SOAR Study Skills: A Simple and Efficient System for Earning Better Grades in Less Time Perfect Paperback – Sep 20 2006
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This (book) is very easy to understand. It is laid out neatly, with great graphics, and the strategies have helped me out a lot! Thank you for everything! --Adrienne Gurski, college freshman
I learned how to plan my time and not just do thing when I feel like it. I am also keeping myself organized so I m not racking my brain to study one day before a test. --Christopher Nadia, 8th grade student
He never planned ahead and it drove me crazy! But, you were right...he did not know how to plan ahead. Your tips for teaching him, or should I say showing him, how to plan ahead have helped tremendously. I m not mad at him all of the time anymore...it is a big relief!
About the Author
While Susan has extensive professional experience and training, she will tell you that her greatest asset as a teacher and study skills coach is that she has been a student for a VERY LONG time. Growing up, Susan was always the youngest member of her class and struggled in school. She was frequently frustrated with her grades that, after spending a lot of time preparing for tests or projects, never seemed to reflect her effort. She often felt frustrated and unmotivated.
Susan is living proof that it is possible to get better grades in less time! During her first semester of college, Susan learned several study strategies that taught her how to study smarter -not harder- enabling her to earn a 3.9 GPA that first semester. Susan was amazed to discover that these great grades were actually easier to earn than her mediocre grades from high school!
Susan has now spent the last 15 years teaching hundreds of students how to achieve success in school while also creating time for fun!
Susan now has programs and resources for families across the country and around the world. Her books, classes, audio programs, and teacher resources provide easy and realistic solutions to the most common study problems that students and their families. She helps students discover how to develop confidence and be successful in school, helps families tackle homework together peacefully, and enables teachers to provide tangible and successful strategies for their students.
Susan is a Certified Teacher with a Master's Degree as a Reading/Learning Specialist. When she is not working, Susan enjoys the company of her son, daughter, husband (a fellow educator), and her large extended family.
Inside This Book(Learn More)
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The book basically presents a system for organizing and doing better. SOAR stands for Set goals, Organize, Ask questions, and Record your progress. It takes you and the child through prioritizing, setting personal and academic goals, organizing your school gear and your study space, study skills, including how to maximize textbook reading, paper writing, interacting with teachers, taking notes, and taking tests, and tracking progress. And while it might sound daunting, it's done so that it's fun and motivating, shockingly.
My son was kind of the classic, work on homework for 2 hours then forget to turn it in the next day, or cram everything into the bookbag and it gets lost and crumpled in the bottom kid. The binder system prescribed in this book nips that in the bud. His classroom has a general system that uses a bunch of folders for different things (the teacher doesn't take the folders up or anything, so we didn't have to buck the system to opt otherwise). This doesn't really work well for my son, as he will forget to bring home one folder or another. Well, the system prescibed by this book involves one binder with pockets on the inside covers, to which you add very thin double pocketed folders (available at any Staples or similar store), one for each subject, looseleaf paper for notetaking, and grade tracking sheets in the book that can be copied and put into the binder behind each folder. It also recommends use of a weekly planner, though not just any planner will do; it gives explanation for best kind to use and how to use it. It also gives you sample planner sheets which you can use for reference or, if you want, copy and use in the binder. The basic point is that no matter what document he produces or gets at school, there is a place for it in that binder.
So my son and I read through the book together. We both excitedly went out and got the binder materials that day and put that system to work immediately. So now my son knows that any paper he gets at school or has to turn in will go in that binder. There's one pocket for anything that needs action at home, from homework to things to be signed. There's a folder for each subject, and one pocket in it is for work to turn in, the other is for handouts and study aids. There's the loose leaf paper for taking notes on any subject, after which he puts those notes behind the appropriate folder (the folders are tabbed and double as dividers), and whenever he gets a test back, he logs it on the grade tracking sheet so that we always know where he stands in that class. Pocket on inside back binder cover is for miscellaneous things, like his monthly cafeteria menu. We also got the prescibed file crate and files so that he can empty the subject folders into the corresponding subject files once he is tested on a topic. All his old papers stay in the file crate at least until the grading period ends, so that in case his teacher makes a mistake, we have all of the old tests and quizzes to reference.
My son felt instantly better about his prospects; now he is firmly in control. My son is one who likes rules anyway, so having a place for everything and everything in its place makes him feel jazzed.
So, that's just the binder system. The tips on using textbooks, interacting with teachers, writing papers, and taking tests were similarly awesome. My son had a paper due Friday. He excels in writing, so I didn't think the tips here would be that useful. However, they were. They helped him to write a paper that was quite focused, had a lot of good support, and was well-organized. His papers usually are, but he produced this one in MUCH less time than usual.
My son was apprehensive about an upcoming test in one of the topics he'd been doing poorly in, so I went with him through the textbook review procedure outlined in the book. We did it together in just the day before the test, which was when the SOAR book came in the mail, and when I asked him later how the test went, he happily said that this study procedure really works, because there were no surprises on this test. He predicted an A or B+, minimum. So literally in just a day, he went from dreading the test to excitedly looking forward to excelling on future ones in this subject. What more can you ask for? We both predicted that this class is going to become one of his best, because in truth, it has a great textbook that really works with the program, he just wasn't using it to his advantage.
Bottom line: Get the book; you won't be sorry. We've only had it for under a week, and it has already proven its worth 10 times over.
(R)ecord Your Progress
The S.O.A.R.® Study Skills soft cover book is beautifully designed, easy to use and filled with illustrations and photographs. There are separate introductions for parents, students, educators and students with ADD/ADHD. Family involvement is very much part of the S.O.A.R.® Study Skills program and the author invites parents to read the book with their children.
Readers will learn about task-management, organizing at home & school, prioritizing, goal-setting, note-taking strategies, paper organization, test-taking strategies, homework/project planning, communication & effective skills, reading skills and writing strategies.
The goal of the book is to help students of all ages get better grades in less time. The amount of homework assigned to students is overwhelming but this book can help reduce the time and frustration involved. Unlike other study skills systems I have researched the techniques in this book are meant to be simple and easily implemented.
I was impressed with the quizzes, charts and forms to record goals and accomplishments. These features make the book truly interactive and involve the reader in not only learning but exploring their own learning styles while developing a set of goals for eliminating homework hassles and improving grades.
There is much focus in this book on helping students both at home and at school and I really enjoyed the chapter on interacting with teachers. Students are encouraged to ask questions of their teachers and there is even a clever graphic included in this chapter that shows readers the best place to sit in a classroom!
This is a book that needs to be given to every student of any age and it needs to be a tool that every teacher uses in the classroom. I found the book to be fun and easy to read and I learned organizational skills that I can use in my office today.