Why is verbal reasoning so important?

For anyone who sat, or has children sitting the 11+ exams as part of the UK school entrance procedure will have their own view on the relevance of these tests. But verbal reasoning is not only used for the 11+ it is also frequently used by employers to test the skills of their prospective employees.

What is verbal reasoning?

Verbal Reasoning is basically all about the way we think with words. It is a form of understanding and reasoning concepts based around words and language. It involves:

  • problem-solving around words
  • thinking about text
  • following written instructions and deciphering a solution
  • understanding letter sequences
  • decoding letter and number-based codes

Insert a letter, where you must find a letter that will fit onto the end of one word and the beginning of another to form two new words.

Find words that do not belong in a set group of words

Find words that have the same, similar or opposite meaning

Find hidden words within a sentence

Work out which number stands for which letter

Word corrections

Letter and number sequences

Reading information and analysis

Eg:

  1. If A=4 B=6 C=7 D=30 E= 13. What do C+A+E+B =

Answer = D (Simply add up the numbers represented by the letters and the answer is 30. This is represented by the letter D)

2. Gerry’s dad Mike is three times as old as Gerry was 2 years ago. If Gerry is 17 next year, how old is his dad?

Answer = 42 (If Gerry is 17 next year that would make him 16, meaning he was 14 two years ago. 14×3 = 42).

3. If the code for the word YACHT is BZXSG

What is the word for NLZGH?

Answer = MOATS (This is a simple matter of working out the relationship between the letters. You will notice that Y is to B as A is to Z and C is to X. You should now be able to spot that the first letter of the alphabet transforms to the last letter of the alphabet, the second letter to the second to last letter, the third letter to the third last letter and so on. In this way we are able to work out that the words NLZGH is actually MOATS. You can also check this as two of the letters in the first coded word are also in the second coded word, A and T, so you only have to work out the other three.)

4. Read the following passage and decide which statement is true.

On Saturday Olly, Jim and Christian like to go to the cinema. In the cinema Olly likes to buy popcorn and Jim always gets something to drink. Christian sometimes gets some sweets but will always get what Jim gets too.

A. The boys go to the cinema every Saturday.

B. Popcorn is the cheapest to buy.

C. Christian doesn’t have much money.

D. Christian always gets a drink.

E. Jim is the richest one.

The answer is D. (These questions are simply a matter of elimination and again, logic. The statement states clearly that Christian always gets what Jim gets and Jim always gets something to drink. Therefore the only answer that is certain is D).

5. AB is to CD

As EF is to =

Answer = GH (The letters are a continuation of each other in the alphabet)

6. Which number comes next in the sequence?

12 6 16 10 20 14 (?)

Answer = 24 (If you look at the numbers you will notice a pattern. Taking the first, third and fifth numbers they all progress by adding four each time. Then taking the second, fourth and sixth numbers also progress by adding four each time. Therefore the seventh number would just be four more that the fifth number).

Verbal reasoning is always based on logic. It is simply a matter of finding the sequence and following the trail of logic within it. Patterns are a great starting point.

The importance of verbal reasoning is important in a child’s academic life and their adult lives. Developing their verbal reasoning skills will allow them to become socially independent and succeed in thier professional life later on, Having verbal reasoning skills will allow your child to develop qualities such as perception, understanding and solving complicated subject questions, empathy and logical reasoning as well as ensuring they have a great vocabularly.

One of the best ways to encourage your child to develop their verbal reasoning skills is to encourage them to read. Reading will not only increase their vocabulary but they will learn to interpret workds and understand comprehension. Other ways to help your child develop their verbal reasoning skills are to: Play word games with them, encourage them to do word searches and crosswords, do spelling tests, to write stories, to improve their general knowledge with online quizzes and by playing detective games with them round the house.

Our tutors work with children to help them learn verbal reasoning skills, this is great addition to your child’s learning not just to pass 11+ exams but to give them skills to work out exam answers and problem solve all the way through their educational journey.

