Friday, March 7, 2014

Victus Study Skills - A TOS Homeschool Crew Review

In homeschooling, for the many years that I have done it, I have come to realize that I am not very good at helping my students (children) learn study skills. For that reason, I was very glad when I learned that I had been selected to review the Victus Study Skills System   product. Victus Study Skills System sent me their Victus Study Skills System Student Workbook and their Victus Study Skills System Teacher Edition to use with my son, "Miner".
The entire Victus Study Skills System only takes about two weeks to work your way through, doing one lesson per day. After that, you can work with your student to help him/her stick to using the tools and methods they have been taught. After all, it takes at least 30 days of regularly doing something mostly daily for it to become a habit. We want our students to learn these skills, to acquire these skills -- to use these skills!

The Victus Study Skills System starts with helping you and your student understand what his exact learning style is, whether he is a visual, auditory or kinesthetic learner. My son, Miner, totally pegged out as an auditory learner, with visual coming in second. What this means for him is
that he learns well when he hears the information he is studying. He would also learn especially well if he were to follow along in the book while the book was read aloud. (He already does this when there is something he wants to learn about, like Minecraft, or gems and minerals.) He would probably test best with a device available for auditory learners that is basically a hand-set to a land-line telephone -- hollow, so that he can speak into the mouth piece and hear the questions while he reads them with his eyes. I just don't see this child willing to do this while taking SAT test for college, so he will have to compensate by preparing well in advance I guess.

It is very helpful to have the Teacher Edition--I would not have wanted to teach this without the Teacher Edition. The Victus Study Skills System Teacher Edition contains the following sections that are not included in the Student Workbook:  "A Way of Life", "A Personal Reflection from the Founder", "Preview of the Foundational Cornerstones", Objectives... Well, I was going to list everything the Teacher Edition has that you'll want to read that is not included in the Student Workbook, but there's just so much! And the Teacher Edition has the answers that correspond to the Student Workbook. I was going to say, "Of course!", but I have found that not all Teacher Edition do that after all.

The Victus Study Skills System "mantra" seems to be, "Where am I now? Where do I want to be? How do I get there?" This is a very good set of phrases for anyone to memorize to help them get from here to there. I just wish my student weren't currently so apathetic about his studies. He has a certain sense of where he wants to get to, but does not have a present sense of urgency to work on the goals. I remember being where he is as a student, and I remember turning a corner sometime in 10th grade, beginning to grasp that I was in high school, and what I learned and what my grades were mattered. Miner is only in 8th grade, but when I was his age I was in 9th grade, so I am hopeful he will turn the corner in 9th grade rather than 10th grade. (The attendance age changed in our state so that, were I attending now, I would have started and finished an entire year later than I did.

Victus Study Skills System walks the student through personal history and goal setting (where was I five years ago, where am I now, where do I want to be in 5 years, in 10 years) in a way that is easily digested by the student. The same material can be found in an adult self-help book, but my 14 year old isn't going to work his way through that. The System also teaches the student to pay attention to and evaluate how he is currently using his time, to consider whether change would be called for in how he is spending his time. It even has him break down his goals for the current year by season (fall, winter, spring, summer), which I wouldn't have thought of. The System helps the student break down goals and time usage, and set up plans and a schedule to accomplish long and short-term goals through bite-sized chunks.

My oldest child had to figure out learning skills on her own. My 2nd had a learning disability and went through a treatment program that taught her learning skills as it treated her for her disability. My present student had no such luck, so I am so happy we have had this opportunity to work our way through the Victus Study Skills System so he would have this opportunity to acquire these skills. Miner has a goal of achieving Eagle Scout, and also goals regarding longer-term items, but is still (in spite of having gone through the Victus Study
Skills System) a bit apathetic about everything academic right now. So hopefully that will turn around. I am thankful to have the physical copies of the Victus Study Skills System so that it will be on my shelf, available to be pulled out again later when we need to be reminded of these skills. (In other words, available later when Miner is more interested in really getting something out of the Victus Study Skills System.)
The Victus Study Skills System can be taught to all ages, but more teacher involvement is required with younger students. The books are most appropriate for 5th to 12th graders.The Victus Study Skills System Teacher Edition and Student Workbookare soft-cover spiral books. The Teacher's has 82 pages and costs $40.00; and the Student's has 62 pages, with blank pages at the end for notes, ad is priced at $20.00.

If you are concerned that your quickly-growing children are approaching college-age without study skills they need, then consider the . I though the material contained in The System was thorough, and possibly a bit repetitive, but in an appropriate way to help the students learn a large amount of information in a short amount of time. This is a very worthwhile and valuable program for home schooled students.

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