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77 of 80 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simple and Effective
I got this because my 10 year old son had a couple of grades drop this quarter, and in talking to him, it was not because he found the topics difficult, but rather because he was not studying adequately, and was not studying adequately in part because these two courses are heavily reliant on handouts rather than textbooks, and he was losing all of his handouts! He's in a...
Published on March 13, 2010 by S. White

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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars complicated
This book is so technical I could not focus on it. I was hoping for something more basic to help kids with. It's clearly a complex program you need to study in depth
Published 20 days ago by Mermaidshopper


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77 of 80 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simple and Effective, March 13, 2010
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This review is from: SOAR Study Skills (Perfect Paperback)
I got this because my 10 year old son had a couple of grades drop this quarter, and in talking to him, it was not because he found the topics difficult, but rather because he was not studying adequately, and was not studying adequately in part because these two courses are heavily reliant on handouts rather than textbooks, and he was losing all of his handouts! He's in a gifted program in which the materials are often handouts to supplement, so this problem was only going to increase. I bought this as well as two other books (I tend to over-research/bombard problems; the lawyer in me). While it's early yet, I probably could have done with just this book. I think it's worth its weight in gold.

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.
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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book for kids struggling with organization, July 28, 2008
This review is from: SOAR Study Skills (Perfect Paperback)
My eleven year old daughter has Aspergers and struggles with organization skills. She is very intelligent (she usually makes honor roll and was double promoted), but she was getting points off for turning in papers late because she wasn't organized. After her diagnosis the school now has a 504 plan for her and using the binder system in this book is part of that plan. My oldest daughter (who does not have Asperger's) already uses the binder system with great success. Now my youngest daughter who is one of those born organized people also wants to use it. Besides the binder system there is also lots of great tips for organizing your time. It discusses different intelligences which may help you to understand your children and/or yourself better. I really enjoyed this book. It is well written and easy to understand. They also have a great website with a free study kit you can download.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Organization Book, July 29, 2008
By 
gman91 (Dearborn Heights, MI USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: SOAR Study Skills (Perfect Paperback)
Although my son is an excellent student, he always had a problem with getting organized and keeping on top of things. I had him read the book and follow Susan's instructions. Over the last year, he never misses an assignment and no more late night catching up on things he forgot to do. I highly recommend this book.
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27 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Study Skills Book, August 7, 2008
This review is from: SOAR Study Skills (Perfect Paperback)
Susan Krugar is a Certified Teacher with a Master's Degree and is a Reading/Learning Specialist. She developed her own, unique study skills system that includes live and web based classes, educator training, this book and a CD set based on the acronym:

(S)oar
(O)rganize
(A)sk Questions
(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.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Resource, August 17, 2008
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This review is from: SOAR Study Skills (Perfect Paperback)
Soar Study Skills is an excellent resource for students, parents and teachers. It is kid friendly and very practical with clear narrative explanations and relevant worksheets. I highly recommend this book to students of all ages.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Smart, Easy, Fast, Effective and Immediately Rewarding, October 12, 2012
By 
K. Volz (Rolla, MO USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: SOAR Study Skills (Perfect Paperback)
I am no longer overwhelmed by my son's disorganization. I met the author at the Leelanau Hallowell ADHD Enrichment Camp. She's a smart, lovely person, but study skills weren't a priority at the time. Three months later my 5th grader was struggling in school, and I got out her book.

In the course of one weekend, we had him set up on the author's binder system and immediately stopped losing papers. My 11-year-old son came to me and thanked me for the binder system. Voluntarily. Unprompted. The 11-year-old boy is 100% sold on the system. The teachers commented on how much they liked the binder system, too.

Then I realized the boy did not understand how to gather and structure information in his textbooks. I went to the section on those skills and was thrilled with what I found. Then he got an assignment to write a paper, and I thought, "I DEFINITELY want to know what Susan's advice is going to be on that." And I was blown away by her approach.

I'm a crazy-busy parent like you, and I wasn't interested in taking on another full-time job to organize my son or plowing through 150 pages before I got results. I didn't have to. It has made my son's life easier (and mine) and given him tools -- in as-needed increments -- to get the results he's capable of. Buy these books two at a time, because you're going to want to share but you're not going to be willing to let go of your copy.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great suggestions, Easy to Follow, December 6, 2010
By 
Ms ABH (Pasadena, CA United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: SOAR Study Skills (Perfect Paperback)
Easy read with clear suggestions and advice. We've just adopted the binder system, and although I recognize it will take a few weeks for my 6th grade daughter to fully adopt writing EVERYTHING down in her planner, we're getting there. The author uses an excellent analogy for planning using rocks, pebbles, and sand, and for some reason, that really connected with my daughter and I'll overhear her comment that she has to make sure she puts the big rocks in her planner to make sure she has enough room for the pebbles and sand. VERY NEAT TO HEAR AN 11 YR OLD QUOTING PLANNING PRINCIPLES!

So far we've only applied the planner and binder principles, however there appear to be some great suggestions on organizing in general that we hope to apply soon.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great for children with ADHD, April 30, 2013
By 
NCMom (Raleigh, NC USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: SOAR Study Skills (Perfect Paperback)
Organizational and study skills are difficult for many children and those with ADHD even more. That's where this book is gold in my opinion. Our 11yo daughter was having a very hard time in 6th grade until we let her read this with us and used the suggestions from the author. Great resource and we hope for many years to come as well!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Should be called "Everything you wish your teachers really taught you.", February 18, 2013
By 
Paige NeJame (Mt. Kisco, NY USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: SOAR Study Skills (Perfect Paperback)
Got this for my HS son and read it myself. Very easy to get through with graphics and amusing humor that shows that the author really "gets" kids. Loved the part about "reading the pictures" in a text book - so many tricks and tips that I wish I had known growing up.

A very "street smart" guide to school!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Suggestions, July 28, 2013
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This review is from: SOAR Study Skills (Perfect Paperback)
If you have found this book and are thinking about purchasing, you may have a child like mine. If so, I am writing this review to you - other parents go elsewhere! lol - I think this book is going to save my son's life. He sits for HOURS to do five minutes, and I do mean five minutes worth of homework. It makes me BAT CRAP crazy!! Like Home Simpson choking Bart crazy. This is part II of what is going to save his life this year at school. There is really great advice in each chapter. And here is where it gets hard for you parents - YOU HAVE TO READ, highlight, take notes and THINK about how you are going to CONSISTENTLY apply what SOAR is telling you. I set time aside to go through one chapter at a time - perfectly easy and do-able. I read through the book twice. And now I am going to have my son read through the relevant parts that I think will help him. (He's ten going into 5th grade - already at a disadvantage because of his VERY young age - I know, I know.)

Part I that will save your child's life is to pick up John Rosemand's book on Homework - you can find it here - "Ending the Homework Hassle" or something close to that. BAM! This book will give you the swift and sturdy kick in YOU THE PARENT'S butt. Couple it with the suggestions in the SOAR book and life will beging to come together for your family. John Rosemand will give you the courage to let your kid fail BIG and the SOAR book will give you the tools to teach your child how to remedy his (or her) big failure at school.

If you have one of these kids and have found additional helpful resources - please leave a comment - I am always on the lookout for improvement.

Cheers!
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SOAR Study Skills
SOAR Study Skills by Susan Kruger (Perfect Paperback - September 20, 2007)
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