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Sunday, March 30, 2008

Driving and the Eleven Plus

When you drive your child to school for the Eleven Plus examination you will want to arrive safely and on time.

If you walk your child to school for the Eleven Plus examinations you will want to arrive safely and on time.

If you cycle with your child to school …..

If you go by bus or train to your child’s school …….

At one time it was thought that walking to school was the most dangerous and the most stressful. Imagine, however, the pleasure of being able to walk with your child along a quiet path in the middle of the countryside. Let your imagination fly as you visualise a safe `school walking bus’ organised and executed by some one else’s mother!

If you have to drive the journey may offer a mass of sensory and motor pressures. It is not only the position of your seat, and the noise in the car you may have to cope with, but also the other less able drivers. Even if you have found a worthy `rat run’, so can you travel on a trouble free and traffic free journey, you will still be subjected to pressures and strains.

Your driving performance on the day of the examination will be affected by your passengers. You will worry that your `candidate’ is feeling as relaxed as possible. You will worry that you are not offering even more last minutes advice. You will think about the contents of the school bag. You will suddenly remember to remind your child that to find ten percent you have to divide by ten. Your muscles will tense up. Your back ache will increase. Your headache will force its way forward. You will show all the symptoms of car sickness. Ringing through your head will be the sorry statistic that hypertension is seven times more likely to lead to a stroke.

You still have to talk pleasantly to your child. You have to wave thanks to the crossing person. You have to ignore the ringing of your mobile phone. You can’t take your eyes off the road to see who has texted you so early in the morning.

Before you slip into the driving seat on that all important morning take a few moments to do some `Pre Eleven Plus’ exercises.

Stand beside the car, hold onto the door, and work your way through some deep knee bends.

Breathe slowly through your nose to a slow count of five.

Run on the spot for fifteen seconds.

Stretch your neck in a controlled and relaxed manner.

What you are trying to achieve is for you to be relaxed and `loose’. When you have achieved this state of `karma’, call your child to the car. Take one last deep breath. Go forth to your child’s destiny.

By the way, I am slipping this in early so you can practice before the examination.

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