One of the great perks of being a PTPA Bloghaholic are the testing opportunities. Now, most of them aren’t necessarily applicable to me. Which kinda makes me mad, because there are some incredible products and services out there that weren’t available when my kids were young enough to need them.
I did, however, have the opportunity to share The Most Complete Student Success System with my 16 year old son. He’s in Grade 10, and while he’s incredibly smart, his study habits are atrocious. He literally carries his homework around crushed in a ball. He doesn’t write anything down, and due to his excellent memory, has never really learned the proper way to study, never mind be organized.
The thing is, school is hard these days. While I was somewhat the same, and was able to coast along, even in university, cramming and procrastinating and rushing through my work, the kids just can’t do that anymore. What we did in First Year, they do in Grade 10 or 11. They have so much more to learn, and as a result , sometimes struggle with getting through all of it. My son doesn’t necessarily struggle, but I can see he isn’t reaching his full potential, and there’s nothing more than I hate to see than wasted potential.
So, I gave the boy the books and told him to take a look-see. Unfortunately, we got them right before March break, so he didn’t have a ton of time to apply the learning to his actual schoolwork. However, I did sit him down and ask him to do some of the activities and read through the areas relevant to him.
These are his comments.
On the positive side:
- Great tips on organizing my work, especially for studying
- I liked the learning styles questionnaire
- Some of it didn’t apply to me (we’re Canadian, so the SAT study skills weren’t relevant), but I could see how they would be really helpful
- The workbook activities were good at reinforcing what the book said
On the not-as-positive side:
- The books seem to be for students who don’t already get decent grades (his are in the low 80s). They were a bit easy.
- The font was too big, and it looked like it was for younger kids. I was a bit turned off by that until I got into the content and saw that it was really helpful
- I wish there was a Canadian edition that covered the stuff I do in school
- They should have an online component. Nobody uses CDs anymore.
All in all, if you can get your kid to actually open up the books and use them (always a challenge with a teenager), they are a great learning and study aid. I would say this set of books (or CDs) would be especially helpful as a curriculum guide if you have a student who is struggling and works with a tutor.
Now, if only they made The Most Complete Teenager Housework System instructing kids on the proper use of the laundry basket. Now, THAT guide would be a bestseller.