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Tuesday, March 02, 2010

The Eleven Plus Plod

If you are sometimes worried about your child’s progress towards the eleven plus – take heart. There are a wide number of axioms you can call on to bolster your flagging spirits.

One of them is `the courage to plod’. Naturally a phrase like this will have many different connotations – and uses – but an eleven plus courage to plod is to start at the beginning and plod to the end.

You could remind your child too that: “The good guys get tired of being good before the bad guys get tired of being bad.” Once you have explained to your child your interpretation of this rather enigmatic statement, you may feel that you are in a position where you can cope with almost any eleven plus situation.

Children are offered all sorts of stimulating messages through the medium of advertising. Imagine in a world where the more complex elements of the eleven plus were promoted at primetime on one of the major networks.

Questions of the fairness of the eleven plus would be swept away – after all the messages would be seen and assimilated by a much wider audience. The purpose of advertising is to sell products. An example of an eleven plus product could be helping children to decipher and cope with code questions. Think of the impact on your child if a major star extolled the main points of the structure of a codes question through sound, video and a strong message.

Advertising, however, very often does not impart full information – possibly because of constraints of time. An `eleveninfo’ advert could encourage a much wider audience to share in a different thirst for knowledge. It is the parents who usually make the economic decision associated with buying the product – but the child can play a large part in guiding the parent towards making a purchase.

If more children could see the benefits of following a comprehensive eleven plus course then it possible that some of the children may want to lobby their parents to `get a bit of the eleven plus action’.

Small children are often depicted as being gullible and unwary. Eleven plus children, however, should be able to distinguish between a well prepared lesson and one where they are not stimulated or engaged. After all it is difficult to see why parents would want their child to plod towards an examination when there could be an option for `lights camera and action.’

Do you remember that bit from Thomas Gray?

THE Curfew tolls the knell of parting day,
The lowing herd wind slowly o'er the lea,
The plowman homeward plods his weary way,
And leaves the world to darkness and to me.

Don’t push your child too hard to work when he or she is tired. Don’t expect your message to be received with joyful acclamation every time you make an eleven plus pitch. Just keep plodding on. Eleven Plus step by Eleven Plus step.

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