Friday, January 18, 2013
The Review is In :: Stepping Stones to College
From time to time, I am asked to give reviews regarding products available to many different markets. I was approached by Stepping Stones to review their website regarding home educational tools and prepping for college. However, since my children our younger and Stepping Stones is geared to those parents homeschooling high schoolers, I asked a good friend if she would be willing to give it try and write a review for me to share with you all. Thank you, Tammy for all your help. ~ Michelle
Stepping Stones to College is a relatively new site that offers practical guidance for high school students and their parents on the path to college. They are currently offering a special introductory price of $9.95 for one year or $24.95 for all four years. The concept behind the site is good. Every student on the way to college needs a plan and regular reminders to make sure they don’t forget any important step (or test!).
Stepping Stones has set up a four level plan represented by a hexagon with six different areas (Information, Calendar, Educational Programs, Assessments, Technology, and Activities). Each level corresponds to a different grade level. I only looked at the 9th grade level, my oldest started her high school career in the fall.
Each section has specific activities listed along with whether they are a “must” or “optional”. For example, in Education Programs, Study Skills is listed as a “must”. There is a brief overview of study skills and then two websites and three books are listed to provide further information, tips, and guidance on developing better study skills. All the external websites I checked out were free with one exception. Each activity has a checkbox so you can indicate you are complete with this area. It is rewarding to see that you are already 25% complete! There is also an overall progress report that shows your completion in each of the six areas.
I initially looked at Stepping Stones back in September and just recently revisited the site in December. I am impressed with how much information (links, book suggestions, and explanations) they have added to the site in those few months. I’m sure this will be a never-ending process as more and more websites become available with useful information for the college-bound high school student. There are still a few sections where more resources are needed, but based on the improvement in three months, I’m sure these will be filled shortly.
Yes, you could search through countless websites and books to compile a good college-bound plan yourself, but Stepping Stones already has a nicely laid out plan containing a large amount of information for you-complete with resources for further research! This is a neat option to save yourself time and effort and take advantage of the work someone else has already done for you.