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Saturday, February 18, 2012

Eleven Plus Problem Solving

When you are urging your child to try to solve a problem you will, naturally, suggest that he or she should evaluate all the options. It will be a remarkably rare eleven plus problem where there is one viable solution.

You may try to explain this to your child in a practical way. You know that your child needs a new computer to cope with all the eleven plus work. There is also the problem that `best friend’ has just been given a new computer ostensibly for eleven plus work – but really to be able to take full advantage of all the new games and apps.

Option One
You buy a cheap and cheerful system. This will do the eleven plus job but lacks the bells and whistles.

Option Two

You buy a simple and ordinary system. It will do all the eleven plus work and more. It costs a bit more – but your child only has one eleven plus year so you can rationalise anything.

Option Three

You buy the best. It is far more than your child needs but `he or she will grow into it’. Naturally the price is £300.00 more than you want to pay. (Your brain emits a little murmur: “If you want the best – pay the best!”)

Now you ask your child to filter out the less suitable options. Which one would your child like, which one can the family afford? If you buy Option One – and it does not seem to work to your satisfaction - then it would be expensive to try to upgrade.  Option Two may be the most sensible. Does your eleven plus child think, however, with the head or with the heart? Option Three – this will meet all your child’s needs – but is there a real need?

You could then explain to your child that looking at all the options and rejecting the unlikely ones will certainly give the right solution.

(Please let me know your solution to this problem.)