Private School Visits (NYC)
Private Schools in many areas of the country no longer have an official test but still assess children both 1-1 as well as well as in a group. It appears that most schools will be spending up to 30 min one on one with your child at their playdates to assess skills the ERB attempted to measure.
Fine Motor Skills
At the playdates and when they ask your child to draw pictures they are checking your child’s fine motor skills. They also often review kids’ gross motor skills by having them climb stairs or even asking them to skip or hop on one leg. Most schools will ask your child to draw a picture. Schools are looking for details in the drawings as well as accuracy. If drawing a family, you will need details such as five fingers on each hand, eyebrows, hair, clothes etc. As for writing, your child needs to be able to write his or her full name. Help your child practice writing letters, especially the letters in her name. Cutting is also a motor skill a few private schools tests.
Social Skills & Focus
Schools want well behaved kids. Your child doesn’t need to be perfect but they need to not raise any red flags for schools. Children need to be able to express their feelings in a way that isn't aggressive or involves crying. They are expected to follow directions even in a group setting; play well with other kids and do not engage in any aggressive behaviour.Schools are increasingly looking for kids who are focused and have a good attention span even if they are only 4 years old. Children need to be able work on a task consistently and answer questions as needed.
While reading is not expected at all, many schools will ask your child to read a page or at a minimum identify some words and letters to test readiness. If your child learned to read at age 3 on their own does not mean that they have a better chance of being admitted. However, schools want to see if they can recognize any sight words or phonics.
Number Recognition and Counting
Children need to learn to properly count; 1-1 on correspondence counting is important in play dates along with number recognition and number order. It is also important for children to learn to write numbers at least up to 10 and understand concepts such as more, less greater than, less than or the same (equal).
Visual Spatial Awareness
Visual-spatial awareness is the ability to be mindful of oneself in space and the positions and shapes of objects in that given space. It tells you what, where, and how objects are in space. This skill is necessary for reading maps, playing sports, processing math equations, and more.
Visual-spatial awareness allows children to coordinate their movements with what they see. For example, when a child catches a ball, the child must gauge the speed and distance of the ball as it travels in-flight; a child who has challenges with visual-spatial awareness will consistently misjudge where the ball will land or the time it will take for the ball to reach its destination.
Spatial awareness is also the ability to visually process what’s in front of you and to plan your actions accordingly. Playing chess, crossing streets, drawing an illustration, solving a word problem, and connecting puzzle pieces together are just some examples. Schools test visual spatial skills in many ways during interviews through puzzles, matrix reasoning problems and illustrations.