The NYC private school admissions season is right around the corner! All applications will be open by the day after Labor Day. Everyone is hopeful that in-person visits will be the norm for this application season, and that means getting ready for kindergarten playgroups! Here are some easy and fun ways you can prepare your child:
Explore New Places
For some children, a school visit will be their first experience in a classroom setting. For others, the alphabet posters, bright rugs, and perfectly-sized furniture will seem familiar. But for all, these visits will mean interacting with new children and new adults. A great way to prepare your child is to explore unfamiliar, fun places together. Visit new playgrounds. Check out a new museum. Say hello to new families in your building. And when you see your child interacting positively with new children, talk about it afterwards in encouraging ways.
Work on Transitions
It is easy for a child to get caught up in an exciting activity, especially when it involves a new toy in a new place! Schools will be watching to see how well children can follow directions and also how well they can transition from one subject to another. Ask your child to try something new and observe how she moves from one activity to the next. If you constantly encounter resistance, gently work with her on transitioning more smoothly.
Read to your Child
Listening to stories is a great way to foster empathy, creativity, and imagination. It also is a wonderful way for children to learn about new ideas. Bring your child to the public library or a bookstore and let him browse the shelves with you. Offer different types of books - fairy tales, nonfiction, poetry - and see what he gravitates towards. You’ll soon have a burgeoning reader on your hands. When reading to your child, ask questions like "What do you think will happen next?" or "How do you think the character feels?" All of these conversations will help build reading comprehension, something the private schools may be assessing.
Kids love to mimic their parents. When you model good manners at home, your child will most likely carry those manners with her wherever she goes. Emphasize “please” and “thank you.” Teach her the Clean Up song and sing it together when cleaning up her toys. Reinforce saying “hello” and “goodbye” to adults she knows. Schools want kids who will add to the classroom environment, and good manners are always a positive.
These are just some of the ways you can prepare your child for success when applying to private schools. Interested in learning more? Call us at The Admissions Plan to find out how we can support you throughout the entire admissions season.