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Schoolhouse Review: High School Prep Genius

With one of my children in 9th grade I have been eager to review anything that will help guide us through the high school years. I still can’t believe I have a high school student.
High School can be a little bit intimidating, so I was really happy to review High School Prep Genius.
High School Prep
Jean Burk a homeschooling mama herself, is the creator of College Prep Genius curriculum. She has helped many parents and student navigate their way through the SAT & PSAT. She currently travels around the United States and abroad teaching student’s how to improve their standardize test scores.
The first 88 pages of the book is the Introduction (Part 1~Introduction):
  • How to Use This Book
  • College and Career Notebook
  • Student Timeline: Before High School Begins
  • 9th-12th Grade Timelines
The introduction provides checklists for your four year plan for your student’s notebook. To name a few there is one for Test Prep Examination Inventory, Student Profile, High School Graduation Checklist, Community Service Log, and more.
I would have loved if there was a cd or pdf file of all the forms included. It would be wonderful to print them, 3-hole punch, and add them to the binder. I’m not real nifty with the computer to make the forms, logs, and spreadsheets look nice, so this would be a huge bonus.
Part 2~Foundation for Personal Success
  • Personal Development
  • Interests That Make You Interesting
  • Own Your Beliefs
  • Building a Healthy You
  • Your Financial Independence
  • Building a Strong Support System
Part 3~Foundation for Academic Success
  • Academic Development
  • Effective Studying
  • Tests and Papers
  • Getting Organized
  • High School Mechanics
  • Going Beyond the Basics
Part 4~Foundation for Future Development
  • Future Development
  • Choosing a School
  • Standardized Test Prep
  • College Application
  • Paying for School
  • College Essentials
As you can see a lot is covered in this 440 page book! There is also a section in the Appendix on How to Build a Homeschool Transcript!!! Yes, I’m excited about that chapter. 
High School Prep Genius
Recommended grade: 9th-12 or you can read through the book and decide how much you would like to share with your 7th and/or 8th grade students. There is a student timeline before high school.
Cost: $29.95 (very affordable)
Each chapter can either be read together or you can have your child read it on his own. At the end of the chapter is a Think About It section. This has question for the student to answer. Here are a few from Chapter Six:
  1. Using the Above Criteria, am I a good friend?
  2. If no, how can I improve as a friend?
  3. Which friend(s) is a good influence and wants only what is in my best interest
  4. Which friend(s) is a bad influence and creates an unhealthy relationship?
Each chapter also has a Guide for Parents and Parents’ Homework section.
I chose to read High School Prep Genius with my son. I would read the chapter and we would discuss the questions together. The Think About It questions gave us chance to have some pretty good discussions. Some of the questions really helped Joshua to dig deeper within himself. For instance in chapter 1 there was a question that asked: Do I take responsibility for my actions, or do I tend to blame others for what happened? For the most part Joshua does take responsibilities for his action but as we discussed and really talked about it, he found that there were a few times where he could have improved in this area.

Josh and I read one chapter a week spending about an hour each time. For the remainder of the week I would have him think about what we read, pray about it, find verses that would help him better himself and pertaining to what we read.

Chapter 3: Own Your Own Beliefs, I would suggest the parent pre-read it first. I didn’t and as I was reading it I felt a bit uncomfortable. I understand that it’s important for children to know why we believe what we do and I think it’s good that children ask questions. With that said, this chapter just didn’t sit or feel right to me. Thankfully though, Joshua and I read this together. I would stop and we’d discuss what the Bible had to say.

The second half of chapter 3 was about cultivating a desire for virtues which I liked much better. Some of the questions that were asked was how Josh can better cultivate the virtue of temperance, patience, honesty, justice, frugality, and more.

My final thoughts: High School Prep Genius touches a lot of topic that I’m interested in and has been helpful. A few are Essential Coursed Students Need, Homeschool Transcripts, Homeschool Administration Responsibilities, CLEP, Dual Credit and Early Enrollment. These are things I have been concerned about, so thankfully they are covered in the book. I’m not feeling so intimidated with the high school years. I would have loved to have found this book a few years back before Joshua entered high school. It would have helped make the thought of high school a bit less overwhelming.
If you have children in elementary or junior high, I would encourage you to purchase the book now and read through it.

I am pleased with the quality of information and would recommend this book to my homeschooling friends and family. In fact I hope to purchase College Prep Genius DVD Set soon. I would love to go through this course with Joshua.
Joshua 9th Grade

Quote from Joshua 9th grade: “High School Prep Genius has helped me become more aware of thinking about my future. Some things like the virtues were obvious but can slip to the back of my mind when I’m so busy. I was reminded that I need to continue to work on them and not let them be pushed to the back of my mind.”

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1 comment

  1. I came across your blog through a blog list at Teachbesideme blog.
    I've been reading through your blog and others. One of those nights where I can't sleep.
    I recently started juicing veggies and fruits. Hoping to lose a little weight, too.
    Congratulations on having a high schooler. I'll be graduating my first child next year. A website that has helped me with homeschooling high school is www.LetsHomeschoolHighSchool.com
    They have a lot of great resources and free tools. There's also a great forum for parents and another one for high schoolers that your son may like.
    This site has helped us and kept us informed.
    Oh, I started to comment on here to say that my daughter took this Prep Genius course a few years ago when Jean Burke was here in Florida. It was a good course and we purchased the books and DVD. It's been helpful as my 2 oldest have taken the PSAT and this year the SATs. You did a thorough review!