With my oldest son being a 9th grader I know college is right around the corner. To be honest, I entered this school year with a lot of anxiety. High school is important. How could I be sure that I was giving this boy everything he needs to go on to college? I am fortunate to have some homeschoolers close to me who already have high school graduates, so I was able to turn to them for advice. But of course, I still have a million questions. So, I was very excited when I found out that for this review I was going to get to try a product from College Prep Genius.
College Prep Genius was created by homeschool parents when they started thinking about how they were going to pay for college for their children. Their website includes all sorts of information that can help parents come up with a plan. For this review, I got to check out their book High School Prep Genius designed to help parents and their highschoolers come up with a plan to prepare for college each year of high school. This book is designed for parents with high school students and also for parents of middle school students who want to get a head start.
This book is full of great suggestions and ideas you can use each year your child is in high school, so that when they graduate, you will be fully prepared. The book is designed to be read by both students and parents, as well high school students who want to take an active role in preparing for college. The introduction of the book contains a lot of helpful general information, like suggestions for the numbers of credits to be earned each year and practical record-keeping information.
One suggestion I really like, and had already begun to implement, was the creation of a college notebook, a central place where you keep all of your important high school information. I had already created one of these binders at the beginning of the year.
High school Prep Genius gives suggestions about what to keep in the binder, starting with a lists of the credits your child will need for their diploma. I looked up the requirements for a Florida diploma on the Department of Education website and printed them out and added them to the front of my binder. This way, I know exactly which credits I need to make sure he earns each year. I also have papers for us to record the number of hours he spends in each subject, and the resources we use. The book also suggests keeping track of volunteer hours and summer experiences as well.
It seems so simple, but you would be amazed how much better I felt after organizing my notebook. It was as though I suddenly had an organized plan for high school, and a way to keep track of everything!
The book also has a timeline for each year of steps students and parents should take to prepare for college. The timeline has a month by month sketch of what should be done. In the freshman year, the focus is on making goals, deciding what classes to take registering for the PSAT etc. The timeline for each following year gets more specific, moving toward looking at specific colleges and preparing for the SAT.
The first section of High School Prep Genius focuses on personal preparation for high school and college. The chapters are about fostering independence, developing personal interests and hobbies, developing your faith, and taking care of your health and finances. The chapters are interactive, including sections with questions to help get students thinking about how to apply what they are reading about to themselves. There are also sections for parents with suggestions on how to help their teens grow in these areas.
The other sections of the book include a section on academic success in high school and applying for college. There are sections on organizing time, studying, and choosing classes and activities with an eye on college. Practical chapters on what to look for when choosing a college, how to fill out applications, and financing your education are very useful for parents and teens.
My son is eager to take an active role in his education, as he does have some specific goals, so we both read the book and then discussed it. Typically, we would each read a chapter a week, then we would sit down and talk about his answers to the questions posed, and how we could use this information to help us develop his high school program. I really enjoy working with my son this way. This is how I always wanted high school to be with him, but I just wasn’t sure how to articulate it. With High School Prep Genius, it has all been put on paper for me and all I have to do is read the book along with him!
I find that my son is starting to give serious consideration to scholarships he might be able to learn, and what classes and volunteer opportunities may help him earn those scholarships. He has also been focused on looking into opportunities for dual enrollment, which would help him earn some of his credits while in high school. At the very least, this book has given him the desire to start really thinking about college and take on more responsibility for getting there.
I think this book is a fantastic resource for homeschool parents with a student just about to start high school, or current high schoolers. High School Prep Genius is available for $29.95, and I think it is definitely worth it, as you can easily use the book with more than one child. To find out more information about High School Prep Genius, and the other services offered by College Prep Genius, check out their website here:
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