When does a man who is revered by all become someone who has the power to alienate at least fifty per cent of the population? Answer – when your name is Herbert Hoover. He explained that a man’s vision of a home was sometimes far different from that of a woman. Hoover felt that men also enjoyed comfortable homes – but that their idea of furnishing was bound to be different than that of a woman.
“I think that a man dreams of a place in the home when he can have a corner to call his own; a corner which will be free of feminine influence and reflect his ideas. This is as dear to him as a boudoir to the woman of the house – a room with a complete absence of frilly curtains or glaring colour schemes. Give a man a home – clean but not too immaculate, and he will think he has struck a little bit of Heaven on earth. But that is not all. He wants children running over the floors and filling the rooms with laughter. They give the finishing touch.”
There will be a number of eleven plus children writing their examinations `this year’. Some of these children may need a little corner of the house they can call their own. The list of furnishing needs to be reasonably simple. A desk, a chair and a book case will be the staple items. The safe to lock away papers that have been done may be a luxury but not a necessity. Oh –and the chair – leather of course with a good `swivel’ action to allow your child to spin away when the discussion become a little too intense.
Eleven plus children will need their own laptops with fast broadband connections. This will allow eleven plus papers and exercises to be down loaded. The same broadband and lap top can also be used for recreation – giving parents and children a distinct advantage – the two uses for one approach.
I am not sure about the frilly curtains and the glaring colour schemes. Each to his own I say. Perhaps some parents may consider asking their child’s opinion before buying the paint. (“That is disgusting. I am not going in there. Please bring my computer out. Leave the eleven plus papers as I can take them or leave them but, please, rescue my lap top.”)
Hoover did have one very important saying that could be in the eleven plus vocabulary of almost every eleven plus child. He liked to say that difference between dictatorship and democracy was simple: dictators organize from the top down, democracies from the bottom up. If parents become a little too pushy over the eleven plus year and forget that their children really can make up their own minds on all sorts of topics – they, as adults, may do well to reflect.
An eleven plus parent who is a dictator will rule – and their children will work through many eleven plus papers. A family, within a democratic environment, will probably vote for fewer papers but more involvement from the whole family. The eleven plus child just needs a little space at times. The furnishings may not be as important as the will to succeed.