Archive for success

May
20

High School Prep Genius ~ A TOS Review

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      High School Prep Genius is from the same author as              College Prep GeniusJean Burk; and her daughter, Judah Burk.

 

In November of 2011, I had the opportunity to review the College Prep Genius DVD Set.  I highly recommended it, as it is designed to increase standardized test scores; secure scholarships and gain financial assistance for college.  We continue to appreciate its value; therefore, I was excited to hear about High School Prep Genius, An Academic Guide to Excellence.

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I knew I was out of my depth properly preparing my children for college, but I didn’t realize all I didn’t know until I read High School Prep Genius.  It is an outstanding guidebook to navigating high school and preparing for college.  It is a hefty, 7″ x 10″ soft-cover book, with 440 pages.  If the truth be told, the first 88 pages, the Introduction, with month-by-month timelines for goals, testing, applications and such, had me over-whelmed, distressed and disheartened with my lack of knowledge and pre-planning.  Honestly, I cried; and then I repented for my lack of initiative or laziness.  I persevered, and dug in; and the more I read on, the more the authors have been able to instruct, motivate; and encourage me.  They say, “Whether you are just starting your high school journey or nearing the end of the voyage, this book can be your compass.”  The situation is not hopeless!  Thanks to the Burk’s, “I have a lamp to my feet, and a light to my path.”

I read the entire Introduction (Part I), and browsed the rest of the book before I presented it to my teenage son, for the two of us to read together.  The first thing we did was set up a 2 1/2″ binder with pocket dividers as his College and Career Notebook.  There are step-by-step instructions for this, with detailed forms to copy for accurate record keeping of:  Subjects, Credits, Goals, Extracurricular Activities, Awards Earned, a Student Profile; and Etc.  

The authors believe it is never too early to start thinking about college and career choices.  This is a mind set I haven’t had, but agree I must adopt in order to prepare my children for a successful future.  When our children reach middle school and high school age, it is our responsibility as parents to teach them how to make important decisions on their own; and weigh the consequences or benefits of those decisions.  High School Prep Genius walks us through how we might accomplish this task.

Each chapter of this book is written to the student, but it is suggested that you read it together, taking about an hour and covering one chapter a week.  After the content, there are several Think About It questions for the student.  I chose to type these and print them as worksheets that can be put into the student College and Career Notebook, as they are completed.  Our time, usually closer to two hours, consists of reading aloud together, my son answering the thought-provoking questions; and then discussion.  I appreciate the question prompts that often give me further insight into my son’s heart and mind.  There is also a section specifically for parents, aptly titled, Parent’s Homework.  Here I find information and suggested activities that help me assist my child in reaching his chapter goals.  The chapter we’re starting this week is Your Financial Independence.  My Homework leads me to discuss the importance of financial planning and budgeting.  Suggestions for how revenue should be allotted are included, as are book titles that could be helpful.

Chapters 1 – 6 are in the Foundation for Personal Success (Part II), and that’s where we’ve spent most of our time thus far.  “The key to success in life begins with a strong sense of self,” writes the author.  The student discovers and explores who they are or who they want to be through chapters on:  their personal development and interests, owning their beliefs, being healthy, gaining financial independence; and building a strong support system.

The next section, Part III, is the Foundation for Academic Success.  Chapters 7 – 12 are included here, and I’ve glanced ahead at the subjects we’ll be discussing:  Academic Development, Effective Studying, Tests and Papers; and more.

The fourth section (Part IV), chapters 13 – 18, is the Foundation for Future Success.  There are chapters covering: Standardized Test Prep, College Applications, and College Essentials, among others.  The authors remind us that, “High school is only a stepping stone to greater things; therefore, having a solid high school experience can lead to a productive future.”

At the back of the book, there are 39 pages of additional resources —

  • Appendix A:  How to Build a Homeschool Transcript
  • Appendix B:  Talent Searches
  • Appendix C:  Great Books to Get You Started
  • Appendix D:  Reduce Test Anxiety Through Relaxation Techniques
  • Appendix E:  Admissions Terminology

Today is the day to begin!  24 billion dollars are awarded in college scholarships, and with a little planning and prep work there’s no reason your child or mine can’t be a recipient of some of these funds.  You can purchase High School Prep Genius, An Academic Guide to Excellence for $29.95, and I think it’s a worthwhile investment.  You don’t have to read my opinion of this book only, though.  You can read more than 50 of my Crew mates reviews when you click on the banner and follow the link below.

