“This is my first Eleven Plus child. I have heard so many different stories about the eleven plus that I am not all that sure what I should do. Some say get a tutor, others say why bother – do it all yourself. I have heard that last year’s examination was quite hard, and I don’t know how much I will need to push my child.”
Step 1: Find out what subjects your child will need to study. Some English papers, for example, are called `English’ because there is a multiple choice comprehension exercise. Other English papers may require a written story.
Step 2: Make a plan. It is easy to change the plan in the light of further knowledge – but you do need to start somewhere.
Step 3: What ever you do, it is wrong to rely simply on working your child through paper after paper – you, and your child, will need a lot more structure.
Step 4: Work out when and how your child will learn. Once again, this needs to be a flexible arrangement to fit in with the rest of the family
Step 5: Work out how you are going to evaluate progress.
“Oh, he is doing fine,” will suit some mothers but not others.
To help new parents through the mysteries of the Eleven Plus there is a large body of literature, a wealth of opinion and a network of interested people. All that parents can do is to listen, share, wonder and participate.