Some children may occasionally feel rather pressured by some aspects of the eleven plus. It could be that their school mates `wind them up’, or a loving parent may spend a little too much time `talking up’ the advantages and disadvantages of the eleven plus. Some parents may feel that they may need to look back at their own education for possible solutions.
Years ago, before their children were born a goodly percentage of parents will have studied elementary chemistry. They may remember fondly how a much loved but badly teased science teacher dealt with spillages of acids and alkalis. They may have remembered how litmus paper was used along with a number of universal indicators. One indicator was a solution in ethanol and the other was pH paper.
If an alkali is added to an acid, the alkali reacts with the acid and some of the acidity is neutralised.
Acids are substances which contain hydrogen. The names of the acids sometimes do not contain the word hydrogen. Hydrochloric acid could be called hydrogen chloride; sulphuric acid could be called hydrogen sulphate and nitric acid hydrogen nitrate.
We had to learn formulas like
SODIUM HYDROXIDE + HYDROGEN CHLORIDE become HYDROGEN HYDROXIDE + SODIUM CHLORIDE.
We will all remember that Hydrogen Hydroxide is water and Sodium Chloride is common salt.
The general equation for neutralisation is
ACID + ALKALI becomes SALT + WATER.
When an eleven plus child does not feel `in the mood’ for work it may be an idea to try to neutralise any negative thoughts. Try to avoid any acidic remarks. Try to water down any statements that may be misconstrued. If your child does give way gracefully then try not to rub any salt in the wound. A few neutral words may do the trick.