Some parents need some words of caution before starting on an eleven plus course of action. Some parents start off with good intentions and then allow the effort to tail off. The result of this is that there is a concerted effort by all parties just before the examinations along with tears, recriminations and “I told you so”.
To help avoid this problem why not adopt the “Green Cross Code for the Eleven Plus”.
Don’t go out to buy armfuls of eleven plus papers. Instead step back and discuss the whole affair. Make sure that the whole family will be able to co-operate in the eleven plus saga. You can not allow all the pressure to lie on your shoulders. Every single relevant person needs to be involved.
Your child is the one key person in the whole process. If he or she has never done much extra work at home then simply saying the words “Eleven Plus” is not going to excite the work and study juices. Help your child to understand just what is involved in the whole process.
If you are buying papers you must do it together. You can not expect a ten year old to sit meekly in front of a pile of papers if he or she has not been part of the buying process. By all means purchase every single paper that has been produced over the course of time – but do this when the additional work is needed.
There are a number of key questions that you need to answer:
1. Who is actually going to do the eleven plus work?
2. Does your child really have the ability to pass the examination?
3. Is a grammar school really the right place for your child?
If you have clear answers to these questions then you will be able to focus your decision making.
Look at all the different schools around. You child may be happier at the top of the local school rather than near the bottom of the grammar school.
Look at many different types of papers. It may be better to start at home with papers aimed at 9 – 10 year old rather than full blown eleven plus papers.
It may be better to build confidence by working through methods of approaching reasoning and mathematics papers rather than start on full papers from the start.
Listen to your child. If there are grumbles and moans there may be a reason.
Listen to the rest of the family. You can not make every single decision on your own. Others may have valid opinions.
Please listen to your teacher. You are not trying to prove your teacher is right or wrong – you simply want the best possible advice. If your teacher says that your child is border line accept that the remarks are made in good faith. Being boarder line should not stop you working with your child – but may help to take some of the pressure off.
Listen to your friends – and the other parents on the school gates.
It is quite simple. All you want is eleven plus results – but not at any price. Too much pressure on your child – and on your self – can not be good for the health of the family.