To conclude some children are naturally very good at verabl reasoning whilst others require more practice and a helping hand. Whatever the case, your child will need verbal reasoning throughout their school days and on into adulthood. Encourage your child to develop their verbal reasoning skills through games, trips and simple tasks at home. This will not only help them in the future but it is great fun as well.

If you enjoyed the sample questions above, why not check out our great selection of verbal reasoning resources. https://heatherharries.com/verbal-reasoning-resources/

13 Reasons Why Online Tutoring is the Best

13 Great Reasons To Invest in Online Tutoring

Even though the COVID pandemic played a major role in the prolific rise of the virtual classroom phenomenon, we are not unfamiliar with the fact that edtech has always had the potential to boom beyond limits.  

So when the coronavirus was crippling the education system all over the world, putting the future of students in a fix, online tutoring emerged as a silver lining, with many students, teachers, and parents placing their trust in the virtual tutoring setup. 

After more than a year of pandemic and students, parents, teachers and schools turning to digital learning, research done by CoSN in 2021 found that digitally prepared districts were able to leverage teacher collaboration during pandemic and were able to better support student learning needs while minimizing the learning gaps. Across the globe a huge percentage of schools and universities turned to digital learning last year and are continuing to use blended learning as an opportunity rather than a necessity borne of crisis.

Another research report released by Center for Public Research and Leadership at Columbia University in July 2021 proves that students learning is equally effective and engaged in an online environment as it is face to face in a school classroom. But the underlying assumption is that students receive access to excellent quality instructions and have support from parents or caregivers.

So, it is fair to say that online tutoring is here to stay and so let’s take a look at some of the key benefits that students, teachers and parents can get out of online learning.

1. It helps bridge the learning and skill gaps

Think about times when you missed a school day due to sickness or other personal reasons or in other scenarios when you had to deal with summer learning loss and fear entering the class with low confidence.

Online tutoring can help in bridging the gaps and allow students to review concepts from the past year, current school year and feel confident going into the class again. No matter whether you’re heading back into the classroom, starting a new topic in school, or trying to make up for a missed class, online tutoring can help you along the way.

2. Provides guidance with school homework and college assignments

Up until 2019, pre covid time, our education system primarily involved the following three key participants in the process of teaching and learning – the students, the teachers, and the teaching material. 

But this mix, suddenly after the pandemic, had a new and dominant  player – the parents. 

But were they ready for it?

Of course there is no one answer to this question but there were multiple research studies released last year which showcased how overwhelmed and helpless parents felt when it came to education and learning for their children. For working parents who have demanding job roles and are busy with meetings and work related deadlines, added pressure of helping children with their learning needs caused unneeded pressure and stress.

Home work helpers and online tutoring provided a lot of benefits to parents and families. Anything from short informational summaries to providing full step – by -step solutions to students helped the student get the correct guidance, gain confidence, look good in class but also at a personal level can help build a stronger parent-child relationship leading to overall happiness and mental satisfaction.

3. Leads to better retention and engagement

Although hard to believe, it’s now proven by multiple researchers that lessons conducted through video delivers high engagement with students leading to improved levels of information retention when compared to the traditional classroom lectures.

In April 2018, The Journal of Cognitive Research published a study showcasing the results of an experiment that was conducted on high school seniors on a complex subject like biology. The experiment included teaching the students through a variety of teaching styles including videos and lectures and post each teaching session the students were required to take a test on the information just taught in the class.

The results of the experiment showcased that video lessons proved to be the most helpful for students when measured in terms of content retention and engagement. 

Most of the online tutoring companies offer a variety of video learning resources which students can use for learning and gaining clarity of complex concepts. Online tutors are available 24/7 and students can subscribe to a video resource anytime.

4. Indulges students in an active learning process

Each student is different, their knowledge levels, style of learning etc are all different and it is very critical to understand these subtle differences and offer right guidance in early childhood to encourage brain development.

Education consultants who have worked on the topic of dealing with early childhood education and concepts of brain development and she believes that, a correct mentoring and quality instructions can help a child play a crucial role in first making the child feel safe and supported and then once the child is out of the operating defensive or out of fear mode he or she can think from a calm mind. By using a calm mind a child can then start to use the top part of the brain and indulge in an active learning process with the mentor, tutor or coach.

