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Monday, September 28, 2009

Eleven Plus Rules

When your child comes up towards the eleven plus examination you need to be able to feel confident. You want to be able to say to yourself: “I have done everything I can.” Naturally you will add the rider: “Within reason.”

You don’t want to burden your child with too much work. You don’t want to provide too little. You want an atmosphere of mutual respect – and don’t desire conflict and tension.

There are those words in Hamlet which almost sum up a desired relationship between parents and their eleven plus child:

And these few precepts in thy memory
See thou character. Give thy thoughts no tongue,
Nor any unproportioned thought his act.
Be thou familiar, but by no means vulgar.
Those friends thou hast, and their adoption tried,
Grapple them to thy soul with hoops of steel;
But do not dull thy palm with entertainment
Of each new-hatch'd, unfledged comrade. Beware
Of entrance to a quarrel, but being in,
Bear't that the opposed may beware of thee.
Give every man thy ear, but few thy voice;
Take each man's censure, but reserve thy judgment.

Try to avoid the habit of moaning or groaning at your child. Be reasonable so that a few mistakes do not initiate confrontation. Believe your playground friends – and be grateful for their diverse opinions. Try not to engage your child in continuous eleven plus arguments. Make your eleven plus rules and make your child stick to them!

The best bit is at the end:

`Give every man thy ear but few thy voice’

Your child may want you to listen to his or her feelings and opinions which means that you do not have to try to win every eleven plus argument.

Experience and experiments have shown with assessments that there are certain key points to keep in mind.

You want your child to be presented with tasks that seems to be concrete and within their experience.

You want to present eleven plus tasks and exercises clearly and logically.

You want your child to understand the importance of the eleven plus – but not feel bludgeoned by your anxiety.

But the last word must go to Shakespeare – just look back a few lines.

Of entrance to a quarrel, but being in,
Bear't that the opposed may beware of thee.

If your child does upset you then do not be afraid to let him or her know.

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