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Thursday, March 04, 2010

A Child's View of the Eleven Plus

What on earth could possibly stop your eleven plus child from wanting to work on a steady and sustained basis? After all you, as fond loving parents, have offered every opportunity. You have bought papers, books, engaged the best possible tutor and even called upon Auntie Annabelle who is the really intelligent one in the family. You can do no more.

Your ever loving child, however, has different ideas. In his or her life the eleven plus has a place but the examination is not the focal point of existence. You settle down to one of those 8.30 on a Sunday morning chats. (These are the discussions that your child regards with dread and fear.)

“Do you think, dear, you could suggest why you do not choose to work on a regular basis at your eleven plus work?”

“Certainly, mother. Thank you for offering me the opportunity to offer my point of view. Here are a few of my ideas.”

“Tell us what you think,” suggested dad.

“Number one. Eleven plus work breaks my leisure. I never get free blocks of time to pursue any activity I am interested in. You have stopped my swimming, my horse riding and my archery classes. All I have to do is work and work.”

“That is not entirely fair, dear, but do go on. We are interested.”

“Secondly I have to do too many different activities to do with the eleven plus. I have to do papers, work with dad and you, go to a tutor and even have to listen to Auntie Annabelle – and you do know how I feel about her.”

“Oh dear. We did not realise how you felt. We are only just trying to help.”

“You see, mum, dad, I suffer from a severe lack of opportunity to be rewarded by my endeavours. You expect me to keep working without any chance of financial reward.”

“Now look. You can not have everything. You had Florida last year. This year we are going to Rome. Your work towards the Eleven Plus does not, and should not, need to be rewarded.”

“Mum, dad, you have to let me have the freedom to make my own judgements about the eleven plus. I respect your thoughts on extra pocket money. I will not raise the subject again. I am just losing contact with the outside world. It is just work and more work. I can not see any way out of the cycle.”

“Once again we have come to the end of our little chat. Just do that paper you promised earlier in the week. Show it to me before we leave.”

“Oh mum.

Oh dad.

I never can win.”

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