I have spoken in a number of previous blog posts about the disproportionate focus that the CEM exam gives to a child’s skill and ability with the English language. English is the one subject where a child cannot ‘cram’ for their exam. It is a skill that needs to be developed, crafted and honed over time. Even a thorough knowledge of grammar and spelling rules does not expose a child to the complexities of the English language. Every language has ‘exceptions to the rule’. The English language is a composite of, and has been influenced by, a number of historic European languages and it therefore contains many anomalies that have to be learnt. These exceptions are more easily grasped if the child reads widely and is, therefore, subconsciously absorbing the complexities that make up the modern English language.
How does a parent encourage their child to read a wide variety of books to help them develop the skills they need? The best thing a parent can do is create an environment where reading is fun and sparks a child’s imagination. We know how creative children can be, as they make up many stories themselves and naturally play inventively. Exposing them to books builds on this creativity and encourages children to develop their imagination even further.
Because we know how important it is for a child to have a strong vocabulary, AE Publications has developed a series of Spelling and Vocabulary workbooks. These workbooks cover the dictionary meaning, contextual use and the spelling of over 5,000 words. Our Creative Writing workbooks and our new Comprehension workbooks show children how to write interesting stories and how to approach literary text. The new Semantics workbooks cover the use of synonyms, antonyms and homonyms and our Verbal Activity workbooks cover all forty different approaches to Verbal Ability and Verbal Reasoning.