Tuesday 2 February 2021 by Chris Ballard

Homeschooling Dad almost learnt enough to sit the 11 Plus


Homeschooling Dad

A parent of primary school children is learning so much through homeschooling that he’s hoping to secure a place for himself at the local grammar school.

Father of two Simon Williams has had to wrap his head around so many difficult subjects over the past year that he’s hoping to soon take the 11 Plus.

“I knew that homeschooling a five and ten-year-old while working full time from home would be a logistical challenge,” he said.

“What I hadn’t expected was for the lessons themselves to make me feel like Matt Hancock being interviewed on breakfast television – out of my depth, utterly clueless and struggling to find the right words.

“I remember primary school. We learned our times tables up to ten, made Christmas/Easter decorations using crepe paper and my best mate Richard Jenkins told me that men have babies in their balls.

“It wasn’t, you know, hard.

“But then my five-year-old had to do a piece of work on split digraphs and I knew I was in trouble.

“And I should probably be able to explain what a subordinate clause is without making a lame joke about Santa’s little helpers but, well… are they Santa’s little helpers?

“The Maths was a bit more familiar – I remember doing long division! I couldn’t remember how​ to do it, obviously. Surely it’s now a redundant art, what with smartphones and stuff. They might as well study something equally useless like R.E.

“Anyway, I’ve come on leaps and bounds over the past few weeks; I think a grammar school spot is finally within my grasp! I can then go back to university – I’ll probably do exactly the same course I did before but I’ll feel so much more superior!”

The Head of Simon’s local grammar school said, “The 11 Plus doesn’t really test knowledge of the curriculum but deals more with numerical and verbal reasoning. It’s essentially an IQ test.

“I don’t fancy Simon’s chances – the very fact someone has children means their sleep-deprived brain has probably atrophied to the point where they could never pass.”

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