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Friday, April 25, 2008

Eleven Plus Chance

Adam Smith is on the `other’ side of the Twenty Pounds bank note. Adam Smith (1723-1790) wrote about how wealth was created.

Each bank note has a serial number:

AH28 412833

BE69 010440

AE22 754912

AK64 482001

Pure and unworldly Eleven Plus child will possibly have never played the game, loved by so many gamblers, of guessing the next number. Adult Number 1 holds up a £20.00 bank note, with the number hidden. Relatives, friends and acquaintances have to guess whether the £20.00 note in their pocket will be higher, lower or remarkably similar. The winner, naturally, takes the pot.

Before this is condemned as an Eleven Plus activity we need to look at the advantages.

We need to look at odds. What are the odds that our note will be higher than the other note?

We need to pay our way. Once the roll of £20.00 notes has dried up we need to look at other activities. We can’t play if the money has run out.

We need to look at the personality of the person we are playing against. How likely is our opponent to keep a straight face?

We need to devise sets of rules. We can use the whole number. We can choose only the final two numbers. We can select only the first letter after the letters at the beginning of the series.

We can experience the excitement of winning.

We can feel the dread of losing.

All of these emotions are part of the Eleven Plus.

When parents start working with their child on a course of Eleven Plus lessons they are taking a bit of a gamble. Has their child the ability? Are the books they have chosen the right ones. Are their friends giving them the correct advice? Will a tutor be any good? Can the family co-operate? Is Dad really that good at mathematics?

I am sure the same thrill can be obtained by passing over five and ten pound notes. It is likely, however, that to take chance after chance with a twenty pound note in a game will help to focus the mind.

And this is fact what parents want to happen. They don’t want to tear up and throw away their money. Parents want their child to focus and concentrate fiercely – when the time is ripe.

So keep the money safe. Try to guide your child towards building excitement and interest. After all you really want to take away any aspect of chance in your child’s Eleven Plus preparations.

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