By Victoria Newman M.S.Ed, Founder and Executive Director at Greenwich Education Group
This is an exciting chapter in your child’s life, but it can also become a stressful time for both the student and parents. I hope these tips will help make the process a more pleasant experience for all.
- Remember, your child is going to school, not you. Children should apply to the “best fit” schools that are appropriate for their academic, emotional, social and physical needs, and a school that will enable them to realize their greatest potential.
- Start early! This will help prevent last minute interview, testing and application stress. Best plan is to begin the process during the summer before which your child will be applying.
- Have your child take a practice test over the summer. Both SSAT and ISEE publish a book that contains practice tests and strategies.
- Grades are most important! Ultimately schools want to see how your child has performed and if he/she is prepared for the academic rigors of their schools.
- Be careful about rankings… there are many sources and criteria which can be confusing and misleading. Stay focused on what is best for YOUR child.
- Before interviewing, do some preparation. Schools will want to know about applicants’ strengths and interests and what makes them special. Parents should speak confidently about their child and why that particular school is a good fit.
- Get to know your tour guide, who is a great source of information. Ask questions. These can be used in the interview, reinforcing knowledge of and interest in the school.
- Give recommendation forms to teachers and administrators early! Worrying and waiting to see if these have been submitted can be a great source of angst.
- When visiting schools, it is best to schedule only two per day. Admission visits can take at least two hours, and you want to spend quality time at each school and not rush through the day. Make sure your cell phone is off.
- Revisit days are important! This is a very big decision for your child. Revisit each school to which they were accepted. You want your child as confident as possible in THEIR choice.
Enjoy spending this special time with your child. You will learn things about them that you never knew, and they will learn things about you, too!