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With the summer holidays fast approaching it can be hard to keep children motivated in their 11+ revision.

Here are some tips from professional tutor Michellejoy Hughes, that will hopefully help your child to keep on track.

Change the Learning Environment:

Keeping children engaged and motivated to revise can be as simple as changing the learning environment. Nobody likes the idea of being cooped up in a bedroom all summer, but combine learning with a fun and relaxing environment and it will feel much less of a chore.

  • Make the most of the warmer weather (if we get any!) and suggest your child studies outside. A cool drink, a sun lounger, and an umbrella to provide shade can make studying outside pleasant.
  • Try a picnic 'learning lunch'. This is the ideal way of 'list learning' such as times tables, squared or cubed numbers or revising vocabulary and definitions.
  • If your child has a friend sitting the same 11+ exam, encourage them to have a study day when they can get together and complete a test paper at the same time, take turns testing each other or work together on a writing task or comprehension paper.

Shake up the Learning Material:

We all learn and process information differently so don’t rely on one method of learning to see your child through revision. A bit of variety will help keep learning interesting, and who knows, they may even find a new revision technique that works well for them (valuable knowledge to have for secondary school).

  • Reading can help with vocabulary, comprehension and writing, so sit down with your child and produce a reading list of books that can be read on a journey or on holiday. Make sure to choose books that your child wants to read but still provide a challenge.
  • This is a useful time to use complementary books. Try the Bond Challenge Papers or 10 Minute Tests books, or try some online questions to keep learning fresh. Logic puzzles, crosswords and word searches can all be used to good effect.
  • Try to reinforce list learning through another activity. For example, covering times tables to the rhythm of bouncing a ball or singing tricky spellings to a well-known tune.

Reinvigorate your Child:

As parents we want our children to succeed and do well in their exams, but of course we also want to protect them and their ability to enjoy childhood. Ensuring that your child has time to do what they want to do will not only keep them happy and motivated but also ensures that they won’t burn out early and lose concentration.

  • Many schools have their end of year exams around this time, so you may need to reduce 11+ preparation for a short while to allow your child to focus on their school exams and ensure they are not overloaded. A change of focus during this period may also re-energise them when they return to their 11+ work too.
  • Try to get a good balance between life and study for your child by ensuring there is plenty of time for relaxation, hobbies and exercise. However tempting it might be to push your child to complete an extra test paper, keeping to a fair timetable will help both you and your child to achieve the end goal.
  • If you can sense a drop in concentration, encourage your child to talk through their progress so far and take stock of where they are up to and what needs to be worked on. It is far better to take a week or two away from study and then return refreshed rather than to allow their focus to diminish. There is nothing more demoralising than watching scores drop lower so breaking the cycle now can be a useful strategy.
  • If you made a revision timetable at Easter, mark off what has already been achieved and reassess what needs to be covered. If your child has completed work early, perhaps suggest time off at some point during the summer. If they have fallen behind with work, create a fresh plan.
  • And remind your child that the exams are soon approaching so this level of studying is short-lived.

You can find various educational books to support your child’s revision for the 11+ exam on our website.

Michellejoy Hughes