Eleven plus children , like other children, will probably welcome a sleep over. This offers an ideal opportunity for eleven plus parents to gather some information about the progress being made by other eleven plus children. You think that your child is doing reasonably well at this stage of the eleven plus year – but what is his or her progress like when compared with that of other children?
A little planning is needed. In that very pleasant spell between Christmas and the New Year only a few parents will be encouraging their children to do eleven plus work. It means too that other parents will not be too suspicious of your motives. You will need a core of six children. (In a proper experiment they are called `S’ for subjects.) You want the children to make a series of responses to simple and differential auditory stimuli. You will be exploring the effect of re-enforcement.
Try to ensure the room that the children will be sleeping in is electrically secure. You will be using continuous bipolar EEG recordings using a frontal lead. Tape a micro switch to the right hand of each `S’. Ask the `S’ to press the switch when a response is needed.
Start with familiar words: “Nine times two.” Ask `S’ to respond when he or she hears the right answer.
Build to “What is 15% of 200?
Develop to anagrams.
Reward good responses with some Vivaldi. Play the noise of a train going through a tunnel for anything that is incorrect. Repeat the series three times during the night. Record all responses. See if there is a pattern in the learning. Pay particular attention to your child’s responses.
What you are particularly trying to find is the degree of difference between your child and the other children. If the reinforcement is adverse (the train in the tunnel) – how long does it take for your child to stop listening?
Thank the children and their parents in the morning. If any child mentions the broken night then remind the family that the children went to bed late, they ate chocolate ice-cream just before they went to sleep and they were all squashed into one big room. Creep back into bed to make up for lost time. What can you take from the experiment?
Is it really worth-while nagging my poor child about eleven plus work on a regular basis?
Do we really need to be cruel to be kind?
Is is really worth it to lose sleep during the eleven plus year?