Saturday, September 26, 2009

College Prep Genius - Our Experience

I wrote a product description of College Prep Genius earlier so I won't repeat that here. But I will tell you about my 9th grader's experience.

This course has a lot of information to process and remember and has been pretty overwhelming. The method taught seems to be at odds with how her brain works.

Each DVD section teaches several acronyms to memorize and associate with certain types of problems. Then the student completes the problems in the workbook. The DVD then explains the answers to those problems. My daughter found that several times she came up with the correct answer but in a different way than the DVD showed. She was already thinking through the problems logically and the acronyms actually confused her.

We will be putting our study of this program on hold until later this school year. She is scheduled to take the PSAT on October 14th and I would like to find a baseline of where she is at. When we pick College Prep Genius back up, we will do so at a much slower pace, perhaps studying one acronym and then one problem each week.

I was very surprised and a bit discouraged when the program caused more confusion than clarity. So I have been thinking why that might be happening. I don't have any concrete answers, only musings. I do know that we need to slow it down A LOT. And I also wonder if how a student is used to learning makes a difference. Perhaps this method would work better for a student who is used to material that teaches formulas, showing the student step by step how to get the correct answer. We use material that teaches the big picture and the theory behind the problem. The student then uses the understanding of the theory to solve the problem instead of following a step-by-step formula.

I do know that to use the program, the student needs to be dedicated to investing a lot of hours preparing for the PSAT/SAT. If this is not the goal for your family, then it may not be a good fit. If high test scores is a priority for your student, College Prep Genius might be a God-send.

If you do order, make sure to use this free shipping code: HSBlog09. (The code is expires November 15, 2009.)

You can read here what other Crew members experienced.

Disclosure:This product was provided to our family for free as members of the 2009-2010 Old Schoolhouse Magazine Homeschool Crew. No further compensation was received. Reviews and opinions expressed in this blog are my own.


MKlosterman said...

Do you know how many hours a week one should be spending on this curriculum? Is your daughter also preparing to take the ACT? I'm wondering if my son should take both.

Hidden Jewel said...

For a co-op class the author suggests 12 weeks of one-hour classes. The student has homework in addition to that.

My daughter has not started to prepare for the ACT yet as she will be concentrating on the PSAT the next couple years. I would like her to take both the SAT and ACT, but we will see when the time gets closer.

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