As parents, we hate to see our children struggle to learn, or do poorly on a test. Often, we tell our children that they just need to study more. But sometimes, for students, it’s not about the time or effort put into studying. Some students simply don’t know how to study effectively. And often, parents simply don’t know how to help children learn these skills. The Victus Study Skills System does just that. It is an easy and effective method for teaching students in grades 5 through 12 the skills needed to study more effectively. My family has recently completed this study, and we are happy to share our review with you.
There are 2 options for the Victus Study Skills System. The first option, the one which my family reviewed, is teacher-led, and uses a Student Workbook ($20) and Teacher Edition ($40). The second option is student-led and uses The Student DIY Workbook. ($25). There are also additional items available on the product page that can help in presenting the material to students.
About the Program
The Victus Study Skills System is a 10 lesson program that is intended to be completed in approximately 30 minute lessons over a period of 2 weeks. The program can be completed at a slower pace if needed, however, which might be necessary for younger students.
The 10 lessons in the program are centered on 3 foundational cornerstones, which are questions that each student must consider in order to learn to study more effectively. As students work through the lessons, they learn to answer these questions.
Where am I now? (Lessons 1 & 2) – Students analyze current study habits, determine their learning strengths and type (visual, auditory, or kinesthetic), and discover learning aids specific to those strengths.
Where do I want to be? (Lesson 3) – Students learn the importance of setting goals in their learning and prioritizing their time in order to meet those goals.
How do I get there? (Lessons 4-10) – This is the real meat of the program. These lessons teach the skills needed for effective studying. They cover topics such as schedules and organization, developing an effective study process, active listening, improving note taking skills, and test taking strategies. Lesson 10 is a review of skills learned throughout the course.
What We Liked About the Program
My children and I learned a lot from working through this program. We liked the fact that the lessons are long enough to be informative, yet short enough that they didn’t feel overwhelmed. We found that presenting the material in 30 minute lessons over a 2 week period as intended was the perfect amount of time for us to grasp the material.
3 lessons in particular stood out for us.
Lesson 3: Mission and Goal Setting – This lesson begins with the students evaluating their priorities, and whether or not the amount of time that they devote to their daily activities reflects these priorities. I have to admit that this was one of those “ouch” realizations for all of us. Even though we all had our priorities set in our minds, the amount of time we spent on other things said otherwise. This realization helped us later in the study, when we prioritized our time and developed our daily schedules. The second part of the lesson showed us how to set goals, and to develop an action plan in order to meet those goals. These goals are priorities.
Lesson 6: PQRST – PQRST refers to the method that the student should follow for effective studying. It involves Previewing the material, Question the material, Read, State the material you just read, and finally Test or review the material. Following these steps can help ease the studying process. Prior to this, my boys studied by re-reading material, looking over notes, and sometimes using flash cards. This chapter showed them a MUCH more effective method for studying, which helps to truly learn the material, rather than just memorizing it.
Lesson 9: Test Taking – The method for good test taking is PDCA. This involves the following steps:
Plan – students listen to instructions and look over the material so they know what to expect and how to spend their time
Do – students are taught how to go about taking the test (do easy questions first, mark unknowns to come back to complete later, etc.)
Check – students should always check over their work
Act – students make any necessary changes or corrections
Following these steps give students a clear method for taking a test, which can help them focus and relax. This lesson also gives tips for tackling each type of question on tests, including multiple choice, true and false, matching, and essay questions. There are a LOT of excellent tips in this lesson, which I feel could benefit even the best test takers. As a mom of at least one child who often has test anxiety, these methods are proving invaluable.
We enjoyed working through the Victus Study Skills System. It opened our eyes to a lot of current behaviors that were not quite effective, and showed my kids some excellent new skills to aid in their learning. This is definitely one of those items that we will hang on to, so that we can revisit the material in the future as needed. I think any and all students could benefit from this study, whether in a homeschool, public school, or private school. Even those students who learn easily and are good test takers can still benefit from the skills taught in this system. All kids need to learn how to study smarter, not just harder or longer. The Victus Study Skills System is the perfect product for learning how to do so.