The benefits of preschool and kindergarten are increasingly well understood, and the number of private preschools and kindergartens has been growing with a demand for better early education. Considering how important early education is, you naturally want to get your children into the best private school possible. With that in mind, here are some tips for getting your children into the kindergarten you want.
This one should be a no-brainer. You always apply in advance. Doing so maximizes your options. It also shows that you care enough about the school in question to value their time.
Avoid These Admissions Officer No-No’s
Remember that the interview is just as much, if not more, about you than about your child. Don’t become so comfortable with the friendly officer that you let your crazy hang out. Avoid making questions sound like accusations. You want to know if some of the teachers have advanced degrees, for examples. But you don’t want to make it sound like you consider the school is a hack job just because not everyone teaching five-year-olds has a doctorate.
Other no-no’s include bragging about your child or making up claims about them that aren’t true. If your child has an aptitude for the violin, great. Don’t claim she’s a virtuoso unless she’s actually playing Vivaldi like a pro. Finally, try not to use over-the-top exaggerator words like “brilliant,” “terrific,” and “fantastic.” If you’re talking to an excellent kindergarten, chances are they actually know what a true genius is, and they’ll quickly be able to evaluate whether your child actually is one or not.
Tell Good Stories
When you talk about your child to your parents, they want to hear a lot of cute stories. The admissions officers at the best private kindergartens want to hear illustrations of your child’s maturity and ability to use soft skills. Were they reading by the age of two? Great, but can they get along with other kids? Can they share? Are they showing signs of a mind that can think outside the box? Do they demonstrate some emotional flexibility?
Show You Care About the School
Any good school is interested in families thatwantto be engaged and involved. Sure you’ll probably apply to several kindergartens, but that doesn’t mean you should treat them all the same. Get to know each one and be able to talk about what you love about them and why you hope your child will be selected to attend. Be thinking about what you as an individual or your family could bring to the school. Those personalized thoughts will go a long way towards swaying consideration in your direction.
Be Willing to Hear Advice
If your child was born in the second half of the year, know that many in that situation keep their kids in preschool an extra year. That way, instead of your child entering kindergarten at the bottom in terms of age, maturity, experience, and even physical development, he or she is now at the top. This can be a huge confidence boost for them that can have positive ramifications for the next two decades! If the school suggests keeping your child back a year in this situation, don’t get angry. Consider whether they might have the right objective experience to tell what’s best for your child in this situation.
Prepare Your Child
The kindergarten is not going to hold it against you if you promise a trip to Build-A-Bear if your child behaves during the interview. They will hold it against you if you tell your child not to tell anyone about it. If your kid sounds like a robot, this will be another turn-off. It’s one thing to help your child be prepared for the kinds of questions he might get asked, and another entirely to try to get him to memorize a bunch of perfect answers. Focus on helping your child feel comfortable talking to adults. On the day of the interview, make sure your child has an outfit she feels very comfortable in, and bring along a change of clothes just in case.
Getting into a great kindergarten isn’t impossible. With the right preparation, you can set your child up for a lifetime of success.