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Monday, March 01, 2010

The Saga of the Eleven Plus Refocillation.

At one time or another parents of eleven plus children may have to offer words that light a spark of fire. It is possible that some children find it very difficult to maintain a `high five’ attitude towards the eleven plus. Some eleven plus children may even feel that the whole saga of eleven plus preparation goes beyond the bounds of human decency. Parents may need to act. They may need to `light a fire’

There is a word in the English language, refocillate that means to refresh or reanimate. One of its meanings is to relight the fire. Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary offers:

Re*foc"il*late\ (r?*f?s"?l*l?t), v. t. [L. refocillatus, p. p. of refocillare; pref. re- re- + focillare to revive by warmth.] To refresh; to revive.

We can see from the `atus’ and the `are’ that the roots of the word are more than likely in Latin:

The main problem with the word and any self respecting, bright and astute eleven plus child will be pleased to point this out: `refocillate’ is not a valid Scrabble word. Parents may need to act:

Ten Ways to Light a Fire under your Eleven Plus child.

At seven thirty on a Sunday morning, just before the family leave for Disneyland, Paris, sit down and have a heart to heart about the eleven plus.

Explain how Aunt Mary, who is now a judge, had to study every day for her eleven plus. Go into detail on how she never missed a day of study.

Give examples from history about how high achievers often seemed to have a cathartic moment when they suddenly realized the need to turn their lives around.

Discuss your trials and travails of life – and how you went on to become a wonderful mother

Warn your eleven plus child how a younger sibling is sure to `go to grammar’.

Recount how hard you were forced to work towards your grammar school place. Trot out the old story how you won a place through hard work and dedication.

Invite your child to abandon all hope of entering a favourite cinema, dance studio and swimming pool unless all work is completed on time – and virtually error free.

Take your child to sit outside the gates of the most unappetising school in your neighbourhood – and then ask your child to ignore the fact that each and every friend has rejected grammar school but want to go to the unloved comprehensive – because the school has been designated as an art performing college.

Threaten early bed, no pocket money and a miserable life if your child simply does not want to go to the school of your choice.

Ask your child to write out ` refocillate’ one hundred times – with an accompanying set of dictionary definitions.

If all else fails adopt a recumbent position. Ask for help. Pray aloud. Dream of what might have been. Then say quite fiercely: “You need to refocillate your life. Stop prevaricating and do the work. Thank you.”

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