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Search tags: general-non-fiction-books
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review 2018-01-15 06:19
Rethinking School by Susan Wise Bauer
Rethinking School: How to Take Charge of Your Child's Education - Susan Wise Bauer

From the blurb"

 

"Our K–12 school system is an artificial product of market forces. It isn’t a good fit for all—or even most—students. It prioritizes a single way of understanding the world over all others, pushes children into a rigid set of grades with little regard for individual maturity, and slaps “disability” labels over differences in learning style.

Caught in this system, far too many young learners end up discouraged, disconnected, and unhappy. And when they struggle, school pressures parents, with overwhelming force, into “fixing” their children rather than questioning the system.

With boldness, experience, and humor, Susan Wise Bauer turns conventional wisdom on its head: When a serious problem arises at school, the fault is more likely to lie with the school, or the educational system itself, than with the child.

In five illuminating sections, Bauer teaches parents how to flex the K–12 system, rather than the child. She closely analyzes the traditional school structure, gives trenchant criticisms of its weaknesses, and offers a wealth of advice for parents of children whose difficulties may stem from struggling with learning differences, maturity differences, toxic classroom environments, and even from giftedness (not as much of a “gift” as you might think!).

As the author of the classic book on home-schooling, The Well-Trained Mind, Bauer knows how children learn and how schools work. Her advice here is comprehensive and anecdotal, including material drawn from experience with her own four children and more than twenty years of educational consulting and university teaching.

Rethinking School is a guide to one aspect of sane, humane parenting: negotiating the twelve-grade school system in a way that nurtures and protects your child’s mind, emotions, and spirit.
"

 

This book provides a well-written, interesting and informative assessment of the American school system, how children do not necessarily fit into this system, how parents can help their children better deal with the school system, or by "flexing" the existing system to better accommodate their children.  This book offers a great deal of practical advice in a situation where homeschooling is not an option and where the child does not fit into the school system.  I recommend this book to every parent that has a child still stuck in the current education system.

 

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review 2017-08-19 16:13
The Earth Moved by Amy Stewart
The Earth Moved: On the Remarkable Achievements of Earthworms - Amy Stewart

The Earth Moved is an overly chatty book that takes a superficial look at the uses of earthworms.  I felt the author spent too much page space regurgitating what Darwin had to say about earthworms and going on about her worm bin and her garden.  There wasn't nearly as much information about earthworms as I had hoped, just generally the stuff one learns in junior high-school biology class and the odd factoid, and no diagrams.  I did however find the chapters on land reclamation and sewage treatment informative.

 

 

 

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review 2017-05-24 07:14
Make Your Own Lunch by Ryan Porter
Make Your Own Lunch: How to Live an Epically Epic Life Through Work, Travel, Wonder, and (Maybe) College - Ryan Porter

This is one of those books you give to high school students or beginning college students.  The author provides motivational stories on making your own decisions about what you want to do with your life aka "make your own lunch".  The book is amusing and well written.  It's not a bad book, but I wonder how realistic some of the advice is.

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review 2017-05-19 18:34
The Secret Library by Oliver Tearle
The Secret Library - Oliver Tearle

The author states that the aim of this book is to "bring to light the lesser-know aspects of well-known books, and to show how obscure and little-known books have surprising links with the familiar world around us".  The book has generally managed to accomplish the stated aims.  This book is a collection of bits of information and commentary (with toilet humour attached) about the best-known and the least-known books ever written in English, European and American literature.  At first I found this book amusing and interesting, after a while it got rather tedious.

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review 2017-05-08 05:39
Dying Games by Steve Robinson
Dying Games (Jefferson Tayte Genealogical Mystery) - Steve Robinson

This is a well-written, fast paced mystery thriller involving genealogist Jefferson Tayte.  Dying Games makes use of the business of genealogical research in an novel concept that is different from the previous Jefferson Tayte mystery novels.  This book deals more with Jefferson Tayte personal history than that of his clients.  I found this book more enjoyable than the last one in the series, and different from the first 4, which I also enjoyed.

NOTE:  This is the sixth book in the Jefferson Tayte Genealogical Mystery series but can be read as a stand-alone novel.

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