Keeping your child motivated during the summer holidays for 11+ revision can be challenging. The warm weather, the desire to relax, and the temptation to put off studying can easily hinder motivation. However, with the right approach, parents can keep their children motivated and engaged in their revision process. This article presents a comprehensive guide with practical strategies to help parents inspire their children to stay on track with their 11+ preparation during the summer holidays.
1. Set clear goals
Firstly, it is important to help your child set specific, achievable goals for their 11+ revision. Devise a schedule together that gives clear deadlines. This will give them a sense of accomplishment as they complete each milestone.
2. Create a study schedule
When establishing a structured study schedule for the summer period allow flexibility and breaks. Involve your child in this timetable, so they feel they have some ownership on the process. Display the timetable in a prominent location that can be regularly referred to. Include plenty of leisure activities to help keep the revision fresh and interesting. It is essential to strike a balance between study time and leisure activities. Also, establish a routine with the studying as this helps with keeping the consistency of practice.
3. Encourage regular breaks
Ensure your child takes regular breaks during the study sessions to recharge and relax. It can be as simple as going for a walk, doing some artwork, or reading a book. Short breaks can actually improve focus and retention.
4. Use interactive learning resources
Make the revision process enjoyable by incorporating interactive learning resources. Such as educational games, online quizzes, or educational apps that align with the 11+ curriculum. By varying the practice with these kind of activities it helps mix up the study material to avoid monotony. A few suggestions are listed below:
- Free Rice - excellent for developing a good knowledge of synonyms.
- Education Quizzes - quizzes covering all the 11+ subjects.
- Lucky Gecko Apps - really fun way to expand your child’s vocabulary. This series of apps covers synonyms, antonyms, missing letters, balanced equations and odd one out.
- KS2 Maths - BBC Bitesize – useful videos, examples and quizzes covering the whole numeracy syllabus (Numbers, Calculations, Algebra, Fraction, percentages, ratio, measurement, Shapes and Movement and handling data) in Key Stage 2.
5. Peer study groups
If possible, encourage your child to study with friends who are also preparing for the 11+. Studying together can make the process more enjoyable and foster healthy competition.
6. Using relevant study material
When concentrating on the 11+ exams it is important to use materials that are specific to the exam board your child is studying. Monotony can quickly demotivate a child, so provide a diverse range of study materials. Include practice papers, past exam questions, textbooks, and visual aids to keep the learning experience fresh and stimulating. This will help your child focus on the right syllabus for their examinations.
7. Focus on areas of development
Making sure your child concentrates on the areas of the 11+ curriculum they find challenging is vital to improving their overall mark. Focusing on areas they find easy will not impact on the score. Therefore, identifying problem areas through practice tests will highlight the subjects that need more work. Every child is different and will have varying strengths and weaknesses. Using topic check lists will keep the practice centred on the 11+ curriculum.
8. Playing family games
Often simple family games can keep the motivation levels high in a child. Word games that have a direct impact on developing a strong vocabulary can be introduced throughout the revision period. Playing charades, Wordle or Skribbl.io are a few examples.
9. Positive reinforcement
Celebrate your child’s progress and achievements no matter how small. Positive reinforcement can boost their confidence and motivation to continue working hard.
10. Set a good example
Show enthusiasm for learning and be a role model for your child. If they see you taking an interest in education and personal development, they are more likely to follow suit.
11. Field trips and experimental learning
If possible, plan educational field trips that align with the 11+ curriculum. This can make learning more practical and enjoyable. Visiting a garden centre, a museum, historical site or National Trust property can support an understanding of flora and fauna. For example, in the ‘Odd Two Out’ question type in Verbal Reasoning it can be useful to know types of flowers, trees or species of animals. See an example below:
Three of the words in each list are connected. Underline the two words that are not linked to these three.
Example: acorn, willow, birch, poplar, sapling
12. Reward system
Consider implementing a reward system where your child earns a small reward for meeting study goals. The rewards can be non-academic, like a fun outing or a special treat. It certainly doesn’t have to be expensive or elaborate. Using sticker charts and marbles in a jar can still be fun for the older Key Stage 2 children.
13. Stay positive and supportive
Keep a positive attitude towards your child’s efforts and progress. Offer support, encouragement, and reassurance throughout the summer holidays. Overseeing the work they are completing and maintaining a positive mindset. Praise at all stages of the revision schedule will keep the mood positive.
Maintaining your child’s motivation during the summer holidays for their 11+ revision requires a combination of patience, creativity, and support. By setting clear goals, creating a structured study schedule and utilising interactive resources, parents can keep their children engaged and motivated. Positive reinforcement, peer study groups, and personalising the learning experience can further enhance their enthusiasm for the 11+ exam. Remember to maintain a supportive and positive environment and allow for a balance between study and relaxation to ensure your child’s overall well-being during this crucial time. With the right approach and encouragement your child will be better equipped to excel in their 11+ exam and develop a lifelong love for learning.
By Chris Pearse
Chris Pearse is a qualified Primary School Teacher with 10 years' experience in teaching. He started Teachitright in 2006 to provide support for children taking secondary school exams and is passionate about helping children achieve their potential whilst enjoying education.