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Saturday, December 04, 2010

The Eleven Plus and the Never Ever Land

It looks as if a lot more children will have to return to school on Monday as the snow is receding. Parents, therefore, have the next few hours to prepare their `onwards and upwards’ speeches. The examinations are only a few months away and parents will be anxious that their children do not waste a moment.

Eleven Plus speeches need practice and preparation. An eleven plus speech is different from daily exhortations and nagging. The eleven plus speech has to contain words that will resonate through your child. You can hope that the words will remain in your child’s heart for ever – and that he or she will deliver the self same words, in time, to your future grandchildren.

Work on timing. The speech can not be offered at a most inappropriate time. In is no good delivering the `Pre Christmas Eleven Plus Speech’ just as you child is going outside to play in the melting snow.

Think about your delivery. Are you trying to inspire your child? Are your words of wisdom being entertaining, persuasive or informative? You can’t have it all ways – unless you are a descendant of Winston Churchill.

Make sure your speech has a beginning, middle and an end. It is of little use to offer a rousing beginning only to meander through the middle and end without a punch line.

Try not to dwell on past glories. It is unlikely that your child will be impressed by your past academic successes. At ten years old a child likes deeds not words.

Never ever start with the words: “Now this is just a brief chat.” Your child, being an eleven plus student, will see through your subterfuge. He or she knows that the `brief chat’ will simply go on and on.

Never ever apologise when you are making `The Eleven Plus Speech’. You have nothing to be sorry for. You have fed the child, educated the child and offered every eleven plus help. It is your child who should be apologising to you!

The final `never ever’ must be the comparison with an older sibling. Never Ever!!!!

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