Jean Burk is the author and owner of College Prep Genius. College Prep Genius was developed because a homeschooling mother needed to find a way for her children to go to college without a hefty price tag by scoring high on the PSAT and SAT. Now she has created a product, High School Prep Genius, that answers all the questions that parents and students have about preparing to go to college through the high school years. We were asked to read and review, High School Prep Genius through the TOS Review Crew.
Jean Burk's thoughts on writing this book came from seeing students need more guidance through high school than just passing the PSAT and SAT with flying colors. Any type of student (public, private, or homeschool) can benefit from the information in this book. Ms. Burk's daughter, Judah, coauthored this book with her. I particularly agreed with something Judah said in the very beginning of the book, "The purpose of education is not simply making good grades. It is to gain knowledge about the world and practical applications of such knowledge." The author does recommend that the parent and student read the student parts together for more understanding and discussion. Below is a list of how the chapters are sectioned:
Chapters 1 -6 Personal Success
Chapters 7 - 12 Academic Success
Chapters 13 - 18 Future Success
The beginning of the book includes a section on how to create a College and Career Notebook. This is created to keep track of all records, etc. needed throughout the high school years to help apply for scholarships and college. The following chapters deal with each individual grade, 7th - 12th. What the student needs to research, do, create, and think about for each academic year of school. Once completing the sections mentioned the parent and student will delve into the chapters dealing with Personal, Academic, and Future Success. The back of the book contains appendices of information: Transcripts, talent searches, books to read, reducing test anxiety, and terminology. Each chapter has the topical information presented, questions to help the student apply the information, guide for parents, and parent's homework.
How We Used the Book and What We Thought
Grace is currently finishing 8th grade and in her young adult mind does not plan to attend college after finishing high school. We also plan to do a GAP year between 8th and 9th grade for a variety of reasons. All of this played in to how we are using High School Prep Genius. I, the parent, read the book in its entirety first. My first reaction is its a great book with loads of helpful information. My second reaction was it scared me to death about what we need to accomplish in high school in case Grace changes her mind about going to college. After I got over the fear, I started reading/sharing one chapter a week with Grace. So far she has learned what is expected in her 9th grade year of high school, how to create a high school/career notebook, and some personal development. I really liked sharing the personal development chapter with Grace, especially the "What Would You Do" questions. I appreciated the guided responses which aligned pretty much with what I would advise. I plan to continue reading one chapter a week with Grace until we finish the book. Once Grace reaches 10th grade or older I will give her the book again to read on her own, especially if she changes her plans about attending college. High School Prep Genius is well worth the price of $29.95 and seems very applicable to all families with middle and high school students.