Thursday, July 9, 2009

DOE Summer Info Sessions and SHSAT Prep Question

After taking a couple weeks off from the end of school, I'm starting to think about HS again. There was a very informative session at Brooklyn Tech about Specialized schools — from the "Making Choices" flyer you posted on June 22. I recommend these sessions, as they're a great way to familiarize yourself with school options in advance of the school fairs (which are sure to be chaotic). Schools now on our radar (that weren't before) include: Brooklyn Tech, Brooklyn Latin, HS of Math and Science at CUNY.

My question, and I'd love to post it to get feedback from all the parents, is: What kind of SHSAT tutoring are people doing? We did the Computer School course in the spring but I was not satisfied with it. We bought a Kaplan book for the summer, but I don't know (a) if that's enough or (b) if I can convince Willie to go through it methodically. I just spoke with an individual tutor who scared the heck out of me ("If your kid hasn't been working with me since last March; it's too late..." Oy). As grating and self-serving as this tutor was, she did wonders for a friend's son who transformed from a test-worrier to supremely confident and aced it.

 I'm opposed to testing and to competitive tutoring — but given the situation, I also don't want to leave my son at a disadvantage.

Provided by Tom Thompson

1 comment:

  1. I have two thoughts about SHSAT tutoring: Although we found tutoring to be extremely helpful (Next Level Learning in Manhattan) and my daughter probably wouldn’t have gotten into Stuyvesant without it, her first year was EXTREMELY tough and she definitely wasn't prepared for five hours of homework a night. Now it's all I can do to convince her to stick with it. Her social life has evaporated and she's still trying to get us to transfer her out. If the beginning of this year doesn’t go significantly better we’ll probably withdraw her and see about getting into Beacon (which is supposed to be awesome!). The stress is very high at Stuyvesant and a lot of kids and parents I talk to weren’t totally aware of what they were in for, even after attending the fair.

    So my advice is, before you make a serious attempt at the SHSAT, make sure your son fully understands the demands and is willing to invest himself in a very serious and challenging program. Once you have that out of the way then check with friends and get referrals to tutors. At this late stage I would say you probably have to go with a tutor, unless your son is the kind of kid who’s self-motivated and willing to cram for the next several months. Our tutor gave our daughter some kind of assessment test and then focused their work on her greatest weakness (math). She also struggled with the paragraphs that you have to sort and rearrange so the repetition for that was useful.

    Good luck!

    Lisa D.