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Thursday, February 08, 2007

A Make Over

When do children take the plunge and initiate change in their lives? With eleven plus examinations approaching it is time for a make over of the `Eleven Plus Working Area’. What is involved? A truly basic list covers:

New desk
Book case
Repainting and refurbishing.

This time of year is a bit early for a spring clean – but you do need to help your child to feel organised and purposeful.

The farmer burning his old grape cuttings in Tuscany is clearing away and making the vines ready for new growth. From now on he will walk though his vineyard every day looking for new growth and green shoots. If he does not clear away his crop will suffer.

We may not have the wonderful view and the feeling of purpose enjoyed by this farmer but we can make the eleven plus working area as attractive as possible. I sometimes hear parents saying: `We have the papers we used two years ago for her older sister. We can just reuse those papers.’

Why not supply new a brand new set of eleven plus papers? Give your second or third child the very best. There is something exciting about breaking open a brand new set of papers and being the first to read and work though the exercises.

Why do you need a new desk if there is already a perfectly serviceable desk or table? The answer is of course you don’t need to indulge your child if you don’t want to. Children are such creatures of habit that it is unlikely that they will come up to and ask for a `pre eleven plus makeover’. This is your chance to create the right climate for learning.

Just think of your child turning to you when the results are out and saying: “You know, I think the turning point came when you gave me that makeover. I suddenly realised that you were serious about me doing as well as possible. Thank you once again. It is funny how the different surroundings made me feel proud to be working. Thank you.”

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