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Wednesday, April 9, 2014

TOS Review: Victus Study Skills System

Victus Study Skills Review
Ever feel like kids just don't do their schoolwork, don't do their homework, and would rather do anything than study for a test? What if the problem is that they don't know HOW to study? What if they could learn skills to help them study and learn better? This is the premise of Victus Study Skills System, a program Adam (12) and Kaden (11) were recently given to use for a review. There have been some focusing and self-discipline issues around here this year and this seemed like a good program to try.

Victus Study Skills System was developed by Susan Ison, a teacher, who has spent much of her life looking at how to teach kids to best study. The goal of the program is to teach a practical system of study that students can use throughout their education and in life.


We received two books for this program, both soft-cover and spiral bound, and both measuring 8.5" by 11". The Teacher Edition contains 82 pages, the Student Workbook 65 pages.


To begin, I read through the introduction and first section of the Teacher Edition titled Teacher Instructions, which covers information about the program and teaching suggestions for the program. Section Two of the Teacher Edition contains the lessons and works hand-in-hand with the student workbook.

There are ten lessons total for the student to complete. I opted to do one lesson per day with the boys, but it is ok to do two lessons. Each lesson takes between 15 and 30 minutes, depending on how much hands-on work there is to do.

The lessons are:
  • Introduction and Study Habits Checklist
  • Learning Strengths
  • Mission and Goal Setting
  • Time Management
  • Organization and Study Environment
  • PQRST
  • Listening
  • Note Taking
  • Test Taking
  • Summary
Adam and Kaden enthusiastically jumped right into this program. The first few lessons helped them discover their learning styles and strengths, and they enjoyed that.


I'm pretty sure I could hear angels singing "hallelujah" while they did the Time Management lesson. The boys each had to fill out a proposed weekly schedule. All their schoolwork went on that schedule, along with meals, breaks, activities, etc. I couldn't help but laugh that Adam jumped right in and got all his schoolwork on his schedule, while Kaden immediately scheduled lunch, dinner, and breaks .. any guesses as to which child has a harder time staying on task? As the boys filled in their schedules they realized how much free time they'd have if they actually sat down and worked without getting distracted - I've been saying it all year, but seeing it in writing really made a difference to them. The Monday after writing their weekly schedules both boys sat down and dove right in - and worked and stayed on task. The angels were still singing (ok, it just might have been me). We will most certainly continue with the weekly schedule.


The boys also learned about organization, their study environment, and self-discipline, all things I've been talking about for ever but that they stopped hearing long ago. They really grasped the "why" of these things after doing the lesson. We'll be referring back to these lessons as needed, because they made sense and both Adam and Kaden understood what the author was saying to them.

The later lessons, about note taking and test taking, really didn't apply to us. I check all the work the boys do and they fix all mistakes, so there is no need for test-taking. They don't sit in lectures so there's no need for note taking. This will change when they're older, probably high school age, and would have been great for Ian (16) and Mia(14), but really didn't apply to Adam and Kaden at this time. 

Victus Study Skills System Teacher Edition is available for $40.00 and the Student Edition is available for $20. There is also a Student DIY Edition Workbook available for $25.00. The program can taught to all ages, but is geared towards 5th through 12th graders.

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