5. Boosts a child’s confidence and morale.

A few simple ways through online tutoring can help build the self esteem in a child are:

  1. Providing a platform and personalized setting for the child to feel heard and safe. In no way they should feel that taking after school help or guidance is any indication on their ability to learn or be as soon as their peers.
  2. Online tutoring platforms can help break the school curriculum into smaller milestones & goals based on their knowledge levels, make a plan to achieve those milestones and celebrate small and big achievements to give the experience of success rather than failure. 

Because in the end there is nothing more important or meaningful than bringing up emotionally balanced, healthy and happy minds.

6. Results in improved test scores for students

Test scores are not just mere numbers; they indicate a lot of what might be going right or wrong. Bad test scores could be an indication that your child is probably falling behind in class and needs guidance and mentoring.

All the above five things discussed in the article so far work together to deliver on the test reports. If your child has no learning gaps, she/he understands the homework questions and solutions in detail, has been learning actively and feeling emotionally supported then there is nothing that can come in between your child and the A+ grades.

7. Highlight a child’s strengths and weaknesses

Each child is unique and one must appreciate each child as an individual. This means that the way they learn and process information is also going to be slightly different. In school, teachers are limited by the time and curriculum and hence need to teach in a particular style and at a particular pace. School teachers can’t give the attention and focus to each student in class for the same reasons.

That’s where the after school online tutoring programs can be helpful. Not only will the child be able to get one-on-one attention but they can raise their hands without any hesitation. Online tutoring platforms like Heatherharries.com also provide learning style and knowledge assessments to check the skill level of a student which can highlight if your student needs additional support.

8. Help parents & teachers be better tuned on child’s progress

Based on an initial assessment tutors at HeatherHarries set goals with the student and tailor the pace of teaching based on the student’s needs. At each milestone, the teachers take time to tak to the parents informing them about their child’s progress. This way parents aren’t just better informed about the value of online tutoring for their child but they can take this information and communicate with the school teachers more confidently and help prove any resources needed to improve their child’s grades in class.

Therefore setting predefined goals before starting regular online tutoring and checking your progress from time to time can be instrumental in delivering impactful results.

9. Provides more time for extra curricula’s & personality development

Another benefit of online tutoring is that it helps you save time. First, the student is not struggling to fight the homework battles alone or spending time looking for free online unreliable resources. Second is that online classes can be attended within the comfort of your home. Not only does one escape the hassle of commuting but online tutoring also can be used by students as per their schedule and requirements. In fact, with the help of online tutoring platforms, teaching can happen anywhere and anytime. What a productive way of gathering knowledge on the go!

The coolest thing is that it is so flexible. It doesn’t matter if you are an early bird or a night owl. Just schedule a session when you are ready to learn.

Schedule a session at your convenience since e-learning allows you to manage your calendar. It can help you handle your workload while prioritizing your time. Opening up more space for extra curricular activities and play time which is essential for a healthy brain development.

10. Reduces the risk of dropping out from school or college

In the United States, the overall dropout rate for undergraduate college students is anywhere between 35-40%. A large portion of the dropouts comes from college freshmen dropping out before their sophomore year. Therefore it is important to understand things that can help avoid this from happening.

When all of the above things start to happen and a child starts to see the results of the investment then it’s not just about scoring good grades then the child starts to fall in love with the process of learning and hence the chances of dropping out from school or college reduce significantly.

11. Motivate you to learn more & advance your skill set

According to Madelyn Swift’s book, Getting it Right with Children, the basic psychological needs are to feel lovable and to feel capable. Once students start to feel that they are capable then automatically they are pushed to the state of being “self-motivated” to study and get good grades. This reduces the stress on parents that now they don’t have to constantly push their children to study and understand its importance.

Also young ones these days are tech-geeks. You might find the conventional way of studying a tad bit boring. But edtech has revived and renewed the way a student learns. The newer methods keep them motivated and intrigued to learn more. You will not want to run away from your studies. Instead, you sit to study with full zeal and curiosity.

