Monday, May 13, 2013

High School PREP GENIUS - Review

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My husband and I are originally from England. We never attended an American High School. Now we homeschool our children. So when it comes to preparing my children for College here in the US we are quite clueless.

I was recently given the chance to review a book from College Prep Genius called High School Prep Genius

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Price 29.95 - paperback

The book was written by Jean and Judah Burk a mother and daughter team. Jean Burk is the author of College Prep Genius and has written articles about the SAT and PST/NMSQT, college prep and scholarship search techniques. She homeschooled both of her children. Judah Burk is the daughter of Jean Burk. She graduated summa cum laude from her University with a B.A. in mass communications and went on to receive a Master's Degree in international relations with a 4.0 in 2012.

About the Book

This book is designed to be used by the student to help them make choices that will ultimately prepare them to attend college. Each chapter is written with the student in mind. However the book does stress that the best way to use the book is for parents and students to read it together. If reading it together is a problem the student should read it first and then the parent. Although we homeschool the book does contain information that is relevant to any form of education public, private, charter or homeschool. The writer suggests to ignore or adjust any part of the book that does not apply to you.

How I used this book;

The first thing I did with this book is read it cover to cover. A lot of the information given I can't use right now (Jam is only 12) however I firmly believe that preparation is the key to success.

I found the first section of the book very interesting. Pages 15-44 talk about making a college and career notebook.

It gives very specific instructions and advice on doing this, as well as a guide to the classes necessary in high school.

This is the part of the book that I found most helpful right now. As Jam and I discuss courses that he may want to study over the next 6 years.

There are checklists, recommended plans, credit logs, summer plans, and templates for everything you will need to help your child be successful in recording and planning his high school career. There are college application check lists, scholarship and financial aid checklists, form suggestions to help with recording volunteer and extracurricular activities. There is sample resume/brag-sheet information.

Jam and I read pages 44-49 together. These pages are entitled '7-8 Student Timeline: Before High School Begins'. We both learned a lot. We didn't realize that the college scholarship search can start as early as 7th grade (Next school year for us). This subject was talked about more in Chapter 17 'Paying for School.

Since Jam will be the age for 7th grade next year I this was an awesome book for me to read to get a head start understanding High School requirements. However I did most of the reading of the book as I want to allow Jam to relax and enjoy life at the moment.

The book answered a lot of the questions that I had (and many that I didn't know I had). I love that each chapter has a 'Think About It' section for the student and a 'homework' section for the parent.


The give you an insight into what the book includes here are the titles of the chapters.

1.Personal Development
2. Interests That Make You Interesting
3. Own Your Beliefs
4. Building A Healthy You
5. Your Financial Independence
6. Building A Strong Support System
7. Academic Development
8. Effective Studying
9. Tests and Papers
10. Getting Organized
11. High School Mechanics
12. Going Beyond The Basics
13. Future Development
14. Choosing a School
15. Standardized Test Prep
16. College Applications
17. Paying For School
18. College Essentials

Appendix A - How to Build A Home school Transcript
Appendix B - Talent Searches
Appendix C - Great Books To Get You Started
Appendix D - Reduce Anxiety Through Relaxation Techniques
Appendix E - Admissions Terminolgy

I will definitely will be referring to this book a lot over the next 6 years. I found it a little intimidating at first but also a wealth of information for anyone with a middle school - high school age student.

Check out what others on the crew think about it here.


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