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Monday, February 05, 2007

Asking for More

When your eleven plus child sits down with you to work through eleven plus papers – they may initially feel spontaneous and eager. The last thing that you want is for the experience to become boring or disappointing. You just do not want your child to be disillusioned. The work you do with your child has to have a meaning and a purpose.

Suppose you have a very bright child. It is likely that their mental ability will be well beyond their chronological or actual age. Years ago we used to have to worry about children at school becoming bored of waiting for the rest of the class to catch up. This is much less likely to happen now in schools.

If your lessons or time with your child is too full of drill and repetition you may find that you are given to understand that some of the work is unrewarding. “Do we really have to do that again? I did it last week and got it all right. I really hate this book. Please let us do something else?”

We all know of adults who did very well in later life and did remarkably well at school too. We also hear stories about bright children who become rather disenfranchised and don’t want to work at what we want them to work at.

We rely on ability tests to try to predict future success as an adult. I suppose that once a child has been accepted in grammar school we would naturally assume a path of good GCSE and `A’ level grades followed by a good university education.

Bright children are usually very versatile. They are often creative and can use a wide range of words and ideas. Because they are creative they can be penalised on a standardised test when a `best possible’ response is called for.

Exactly the same breadth of thinking can be shown when you are working with your child through a paper. He or she may come up with an answer that appears to bear no relation to the question. This will give you the opportunity to go beyond the strictures of the paper the two of you are working on. This is your chance to make the lesson come alive.

You are really hoping that you will hear the words: “Oh please can we do more of these? I really do like this work. When can we do it again?”

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