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Monday, September 05, 2011

Brothers, Sisters and the Eleven Plus

The eleven plus can be reduced to a series of riddles. Would we expect an eleven plus child to be able to work out?

“Brothers and sisters have I none, but this man’s father is my father’s son.”

While the rest of the family argue over the answer we could look at a Sioux family in action. At a certain stage, after the fifth year, brothers and sisters have to learn not to look at each other and not to talk to each other. A Sioux girl would be encouraged to confine herself to female play – and to stay by the tepee near to her mother. The boy was encouraged to join older boys – first of all in games and then hunting.

Sioux girls are expected to play with dolls – but the boys are often introduced to `bone horses’. These are small bones three or four inches long which the boys gather where animals have been killed. The bones are called horses, cows or bulls – and play a similar role to that of the toy cars used by boys in our society. Every effort is made to build a boy’s self confidence. A Sioux boy has to treat his mother with unswerving reticence and extreme respect. A Sioux girl, however, was taught to become a future hunter’s mother! She was taught to cook, sew and conserve food.

Brothers and sisters are not permitted to sit with one another – or have face to face conversations.

Just think how much easier a trip to France by car would be if warring siblings in the back seat did not fight with each other!

Just think how much easier it would be if boys always treated their mothers with extreme respect!

Just think of how it would be if the whole family worked together on some eleven plus questions. Who among the family can solve this little conundrum?

Ben can complete a job in fifteen hours. Mary takes only twelve hours to do the job.

How long would they take if they worked together?

The answer? It may be a little simpler to follow if all the family work together! Someone will come up with the right answer!

In one hour Ben does one fifteenth of the job.

In one hour May does one twelfth of the job.

There fore in one hour they do one fifteenth and one twelfth of the job – which makes three twentieths.

Therefore they could do the job in 20 divided by 3 hours – which is 6 hours and 40 minutes!

Just a thought – who in the family knew the answer?

“Brothers and sisters have I none, but this man’s father is my father’s son.”

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