Saturday, May 18, 2013

High School Prep Genius (TOS Review)

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High school can be a scary thought to a home school parent (or any parent for that matter). I am in the third year of homeschooling my oldest for high school and we have had an interesting time. Recently I was able to review High School Prep Genius from College Prep Genius. I'm a little sad that I didn't discover this book at the beginning of Caleb's high school journey. It would have been a great introduction to him about what high school is all about--something I had a hard time getting him to understand.

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High School Prep Genius: An Academic Guide to Excellence is a guidebook for navigating through high school and beyond. This book is designed to help the high school child have a guide and help them achieve their highest potential. The principles behind this book are one, academic success requires dedication and two, prepared students make good citizens.
The book is divided into four sections and covers many topics such as:
Introduction - How to use the book, how to set up a College & Career notebook, and student timelines.
Section II - Personal development, interests, beliefs, being healthy, and finding support.
Section III - Academic development, studying for tests and papers, organization, High School mechanics.
Section IV - Future development, standardized test prep, college applications, paying for school, and college essentials.

When I received the book I read through the introduction sections and then handed the book off to Caleb to start reading. Each chapter is written to the student with a section of questions for the student to answer. At the final end of the chapter is a section for the parent to read and a small homework assignment.

It is recommended that the parent and child spend an hour a week going through the material. As much as I would have loved doing this it just wasn't possible, though if he had a question we did discuss the material. He worked diligently filling out the questions, which if I had to do again I would just use that time as the time of discussion. Writing out the answers seemed to slow him down in his progress in the book.

I asked Caleb, who is a boy of few words, what he thought of it and he said it was "Interesting." I also asked him if he thought it would have benefited him to read it before he entered high school and he said yes.

High School Prep Genius does lay out how high school and beyond looks for the typical student enrolled in public or private school and there are parts that wouldn't apply to the home school student. The authors do recommend to just skip those portions and just use the sections that apply to your student. It also gives a helping hand to the parent and helps the parent do the job of the guidance counselor.

I felt for Caleb this book came a little late, but there are a few ideas from the College and Career Notebook I will use for planning his last year. I will definitely be pulling High School Prep Genius out for Destini to use during her 8th grade year to help give her a good foundation of what high school and beyond looks like and like everything I do, tweaking it to fit our situation.

High School Prep Genius is available from College Prep Genius for $29.95 and is a great asset to the parent to use with a child that will soon be entering high school.

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