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review 2017-09-11 15:18
Another Book for History Class
Civil War Forts (Uhc) - Victor Brooks

This year we are studying the Civil War. We are looking at what led to the Civil War and the Battles. While I sat at the library waiting for my girls, I spied this book (and about 6 others) sitting near where I was and grabbed them up to see if they would be good for the lessons. 


I started the one yesterday and finished it this morning. It is a fast read and very good information on the Forts that were battled over and why they were battled over and how the fight for it took place. 


The front before the forts lists dates and the order that the battles took place. The first shot of the Civil War, by whom and where. First person to die in the Civil War and how that happened (an accident during a celebration). 


The author also talks about how the different generals and officers knew each other and their connections and their feelings about this war. 


On the whole, I really enjoyed this book and the information it contained. Definitely, recommend this book to others who homeschool or just want more information. This was found in the "Teen" Room at the library. 

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review 2017-09-06 19:49
Another for Double Dipping
An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge - Ambrose Bierce

I assigned this book to the girls for History and English. The book is a classic (and I read it in college) and it also looks at some of the things that happened during the Civil War. The farmer was caught trying to burn the bridge down after the Union had fixed it and posted signs that they would hang anyone caught trying to get rid of the bridges. 


He thinks of his family and there is a description of his hanging and how he came to be at the bridge and why he would undertake such a chance. 


The girls were not impressed, but they are younger and I think the discussion of the two books together may help them understand their importance in the classics and may see some of the things that happen in wars that would keep them from being romantic or idealized. 



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review 2017-09-06 01:57
Talk Like TED
Talk Like TED: The 9 Public Speaking Secrets of the World's Top Minds - Carmine Gallo



I don't do all that much public speaking, but I work in continuing medical education, so making better presentations and determining how people best learn are recurrent issues.  And Gallo is not kidding that medical presentations are often quite boring!  I think this book has useful tips for people who want to improve their ability to plan and deliver effective, memorable talks.  While listening/reading I did make a point of seeking out some of the TED Talks that Gallo discusses.


My favorite parts of the book had to do with techniques that optimize learning/memory.  Like how learning something new and exciting causes the brain to release dopamine, which, in turn, promotes memory.  Same type of process for hearing something highly emotional.  I was much less engaged when he focused on optimizing advertising, marketing, or business pitches.


Ironically, I felt Gallo's narration style was less than optimal.  He mentions that the optimal speaking rate for narrating an audiobook is considerably slower than what is optimal for conversation and, by extension, for a TED talk.  But his speaking rate was so... measured...  I... wish... he'd... found... something... in... between... the.. two... rates.

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review 2017-09-03 17:02
Why Did I Choose This for the Start?
The Red Badge of Courage - Stephen Crane

I decided that the girls were going to study Civil War for History and to double dip with Literature that covers the topic, too. This is an iconic classic of the Civil War. I remember reading it many years ago. I flew through it, too, not noting some of the things that I saw when I was reading this time. Age over youth caused me to slow down and read when I didn't have people trying to get my attention (you know, someone talking to you while you read). It took some time, I took notes and I know that when we start back on Tuesday, we will have an interesting discussion of the novel. 

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review 2017-08-28 22:10
Spelling and Rules
Express Review Guides: Spelling - LearningExpress

I found a new book that I am going to use this year for school. I found this book at the Midpointe Library in West Chester, OH and love this book. It breaks down different rules and explains them and gives all kinds of practice. My girls groaned when I assigned them a  lesson from the book. If you are homeschooling in the 7th thru 12 grades, check out the book. 

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