Your child decides that he or she is going to work on an eleven plus paper. You heave a great sigh or relief. This is a momentous occasion. You did not have to any reminding - you did not have to utter the well worn words: “Isn’t time to do your work?”
Your child walked to the table where the eleven plus work had been set out a little earlier. You had dusted the desk and the papers only minutes before the `the decision’. From the doorway you watched him or her pick up a pencil, examine the point, put the pencil down, open paper to the right page – have a last scratch and wriggle and then settle down to work. Your job from now on is easier. Your child has crossed the Rubicon. Common sense says that he or she has willed the start on the paper.
At some stage you surmise that your child’s attention will wander. He or she will need to show great effort to keep concentrating. The words `will power’ spring to mind. When Caesar crossed the Rubicon he declared war and reached a point of no return. Your secret hope changes from: “Will my child pass the eleven plus?” to “At last my child has a chance of passing the eleven plus.”
You and your child have worked through many papers together. You know that the analogies questions are coming up. You know that you have explained that an analogy is to do with similarity on which a comparison may be based. Some analogies can be verbal in nature and some non verbal.
Solving an analogy question involves a complex matrix – as well as sheer ability there are other factors like motivation, interest and anxiety. You can simply hope and pray that when your child sat down to the eleven plus work, without prompting, that another hurdle had been crossed.