The steps an Eleven Plus child, as well as those of the parent, go through when trying to understand a mathematics problem, are many and varied. The child has to understand the problem. The parent also has to understand the problem. Then, after many shifts and turns, one person will start nodding as the argument is proved.
The steps towards full comprehension are many and varied. The order of progress towards that `Eureka’ moment will change according to circumstances.
First of all one or other of the two parties will need to try to come up with a solution.
A period of reflection will then take place. The hypothesis will be examined.
The answer then needs to be explained and while this is going on there will be an element of self verification.
Communicating the steps leading up to the answer needs to be executed in a peaceful and purposeful manner.
This is the stage where the infamous: “But I don’t understand!” comes in.
There then needs to be a very big effort to understand the other person’s take on the solution. The first examination of the answer could be provoke heated discussion.
The words: “I am sorry. You were right,” could be whispered around the house.