The Diary of an Ivy League Mom™ is a column written by Angelica Perez-Litwin, PhD, a Latina mom who’s passionate about higher education and raising intellectually curious and mindful children.
August 27, 2012
Our 12 year old son begins 7th grade in a few weeks. I’m already thinking (more like worrying) about the educational activities outside of school that I need to find for him. The school education is never enough — not if he wants to be a well-rounded individual and become a competitive college applicant.
A month ago, he completed a week-long computer class through the ID Tech Camp, hosted at Columbia University (and other colleges around the country). He took a class on learning how to program using the Java software program. I purposefully enrolled him in this program because he loves computers, iPads, and technology. He was able to create a downloadable phone App that opens up to the page of New Latina (isn’t that cute?!…). He was SO proud of that.
As he begins 7th grade, all energies now are going to focus on him learning how to get organized in school: organized notebook, better time-management, improved studying skills, etc. Middle school is the time for kids to gain the basic skills they’ll need to succeed in high school.
Aside from that, I also want him to start preparing and practicing for the PSAT and SAT’s. Notice that I did not say “study for the PSAT” — Why? Because all college entrance exams (standardized tests) do not measure how intelligent the child is or how much knowledge the child has in a particular area. What they actually measure is how much the child has practiced the skills necessary to excel in those tests. The more they practice and become familiar with the test (strategies, questions, etc.), the better they will do. You may read otherwise somewhere else, but trust me on this one — practice makes perfect.
So, I already went ahead and enrolled him on the Kaplan Prep Trio , which offers unlimited preparation for the PSAT, SAT, and ACT until graduation day. Students can retake PSAT, SAT, and ACT classes, either On Site, Classroom Anywhere or On Demand, until they are confident going into Test Day. This means that my son can take ANY of these courses as many times as he needs to, until graduation, which will be in 6 years. Not bad!
The cost? $999, which you can pay in a three payment installment of $333 each.
He’ll be starting with the PSAT courses on Sundays — 6 sessions in a small group session. Will he understand everything he’s taught? No. But that’s not the point right now. It’s about familiarizing him with the overall test, and helping him realize how much work there is to be done to succeed on this test.
Did you know that scores on standardized college entrance exams (SAT’s, ACT’s) play a significant role in your child’s college admissions application? Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise…