Editor's note: I asked the experts at Noodle Pros to show us how to improve verbal scores on one of the most widely-used private school standardized admissions tests, the SSAT. I am most grateful to Rebecca Scott, Clarissa Constantine, Travis Chamberlain, Karen Lister, Loren Dunn, Jonathan Arak, Garrick Trapp and Neil Seltzer for their invaluable advice and expertise. ~Rob Kennedy
1. Make learning vocabulary a family competition.
Pick two to five words a day and keep track of who in the family uses the words correctly the most. Players get extra credit for using 2 or more words in one sentence. The more students can hear words in context, the better they will be able to remember the meaning. Let your child choose the prize for the week's winner. To improve reading skills, have children read short online articles to you and explain what they mean. Ask what the main idea is and ask how the main idea is supported. - Rebecca Scott, 17 Years Tutoring
2. Study root words.
You may not know what malfeasance is, but if you recognize 'mal' you'll know that it has a negative connotation - Clarissa Constantine, 18 Years Tutoring
3. Create a word journal.
You don't have to know a new word every time you hear it, but you should write it down and then create a flashcard for each word. Memory tricks are helpful. Example: The mean truck driver was feeling truculent. - Travis Chamberlain, 15 Years Tutoring
4. Read articles, not vocabulary lists.
Having raised four children, I can tell you that occasionally you will have to think seriously about providing some kind of tutoring for your child. Now, don't confuse tutoring with the specialized help which your child will require if she has special needs or learning difficulties. That is a completely different situation. I have written about that in When Should You Consider A Special Needs School
Why does your child need a tutor?
Think of tutoring as that extra help your child needs to master a skill or to understand a concept. I know that you are probably wondering why your child can't get by with the teaching she receives every day at her school. Truthfully, her teachers may be providing about 90% of what she needs to learn something. Now, I am not knocking your child's teachers. The reality is that every child learns differently. And sometimes it simply takes a little longer for the light to go on, for that "Eureka!" moment we all have when suddenly we get it.
In this brief video Alex of Prepped & Polished offers three characteristics to look for when you engage a tutor.
Personally, I used to struggle with learning history in high school. It most likely had something to do with the very dry presentation of world history which was in fashion back in the early 60s. But history began to make sense when an expert lecturer used a timeline to explain the events
https://www.privateschoolreview.com/the-hill-school-profile As you zero in on the best private school for your child, keep this list of reasons for doing so handy. The question you need to keep asking yourself is whether the fit is right for each of these attributes. You may not get all 15 items scoring 10 out of 10, but try to get as close as you can. Scoring these items is obviously a subjective matter. Remember that the schools which come closest to matching your requirements are the ones to which you should probably apply. Finding the right school is a process with a lot of moving parts. If you get one of these factors wrong, it won't kill the deal. It could, however, make your child's experience less than optimal. Here, then, are fifteen reasons why we think you should consider our school.
1. School size
Most preschools and nursery schools tend to be schools with a population of 75-100 students. Schools offering kindergarten through grade eight usually have a population of 200-500 students. As you search for schools on Private School Review, you will notice that some day schools show a student population of 800-1200 students. Our school includes prekindergarten through grade twelve. We have divided our student population into two divisions. Our elementary grades division and a high school division have their own administration and support staff. We may possibly add a middle school division in the future.
2. Religious emphasis
Private schools offer a wide variety of religious emphasis and education. Use the advanced
Editor's note: I asked Noodle Pros to explain how tutoring works and how it might benefit private high school students. Their professional tutors provided the answers to the questions below. ~Rob Kennedy
Noodle Pros is an exclusive group of experienced, professional tutors who work in all tests and subjects from pre-kindergarten to graduate school. Tutors are available in 11 major U.S. cities, internationally, and online.
1. At what age should parents consider having their children tutored? What are the warning signs that some remediation is necessary?
Kalen Lister, Pre K-8 Expert: Parents can begin tutoring their children at four years of age to prepare their youngsters for the Pre-K admissions exams and interview readiness. While it seems surprisingly early to some, it can be a positive experience, one that helps kids forge an enthusiastic relationship with learning. Most children enjoy the special time and attention that the one-on-one format provides. Furthermore, they will be more calm and confident on test day if they have been exposed to critical concepts and the various test formats which they will encounter. This usually translates to better scores. Also, a good tutor can provide guidance to the parents about the types of games that will help deepen spatial, phonetic, arithmetic, and aural reasoning.
Many families, however, start incorporating tutoring when their children are in elementary school for any range of remedial needs, test preparation, executive functioning skills, application and interview coaching, and enrichment. If your child exhibits any of the following, a
Editor's note: I asked Melissa P. Earls, Head of School of Academy Hill School in Springfield, Massachusetts several questions about teaching gifted children. She very kindly offered the following answers. (I will disclaim that my youngest grandson attends Academy Hill School.) - Rob Kennedy
1. Why should parents consider sending their child to a school for gifted children?
Not every school is right for every child. And, even if a child is academically advanced, or gifted in any number of ways, a school that offers an enhanced, enriched curriculum with high expectations and increased rigor might not be the right fit. I would never push any school on any student. But, for our learners, and other students like them, Academy Hill is a terrific fit. We offer several programs that set us apart.
When looking for a school for a gifted child, it is critical that parents seek out an environment that will continuously engage the child in creative, student-driven tasks. It is important that the school allow core curriculum time and opportunities for students to pursue areas of interest in depth. It is imperative that the pace of instruction matches the student's ability to comprehend content, apply knowledge and acquire skills at faster speeds and with high proficiency. Because these children are usually eager learners, formative assessments, while necessary in any educational setting, may not be as frequent and certainly do not look the same as they would in other environments. For example, monthly, quarterly or even annual