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Content by Jane James
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Reviews Written by
Jane James "homeschoolmum" (California)

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52 Great Cheap Dates
52 Great Cheap Dates
by Susan Synarski
Edition: Cards
Price: CDN$ 10.95
19 used & new from CDN$ 0.81

4.0 out of 5 stars Very cute!, Jan. 11 2002
This review is from: 52 Great Cheap Dates (Cards)
This is a really cute idea. There are 52 cards, and each one has a great idea for a cheap date. Most of them are fun & creative, and also inexpensive. A couple are a bit unrealistic (take $10 each and get on the Amtrak - take it as far as you can go, roundtrip, for $10 each... I don't know WHERE Amtrak would take anyone for $5 each way!)
And some are just too vague, but most of them are good ideas.
Here are a few:
visit a petting zoo
find a deserted field at night, lay out on some blankets and watch the stars -- then tell spooky stories till you're both so scared you have to find civilization.
dress up and go to a cheap diner for dinner
Most of them are things one would NEVER think of doing on a date, and that's the real charm of these little cards.
The cards are printed on very heavy cardstock and they're nicely illustrated.

What Your Third Grader Needs to Know: Fundamentals of a Good Third-Grade Education
What Your Third Grader Needs to Know: Fundamentals of a Good Third-Grade Education
by E.D. Hirsch Jr.
Edition: Paperback
47 used & new from CDN$ 2.18

4.0 out of 5 stars Just as good as the other books in the series, Jan. 6 2002
Parental spelling errors aside, this series is a very good foundation for a thorough education.
Each book in the series covers the basic subjects (language arts, math, science, geography, world civilization, American civilization and fine arts.) It is not intended to be a child's only source of materials, but rather a guideline for what should be covered each year.
I would not imagine that a child would sit down with the book and read through it; that is not actually the intention of the editor. Rather, it covers the basic subjects and give further resources where the parent or teacher can find more information on the subjects.
As any reviewer of this book should have read, in the Introduction, the editor writes, "The books in this series are designed to be useful tools for parents and teachers, both at home and in school. They are called 'resources' to signal that they do not replace the regular local school curriculum, but rather serve as aids to help children gain some of the important knowledge they will need to make progress in school and be effective in society."
For my children, we use checksheets that cover the material in the books, but use corresponding reference matter that we already have. For the younger kids (grades K - 2), I would not recommend sitting them down with the book at all... but rather, sitting down with them - reading it with the child - making it interesting. Looking for more data via the internet, or World Book, or atlases.
The idea behind the series is that if each school district, private school and homeschool uses a different format each year, children who move around will be at a severe disadvantage. A child going from a homeschool environment to a public school, for instance, may spend two years studying the same material, and may miss some other vital component to his education completely. The Core Knowledge series, used as it is in private and public schools alike, eliminates this problem.
Someone with a 3rd grader in a private school that uses the Core Knowledge guidelines will know their child is "on track" with the public school's 3rd graders, if they use the same system. Then, if that privately educated 3rd grader transfers to the public school in 4th grade, he is not at a great disadvantage.
Since we create our own curriculum, this is a very nice reference to have. I make sure everything in these books are covered in my children's homeschooling. That doesn't mean it's all we do! But we do cover this material.
The 3rd grade book covers extensively the Roman Empire, including Roman mythology, the Roman invasions of North Africa, and the rise of Islam. American history stretches from the first Americans through European settlements in America and culminates in the signing of the Declaration of Independence.
The math section is strictly to be used as a guideline for what the typical 3rd grader should be learning in math. Explanations for various math concepts are given, but exercises must come from another source.
Science briefly covers the food chain, environmental pollution, animals that live in colonies, the human nervous system, electricity, chemistry, astronomy and famous scientists. Again, this information is not intended to be the sole source of educational materials for your child, but rather an overview of the subjects that should be covered in 3rd grade.
Language Arts contains excerpts from a few classics "Arabian Nights" and "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland", among others, some poetry, grammar, sayings and phrases and Norse mythology.
I highly recommend these books to homeschoolers, teachers and all parents who want to ensure their child is receiving a comprehensive education... I have been using them for years now, and my children are doing very well...

What Your Fourth Grader Needs to Know: Fundamentals of a Good Fourth-Grade Education
What Your Fourth Grader Needs to Know: Fundamentals of a Good Fourth-Grade Education
by E.D. Hirsch Jr.
Edition: Paperback
40 used & new from CDN$ 3.60

