Search This Blog

Sunday, January 18, 2009

When to start on Eleven Plus Work (12/01/09)

You have sat with your child and have worked though a set of verbal reasoning exercises. You think that all is well. Your child has shown enthusiasm and has responded in a positive manner. All is rosy.

In the back of your mind, however, you have a little niggle. Has the hard won information been retained? Will your child be able to apply what he or she has learnt in the actual examination? When should you revise and check?

Method One
Daily practice until you and your child are sure.
Repetition will help to consolidate the learning.
Where will you find interesting and stimulating exercises of a similar nature? After all if you are simply using the same exercise that by day two your child will have lost interest.

Method Two
One quick revision on a different occasion – and then revisit the problem area after a month.
You may never be able to recreate the stimulation and excitement of tackling a new task again.
We all learn differently. One child may need a concentrated blast of learning. Another child may prefer to revisit a topic on a monthly basis. A different child may simply say: “Done it. I know it. Let us move on.”

This brings us to the point: “When should we start on studying for the eleven plus?

Back in 1941 a man called Burtt described an experiment with his son he read the boy passages in Greek, from Sophocles’ Oedipus Tyrannus. There were three selections of twenty lines each. For a period of time he read to the boy every day. The boy was less than two years old. Sic years later his son was required to learn by rote these selections, plus some new selection from the same source. It took the boy on average 435 repetitions to learn the new selections, but only 317 repetitions to learn the old ones. The saving was around 25%. A saving of 25% could make an enormous difference in the actual eleven plus examination!

If any parents are interested in running a pre-eleven plus experiment with their five year olds, please let me know. We may be able to change the way children are prepared for the eleven plus for ever!

No comments: