NYC Gifted and Talented Program and Testing

Summer slide and preparing for the NYC Gifted Test
July 1, 2017, 11:00 am
Filed under: tests | Tags: ,

Summer is in full swing!

I’ve spoken before about the need to keep your child’s academic skills and test prep for the NYC gifted and talented test up to speed over the summer, but today I want to talk about how to keep your child’s practical skills sharp so that, when it is time to return to school, she won’t feel nervous or overwhelmed. Here are a few ways to help keep your child from falling into a rut and fall victim to the summer slide!

  • Keep a summer routine:

    Even though your child may not be getting up as early as he would during the school year, make sure he gets plenty of rest and wakes up at the same time each day. Further, keep a schedule that is fairly consistent from day to day — meals, sports, and any other regular activity should take place around the same time each day. If your child is going to a day or sleepaway camp, the routine of that experience will also help him mentally prepare for school.

  • Make time for social interaction:

    It can be easy for kids to isolate during the summer months. Family vacations, solitary games and activities, and lazy days by the pool lack the constant social interaction that kids get in school. So make sure to sign your child up for a summer camp or organized sport where she’ll have the opportunity to interact with other children her age, or at least make regular play-dates with her closest friends. This will help your child enter school confident and eager to spend time with the other children in her class.

  • Enjoy leisure reading:

    As you remember from your time in college, grad school, or even high school, an intense academic schedule leaves little time for so-called “pleasure reading.” Today’s NYC students face a similar problem, especially if they are enrolled in the gifted and talented program. So take advantage of the summer months by reading together at the beach on Coney Island — or, if your child is old enough to read to himself, by giving him time every day to do so. Go to the main NYC Library on 34th street to join their summer reading challenge. Or a bookstore and let your child pick out a few books that he wants to read. Giving your child his choice of books will reinforce that reading is fun – and will leave him excited to tackle all the “non-pleasure” reading he’ll have to face in the fall.

  • Don’t stress “back-to-school” too early:

    While it’s a good idea for you, as a parent, to always have the coming school year in the back of your mind, it’s not necessary for you to harp on the OLSAT test prep too early in the summer. Asking an occasional question like, “What are you most looking forward to next year?” is fine, and will help your child approach the year with an open mind and positive attitude. But try to avoid too many school references until two weeks before the new year starts, so that your child feels she’s had a real vacation over the summer.

Use the above tips to give your child a fulfilling and productive time off from school while avoiding the ‘summer slide’ — and get her ready to the fall when the time comes!

Now’s the time to start thinking about developing the core test skills for your child.

Watch this video to learn how:

Avoid the summer slide
June 23, 2017, 12:25 pm
Filed under: tests | Tags: ,

Summer slide is no joke

As I’m sure you’ve heard the “summer slide” is no joke. This is where your child can lose up to 3 to 4 months of learning during the summer months unless learning activities take place. Along with preparing your child for the upcoming NYC G&T with practice questions for OLSAT and NNAT2 tests here are a few activities you and your child can do to keep the activities fresh, fun and educational during the long break from school to avoid the summer slide!

  • Outdoor play date:

    If the weather is cooperating, take your child and her friends outside for a game of hide-and-seek or tag. Or plan a scavenger hunt for plants and animals that can be found in your backyard or a nearby park. This is a great way to get your kids some physical activity and sunshine, while also letting them run around and just be kids!

  • Trip to the zoo:

    Take your child and his friend to the local zoo. The wide array of animals — many of which your child probably hasn’t seen before — will be sure to start a conversation. And of course, a trip to the zoo is a great educational opportunity, since it teaches your child about a broad variety of animals living in different habitats. If you don’t have a zoo within reach, look for aquariums or petting zoos — these can be just as fun and educational!

  • Baking or cooking:

    If your child likes to eat (and whose doesn’t?), what better way to spend an afternoon than baking or cooking together? Have your child and his friend help you read a recipe, measure out ingredients, or mix a batter. By helping you in the kitchen, your child will learn about measurements — how many tablespoons are in a cup, for example — and focusing on the task at hand will improve his attention span. This also presents a great opportunity to remind your child and his friend that they should never be in the kitchen by themselves, especially when sharp objects are around or the oven is on.

  • Reading marathon:

    Reading to children is a time-honored activity. And while many parents choose to read to their child at bedtime, why not mix it up and read a book to your child when she has a friend over? Let each child pick a book, then sit down and read each one aloud. Take time to show the pictures to each child, and make sure to enunciate the words to help expand your child’s vocabulary. If the children are old enough, have them sound out the words and then repeat them back. This will be invaluable in building their reading comprehension.

  • Homemade band:

    Round up all the instruments (or quasi-instruments) that you have in your house — xylophones, keyboards, recorders, whatever! — and put them all in the same room. Then have your child and her friend hunt for items that could be used as instruments — for example, a pot and a metal spoon to be used as a drum. Have the children bring those “instruments” into the same room, and jam out together! You can join the kids, or just sit back and watch as they perform for you.

A child can lose up to 4 months of learning during the summer break and thus that’s where the name “summer slide” comes from!

Summer programs in New York City

If you’re looking for a program this summer to avoid the summer slide, my friends over at FasTracKids still have space available for their summer programs. Their locations:

  • Brooklyn
  • Manhattan
  • Staten Island
  • Queens

You can sign-up for the all summer long program or do week by week. It’s up to you!