Some parents face quite big problems when they are working with their children during the eleven plus year. Some may, for example, not have high enough expectations of their children. Some parents may feel that the whole family is not rallying around enough to offer actual practical help and support. Thankfully the great majority of parents get through year relatively unscathed. There may, however, be niggles:
Do I have the right books and teaching materials?
What should I say to my child if he if she does not want to maintain a good standard of work?
What should I do if my child does not want to do the eleven plus?
Should I give my child extra help?
How can I accelerate his or her learning?
How much time should my child spend on eleven plus work in a week?
How big a voice do I allow my child in determining the nature and the content of eleven plus work?
A little case study may serve to illustrate a minute proportion of the problems some parents may possibly face:
Case Study 1
Evo is a happy, good looking girl who is content to be in the middle set in her class for mathematics and English. She is universally popular with her classmates and teachers alike. Her parents are professionals with university educations and steady professions.
Evo is the middle child. Her older sister is at the local grammar school and is doing well academically.
Evo enjoys life. She is always busy with one thing or another. She does her homework willingly and has always read a good range of books. She is, however, a little concerned about being able to keep up with her older sister.
Her parents took the time to sit her down and talk about the eleven plus. They did not offer any promises. They outlined how much work they thought that Evo would need to do. They explained about the degree and extent of the support they would offer.
Evo smiled, listened and flatly refused. The family meeting was adjourned. (Older sister was encouraged not to comment.)
What should the family do?