Wednesday, May 15, 2013

TOS Crew Review- High School Prep Genius

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 College Prep Genius is well known for its SAT prep course. It's been said to be able to raise a students score by 600 points.  But we all know that even before a child ever gets to the point of taking the SAT there is much work to be done to prepare for college. 

 photo Untitled-1_zpsac2e8af4.jpgNow College Prep Genius is offering a book called High School Prep Genius, to help you get that work done.  Intended for students 7th through 12th grade, this 437 page book is a wealth of information.  Written by Jean Burk and her daughter Judah, High School Prep Genius gets you thinking abut where your child wants to go in life and how to help them get there.  One of my favorite quotes in the book was written by Judah,
"It was not until my senior year that I realized all the effort put into school was meaningless if I walked away without learning anything.  The purpose of education not simply making the grades.  It is to gain knowledge about the world and practical applications of such knowledge." (From Thoughts From Judah)
 
 
This is not your typical how to get into college book, focusing only on the test scores and college applications. 

The 18 chapters are broken into three main headings-
~Foundations of Personal Success, which focuses on your student.  Everything from their goals to their health and friendships are covered. 
~Foundations of Academic Success- Covers chapters on how to study, get organized, and take tests.
~Foundations for Future Success- Covers choosing a college, applications, and financial considerations.
 
There are several appendixes at the end of the book that are quite helpful, but the one I loved was a list of great books to get you started with learning.  We were excited to see that we have read over half already and added more than a few to our summer reading list!



How we used this book-
My 9th grader and I used this book together.  I read all of the introductory information myself.  The information there includes timeline with what you should be doing at each grade level, as well as transcript templates and checklists for colleges, scholarships and even awards.  The authors tell you how to set up a college notebook using these templates to help you fill in the specific tabs.  Because we have already started a similar notebook, we were able to copy these forms and add to our notebook.

Next, the chapter reading began.  We found it easiest to have me read a chapter and then my daughter read it afterwards.  Each chapter is written to the students in a conversational tone.  They are very thorough, but not overloaded with too much information.  This age is one that easily zones out with info overload, and we found that this did not happen with this book.   After the student's reading there was a Think About It section that asked questions to get the student to think on a deeper and more personal level with the information they just read.  Often these question involved "what if..." and "what would..." type questions. 

Then comes the parents section.  This part my daughter did not read.  It is addressed specifically to the parent summarizing what the student just read and gives you additional things to think about.  Each of those sections is followed by parent "homework".  Sometime it was just conversation starters and things to discuss with your kiddos.  Other times it included additional resources to use such as websites and recommended books.

After we both had read the chapter we would get together and talk about the questions she answered, any thoughts or other questions she had and then sometimes look up extra resources or add a particular item to her college notebook.

**So for us, I would read the entire chapter sometime during the day, child and parents' part, then she would read her part in the evening and work through the questions. The next day we would discuss the chapter and then move on, repeating the process.**

Thoughts-
I love this book!  I wish I could buy all of my friends a copy!  While we think that the cover and the size make it a little intimidating, the info inside is not.  My daughter really enjoyed reading it and we had a lot of good discussions about it.  As a mom, I am thankful to have some guidance in the college prep steps.  But more importantly, I am thankful to have an author who has a heart for kids and is willing to take the time to not just dwell on the college search and scholarship money, though those are important and discussed, but also the heart issues that are prevalent during this emotional time.  Similar books and programs that only discussed the technical parts of college prep have tended to overwhelm my daughter very quickly.  Let's face it, this can be a complicated process and emotion driven time.  More stress, we do not need!  The authors have found a great balance in High School Prep Genius

Ordering info-
You can order High School Prep Genius for $29.95 from College Prep Genius.

 If there is one resource you order this year to begin to prepare your child for college and the transition that will occur, THIS should be the one!  I'd lend you my copy, but it is being used!  ;)


UPDATE- Jean has kindly offered our readers a $5.00 discount for High School Prep Genius if you use the code TOSCrew at checkout.

In addition she wrote this...
"In order to ease the burden of creating a College & Career Notebook, we created a PDF file that you can download and print from our website. We will be adding a sticker to the book cover for future parents to be able to take advantage of it. You can find the pdf at www.collegeprepgenius.com/college-career-notebook."

Just finished printing these out!  They are a gereat addition!
 

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