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Sunday, February 13, 2011

Getting On with the Eleven Plus

Our family Doctor, many years ago, used to say to each of the members of the family: “What makes you think there is some thing wrong with you?”

This approach was used through malaria, dysentery and a broken leg to name but a few putative aliments and disorders..

Dr. Ritchen had strong views that man would, in time, heal themselves. Our family stayed with the good doctor for years and years.

Education recognises a branch called `Psychosomatic Development’. This covers, very broadly, the development of a child from birth to maturity. It attempts to indicate how a child progresses and matures as the body, language and the mind grows.

Parents of eleven plus children, hoping for examination success will also be aware of tremendous changes in their child during the eleven plus year. There is, however, room for just one more spoke to be examined in messy detail.

Side One

“What makes you think that you do not have to do any eleven plus work today?”

“What makes you think that you only need to spend ten minutes on eleven plus work today?”

“What makes you think that you need help with every question? Why can you read the questions carefully?”

“What makes you think that helping you is more important that putting the dinner on the table for the whole family?”

Side Two

“What makes you think that I actually want to do the eleven plus examination?”

“What makes you think that I can actually do these questions?”

“What makes you think that I want to go to that school?”

“What makes you think that I care?”

In any good relationship there is often the third element. We have learnt from psychosomatic medicine the value of positive thinking and mind over matter. An ideal situation could be a child thinking positively about the eleven plus. A further twist could be the child ignoring a need to take a break, collect a drink, check on the hamster and engage in a `mini eleven plus merits discussion’ to want to simply settle down to complete the task in hand and `get on with it’.

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