Monday, May 20

Review of College Prep Genius

 photo CPG-logo-main_zps66938827.jpgEthan is entering the last few years of school and is beginning to prepare for college, exploring his options. It's a bit scary, in all honesty. I planned out the rest of his school career so carefully, but these last few years terrify me more than teaching him to read ever did. Multiplication tables? That's nothing. With those basics, you always have a reassurance that at some point, they will get it. They will potty train before they go to college. But will they be ready for college before they go to college? Will they take the right classes and pass the right tests to get into the college that is the best fit for them? How do we find out which college is the best fit for him? How do we pay for it? These questions aren't as easy to deal with.

 photo Untitled-1_zpsac2e8af4.jpgI've been blessed this last year with access to some great vendors, who understand this pressure and have helped me navigate my way through the many options. Recently, I've had the opportunity to review the book "High School Prep Genius" It is an "Academic Guide to Excellence" provided by College Prep Genius

The book is designed to be read by a parent and student, working through it together. It is written toward students with a section written to parents at the end of each chapter. But it's helpful to just read it all. There are homework assignments for both parents and students. The reading portions and the activities include everything from preparing a transcript to essay writing techniques and study tips. It is an excellent resource for fully preparing for those last years of high school.

There are 18 chapters in the book, plus a very necessary introduction section. It is a good fit to work through a chapter per week, which takes about an hour per week, reading and discussing together. Another option might be to double up on that schedule and work through it during the summer months.

I wish I had heard of this book before we hit the high school years. It is still extremely helpful, but it would have been a natural and easy process had I started when my son was in the 7th grade. Thankfully, I will be able to start it with his younger siblings and will be ahead of the game.

The 18 chapters and the intro are are divided into 4 sections. Section I is the introduction, which is imperative and sets the foundation for the rest of the process. The other sections are:

II. Foundation for Personal Success
This section equips students very personally, from financial decisions to healthy eating to healthy friendships. I love that the book emphasizes that the goal is not just to get into college, but it is to develop into an effective member of society. This section helps students stand back and examine their own personal development and integrity and to see how their choices affect what kind of person they become and how they live.

III. Foundation for Academic Success
This section prepares the student for effective study skills and test taking. It helps them find an organization routine that can see them through to the end. This helps them map out the high school years and, as the title of chapter 12 says, helps them excel in "Going Beyond the Basics". \

IV. Foundation for Future Success
This section gets into the nitty gritty of college choices. It walks students through choosing a school, preparing for ACT/SAT, maneuvering through college applications, and how to pay for school. Chapter 18 walks them through college, beginning with the summer before and choosing housing and classes, living with a roommate, handling homesickness. It covers internships, professors, what to pack...everything.

The Appendix includes detailed information how to build a transcript, with sample forms. I also includes lots of information on talent searches, which was completely new to me. It has an excellent "Great Books" list for planning literature courses, relaxation techniques for students that get anxious about tests (or parents who get anxious about students....), and an admissions terminology list to help you translate the lingo.

The book has been a weight off of my shoulders. Working through it with your child will have you well-armed and ready to tackle the high school to college path.  The book can be purchased for $29.95. For other reviews and thoughts from other crew members, be sure to visit the Schoolhouse Review Crew linked below:


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