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QuickStudy Laminated Reference Guides Review by Patty Rebne

BarCharts, Inc.
6000 Park of Commerce Blvd., Suite D
Boca Raton, FL 33487

Most people have probably seen one or two of the QuickStudy Reference Guides somewhere along the journey of life. The Guides cover subjects of interest to students, families, and those employed in various professions, condensing both content and font to create a notebook-sized, three-hole punched, laminated reference item.

The company produces its product catalog in the same format. Some of the guides are available in Spanish, some in a poster, or some on a "4x6" reference card format. Prices range from $4.00 to $6.00 US. The catalog categorizes the product offering thusly: Medical/Health; Science; Engineering; Math; Home Tips; Law; English/Literature; Language; History; Business; Social Science; and Computer.

Within each category are a number of offerings, some of which are predictable, but there are some surprises. For example, these are some of the offerings in the Medical/Health category: The Circulatory System; Anatomy; Nutrition; Pregnancy; Wound Care; and Yoga for Everybody. Social Science includes Anthropology; Philosophy; Logic; Old Testament; and Introduction to Music.

Over the past five years, I have purchased a few QuickStudy Guides: First Aid (which I posted inside our kitchen cabinets, bathroom cabinets and in the shop area); Latin Roots, Greek Roots, and The Skeleton.

For this review, the company sent these titles: American History I and II; America-The 50 States; US Presidents; and US Government. These were all relevant for me in the coming school year. The QuickStudy Guides are very satisfying if they are used for their intended purpose. These are exactly what they say they are - quick and guides. The material is distilled so you get top-level information easily and quickly. For example, the "50 States" guide shows the flag of each state, and then lists its name, origin of name, nickname, capital, date entered the Union, size, song, motto, gem, mineral, animal, insect, beverage and/or fish.

Would this be adequate for the study of your state's history? No, but it is not intended for that purpose. It is intended to provide a brief snapshot of each of the states, and it does that well. So do the other guides. The Latin Roots guide is not a substitute for a Latin course; however, it is a wonderful list of roots, prefixes and suffixes that gives students a good amount of information in an accessible format. A student with a little initiative and good study habits could use this $5.00 guide in place of a much more expensive workbook, and it is likely that the student can actually find the Guide because it is easily stored in a notebook.

Certain subjects lend themselves better than others to this format. "50 States" is a good fit for the format; American History less so. This is not a product failure, however. It is outside the scope of the product to provide complete American history. The American History Guides are a wonderful source of "timeline entries", but they simply cannot provide the context for the entries listed.

If you understand the nature of the product, which is well stated in the product's name, QuickStudy Guides will be a satisfying purchase.

-- Product Review by: Patty Rebne, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, November, 2005