Sunday, December 16, 2012

Some SAT Prep Tips from Stobaugh

While unpacking last week I listened to a cassette recording of a homeschool lecture that I purchased used. The lecture was given by James Stobaugh. It was undated but I believe it was from the 1990s, based on a date mentioned as being the latest edition of a book. Also this was before the College Board added the essay, so the lecture addressed the math and English section only.

Stobaugh said he doesn't believe in gaming the system by learning tips and tricks.

The best way to prepare for the vocabulary section is to read high quality literature and the classics in an unabridged form. He said to write down the vocabulary words you encounter that you don't know onto a flashcard and study them casually yet often to memorize them.

Stobaugh also said to take practice tests by using old tests that the College Board publishes.

The lecture was not fear inducing. Stobaugh said homeschoolers have always scored higher than schooled kids on the SAT so homeschoolers are all doing something right. He wanted homeschoolers to focus on academic learning and that high test scores would naturally follow.

On the other hand since I don't have literature loving kids, and since both of my kids have now been diagnosed with reading learning disabilities, heavy reading of unabridged classics has not been the primary reading material in our home. I found the lecture encouraging yet it still left me wondering how in the world my sons will score on the SAT. I am sick of thinking about that and all the hoops that have to be jumped through, to be frank.


Ahermitt said...

Hi Christine, It is very true that heavy reader will naturally do better on the SAT. My daughter did amazingly on the language portion because of her obscene level of reading... she didn't even have to do the flashcard bit, though I highly encouraged it.

For my son, however, who prefers to only read instructional books and non fiction, I found that language roots instruction also provided natural learning and helped build their deciphering skills. I prefer critical thinking workbooks for this purpose.

luv2ski said...

Hi Christine,

Sometimes it just all gets overwhelming. It's a huge learning curve for all of us while blazing new trails with our unique children.


Annie Kate said...

If they have reading/learning disabilities, then why push the SAT? Perhaps they might want to maximize their strengths instead.

As for the SAT,we bought Barron's book and my oldest two did a few practice exams and learned the tips; if you want/need to score well, spend a few hours learning the tips no matter what Stobaugh says. That only makes sense.

But of course, it's the reading/ thinking/ writing/ math skills that make the big difference. I think the extensive reading is what helped my kids do very well.