In between writing this column since Summer 2009 and having gotten two sons into Kindergarten in New York City, people are always asking me for advice regarding their own educational journey. And then they say, “You should really write a book.”
I am not going to write a book (yet).
However, I will happily use the NY Gifted Education Examiner to take prospective parents, step by step, through the process (to the best of my ability – this is where a disclaimer would probably come in handy; Something along the lines of… DO try this at home. But results may vary?).
And I will put my money where my mouth is, too.
After much, much, MUCH consideration, I’ve decided the most instructive course of action will be to let anyone who might be interested follow along on my own personal, Kindergarten 2012 journey.
I promise to be as honest and up-front as possible (without sacrifcing my family’s privacy), sharing our experiences, both good and bad, our successes… and our failures.
Here are where things stand now: My daughter recently turned four years old. Because she is already four, she was qualified to take the ERB, the test all NYC private schools require for admission (some schools, most often progressive ones, do not ask for any kind of standardized testing, but the ones who do, want the ERB; Learn all about it at: http://erblearn.org/parents/admission).
I decided to have her tested in the Spring because the Fall is bound to be very hectic with school tours, parent and child interviews, and other testing which cannot be scheduled in advance, and I wanted to get as much done in advance as possible. (For one opinion on what the optimum time to test your child is, click here.)
We received her results last week. While her overall score classified her as gifted based on standards outlined in: What Qualifies a Child as Gifted in NYC, unlike her brothers, whose scores were relatively consistant across the board, my daughter ended up with both higher highs (she literally hit the ceiling on one subtest) and lower lows. I.e. the dreaded “scatter,” which some think might indicate future learning problems down the line – and some think isn’t at all relevant, especially on a test taken by a four year old. (To be honest, most experts don’t believe any test taken by a four year old is relevant. Except in NYC, that is.)
Guess we’ll find out what the schools think soon enough.
Coming Up Next: Sibling status, legacy status, billingualism, private school tours, testing for public schools, charter school options, citywides, diversity, single-sex education, religious institutions, your preschool director’s role in the process, and more!
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