Most New York independent schools use the ERB as part of their admissions testing. A low score will most likely preclude your child from further consideration. So, the question is whether or not to prep or not to prep your child for the test. Most schools take a dim view of that practice. Yet some parents feel that they have no other choice. As a result, Jenny Anderson reports in Private School Screening Test Loses Some Clout that several Manhattan schools are dropping or thinking about dropping the test altogether.
So, once again parents are caught between wanting their child to get into the best school and making that happen. What do you do? After all, the goal is to get little Cedric into an Ivy League college so that he can get the best possible education and make the most money he can? Right? Perhaps you need to assess what the best possible education for your child really is. Perhaps raising a happy, well-adjusted child who can cope with everything life will offer is more important. Those are choices which you need to make. Your core values come into play here. Just remember that you are setting the foundation for your child's adult life.
The reality is that you should be building habits and expectations for a life-time. Rather than teaching your child to game the system, wouldn't it make more sense to teach her to appreciate the beauty of langauge by reading to her? How about stimulating that malleable little mind with painting and sculpture? How about avoiding television and video games? Encourage your child to use her imagination. That's what Montessori and Waldorf schools do. There's no reason why you can't do the same yourself.
Then, when it comes time for your child to apply to prekindergarten, she will be more than ready. All things being equal, she will pass the admissions tests and interviews with ease. But, more importantly, she will have done so without any stress and pressure from admissions testing preparation.
A century ago Dr. Maria Montessori wisely advised us to follow the child. It's good advice.
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