In Part #1 of our interview with Karen Quinn, author of Testing for Kindergarten: Simple Strategies To Help Your Child Ace the Tests For Public School Placement, Private School Admissions, Gifted Program Qualification, she talked about what qualified her to write this book, how she got her information and why a book like hers is necessary.
In Part #2, below, she offers concrete tips... and a defense of prepping.
NY Gifted Education Examiner: What are the Seven Abilities of Highly Successful Kindergartners?
Karen Quinn: As I studied the various tests to research the book, I realized that they were all assessing the same seven abilities. Some tests might put a heavier emphasis on one or two abilities over another, but you must have each of these seven abilities to do well on any intelligence test and to succeed in school. They are: language, knowledge/comprehension, memory, math, visual-spatial, thinking, and fine-motor skills. As parents, if you understand these abilities and why they matter for school, you can naturally in the course of everyday life make sure that your child has them.
NY Gifted Education: If you could offer ONE activity parents could do with their children to help with the test taking process, what would it be?
Karen Quinn: You should talk to your child all the time about everything and anything. Do this from the day your baby is born, even when they can’t talk back. Don’t just talk AT him, but instead notice what he is noticing and focusing on and respond to that. Children brought up in high language households have IQ scores that are 38 points higher than children brought up in low language households. [I’d also tell you to read to your child and use “dialogic” or active reading techniques that I describe in the book, but that would be TWO activities so I’m kind of cheating here.]
NY Gifted Education Examiner: How do you respond to criticism that prepping a child for an IQ test is cheating?
Karen Quinn: There is a difference between teaching a child the test itself and making sure your child has the abilities he needs to test well. Kids who have the abilities to test well have the abilities to succeed in school. Take language for example - a critical skill needed to do well on any intelligence test. In my book, I give ways of interacting with your child that will naturally strengthen his language skills. I describe games to play and activities to do that will build the language skills needed for both testing and academic success. Doing what I describe in the book will prepare a child to hit the ground running when he starts school. He’ll also test better. He won’t be able to help it. To me, building this foundation of underlying abilities kids need to succeed in school is what every responsible parent should be doing. You would be cheating your child if you didn’t do it.
Be the first to hear when Part #3 of our interview with Karen Quinn goes up; subscribe to the NY Gifted Education Examiner today!