As the beginning of the school year approaches, thoughts of test-prep begin to bubble up in the minds of many NYC parents.
Bright Kids strives to create a positive and welcoming environment for all students in our Bootcamp and other test-prep packages. Tutors engage with students on a wide array of activities and aim to make the educational experience as enjoyable as possible.
You may be asking, how can I help my child adjust to attending Bright Kids and make the most of this experience? The key to this adjustment period is being engaged in your child’s experience at Bright Kids without focusing on right or wrong answers—yet.
There is a wide range of readiness for young students when it comes to letter/number/color recognition, reading, adding/subtracting, conversational etiquette, and fine motor skills. These skills will develop naturally over time, with gradual and appropriate reinforcement here at Bright Kids, as well as reinforcement practiced in the home.
Getting to places on time with a young child is always a challenge, but it is worth the extra effort to establish a routine to which your child can become accustomed. Arriving to your scheduled session a few minutes early will give your child time to acclimate to the office environment and “get in the zone” for his or her upcoming session.
Being punctual helps to reassure your student that Bright Kids is a fun and welcoming environment, instead of a place where they feel rushed, stressed, or panicked. In the long run, it will help to ensure that your student feels comfortable and prepared when his or her testing day arrives, as they have a plan of action to fall back on.
KNOWING WHEN TO SEPARATE FROM YOUR CHILD
For a lot of students, the hardest part of entering an unknown educational setting is the initial separation from their parents or guardians. Students may feel unsure or overwhelmed by an unfamiliar place and become reluctant to enter the classroom without a familiar person in tow.
At Bright Kids, we introduce students to one-on-one instruction from the very beginning. We believe this is crucial to establishing a good foundation of behavior that will ultimately benefit your child on his or her testing day. For this reason, our standard procedure of operation dictates that parents remain in the lobby for the duration of the session, while our tutors work with students one-on-one in their individual classrooms.
It may be difficult at first to separate from your child, especially if he or she is visibly upset or crying, but allowing your child to work through this with the tutor will help establish confidence and independence in a classroom setting. Before attending your child’s session, inform your child that he or she will be working in a classroom with just the tutor, and that you will be waiting in the lobby for them with the other students’ parents. Establishing a routine on session days may also help your child feel more comfortable when the time comes to enter the classroom.
HOW TO MAKE THE MOST OF YOUR DEBRIEF
Many of our packages here at Bright Kids allot time for both one-on-one instruction for students, followed by a short (5-10 minutes) tutor-parent/guardian debrief. In addition to the written report provided with each session, the debrief provides insight into what areas your child can focus on in future sessions, and what skills or behaviors can be improved at home between sessions.
If you are able to do so, it may be beneficial to have your child remain in the lobby or outside the classroom with another parent or guardian during the debrief. This will allow the tutor to speak more freely with you, without putting undue stress on your child, who may negatively interpret the tutor’s constructive criticism.
If your child remains in the classroom with you during the debrief, be mindful of how he or she may understand your comments and questions. Focusing only on right or wrong answers, especially toward the beginning of a package, may create a stressful environment for your student where he or she feels pressured to perform without making any mistakes. We feel that mistakes are in fact an essential part of your child’s learning process and that they allow your child to build their knowledge organically.