Why do some students constantly excel?
How are they self-propelled learning machines?
Sugar Land Prep begins training students as early as 6th grade using a step-by-step method that guides them through the learning process, from the first assignment to the final exam.
MAXIMUM GRADES. OPTIMUM LEARNING. MINIMUM TIME.
The core of our accelerated learning process is contained in our learning strategy. This is fundamental to making progress in our curriculum. Our Learning strategy is the next Matrix in training students to perform better, faster, and easier.
Our program is based on the Levels of Reading developed by Mortimer Adler who was the general editor of the Encyclopedia Britannica for 40 years and the Co-Editor of the Great Books of the Western World. In 1940, he published a book called (ironically) How to Read a Book where he introduced Four Levels of Reading: Basic, Inspectional, Analytical, and Syntopical. Most people learn Basic Reading (sentences, paragraphs, linear reading) in elementary school. However, rarely do people move to the higher READ Levels. We train our students in these higher READ Levels, providing them the Tools and Techniques to comprehend and understand better, faster, and easier.
Students are often told to “Study Hard,” yet few actually know how to study and even fewer have been trained. Our Study Strategies are derived from Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr., father of the famous Supreme Court Justice. Dr. Holmes stated: “There are one-story intellects, two-story intellects, and three-story intellects with skylights. All fact collectors who have no aim beyond their facts are one-story intellects. Two-story intellects compare, reason, generalize, using the labor of fact collectors (one-story intellects). Three-story intellects idealize, imagine, predict–their best illumination comes from above the skylight.” We adapt this into what we call the “Holmes Hierarchy,” how we develop the intellect through a system of Gathering-Processing-Applying information. The Holmes Hierarchy is applicable to every component and every level of our program. In our program, we train students to use a system of thinking and information processing: Read, Organize, Analyze, and Document information – i.e., take notes! This method contains a specific STUDY and Note-Taking-Technique for each learning strategy level so students have an integrated learning system and strategy to learn better, faster, and easier.
Believe it or not, all writing in Western Civilization can be synthesized down to three classical patterns established by Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle. Socrates gave us the “Oratory,” Plato the “Dialogue,” and Aristotle his “Rhetoric,” each a synthesis of the previous pattern. These patterns help students organize, analyze, and document their information, thoughts, and understanding, and we have developed templates to help the student do this. Just like concrete is poured into forms, students pour their information, thoughts, and ideas into a template. Each range of templates is aligned with the appropriate level.
We do not expect mastery of these in one exposure. We do expect that the student has been exposed to and familiar with the content and can easily refer to the module when needed.
Students are expected to review this program at the start of each academic year for a refresher.
The Literature Program
- Purpose –A firm foundation in college preparatory literature is a key element to our program.
- Stages – We have multiple stages in our program: Initial Reading, Book Notes, Book Reports, and Thematic Papers.
- Initial Readings –New students start the reading program using the first chapter of many of the works in the high school required reading list. We use these readings to train the student on our reading process and prepare them for subsequent work.
- Book Notes – When the student begins his/her first novel, we have them do Book Notes for each chapter as a means of learning the elements of fiction (plot, setting, characters, and theme) and for cataloging that information. This is a vital skill that many college students fail to grasp and, thus, causes failure to succeed in college.
- Book Reports – After the student meets the Book Note requirements (which varies with the level of the student, the English courses taken, and the mastery of Book Notes), the student will embark on Book Reports. This process trains students how to organize and express their understanding of the author, the elements of literature, and their ability to summarize the content.
- Thematic Papers – Ultimately, students need to be prepared to write literary papers in college. Thematic Papers are required to train students to write Term Papers, Research Papers, etc., in college.