The following books were provided by Victus Study Skills System for the purpose of this TOS Schoolhouse Crew review.
Victus Study Skills System ~ http://www.studyskillssystem.org/ is a method that has been developed over the past 30 years which helps students learn how to study, starting with their own daughter's question. This series was first created because of Susan Ison's daughters's pointed question after instructed to study. "How do you study?" is broken down for us with this system. She went on to use this system with Tutorial Associations of America and Memphis Tutorial Association for 30 years, but has just begun to offer it for individual purchase seperate from their facilities.
We received both the softcover student workbook ($20) and the teacher edition ($40) for this review. It is recommended for 5th through 12th grade students. I used it with my 10th grader and included my 8th grader in some of the discussions.
As an Occupational Therapist, part of my evaluation of clients includes measuring how they learn best. I work with them to help them learn new skills in the best way for them. As a homeschool mom, I am continuing to learn new ways to help my own children learn new skills.
I'm sharing a close up view of my daughter's somewhat worn student book to draw your attention to the quote by Dorothy Sayers which is especially fitting for this program. Learning to learn for themselves is indeed what I want for my children mixed with a love of learning.
"The Victus Study Skills System is based on the premise that effective study is best when it is a system of study and when it becomes a way of life."They suggest that these three foundational cornerstones apply both to learning and to life:
- Where am I now?
- Where do I want to be?
- How do I get there?
The content is not identical in the student and teacher books. The teacher edition included excerpts from the student edition, but did not include the complete student assignments. They also offer a different student DIY version which is designed to be completed independently and a classroom video on their product page. The system is designed to be completed in only about five hours (10 half hour lessons completed over 5 days), but it was created to assist with life-long changes.
One illustration involved listing the steps for making coffee. The importance of plugging in the coffee machine was mentioned as a less obvious step that cannot be skipped. In the same way, this program teaches foundational skills that can help your child improve their homeschool study habits for every subject.
Some of the thought provoking activities were quickly completed while others like the stick figure drawings and fill in the blank pages were less enthusiastically embraced by my daughter. While she wasn't fascinated by the program, she did benefit from the learning strength checklist which confirmed that her learning preference was significantly higher in visual learning. Tips were provided to help sharpen learning skills based on that strength as well as to improve auditory and kinesthetic areas. My daughter did like the "personal shorthand style" recommendations. Other areas including the organizing strategies seemed to be more applicable to a classroom setting.
Throughout the book, tips for learning were shared that applied to each learning style. The girls shared how preparing, being an active listener, and watching for voice quality and speaker cues reminded them of their group speech class last year. Historical and modern examples are provided for us to use as illustrations of the ideas shared in the lessons.
I've been working with my nine year old son on memorizing multiplication facts, and he implemented their memorization strategy of stating the facts out loud. As mentioned in the study environment chapter, he definitely does better work in a setting free of distractions. Affirmation is another effective technique for him that I have to often remind myself to use. More teacher involvement is required if you plan to use the system with younger students.
The final tip shared is to aim for perfection.