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Saturday, August 25, 2007

Navigating through the Eleven Plus

Every now and then, as we watch our eleven plus children at work, we must think of time. We go on to high alert when we see them slow down or stop on a hard question or section. We know they need to leave hard questions and press on.

So how can we help them to understand the need to keep driving forward? Well we know that the earth and the sun orbit every twenty four hours. We know too that there are 360 degrees of longitude. So by simple arithmetic every eleven plus child will immediately realise that every four minutes, if we travel from East to West, or West to East, that we are one degree from Greenwich.

So how will this information help our children to be able to time themselves in the examination? We have gadgets that can help us.

Eleven plus children today have so many advantages over eleven plus children fifty years ago. Today’s children can give a full explanation of GPS on the family Sat Nav. These children know that GPS (Global Positioning System) allows us to know our location, speed and direction.

So it should be easy to explain how to time a reasoning paper. Remind your child to think about location. This means your child must be aware of how many questions there are and how many questions need to be covered by half way.

Explain about speed – how it possible to speed up on easy questions and this gives one a little extra time on the harder questions. Explain how this is like traveling along a motor way. At times the traffic slows down to a stand still. At other times the car will be traveling at full speed.

And talk about direction. This means working straight through the paper looking for the easy questions – and then going back to work on the harder questions.

So if your child has been fiddling with the SAT NAV in the car as you have been traveling over the weekend you know that your child will not have been wasting time. They will have been learning about location, speed and direction.

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