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Testing Mom Speaks at PAL Workshop Series in Manhattan

Testing Mom Speaks at PAL Workshop Series in Manhattan

posted by Karen Quinn, The Testing Mom - September 26th, 2012

On the first night of our three seminars last week, the Testing Mom co-founders met with members of the Testing Mom Parent Network and other anxious NYC parents at the Manhattan’s Youth Downtown Community Center in TriBeCa for the PAL Workshop Series. This evening session covered all aspects of the kindergarten Gifted and Talented testing process in New York City. Featured on this panel were Karen Quinn, the Testing Mom and best-selling author of Testing for Kindergarten and The Ivy Chronicles, Michael McCurdy, NYC Gifted and Talented parent expert, and Dana Kaplan, Gifted and Talented kindergarten teacher at PS 33 Chelsea Prep in Manhattan. In addition, we were joined by a surprise guest: one of our very first Testing Mom members, Jane, who successfully used our services and insider knowledge of the process to help her daughter achieve her own goals and placement in a top program in the city.

We know that there are a lot of different test names being thrown around (OLSAT test, NNAT-2 test, Standford Binet test, WPPSI test and ERB – just to name a few), especially for testing in New York City, so we want to make sure that we all achieve our common goal: helping your child create his or her own success! We like to use these sessions to help our parents become very familiar with not only the specific tests that their children will be given, but also the concepts behind the tests. It’s so important for us to help our children develop the skills behind the concepts presented on these tests rather than just drilling them with questions. These aren’t just questions on a OLSAT test or Stanford-Binet test–these are very important learning skills and methods that will help your child through every stage of learning and life! For example, what they’re doing may look like just sorting blocks, but the ability to dive into a problem and solve it quickly is something we all use every day.

A major focus of this evening’s session was choosing the right school for not just your child and not just you, but for your family as a whole. There are many high-quality programs for gifted and talented children in the city, but the most important factor in deciding which school is right for you is determining which environment will be most cohesive with your family’s lifestyle and your child’s learning process. For example, some schools focus on traditional and rigorously strict learning processes and some schools focus on a more progressive, learning-by-experience process–and some schools function in entirely different ways! None of these methods are wrong, but it’s very important to take a close look at which one will most engage your child and create a happy, functional learning environment that will enrich and grow your child in every way. This is just one of the organic conversations that developed during these invaluable parent sessions! Being able to help parents with their greatest concerns is just one reason we like having these hands-on types of seminars.


As always, we reserved about the last half hour of the session for group questions, as well as individual questions for our speakers. We strongly encourage parents to come with questions to these sessions, because if you have a concern about your child’s future, the odds are pretty good that other parents have that question, too! In addition, we did a giveaway for many of our Testing Mom materials–we even gave away one of Karen Quinn’s prized board game, IQ Fun Park!

We’ll be back in October with more parent sessions – don’t miss your chance to attend!

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