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Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Eleven Plus Jargon

One day our eleven plus children will be leaders of industry, management gurus – and rich and famous. They will be speaking a different kind of language to us common people. Our children will be using new jargon and employing different ways of thinking.

As parents and educators we have a responsibility to start giving our children the tools of the trade. When you are talking about eleven plus work – and working through papers together - you will need to start using the right words.

Blue Sky Thinking

This is when your child starts thinking: `Why am I locked into this room with these papers? Why can’t I get outside and play like other children. That sky looks so blue outside of the bars of my room.’

You say: “You can do the blue sky thinking when you have done your work.”

Get your Ducks in a Row

This is when your ten year old has a mini crisis of confidence and asks to have all the family’s toy ducks returned to their proper place in the bath tub. Little yellow ducks are then launched in rows across the foam filled bath.

You say: “We can get the ducks out again if you promise to wipe the bathroom floor.”

Think Outside of the Box.

This is pretty self explanatory. When the new 60” flat screen arrives it comes in a rather big box. Every cat in the house will naturally gravitate to the box to explore. Sulky and miserable eleven plus children will naturally follow the cats into the box – only to emerge happy and smiling saying: “That was fun. Please can we do it again?”

You say: “Why can’t you think and behave like that when you are outside of the box?”

The Helicopter View

This is when you quite simply have had enough. You collect up all the papers, exercise books and notes you and your child have gathered and book a flight in a local helicopter. You climb into the seat, buckle up, and clutch the papers to your chest. You turn to your child, who is now sitting miserably on the ground.

You say: “Last chance. If you want to work – work. If you don’t want to work I’m off to scatter these books and papers over the sea. Make up your mind.”

Joined up Thinking

Joined up thinking is very much like joined up writing. When you can do joined up writing you win a pen licence. When your child can talk enthusiastically and personably about work and life – then you can award the joined up thinking prize.

You say: “We are awarding this family joined up prize because of the effort you have made to be nice to everyone in the family. Now that you have stopped your sulks we are a proper joined up family.”

We can see that we can not be complacent. We have to move with the times. We have to get on the runway. Please give all of us a total `Brain Dump’ and help us to embrace the new eleven plus jargon. If you have heard of any new Eleven Plus Jargon please share it with the rest of us.

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