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.
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.
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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