'A marathon not a sprint' is how we put it to our students. At ELC our approach is to adopt a little and often educational journey as opposed to the frenetic cramming of homework last thing on a Sunday. There are several reasons for us adopting this approach.
Firstly, last thing on a Sunday, the mind has one eye either on work for parents or on school for the child. After a nice weekend away from the hectic nature of the week, the brain has had a chance to relax and the last thing it should be doing is starting to wade through copious amounts of literacy and numeracy tasks. All this will generate is stress; and that is for both the child and the parent.
Secondly, at ELC we spend a lot of time understanding how students learn. From 20 years of teaching experience we are confident that students' understanding of new topics develops by going back to them regularly and each time nudging it further down into the deeper memories. With this in mind we advocate 11+ homework being split into small chunks over the week. Four 10 minute sessions will prove far more beneficial that having to sit at a desk for 40 minutes on a Sunday.
As part of the tutoring provision that we offer we also advocate variety. Keeping interest high is a great way to ensure the 11+ tutoring process can be an enjoyable one rather than one that makes children reluctant to engage. For the notoriously challenging 11+ vocabulary, why not try some crosswords? Make the maths more enjoyable by turning questions into a bingo challenge. The process of simply wading through copious text books is not going to enthuse the majority of students with their learning (and a disengaged students is most definitely not what anyone with an eye on passing the 11+ exam would want.)
Many parents think that mock 11+ exams should be done early on in the academic year but at ELC we prefer to build gradually from around March/April with exams growing in complexity and expectation.