Eleven plus parents may care, at times, to think about how their child is progressing in the even plus year. The eleven plus is not just about scores climbing but about discovering how, when expectancy is established, then it is possible to generalise this to a class of objects. Your child who expects to be able to work hard enough to be able to pass the eleven plus could, under certain conditions, be expected to transfer this to the necessary amount of work.
The expectancy, when it is transferred, may only be partial. There could possibly be a deep rooted antipathy towards reading – and this could impact on some types of verbal reasoning exercises. The child could then expect that it would not be possible to ever reach one hundred per cent on a paper. A lack of reading vocabulary, for example, could have a considerable impact.
Some children appear to find it difficult to differentiate between a mother trying to help her child do as well as possible in the eleven plus and a mother who needs to make her child work steadily and seriously. The child may be required to learn to differentiate between the different roles. The eleven plus throws up a set of peculiar circumstances – where anxiety, competition and pressure have to exist hand in hand.
Do you remember Rudyard Kipling (1885-1936)? He may have been talking about the eleven plus when he wrote in the `Law for the Wolves’:
Now that is the law of the jungle
As old and as true as the sky;
And the wolf that shall keep it may prosper
But the wolf that shall break it must die.
Every eleven plus parent will need, at times, the strength shown in this final verse:
Now these are the laws of the jungle
And many and mighty are they;
But the head and the hoof of the law
And the haunch and the hump is – Obey!