 

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Blessings,

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Disclaimer*   I received a copy of High School Prep Genius, in exchange for my honest review as a member of the Schoolhouse Review Crew.  I receive no other compensation for my reviews on this blog.  The opinions expressed are my own.

 

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Thank you for your comments.  I enjoy hearing from you!

 

Contents of this blog are copyrighted;  they are the property of Knee Deep In Grace and may not be used without written permission.

 

 

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Jan
11

It’s a Wrap!

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At our house, a school day might begin something like this…

A Younger Child:  “Hey, Momma, did you know that all of the Anderson’s have the flu?”

ME:  “I didn’t.  When you talk to Katie, find out if they need anything.”

Younger Child:  “Okay.”

An Older Sibling:  “Did you know that our great-great-grandmother died from the flu?  Nana was born in 1912, so she was only six when her mom and her little brother died in 1918.”

ME:  “The worst plague in America was the Influenza Epidemic of 1918.  More people died from the flu in that year than died in all of World War I.”

Younger Child:  “She was younger than me.”

ME:  “She was.  Then, her dad died when she was just 12.  She was your sister’s ages living through The Great Depression.”

Older Child:  “1929-1939 or 41, or something?”

Younger Child:  “What’s The Depression?”

ME:  “I’ll tell you what, after breakfast, I’ll show you some pictures of kids during The Great Depression.  I’ve got a book, someplace.  I’ll find it.  It’s called Children of the Great Depression.  Just the photographs will give you a good idea of what The Great Depression was, but we’ll talk about it, too.”

At this point, my brain is charging ahead with plans for today and tomorrow, and beyond.

THINKING:  “I’ll make breakfast a little hardier than I initially planned, so I can just give them bread & water for lunch.  Seriously, hunger was real during The Depression.  Maybe we’ll follow a bare-bones-potato-soup recipe for dinner and eat by the light of an oil lamp.”

I know my older ones read The Great Depression, America 1929-1941, by Robert S. McElvaine, but the mids haven’t, yet.

THINKING:  “I’ll pull that out and we can read excerpts from it, to everyone, but they can work on reading the whole thing, themselves, over the next week.  They’ll definitely need to start a vocabulary/spelling list.  I have some Penmanship/Copywork pages I can add for the younger ones and an essay assignment for the oldest.”

DANCING INSIDE MY HEAD:  I can download an instant e-Book from Zeezok Publishing!  One of their Z-Guides to the Movies for the Depression era.  I’m pretty sure they have one for Kit Kittredge, and since we already own the movie we could actually work on it this week.  They love that movie, but with the Z-Guide they’ll see it in a whole new light.”

 

 

 

Books, movies, the internet.  The library, Netflix, museums.  I use them all.  Anything and everything that I can get my hands on and afford, that will stimulate my children’s desire to learn and successfully educate them.

Zeezok Publishing has been providing materials for the homeschooling community since 1993.  They’ve published government and history texts, and sixteen classic biographies on the great composers.  In 2010 they introduced us to Z-Guides to the Movies.

 

 

Each Z-Guide is developed for a specific movie.  We’ve found many of the movies at our local library; most are available for rent on Netflix, Zeezok sells a few and some you may already own.  There are more than 30 Z-Guides available, now, and another 25 are due to be released in the spring.

 

$12.99 gives you access to an instant e-Book download, of your choice, or you can have a CD shipped.  Many topics and time-periods are covered –

 Ancient Civilizations

Ancient Egypt

Ancient Greece

Ancient Rome

Medieval Europe

16th, 17th, 18th & 19th Century Europe

American and French Revolution

Westward Expansion

War Between the States

The Roaring Twenties and The Great Depression

World Wars 1 & 2 and Post-WW2

and the Vietnam War

You’ll get a topic, time-period overview; a movie synopsis, giving you an understanding of the relationship between characters, events and situations.  A list of review questions to be discussed and answered as the movie is being watched, and additional activities prompting research and writing.  My favorite section of every Z-Guide is the Filmaker’s Art and Dramatic License Activity.  I do not have the ready knowledge that I find in this section.  Even as my children are learning, so am I.

