Kindergarten Prep begins with an evaluation, which includes a mock interview to help parents understand how a kindergarten admissions director may see their child. As admission directors see a steady stream of applicants, making the right first impression during the short interview is critical. The process continues with one on one tutoring sessions which cover AABL test taking techniques, as well as development of additional skills such as school readiness, articulation and language support.
Here are a few of my top tips for parents of preschoolers getting ready for this year’s ambiguous kindergarten admissions season:
· Introduce your child to new situations – Your child will be asked to separate from you for a 1:1 or group playdate along with an unfamiliar adult. Rehearse with drop-off playdates, and invite new friends to your home. Try new classes and drop-off or drop-in classes. While your child may learn to be appropriately cautious, practice sessions help preschoolers thrive in the interview process. This will help your child develop familiarity within a new context. Practicing will ease anxiety and make for a smooth transition this fall. This stability may also allow your preschooler to engage in animated conversation and tasks in a confident manner.
· Sharpen school readiness skills – While your child may know his uppercase letters, does he know his lowercase? Does he know the corresponding sounds? Can he recognize and generate rhyme? Can he sequence numbers? Recognize double digits? Complete basic addition and subtraction problems? Can your son organize, sort and label items?
· Read effectively with your child – The right books have to be chosen to develop skills such as listening comprehension, attention, vocabulary and critical thinking. Parents often forget to read non-fiction to their children. Choosing the appropriate books can help develop and build important pre-literacy skills. Parents should encourage their child to make predictions and connections from text-to-self or text-to-text, and to discuss characters’ feelings. Start out with asking your child what his favorite part was of your bedtime story. Take time after reading to ask additional thought-provoking questions, extend the conversation and review new or unfamiliar words.
· Choose the right time to take the test – The ERB traditionally compares students who are within a three-month (for children under 6) or a four-month (ages 6-7) age bracket. Children show significant development in these few months, so choose a date where your child’s age will be in the upper end of his age bracket.
· Start preparing 6-8 months in advance – By starting the 1:1 prep well in advance, your child will develop skills and grow as a candidate for early childhood admissions.
Private-school application deadlines are rapidly approaching, and the new AABL/ERB test is slated to soon become available.
If you are interested in preparing your preschooler for Manhattan private school kindergarten interviews, playdates and testing, please contact Stephanie Sigal at firstname.lastname@example.org. Stephanie works with children in your Upper East Side home.