Trying to keep your eleven plus child motivated over a long period could prove to be an ongoing task. The reward of a good job and a fine car – along with a house with an indoor swimming pool may turn out to be a rather abstract notion for some eleven plus children.
“Yes, you told me that before. I know that I have to read every day – but I can’t find a book I want to read. Anyway the books you chose just don’t suit me. I can’t see how they can help me to pass the eleven plus.”
Parents could consider a little more powerful short term system of rewards.
Complete ten questions – 2 reward
Finish a full paper – 8 rewards
Tidy the papers away after completing the task – 3 rewards
Ask to do extra eleven plus work – 2 rewards
Be nice to your sister’s cat – 1 reward
Don’t invite a friend over on the day you have a lesson – 3 rewards
This task list seems to be deteriorating. We may need to build from a more mundane and less self satisfied basis. All the following tasks are worth one reward.
Feed your sister’s cat
Brush your teeth
Unload the dishwasher
Put your shoes away
Be ready for school
Do your homework
Write an email to grandmother
Deal effectively with your school clothes
Remember to remind me for your pocket money
It does seem as if eleven plus tasks would have to be more heavily weighted than day to day concerns. After all is it really necessary to reward a bright ten year old to remember to clear the table after a meal? Now if that same ten year old cleaned your shoes on a regular basis – you may feel a little more inclined to reward and praise.
The thorny question then arises. What is the worth of a reward? In monetary terms a reward could be ten pence – and this would probably work out, in a week, no more that a dash of pocket money. The only difference being that your child would feel that he or she had had to work for the reward. Parents may choose to maintain a form of a star or reward chart – but what self respecting ten year old academic would stand for that? He or she would see through the subterfuge immediately and treat the reward scheme with the respect it deserves! (None!)
The other problem lies in a reward system is that once started it has to be maintained. If you really expect your child to keep coping with the dishwasher every day then you must be prepared to pay for the privilege – even on the days when your child forgets.
Should the reward all add up to a good prize at the end of the scheme? Probably yes – but then if your child has been `good’ for a whole year then you would probably want to award a reward in spite of a reward scheme – rather than because of reward system.
A little eleven plus mathematics is necessary:
Tasks 10 a day = 70 a week. (There could be a debate about time off on a Sunday.)
Eleven Plus Tasks (One paper a week and eight other eleven plus related activities) = 50.
Total 70 + 50. Just what is it worth for your child to please you 120 times a week? Priceless!