“The Filmmaker’s Art activity helps the student recognize the tools being used to influence the viewer.”  Without the Z-Guide, I don’t always discern these as clearly.  “The various guides discuss how filming techniques, music, lighting, humor, character development, irony, foreshadowing, and even character names are used by the director and producer to influence the viewer to get their agenda across.”  Z-Guides to the Movies has changed the way we see a movie and that’s their goal.  They “want the student to be able to discern not only the agenda of the movie, but also how they are being influenced by it. The goal is that when the student goes to the theatre and watches a movie, he walks out not thinking it was an entertaining movie, but understanding the bigger message behind each film.”

My children are enhancing their critical thinking skills.  Besides movies, they now look at reading material differently, and also examine the influence and impact they may have on others with what they personally write or visually and musically produce.

I think  Z-Guides are impressively thorough.  In 2011, I used one with The Hiding PlaceClick the link to read my review.

Recently, we did, indeed, use the Z-Guide for Kit Kittredge.  Written for elementary and middle school, it was easily adaptable to include our K5 through high school and adult.

Topics and Activities covered ~

The Great Depression

Journalism

Prejudice

Family Unity

and Hobo Life

It was a perfect wrap to an interesting study!

The Old Schoolhouse Homeschool Review Crew has had the opportunity to review several different Z-GuidesClick on the banner below to read what my crew mates thought of each one.

Comments or Questions?

Contact Zeezok Publishing

email –

info@zeezok.com

write –

P.O. Box 1960

Elyria, OH  44036

call –

800.749.1681

or

440.782.1193

and

facebook

The next time you study, tie everything together with a Z-Guide and a family movie night!

Blessings,

 

 

This product was given to me, free of charge, in exchange, for my honest review, as a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew. I receive no other compensation for my reviews on this blog.  The opinions expressed are my own.

 

I am not affiliated with Netflix and I receive no compensation for references.

 

*Contents of this blog are copyrighted;  they are the property of Knee Deep In Grace and may not be used without written permission.

 

 

I appreciate your encouragement.  Thanks for your comments.  PK

 

 

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Nov
16

FREE College

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I am not blind.  I actually have good eye sight, but sometimes I feel like I’m stumbling around in the dark.  This is especially true when trying to help my teens prepare for college.

Just as I imagine Braille changes the life of a person without sight, College Prep Genius has the potential to change the life of the college-bound student.  They both offer hope, through real applications and solutions.

 

 

Did you know that test prep should start in a student’s freshman year?  The PSAT/NMSQT can be taken even earlier and good scores can have a tremendous affect on college acceptance and tuition.  Consistent study and familiarizing practice time takes the paralyzing fear of the unknown out of the test taking.  If you have expectations for college, start your research now.

“Going to college today can be extremely expensive and a student can incur long-lasting debt that can follow him or her for many years. The truth is, 50% of college is paid for by loans, 40% by grants and about 10% actually comes from scholarships. The good news is that college can be within the reach for just about everyone. There are many ways students can receive scholarships as well as FREE college!”

College Prep Genius is designed to increase standardized test scores, aiming to secure scholarships and assistance to pay for college.  Master the SAT Class DVD is a 10 hour course, taught in 45 minute segments, over 12 lessons.  ($59.95)  Everything in the DVD is also thoroughly covered in the textbook.  ($49.95)  And, there is a companion workbook.  ($19.95)

The lessons walk the student through each section of the SAT:

Critical Reading – learn to cut your time in half.

Math – learn to recognize patterns and eliminate questions from the start.

Writing – learn to write an exemplary essay in 15 minutes.

Plus ~

350 tips, shortcuts and strategies

Math terms

Latin roots, prefixes; suffixes

and

More than 30 scholarship websites

College Prep Genius teaches techniques and even tricks, to get correct answers quicker, that can raise your SAT score as much as 600 points.

This is a student-friendly course, each lesson can be paced to the student; viewed repetitively or not.  The author, Jean Burk, is an outstanding instructor.  Her enthusiasm for SAT Prep Success is irresistible!  Being properly equipped for any task builds confidence.  It is logical that confidence in your test preparation would help you excel in the actual test.  We don’t have our results, yet, but we believe they’ll reflect the exceptional benefits of taking this course.

