4/7/14

Victus Study Skills System {Crew Review}

The key to successful learning directly correlates to the effectiveness of the study skills used. I want my students to be able to retain and recall the information they study. Recently, Turtlegirl and I have been using the Student Workbook and Teacher Edition of Victus Study Skills System.

Review of Victus Study Skills System from Circling Throug This Life

This short course, just ten lessons, can be taught in just one week.  The recommended pace for high school level students is 1/2 hour per lesson or 5 hours for the whole course. The Victus Study Skills System Teacher Edition includes a Sample Course Plan which covers all 10 lessons in 5 days.

The Teacher Edition is divided into three sections plus an introduction: Introduction-Philosophy, Section One – Teacher Instructions,  Section Two – Lessons,  Section –Three Appendix.  The Teacher Edition also includes, within the Lessons, the views of the Student pages and has the answers for those pages.

The Course Aim states that the purpose or aim is to equip the student for success in both academics and life. This aim considers four concepts which are explained in both the Teacher Edition and the Student Workbook.

The Student Workbook is arranged into sections based on the three foundational cornerstones of the program: Where am I Now?, Where Do I Want to Be? How Do I Get There?  This is a consumable product and each student taking the course will need their own copy.

Using Victus Study Skills: 

I found it difficult to wrap my mind around how to teach the material. Section One is labeled Teacher Instructions, however, it wasn’t what I expected. In this section Victus Study Skills System gives techniques for effective teaching, most of which are general enough to be applied to teaching any course. Some techniques include State Aloud which is asking students to state what they have learned, Affirmation, Life Examples, Listen Carefully and more. These are wonderful effective techniques that I have used when teaching but were not necessarily helpful to my understanding exactly what I was supposed to teach.

I struggled in the beginning with the material in Lessons 1-3. I found it difficult to make the connection between why it was necessary to have a life mission in order to learn effective study habits. The material is worth working through. I found that I had to read it.  Set it aside.  Ponder the material.  Come back and read it again. Though I don’t disagree with the premise, I found myself not fully comfortable with focusing so much on “life vision.” It took us much longer to work through these first three lessons. Perhaps it was my own failings and personality which prevented me from fully realizing the value of a life mission statement. Turtlegirl did come up one as did I and we both agree that having a life mission can be helpful in guiding your decisions, choices and behavior.

I found myself enjoying lessons 4-10. These were the lessons that truly teach the skills for effective learning, studying, and test taking. Lesson 6 is my favorite, it’s the lesson that teaches the PQRST method.

The Teacher Edition is geared more for classroom teaching and I think it would work well for a home school co-op situation or for a family with 2 or more children working through the Student Workbook at the same time.  Only one Teacher Edition is necessary but each student needs her own workbook.  I think Turtlegirl would have done much better with the Student DIY Workbook.

Turtlegirl completes page in Victus Study Skills System Student Workbook.

Thoughts From Turtlegirl:

I liked it. I like how they teach you HOW to take notes. They don’t just say ‘Be sure to take lots of notes!’ and then assume you already know how. They give you tips and tricks for taking notes. Most of them I had already been doing, but it was still nice to know that I was, in fact, taking notes properly. I also liked how they defined ‘Goals’ and ‘Objectives’. So, ‘better grades’ is an objective, but ‘raise Math grade to a B minus in 2 months’ is a goal. I also really liked their PQRST method of studying. It makes sense to read the questions before reading the material. That means when you see an answer to a question, you can answer it immediately. Before, I read the material and then looked at the questions, which meant I usually had to go back over the material to find the answers. I do recommend this, but for younger students: most of the things taught, I had already learned.”

 

The Details:

  • The Vender:  Victus Study Skills System
  • The Product: Student Workbook and Teacher Edition 
  • Format: Both Student Workbook and Teacher Edition are Spiral Bound
  • Age Range: Can be used with all ages but is most appropriate for students in grades 5-12.
  • Price:  Student Workbook ~ $20.00  Teacher Edition ~ $40
  • Also Available: Student DIY Workbook ($25),  Classroom Video, and Power Point.
  • NOTE: The samples on the website are copyright 2013 and are in color. The books we received are copyright 2014 and are black and white.  I think the color pages are more visually appealing.

Visit the Schoolhouse Review Crew blog to read what others have to say about Victus Study Skills System.

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1 comment:

  1. Very concise and well expressed. I also looked at this material, but you saw things that I did not. I need to go back, now, and look the material over again!

    ReplyDelete