12. Be the foundation for a successful career after college

Last on our list but one of the most important factors is to be able to live a happy life which means one needs to know how to own his/her life, make correct choices and respond to situations appropriately, and to avoid becoming victims by own lack of knowledge, skills or understanding.

After college, one tends to spend half of his/her life in an office or at work which means that a happy life is very closely related to a job and career. Assuming that a student makes it to a dream college or university and goes on to find employment in the field of their study then the chance of job satisfaction is higher. 

13. Not all teachers are born equal.

You don’t get to choose your classroom teacher, but with online tutition you can choose the teacher that really suits you, at Heatherharries.com we match you with the perfect teacher for your learning needs and then go one step further to find one that is a great match for your personality, this means that you will actively look forward to yoour lessons and this positive mindset will influence the way that you learn – positively.

Therefore investing in an excellent online tutoring platform that supports a child from the early childhood time and can deliver life long results in different forms at different stages in life. By now, we hope our readers are convinced that these 12 reasons are good enough to believe that online tutoring is the best.

Does my Child Really Need a Tutor?

We believe that every child deserves to have the best possible education. Unfortunately, lots of schools are now starting to struggle due to a combination of the effects of COVID, budget cuts and growing class sizes.

Parents are now starting to turn to private tutoring for their kids, in order to give them the boost they need and the grades they deserve.

Tutoring provides a wide range of benefits for your child. If you’re still not sure whether a tutor is your best option, then maybe this article will help.

1) Learn the basics

The biggest reason that kids struggle at school is that they never fully mastered the basics. Imagine if you had to learn algebra when you were still trying to get to grips with basic multiplication. It would be almost impossible!

Schools can’t work on the basics forever. They have to quickly move on to other, more advanced topics in order to get through everything on the syllabus. This is usually why kids are left behind. If you get 50% in your exams we call this a pass, but in reality you only know 50% of the content. This means that as learning is a journey where new subjects are built on prior knowledge moving forward to new topics can be really challenging for many students.

This is where tutoring comes in handy.

A tutor can fill any gaps in your child’s knowledge, even if that means going back to square one. If your child needs to recap the basics, then they can.

This will give your child the basic understand they need so they can catch up with the rest of their class.

2) Prioritise your child

Class sizes are growing fast. As more schools struggle to meet payments, it’s becoming harder and harder to cater for the sheer number of pupils in any one class. Years ago 18 was considered the maximum class size today it is nearer 28. Nothing has changed, still one teacher, except there is more content and pressure to get through the syllabus.

That’s not good for your child. The lower the pupil-to-teacher ratio the better. In a class of 18 kids, your child gets a 18th of the teacher’s time and attention. In a class of 28, that drops to a 28th.

Even then that assumes the teacher’s time is shared equally. Generally, the highest performing students will get the least amount of support from a teacher with the worst performing pupils getting the most help, this means that many students are missing out on the support they need.

The reality is that the pupils in the middle, who struggle with specific topics, won’t get as much attention. A tutor, can change that and provide the attention your child needs. 

Lessons are done on a one-on-one basis, which means every single lesson is focused on the exact areas your child struggles with and support can quickly scaffold and ensure success is achieved quickly.

3) Better focus and concentration

A lot of children simply aren’t suited to a classroom. They get bored and restless, and they wind up disrupting their own learning, and that of their classmates. They may even get into trouble.

With tutoring, however, your child is in a one-on-one situation. This means there are no distractions. They can’t talk to their friends, they can’t fiddle with their pens. They have to focus completely on their tutor.

Your child will also be learning somewhere they are familiar with, at a time to suit them. If they concentrate better in a less formal environment, like a kitchen or living room, then they can learn there. If they are more productive in the early morning before the school day starts, then they can learn then.

It’s important that your child can focus. At school, their attention can wander and their learning will suffer as a result. 

Tutoring ensures they will be fully focused on the lesson, and they’ll end up making far more progress.

4) Loving learning

Struggling at school is extremely demoralising for any child. They’ll be embarrassed because they don’t know as much as their classmates, and they may feel stupid as a result. They’ll be frustrated at not being able to do the work.

