A number of eleven plus parents may be rather preoccupied with what can be called “The Ontogeny of The Eleven Plus.” This describes the journey a child and his or her parents take from birth towards the eleven plus results. The amazing word `ontogenesis’ gives us a rather onomatopoeic rendering of an intimate comprehension of pre eleven plus developmental stages.
Stage 1 Mother chooses Father in the hopes that they will, in time, produce the ultimate eleven plus child. (Men who think that they are choosing the woman are usually sadly deluded.)
Stage 2 The family pour love, devotion and attention into the preschool candidate.
Stage 3 The early years of education
Stage 4 The eleven plus year
Stage 5 The aftermath
Many, but not all, parents will remember the work of Carmichael who studied the swimming behaviour of larval amphibians (1927). He reared embryos in a solution which paralysed the striped muscles but permitted normal growth.
Some animals were therefore prevented from swimming in the solution. If, however, the amphibians were placed in normal water they were able to swim.
There must be little need for the moral to be drawn – but some parents will be aware that all a parent can do is the best a parent can do. If parents try to find too rich an eleven plus solution they may find that they are stifling their child. Let your child develop normally and do not push too hard. Offer a normal curriculum. Give your eleven plus child plain water and not some fizzy and oxygenated drink.