Since Brendan will be entering high school in the fall, I was thrilled that we were chosen to review the Victus Study Skills System last month! The program was founded by Susan Ison, whose careers have included both teaching and strategic planning. The aim of the Victus Study Skills System is to “equip the student for success in academics and in life.”
Did you know that the Latin word victus actually means a way of life? I love that the skills learned through the Victus Study Skills System are tools that will help our children in all areas of their lives!
The Student Workbook is 65 pages long and includes an overview of the program, quizzes to help the student discover their learning strengths, forms for setting goals, fill-in-the blanks to go with corresponding lessons, tips and helpful hints, and an appendix. The appendix includes information about organizing, time management, memorization strategies, flashcards, and more. This version of the workbook is meant to be used while somebody teaches the information using the Teacher Edition. A Student DIY Notebook is available if you want your student to work more independently.
The Teacher Edition includes an introduction, teacher instructions, lessons (including views of what is in the Student Workbook, and an appendix.
The Victus Study Skills System program is most appropriate for 5th to 12th graders. The program can be taught to all ages, but more teacher involvement is required with younger students.
Products and prices offered by Victus Study Skills:
Teacher Edition – $40.00
Student Workbook – $20.00
The Student DIY Workbook – $25.00
Classroom Video – $30.00
Power Point – $25.00
Creating and Implementing a Personal Strategic Plan – $5.00
The program’s goal is to help students answer three main questions:
1-Where am I now?
2-Where do I want to be?
3-How do I get there?
The first few lessons cover the question of Where Am I Now?
Basically, this lesson teaches that you can try hard, do your best, and have good intentions but if you don’t know where you’re going or how to get there, you will be working in vain 🙂 !
One of the most importants aspect of Where am I now? involves understanding how you learn and what your current study habits are.
We were very surprised at Brendan’s results from the Your Own Learning Strength activity on page 10 in the student workbook. We thought that Brendan’s strongest learning style was kinesthetic, but after taking the quiz his strongest learning strength was visual, followed by auditory, and kinesthetic in last place!
Brendan went through the Suggested Aids for Learning Strengths list and chose one aid from each list to try.
A tip for visual learners: Write information on sticky notes and put them on your mirror.
A tip for auditory learners: Put the information into a rhythmic pattern: create a poem, rhyme, song, etc.
A tip for kinesthetic learners: Use the computer (typing) to reinforce learning through sense of touch.
* The Student Notebook has an entire page with suggested aids for the various learning strengths!
The next question explored is Where Do I Want To Be?
This section of the study covers topics like creating a mission statement, writing goals, and implementing an action plan.
“The difference between successful students and unsuccessful students
is whether or not they have a vision for their future.”
– Benjamin Singer
“Where there is no vision, the people perish.”
– Famous Proverb
Brendan practiced writing measurable goals, objectives, and action plans:
During Lesson 3, we learned about several famous people who overcame challenges and failures and became amazingly successful.
Did you know that Dr. Seuss was rejected by 27 different publishers???
Aren’t we glad that he didn’t give up on his goals and dreams?
I like how the program makes the student think about their future goals and plans. I know that my kids tend to focus on just getting through their daily assignments and often lose sight of WHY we’re doing what we’re doing. The Victus Study Skills System helped put things back in perspective for us!
The third question covered is How Do I Get There?
Topics covered in this section include time management, organization, creating a healthy study environment, the PQRST (Preview, Question, Read, State, Test) system, listening skills, taking effective notes, and strategies for test taking.
Note-taking is one subject that I feel like I’ve neglected since we started homeschooling, so I was pleased that note-taking tips/skills were part of the program. The Student Workbook provides an activity in which the students take notes from written work.
I also wanted Brendan to practice taking notes while utilizing his listening skills, so I had him takes notes during six different 30 minute videos that we are also reviewing. He then wrote short reports from his notes and did great!
Another topic that I found very helpful was test taking. The Victus Study Skills System gives various strategies for test taking. Test formats (including multiple choice, true and false, matching, and essay) are reviewed and there is even a short lesson dedicated to answering discussion questions.
I think that Brendan gained some important insight from using the Victus Study Skills System. He especially benefited from discovering his personal learning styles, learning various ways to help him study according to his strengths, and improving his note-taking skills.
The Teacher Edition was a very helpful resource and guide. It’s nice that the course can be taught to a group or an individual. I appreciate how effective teaching techniques and a sample course plan were provided.
I would love to have had the Classroom DVD ($30.00) to review also as sometimes I felt like I didn’t prepare enough for the daily lessons to truly “present the information in an interesting manner” as indicated in the Teacher Edition. Brendan seems to retain more from videos than just reading or hearing the information taught, so the video may have held his attention better. Thanks to the Victus Study Skills System, we know that it’s because Brendan’s strongest learning strength is visual 🙂 !
Overall, I think the Victus Study Skills System is an important course that will benefit many students!
Check out the Victus Study Skills System on these social media links: