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Sunday, December 23, 2007

Pre Eleven Plus Thoughts

We have carpets in the rooms where the children have been doing their pre Christmas Eleven Plus Courses this week.

The children were working on a timed verbal reasoning exercise – and there was not a sound in the room. You could have heard a pin drop. (Except for the carpet cushioning the noise of the falling pin.)

This led me to wonder if acupuncture could help.

I have never had the privilege of having needles stuck into me by an acupuncturist. Doctors and nurses had treated me over the years – sometimes using needles – and I am grateful for their expertise.

We know that acupuncture has been around for around two thousand five hundred years. We know that acupuncture treats illnesses and a wide variety of problems by using needles.

I wonder when we are going to hear about the first ‘Eleven Plus Acupuncturist’. The adverts would appear in the paper:

• Let us use a needle to help your child become a verbal reasoning addict.

• Needle your way to success. A proven method based on 2500 years of science.

• Let us prick your child’s examination nerves away.

• Only ten lessons sitting on a bed of needles. Better Eleven Plus success. We get to the point straight away.

• We can diagnose your child’s Eleven Plus problems by sticking pins into your child.

• You can’t argue with success. Our `Acupuncture Needles’ will find the root of your child’s problems.

• No Pain. No Gain.

There will be courses for parents to attend. If both parents attend – and both succumb to the lure of stress free Eleven Plus preparation – then there will be a big reduction in the fees. Can you picture the counseling room? A series of beds laid out in groups of three for families. Dad gets the needle. Mum gets the needle. Eleven Plus candidate gets the needle.

You can see where my thoughts are taking me. At some time or another all the members of the family will `get the needle’ at some stage over the Christmas break. Children will need some reassurance that even though they are writing Eleven Plus examination they are still valued and much loved member of the family.

It is so easy to look at your child and see only their examination potential – and thereby miss all the other sterling attributes. Remember the first baby smile? Remember how your child relied on you for everything? Remember your pride when your child read to you for the first time? Remember when he or she was able to tell the time correctly?

So don’t get the needle if your child can’t achieve above 80% every single time on every single paper. Don’t get the needle if you are the recipient of the occasional rather sharp comment.

Think back over the past 2500 years of your family. Try to work out over many past generations just how many other ten year old children in your family were faced with selection examinations when they were just ten years old.

But if your child does happen to get a bit too `uppity’ then use a big, sharp and shiny pin to burst the bubble. After all …..

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