This is it! The last weekday before New York City Kindergarten Admissions frenzy begins in earnest!
In addition to profiling various public and private schools and keeping you up to date on the latest insanity from the NYC Department of Ed, the NY Gifted Education Examiner has tips for getting your child ready to take the tests that would qualify them as gifted in New York City. (Details, here.)
We spoke to 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.
Part #1 of our interview appears below:
NY Gifted Education Examiner: What qualifies you to write this book? What sort of research did you do?
Karen Quinn: When my son was three, I realized he wasn’t developing the way his older sister had. A doctor evaluated him and discovered he couldn’t hear, a condition that could be (and was) fixed with surgery. As part of the evaluation, he gave Sam the WPPSI and Sam scored in the 34th percentile. The doctor told me Sam would never be able to function in a regular classroom. My mother, a PhD in early childhood education, helped me create a “program” where I’d work with him every night for half an hour, building up the abilities he needed for testing and kindergarten success. A year later, he took the WPPSI again and scored in the 94th percentile. After that, I co-founded a business called Smart City Kids and taught parents how to work with their children to get them ready for testing just as I had. These kids tested beautifully and got into excellent schools. I feel that the fact that I helped improve my son’s scores and then counseled parents professionally on how to do the same qualifies me to write this book. Plus, I’m passionate about preparing children to succeed in school.
NY Gifted Education: Why do you think this book cried out to be written?
Karen Quinn: I left Smart City Kids after a few years and became a fiction writer. My first book, The Ivy Chronicles, was actually a humorous take on the kindergarten admissions process in NYC. The whole time I was writing fiction, I felt a need to get the information out about how parents could easily and naturally get their own children ready for testing and kindergarten. I wanted to write the book that I so desperately needed to read when that doctor told me my son would never function in a regular classroom. Finally, I approached my editors at Simon & Schuster with a proposal and they agreed.
NY Gifted Education: IQ tests are usually kept under lock and key, how did you get your information?
Karen Quinn: Yes, they are. The way I got the information was by studying textbooks used by PhD candidates who were training to give IQ and other tests to young children. These books gave me insight into psycho-educational testing and the different types of question on each of the most common tests. The problem with these textbooks is that they are written in PhD’ese, a language not easily understood by mortals without years of advanced education. Luckily, I was a lawyer at one point in my life, so I speak legalese, which has similar roots to PhD’ese. Anyway, I managed to translate everything into plain English so regular people could understand it. After I wrote the book, I had experts in the field check my information for accuracy so I feel very confident about everything I said.
Check out Karen's Books:
Visit her website: http://testingforkindergarten.com/
And come back next week for more tips on how to get your child (and yourself) ready for Fall in New York City!