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Monday, November 22, 2010

Eleven Plus Boredom

What does your eleven plus child mean when he or she complains of boredom?

Is it a continual need for adventure and new experiences? Does boredom mean that the child feels caught up in a series of static or repetitive situation? Bright children are able to explain that they are bored at a remarkably young age. Place a clever ten year old in the back of a car. Stop unexpectedly in a traffic jam. Count backwards in Russian from five and you will hear the familiar whine: “I’m bored.”

Adults can work their way through boredom by bringing work home, DIY, reading papers, walking the dog, T.V., radio, hobbies and a hidden still at the bottom of the garden. Some children, a few children, just need to have money spent on them.

At bright ten year old should be at the peak of his or her powers of investigation. Eleven Plus children should be arguing, discussing and demonstrating a wide range of interests.

Can parents present a case to their child that it tends to be the apathetic who complain about being bored? Surely the child should have known what a potentially long journey entails? Who should have provided the extra books to read, puzzles to play with and as wide a range of electronic games as possible? Should a mother put them in a car for their intelligent ten year old? Should dad plan and provide the in-car entertainment? Should it be the responsibility of the child?

Is the grind of eleven plus papers to blame for occasional boredom creeping into the eleven plus year? Are papers and exercises too similar?

In the examination we want our candidate to be daring, imaginative and thoughtful. We want persistence and independence. It could be argued that a child with at least some of these characteristics will seldom be bored.

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