who work on the same level and have the same ability. They can also bring pupils together who have the same learning style.
Some Pupils Respond to a Group Environment
There are pupils who thrive from working and learning in a small group. Often, a one-to-one environment is too intimate for some and so, they do not get as much from the experience as possible. What this means is that they are far more receptive to a group learning experience. There are those who thrive from problem-solving and working with others. What’s more, there are those who also like the challenge of going up against other pupils when it comes to finding answers.
Small group tuition is somewhere between one-to-one tuition and a classroom environment. Children can gain more from small group tuition as the learning experience is more tailored to their specific need.
At inTuition Clubs we focus on academic achievement as well as on embracing a more rounded and robust approach to assessing children’s need. We use praise-based, blended learning where children are challenged, recognised and rewarded. Aligned with the UK national curriculum, our tuition sessions combine leading edge technology and physical learning tools within an inspiring, fun environment.
Learning to read is one of the most important aspects in the development of a child. When they learn to read, it enables them to move through life while having the ability to undertake a range of tasks. It is a skill that is vital to all of us but still when it comes to learning to read, it is vital that we ensure we keep things exciting for them.
To children, learning to read is something that they can lose interest in especially when they are easily distracted by other things. However, when it comes to learning to read, there is a lot that we can do to make sure that they enjoy it and can get excited about it. Once the excitement is there, they will want to continue their learning experience while getting as much from it as possible.
So, how do you get your child excited about reading?
Make it a Part of Their Routine
Children respond well to routine, even if at first it takes time to get them into that routine. Whether it is having bath time at the same time each day or putting them to bed, the routine provides structure and gives them an understanding of what is expected of them and the same can be said for reading.
Whether you schedule reading in before they go to bed or after they have had food, making them aware of the fact that reading has to be done each day will get them excited about it. When they know that they have time set aside for it, they will understand that it is time for them to show off how well they can read and how they have progressed.
Create a Reading Area
Children love the idea of having a secret or special place in which they can do things. Look at the way in which children love building dens and use that excitement by creating a special reading area. You can put bean bags on the floor, even create a cosy corner in their bedroom with a roof where you can read in privacy and in secrecy. They will love the chance to hide themselves away with you each day, making the experience exciting and an adventure at the same time!
Create Regular Read Aloud Time
Children respond well to hearing things and they often absorb a lot of what they hear which is why it is important that you add read-aloud time to your reading schedule. This kind of reading enables you. Research has found that children who are read books by someone who loves reading will also develop a passion for books and reading. Read-aloud time will inspire children to learn and enhance their reading while it also shows them the joy that they can get from reading.
All of this will increase their excitement of reading and will help them to benefit from every second they spend reading books.