The Summer holidays are a difficult time when it comes to 11 plus revision. Brains typically switch off during those six plus weeks, and rightly so after your child has worked hard all year. But how do you balance that with the fact that the 11 plus exam is looming so soon after they go back to school?
Here are my tips for creating an 11 plus summer battle plan that will ensure your child is primed and ready for the exam but still able to enjoy their summer.
11 Plus Summer Revision Tip 1: Plan in Advance
Make sure you have a plan for your child’s summer 11 plus revision before you get started. If you try to wing it every day by opening a book in a random place, your child’s study is likely to be imbalanced and ineffective.
Most children cope best with a bit of structure, and they’re much more likely to stick with it if they have a clear plan of exactly what they need to do.
So, how do you come up with that plan? The next tips will tell you the best way to structure your child’s 11 plus revision.
11 Plus Summer Revision Tip 2: Little and Often is Key
It’s much easier to persuade a child to do a little bit of 11 plus revision at a time rather than spending hours on it per day. For this reason, it’s best to start early. Don’t try to cram a full summer’s worth of revision into the last week before they go back to school!
The ‘little and often’ approach is also the most effective way for your child to revise. They will retain more information by working in short bursts than if they try to cram too much in at once.
Try to keep your child’s 11 plus revision to around an hour at a time. Much more than this is likely to tire your child out and you may find that they are just ‘going through the motions’ of getting the work done, rather than actually taking anything in.
The longer your child spends revising at a time, the more likely it is that frustration will bubble up and tempers will boil over! Keeping it reasonably light will help your child not to look on their 11 plus revision as anything too negative.
11 Plus Summer Revision Tip 3: Do it in the Morning
Chances are it will be nigh on impossible to persuade your child to sit down and revise when they’re tired out after a fun summer’s day. They almost certainly won’t be in the right mindset at this time even if you can get them to pick up the pen.
Whenever possible, your child should get their day’s 11 plus revision done and out of the way first thing in the morning. This way, their brain will be much fresher, and they’ll have the rest of the day stretched out before them to enjoy doing whatever they want.
11 Plus Summer Revision Tip 4: Keep Topics Varied
It might be tempting to focus solely on your child’s weaker areas when it comes to their summer 11 plus study, but this can actually do more harm than good.
Firstly, your child’s confidence is likely to drop significantly if they’re only doing things they find really difficult. Mixing up the tough stuff with topics they excel at will give them regular reminders of their strengths, which helps to keep confidence high and tantrums at bay.
Secondly, focusing too much on one 11 plus revision topic may have the effect of weakening your child’s skills in other areas. Any improvement in a tricky area will be wasted if others are allowed to fall by the wayside.
11 Plus Summer Revision Tip 5: Use a Mix of Study Types
Don’t break out the full-length practice papers every day; your child will do much better with a bit of variation.
Mixing things up keeps 11 plus revision from feeling too monotonous, therefore your child will be much more likely to stick at it.
A mix of practice papers, worksheets and shorter exercises is just what your child needs to experience a range of study and not feel like they’re doing the same thing day in, day out.
If your child responds well to learning online, you could also incorporate videos, online tests and apps as well.
11 Plus Summer Revision Tip 6: Reward With Fun Stuff
There’s nothing like a bit of bribery to get you through those weeks of 11 plus revision. With it being the holidays, you’ll want to balance out the work with plenty of fun activities, so why not make the two mutually beneficial?
“If you do one hour of revision this morning, we’ll go to the cinema this afternoon…”
“If you complete everything on the revision list this week, we’ll take a trip into London this weekend…”
Don’t underestimate the power of sentences like these!
Need more help putting together your summer 11+ revision plan?
If you sign up to FSL 11+ Online for just £14.95 per month, you’ll get access to our full summer 11 plus revision courses.
They are fully-timetabled keeping the ‘little and often’ approach in mind, with each day containing a mix of different topics and printable study materials (including full sets of practice papers!).
Also included are video tutorials and lots of online quizzes in all 11+ subject areas, giving you everything you need in one place for one low price.
Get your child’s summer 11 plus revision sorted with one click by checking out our summer courses here.