If your family is anything like mine, you’ve had moments where you’ve realized your kiddos need some extra support in school. Today, I’m talking about one of the resources I recently discovered, SOAR Study Skills.
Have you heard of SOAR Study Skills before, wondered whether it’s worthwhile and works as promised?
What is the SOAR Study Skills program?
SOAR Study Skills is a study skills curriculum put together by wife and husband duo, Susan Kruger and Brian Willer. They are both educators. Susan was a struggling student herself and as a family, they raised two children with learning disabilities. So I was immediately intrigued because it struck me that the co-founders have definitely walked a mile, maybe even two or three, in our shoes.
SOAR is an acronym that outlines the basics of the curriculum. It stands for
- S – set goals
- O – organize
- A – ask questions
- R – record your progress
Often when kids are struggling in school, there’s a weak link in one or more essential study skill that if addressed can improve their performance in school and their overall self-confidence. But most schools don’t teach study skills in the classroom. Some schools do teach a study skill curriculum, some kids can pick up on them and make it through but if your kids are showing any signs of struggling, it could be time to take a look at their study skills and get some help.
For parents at home use, SOAR offers two products to help.
- The SOAR study skill workbook which is 160 pages and has 16 chapters focuses on organization techniques.
- The SOAR learning and soft skill app covers the same material with online practice and exercises
What are the Signs Your Kids Need Help?
It takes a long to complete homework. It can seem to us that it’s taking a long time to finish homework. Talk to your kid’s teacher to verify your suspicion. If your kids are consistently spending more time than the teacher estimates that it should be taking, it’s worth investigating.
Assignments are missing. If you notice that assignments are not being turned in, it could be a red flag. One or two missing assignments might not be alarming but if it is persistent problem, don’t delay in investigating the underlying cause.
You notice an attitude change and/or slipping grades. It’s so tough because kids at this age could have a number of reasons behind these kinds of changes. It could be social (something going on with friends or other kids), physical (something going on hormonally or lack of sleep), or because they need help with study skills. When study skills are a problem, kids like school less and their confidence in themselves drops because they may be trying hard and not seeing the results they want to see and feel like giving up.
The Claim: Learn essential skills and Improve Grades
The skills: The study skills SOAR curriculum teaches students to master the following critical study skills.
- Identify their strength & learning style
- Set goals
- Establish priorities
- Manage time
- Organize papers, desks, lockers, & other space
- Speak & listen effectively
- Work with teachers & peers
- Read and understand textbooks
- Take notes
- Study for tests
- Write research papers
- Prepare for presentations
- Track long-term goals
- Half point grade point average increase
- 20% increase in confidence
- 30% decrease in missed assignments.
SOAR has a money back guarantee for both products.
Who is SOAR for?
Study skills become critical once kids hit sixth grade and they use these skills through college. The SOAR Study Skill system can be introduced as early as 5th grade to get started but is really designed for 6th grade and up. Because study skills are an essential skill and if it isn’t taught in school, I think it’s safe to say the program is for all students regardless whether they are showing signs of struggling or not.
SOAR Study Skill Book is $29.99. The SOAR Study Skill App is $119.99. If both are purchased together, the price is $129.99.
Do I Recommend SOAR Study Skills?
My bottom line quick answer: Yes, I recommend SOAR Study Skills
For those that would like a more detailed response, let me tell you what I like and what I don’t like and ultimately why I do recommend this system.
- I like that this system was created by a mom and by someone who has learning difficulties.
- I appreciate that this system is taught in some schools with success.
- The curriculum is built around best practices according to scientific studies while keeping the user-friendly for students.
- I also like that the material has been adapted to Common Core standards.
- If you’re like me you are a little wowed that the curriculum applies to students from 6th grade through college while also applying for students with ADHD. The reason it can do this is that it’s scalable and skills are caught on a continuum. You are given everything you need to know which lessons are age and skill appropriate for your child.
- Money Back Guarantee
Now for the things that I’m not quite so excited about,
- The license for the application is for one user so if you have more than one child, you need to buy it twice.
- The money back guarantee is not straightforward, in order to qualify you have to complete an agreement and fill out a survey.
- I wish the application and delivery was a little more high tech. The application and website do not appear to be as technologically advanced as our kiddos at these ages are. I worry that will cause them to feel less engaged with the material.
Despite these drawbacks, I recommend SOAR study skills because
- I believe study skills are essential and have not found a comprehensive curriculum anywhere else.
- The program really drills down the habits and introduces routines that lead to success.
- The cost of going through the program is less than what a family can pay for private tutors or other tutoring services at physical locations like Sylvan Learning Center whose focus in my experience is subject based but they do not cover the underlying study skills needed for success.
This program is not offered at my kid’s school, and with my kids, I honestly do not want to do battle over homework. Sometimes butting heads with your kids over homework does more damage than good but that never means just let them do what they want to do. For my family, it means we need a system that allows me to offer support but not hands-on help as I do not have the patience and we make each other crazy. I like the curriculum to do the heavy lifting for me and then I can just check in on their progress and ask them about what they’ve learned and show interest and give them positive reinforcement.
The website offers additional support to parents and students. You can sign up to receive bonus material and Dr. Kruger offers suggestions on other resources that you can use for yourself and your kids to take the stress out of homework and studying and help your kids feel confident and have success in school.
For example, get a free copy of “Six Steps to Conquer the Chaos, How to Organize & Motivate Students for Success” by clicking on the title.
Get your copies of the workbook, app, or the combination by clicking the images below.
Tell me in the comments, how’s study time going in your family? Do your kids learn study skills in school? How do you teach them in your household? What’s worked well for you? What areas do you wish you had a manual for?