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Friday, February 02, 2007

Working to Deadlines

How are you going to convince your ten year old of the need to be able to work backwards from deadlines? You know that eleven plus examinations are coming closer. You, as an adult, are aware too that time passes very quickly.

Think back over your life and try to remember all your deadlines. Reports, letters, tax returns, arriving at the church on time, moving house, passing examinations, bringing up children, looking after elderly relatives – the list is endless.

How are you going to be able to bring a sense of urgency to your ten year old? The last ting you want to do is to add a sense of fear or doom. You certainly don’t want to add stress or concern into the equation. But you do sometimes need to make the point that the clock is ticking.

You would only be thinking about eleven plus examinations if your child was bright and able anyway. You would have listened to the teachers at school and taken on what they think about your child.

I think that the idea of the calendar stuck to the fridge with a large circle around the dates of the examination is rather crude. It might be effective but rather a blunt weapon. Your task is somewhat different. You have to give your child the necessary tools to be able to work backwards from the deadline of the eleven plus examinations – but not at any price.

You will need to build the eleven plus deadline into the family’s daily routine. You do not need to mention examinations every day. The words: “There are only three months to the examination,” will hardly excite a tired and over worked child. The rest of the family do not need to hear: “Quiet now, it is time for eleven plus work,” every day. If the routine is established than all concerned will know the approximate times for work, study and play.

As parents you will need to gather as much information as possible about the examination. In YOUR Eleven Plus folder you will need to organise and assemble information. We started taking enquiries last year from parents who wanted to book their summer holidays around the dates of eleven plus courses.

If you, your `candidate’, and the rest of your family feel organised and confident then you should find that you are not rushing towards a deadline.

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