What kind of rewards can you offer to your eleven plus child? What kind should you offer? Should you offer any rewards at all?
Think of Horatius when he stood on the bridge and kept the hoards out of Rome. Do you remember?
Now who will stand on either hand
And keep the bridge with me?
Two friends and fellow warriors rose to his challenge – and stood on either side of him as the rest of his army hacked at the bridge to bring it down.
The opposing army rushed at the three – who held out until the bridge fell. Horatius was the last to leave the bridge – defying thirty thousand attackers. He swam to the side of the river amid great shouts and clapping.
What were his rewards?
He was given corn land – as much as two oxen could plough in a day.
The grateful city made a molten image – and set it up on high.
So there are two concrete suggestions:
If your eleven plus child passes give him or her a piece of land where he or she can build in years to come.
A different reward could be to engage a sculptor and commission a full size figure of your child in his or her moment of triumph.
What reward, however, could have been offered to Jeremy Bentham? He was one of a number of infant prodigies who seem to have been common in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Before he was four he was reading history. At four he learnt Latin Grammar. He entered Queen’s College, Oxford, at twelve, graduated at fifteen and received his M.A. at eighteen.
He went onto suggest to his readers to contemplate `Psychological Hedonism’. He believed that man is so constituted that all his actions are determined by the desire to seek pleasure and avoid pain.
In simple eleven plus terms, and putting it rather crudely, your eleven plus child can only feel reformed and work diligently when he or revels in eleven plus work out of the sheer enjoyment of studying – rather than for any punishment (or reward) by the parents!
But Bentham did not have to pass the eleven plus to get into Oxford!