When parents are working with their children they may sometimes feel a little touch of impatience. If they, as an adult, give a perfectly logical explanation, why can’t their child understand straight away?
What parents need to remember is that the most difficult time to learn anything – especially learn how to solve a problem – is the first time. Learning to solve problem usually demands a greater effort than solving problems of the same type later on.
This is why children are given an explanation and then offered examples to consolidate the learning experience. Parents have built a library of experiences in solving problems – and they draw on this library when faced with eleven plus questions. A parent can therefore appear to be very able – and sound highly intelligent – to their eleven year old child.
The levelling out time comes when a completely new type of problem is thrown up by an eleven plus paper. It is impossible to simply generalise about all parents and all eleven plus children – but some children may be able to solve some problems faster than their parents.
It is well documented that some intellectual facilities start declining from the age of around 25. The premise is that some intellectual activities require considerable brain tissue – and if the activity is not repeated on a regular basis – then that element of the brain begins to wither and diminish. (It just begins to fade away!)
So when your child is sitting in the eleven plus examination room, and you have done all you can to help your child solve as wide a range of problems as possible, then you can reflect on the fact that your child is relying on two main elements of ability. The first is the intelligence that has been inherited from you. The second is the relevant experiences that have been offered to pathways of the cerebrum. So what your child has inherited from you is the capacity to learn to absorb new eleven plus experiences – what you can then offer to your child is a multitude of relevant experiences.
If all this can be accepted as reasonable then to pass the eleven plus a child needs innate potential and a well developed eleven plus brain.
To help their child pass the eleven plus a parent needs innate ability, lots of experience – and a strong desire to learn. Good luck!