Tales from a Mom on the Search for a Private School!
By “Mrs. Jane Schoolfinder”
Jane is going to tell it like it is, not everyone likes that, so the anonymity as she searches for a school for her child is warranted
It is crunch time for admissions. By now, I’m sure that you have visited, talked to, and applied to your choices of private schools for your child. And you have most likely prepared your child for the possibility of a change in school. You have probably already had some sort of testing completed or you are getting ready for it!
Testing, for me, is the hardest part of the process. It is such an unknown entity. Is my child tired, hungry, and confused as to the expectations of the testing sessions? Did they try their best? It is truly nerve wracking.
If you take a few minutes and get to know the tester it can put a few of those worries to rest. A good tester will help your child to feel comfortable and get to know him or her. They should take a few minutes to talk with you as the parent to learn some key details about your child’s learning style and responding style. It is in your child’s best interest to be honest with the tester. It will come to a better outcome if the tester can have insight honest into your child’s personality and mannerisms.
Testing with a psychologist in one type of testing that a child going through private school admission may endure. Testing or academic work at a visiting day at the school is another. Whether the child will be taking an ERB or a testing material developed by the school itself, your child will have to know and engage in appropriate testing behavior. It is hard to teach a child what that looks like. Having a frank conversation about concentrating and working hard and doing their best will help to alleviate some of the anxiety that can come with these experiences. Role playing may also be beneficial in these situations. Talking to your child’s current school about this type of experience and how they are preparing the child for it can also give you some insight (and solace!) about this visit.
Ultimately, you will never know exactly what transpired during these visits. Taking a deep breath and having confidence that you picked the right schools for your child to apply will be the best strategy for this time. The right school for your child will understand his or her personality and see all the best things about them!
Just remember, any kind of testing is just a portion of the whole application package that a school gets about your child. They get transcripts and teacher reports as well. Schools look at the whole child. They have a lot of information about who your child is and how they relate in life. Having an open line of communication with your child’s current school will help to alleviate any surprises that may be hiding. Being an active member of your child’s “team” will give you confidence that you have selected the right place for your child. Again, taking the “YOU” out of the equation will only benefit your child! IT will keep you open and honest about the best course of action for your child.
Private school admission is a tough process. I have said it before, and I will say it again. There are a plethora of great schools in this area. Choosing only one for your child is a hard choice to make! But, being honest about who your child is and what makes them happy will guide you in the right direction.