Comments or Questions?

write –

College Prep Genius

P.O. Box 398

Hurst, TX  76053

phone –

817.282.7737

email –

info@collegeprepgenius.com

Normally $129.85 total, the College Prep Genius DVD Set is on sale now, at 25% off = $99.00.  Ultimately, it’s risk free because of the 100% Money Back Guarantee.  I highly recommend it for every junior high and high school student.  It is easy to follow and there’s enough information, in the first lessons alone, to dispel any darkness.  I wish it had been available ten years ago, for my first teens.

The Old Schoolhouse Homeschool Review Crew reviewed College Prep Genius and their Vocabcafe Series, which you can find by following the links provided throughout this post.

Blessings,

 

This product was given to me, free of charge, in exchange, for my honest review, as a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew. I receive no other compensation for my reviews on this blog.  The opinions expressed are my own.

 

*Contents of this blog are copyrighted;  they are the property of Knee Deep In Grace and may not be used without written permission.

 

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Categories : homeschool, reviews, success
Comments (2)
May
09

Mirror Images

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Monkey see, monkey do – with as many children as I’ve raised, and more that I’ve cared for, over the years – I know this is a fact.  Children, especially young ones, mirror the images and examples they see.  You do something often enough and your child will pick it up.  Children mimic what they hear.  Repeating the words and often even the tone.

It is also a fact that children that are read to, learn to read and have better comprehension than those that are not.  Did you know that “a one year old learns twice as fast as a three year old, and a three year old learns twice as fast as a five year old?”  Did you know that your baby can learn to read?

 

Intellectual Baby believes that “these early years represent a critical time in your baby’s life.  This is the absolutely best time to teach babies to read, introduce music, art, foreign languages, etc…”

Their top product line is the MonkiSee Program, developed by homeschooling mother of 6, Krista Guerrero.  It includes 30 minutes each, interactive, educational DVD’s, accompanied by books and flashcards that will help you teach your baby to read.

 

Click on the logo for a quick quiz to see if MonkiSee is right for you and your child.

 

MonkiSee DVD’s increase brain stimulation, boost IQ and strengthen the bond between you and your child as you participate in his/her learning.  They are easy and fun for children ages 3 months to 4 years old.  It is my experience that the Monki See Monki Doo theme song will stick in your head for days and become one of your child’s favorites.

Featuring two silly, brother monkeys, Howie and Skip, and utilizing catchy songs, poetry, puppets, real life children and animals, sound effects, written words (vocabulary) and spoken language (rhyming) – your child will be captivated by MonkiSee.  Krista, the author, recommends that “in order for babies and young children to get the most from these products, the video should be played daily, about 5 days a week, for a month or so.” 

I was given MonkiSee – Baby’s First Words DVD for this review.  After the third viewing I no longer had to prompt watching the DVD, my granddaughter asks for “monkey” everyday.  Her 4 month old brother hasn’t had much to say about it…yet  =) but after reading several testimonials I’m excited to see the results in the next year.

 

Baby’s First Words is generally for ages 3 months to 2 years.  Common, often used words are introduced, like mommy and daddy and my favorite, kiss, as well as describing body parts – head, arm, leg; nose… It helps a child to see and hear; identify and read their first 40 words.

 

 

Individual DVD’s are regularly $24.95, but they are on sale now for $19.95. Click the graphic above for Baby’s First Words.

 

 

You can purchase Know Your Monkey, paper cover book, for $9.95.  Click the graphic above to see books in the MonkiSee Program.

 


Baby Reading Kit 4 is the best value!  It includes: 

3 MonkiSee DVD’s

5 sets of MonkiSee oversize flashcards

1 guide to teaching babies to read

2 MemoFlix Video FlashCards DVD’s

with 80 categories and over 800 words

2 MonkiSee books

 

On sale now for $139.95, you save 45% – Click the graphic to read all about it. They guarantee complete satisfaction of products and will refund the full purchase price less the cost of shipping.

Contact:

877.505.5079 or 407.574.2886

 

Click Howie to review Frequently Asked Questions

 

Skip can take you to the Teaching Baby to Read Blog

 

My Crew Mates have posted their own MonkiSee reviews, and you can find them when you click on the graphic below.

 

 

Blessings,

 

This product was given to me, free of charge, in exchange, for my honest review, as a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew. I receive no other compensation for my reviews on this blog.  The opinions expressed are my own.

 


 


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