Their confidence will start to slump, and as their self-esteem plummets, they’ll become resigned to the fact that they aren’t clever enough for school. It can be hard to recover from that, and they may adopt that attitude for the rest of their life.

Tutoring can steer your child away from that downwards slope, and set your child on the right path.

As they progress with tutoring, their work will start to improve. Slowly but surely they’ll achieve the grades they wanted. They’ll stop feeling embarrassed at school.

In turn they’ll grow increasingly confident. They’ll recognise that hard work and determination pays off and they’ll ultimately learn to love learning. This attitude will serve them well for the rest of their life!

5) Beyond the syllabus

If your child is especially talented at a certain subject, then they’re likely going to become increasingly bored with their lessons. Their teacher has to go at the pace of the class, and will have to stick to the curriculum.

Tutoring is usually seen as a way of helping those who are struggling, but it can also be a good form of teaching for those who are doing really well.

Learning should really continue outside of school, stretching beyond the syllabus. If your child is genuinely passionate about a certain subject, but feels they need to learn more than they do at school, then a tutor can help them develop their passion further.

If, for example, your child is studying GCSE Physics, but is already predicted a high grade, tutoring can help prepare them for A-Level and provide them with a head start.

It’s important to develop your child’s love for a subject before they give up on it and their passion dies out. Tutoring can help you do that.

Find a Tutor Today

Tutoring can turn your child’s life around. It can help struggling kids get a better grasp of the basics, help them to tune in and focus, and help them start a love affair with learning. 

If you would like more information on how tutoring can benefit your child, please fill in the form below and have a chat to our team.

Writer’s Block

Prevent moan and groan when you ask your child to compose sentences or invent stories.

Writing is, of course, a critical skill for children to learn and is intricately tied to reading, which for many children is equally painful. It is a central part of the elementary-school curriculum — not just in language arts but in social studies, science, and even math. And yet there are many children who simply don’t take to writing. Far from being a natural and enjoyable process for these kids, writing can feel overwhelming, tortuous, and downright painful.

What’s should you do as a parent?
As a parent, you may be at a loss as to how to help your child get out of the writing rut. For many children it is all about visualisation and breaking the task down. A whole story is a massive mountain to climb, so break it down to one character, what so they look like, what do they enjoy, what are they about to do next. One small step is a massive one for your child as the story will unfold more easily with the help of visual prompts, do they have blonde hair, so they like running?

This “step by step” philosophy is shared by many teachers and writing experts as a useful tool for helping reluctant writers. That first step can simply mean breaking down a seemingly monumental task into smaller, more manageable parts.

Writing Prompts and Other Upsetting Assignments
A widely used tool in many school systems around the country is the writing prompt, also called a story starter. The idea is to jumpstart the writing process by providing a beginning point. Some examples might be “Last weekend I . . .” or “My summer vacation was . . .”

Yet the writing prompt assignment still strikes fear in the hearts of many struggling writers. The problem with many of the prompts, say teachers and parents, is that they are often vague and can still feel too big to kids. If a writing prompt begins generally, children can narrow it down with specifics, thereby making it seem smaller and less daunting. Take, for example, the prompt, “Write about something unusual that happened to you.” 

  • Ask your child: Do you want to write about something funny that happened? Something embarrassing? Scary?
  • Then ask where this funny thing took place. Was it at school? At home? On the playground?
  • Next, you might ask who else was there, if anyone. Friends? A teacher? A pet?

In this way, your children can progressively narrow the pyramid to a more manageable size.

Always make writing fun, tell them to use ambitious words and try to always write what you think. So many children think of an idea and then shorten it so that they have less stress when it actually comes to putting pen to paper.

I love the book it inspires to children to really enjoy embellishing their descriptions and takes some of the pain away to start with. There are all kinds of categories from people to places, and as you can see below can help really uplevel work.

As with any work your child is doing always make it fun. If your child could do with some additional creativity why not enrole them in our creative writing classes. Amazing for year 8 year to 12 year old and you will see their english marks shoot up as a result.

Writing Classes