- If your child is a morning person, schedule the test in the morning. If your child needs a couple of hours to be fully alert, schedule testing later in the day.
- Wireless headphones are typically best as children tend to play with wires. Try Puro Wireless Headphones for Kids.
- Test headphones, WiFi, Zoom, or other applications for testing/interviews in the days prior.
- Children should practice wearing the headphones that will be worn for testing/interviews in the weeks prior to assessments while listening to music, spending time with family over Zoom, etc.
- Think carefully about who would be the best person to sit behind/in the room for the T&E/FLI. Consider choosing the parent/caregiver who puts the child at the most ease.
- Consider if it is best to keep your child home from school until after testing/interviews are completed for the day.
- Make sure there is nothing on the desk except the iPad/computer, and if necessary required props. The larger the screen, the easier it is for the child to see the shared information.
- Keep it simple: If a school asks for 8 different colored crayons for the interview, just have 8 crayons (not a box of 64).
- Talk with your child about putting props to the side when they are not in use. A small baking pan works great to store props, so your child can easily push everything aside.
- Only have a water bottle available if necessary.
- Don’t practice anything the morning of the test.
Before T&E or FLI Assessments and Interviews – Tips for the parent/caregiver and child:
- Go for a walk outside or to the playground with your child if there is time before testing/interviews.
- Let your child know how proud you are by sharing a few examples.
- If appropriate, offer a simple reward for after the kindergarten test/interview. Maybe a cookie or an art project you can complete together. Nothing too exciting that will result in your child rushing to complete their meeting.
- For the T&E Assessment, explain that the teacher will tell a story, ask some questions, and it should be a great time!
- It’s important that everyone is calm, but your expectations should be clear – your child is going to meet with a kindergarten teacher and answer some questions. Your child should try hard and have fun!
During and After T&E or FLI Assessments and Interviews – Tips for the parent/caregiver:
- Be busy on your phone, laptop, or reading a book so your child doesn’t feel like you’re hovering. Explain you have work to do and be engaged in that work.
- No talking with your child during the assessment. If your child turns to check on you, smile big and give a thumbs up!
- Testers must stick to a script, which might be difficult for children as they can’t always be reassuring.
- Try not to assume how your child is doing because you will only have access to what your child is saying.
- It may be best if you don’t ask your child about the experience right away – see what is shared over time.
- FLI test results should be emailed to you the same day as the test. You will not receive feedback from the T&E test.
If you’re looking for guidance in helping your preschooler get ready for kindergarten interviews and assessments, cooperate on Zoom, and improve general kindergarten readiness, please contact Stephanie Sigal, M.A. CCC-SLP, speech and language therapist at firstname.lastname@example.org. Stephanie works with children in their homes on the Upper East Side of Manhattan and over Zoom.