This is a little experiment you can try with your eleven plus child. While your child is working through the experiment you will be multitasking. You will be simultaneously be feeding the children, listening to chat, talking on the telephone, worrying about a member of the family that needs to be picked up and thinking about the requirements of the eleven plus paper.
Your will expect your eleven plus child to be able to focus and attend while the older sibling, who passed the eleven plus easily, plays background music in the privacy of the bedroom. Your present candidate may make some form of ineffectual effort at lowering the noise and will then probably relapse into a morose and withdrawn state.
Now parents do not need to worry if multitasking is good or bad for their eleven plus child. After all they will want their child to be able to solve problems, think in an academic manner and remain focused and attentive. Parents need to ensure a form of balance between the ability to multitask and the ability to focus on the job in hand.
Provide a relatively easy eleven plus paper along with the addition of quiet, soothing music.
Offer the same task, with a similar paper, in an environment where the T.V. is on, the radio is playing and the dog barking at a stranger.
Compare the results including the amount of work that has been answered correctly.
Don’t explain the experiment to your child – or even discuss the results until you have been able to repeat the experiment on a number of occasions.
You know that some members of the family will be able to multitask more easily than others. Do not treat the results of the experiment as in the same manner as you would a price comparison site. But what you can hope to achieve is some understanding, for yourself and for your child.
A partial solution could be:
“Turn the T.V. off. Pay to have the dog walked. Withdraw funding to the inconsiderate teen that has passed the eleven plus. Sit down yourself for twenty minutes and read a book quietly and happily. Let the world go by. It is not worth the battle.