Effective study skills are essential for academic excellence, but few students are taught an explicit system for developing study skills. Most flounder around, gradually developing their own methods that might be more or less effective. The Victus Study Skills System is about developing effective study skills and achieving academic goals, but it also helps students apply the same process to other areas of their life such as faith and finances. "Victus" is the Latin word for "way of life," and students are taught that planning in all areas of life is important.
The key idea is that students learn to operate by setting goals and making plans to achieve them. Using various questionnaires and charts, students begin by reflecting upon where they are in terms of their study skills. They consider their learning styles. They set goals (and prioritize them) with measurable objectives and action plans. This includes both long-term and immediate goals. As part of the process, students work on skills such as organization and time management, motivation and goal setting, effective study habits, taking notes, and test taking.
The publisher offers two options for the course: a teacher-led program or a student worktext for independent learning. The teacher-led course is designed for a teacher to lead two or more students through the course and will not work for independent study. Lessons are designed for class interaction, and lesson presentation would be very awkward with just one student. For the teacher-led course, there is a teacher edition as well as a student workbook which is required for each student. The course should take about five hours of instruction and can be taught in five one-hour sessions or broken down into shorter, more numerous segments.
The independent study course is contained in a single worktext titled Victus Study Skills System Student DIY Workbook. Unless home educated students participate in a teacher-led class, this is the version they should use. This book adapts the lesson presentation material that would have been taught by the teacher in the teacher-led version, so that students get the complete course through independent study.
In both versions, students apply what they have learned from each lesson immediately in some sort of activity in the student book. Sometimes, they will complete charts or activities in preparation for learning about a topic. For example, before setting goals, students write a personal “mission statement,” and they complete a chart that has them identify what they think are their priorities, estimate how much time is spent on each priority, then maintain a log for three days to see how accurate they are.
By the end of this course students should understand that they have the ability to greatly influence the direction of their own lives by setting and achieving meaningful goals, and they also should have developed some practical study skills for academic success.