4.0 out of 5 stars A good overview of what your child should be learning., Jan. 6 2002
This and the other books in this series, are such a great idea.
They give a basic structure to what your child should be learning about each year, which is particularly important if your child is likely to change school districts, or go from private to public school, or from homeschooling into a school setting. Because so many schools use the Core Knowledge guidelines, your child won't have big gaps in her education, if she has been taught a curriculum based on these guidelines.
Each book in the series cover all the basic subjects: math, science, history, geography, language arts, art and music. The sections are broken down into small pieces, and one part can be taken up each day pretty easily.
Additional references are included for every subject, so your child can more fully explore the areas that interest him.
The language arts section includees excerpts from some great adventure classics, like "Treasure Island" and "Robinson Crusoe." It also covers poetry, grammar, and common sayings and phrases. The grammar is not in itself adequate, and I would recommend that homeschoolers use additional materials for grammar.
World Civilization covers the Middle Ages. European history is extensive, but this also includes a very nice look at Asia during this period of time. This is much more extensive than what I was taught of the Middle Ages during my entire elementary education. The geography section corresponds with this study, but also looks at all parts of the world.
American Civilization pretty much covers the period from the signing of the Constitution through the 1840's (Manifest Destiny and the Mexican War). Again, if your child has studied the previous books in the series, this will fit in nicely - the 3rd grade book covers the colonies through the signing of the Declaration of Independence. There are lots of pictures and other resources you can use to augment this study.
The fine arts section covers music (hard to do with a book, but notes & reading sheet music is in there) and visual art, which largely discusses architecture during the Middle Ages.
A very comprehensive overview of math is given. This is not to be used as the sole source of math work, but a basic overview of what your child should be learning during 4th grade.
The science section covers paleontology, the cardiovascular system, rocks & the composition of the earth, weather and electricity. The best part about the science section, is that you can find out what really interests your child, and there are additional resources recommended for the various studies... ...

Team Work: How to Help Your Husband Make More Money So You Can Be a Stay-At-Home Mom
Team Work: How to Help Your Husband Make More Money So You Can Be a Stay-At-Home Mom
by Joanne Watson
Edition: Paperback
8 used & new from CDN$ 16.66

5.0 out of 5 stars I've used some of these techniques, and they really do work!, Nov. 13 2001
This book is very well written, easy to read, and full of practical advice on how to increase one's income.
I have used a number of these techniques, and they really do work; my husband's income increased 5x as a result of these actions. I was a stay-at-home-mom before, but it is certainly easier with more money.
I highly recommend this book.

Self Analysis: A Simple Self-Help Volume of Tests and Techniques Based on the Discoveries Contained in Dianetics
Self Analysis: A Simple Self-Help Volume of Tests and Techniques Based on the Discoveries Contained in Dianetics
by L. Ron Hubbard
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
28 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars Worth recommending..., Nov. 9 2001
This is one book I've recommended to many people, particularly those who are suffering from loss of some sort.
These techniques can be used on oneself, and the book gives a basic, simple explanation for how and why the process works as it does. Anyone who feels a bit "run down" by life, or who has suffered losses, can be assisted by this method.
I wish I had known this technique when I was a rape crisis counselor - it would have helped many women I knew enormously!
The purpose of these processes are to pull a person back into the here and now. After the death of a loved one, failed relationships, serious injuries, etc., one can become "stuck in the incident" - and have a gloomy outlook thereafter. These processes gently bring a person's attention back under their own control - and out of the past incidents that have been haunting them.
One can use these processes on himself, or on another. They are even good to use on children, and not necessarily just for people who have experienced trauma. They can improve a person's memory, and just brighten one's outlook in general.
Even my 9 year old daughter is able to use these processes on her younger siblings and her friends. My kids consider Self Analysis to be "fun" and it is!
You can just try it out and see how you like it. I think it's great!

What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About(TM): Fibromyalgia: The Revolutionary Treatment That Can Reverse the Disease
What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About(TM): Fibromyalgia: The Revolutionary Treatment That Can Reverse the Disease
by R. Paul St. Amand
Edition: Paperback
45 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars Finally! Some answers, real explanations, and a cure!, Nov. 2 2001
As a fibromyalgia sufferer for many years, I was first unaware of what was wrong with me - then, upon proper diagnosis, I was disheartened. No one seemed to understand the causes or cure for this illness, and from everything I read, it was clear to me that I was only going to get worse.
This book explains how fibromyalgia occurs - what the cells are actually doing, and why it results in such a myriad of symptoms and so much pain. Why one month I would feel fine, and then suddenly WHAM! I was unable to so much as walk to the park with my kids.
The treatment is simple, although it's not a quick-fix. It IS a fix, however, and that gives me a great amount of hope. There are many people who have been on this treatment for years, who have had marvelous results and who say they finally have their lives back.
I have just begun the treatment, and I am noticing a difference. This book is a must-read for anyone with fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, myofascial pain syndrome, irritable bowel or bladder suyndrome, chronic candidiasis, insomnia, hypoglycemia, muscular pain. These may all be related to fibromyalgia, whether you feel muscular pain or not. (A doctor can properly diagnose you.)
The book is easy to read, with great diagrams to assist in one's understanding of the technical concepts. It is written with compassion and humor.
My understanding of my illness has increased enormously as a result of this book.

Pride and Prejudice (The Special Edition)
Pride and Prejudice (The Special Edition)
DVD ~ Colin Firth
Offered by TUNESUS
Price: CDN$ 39.14
29 used & new from CDN$ 1.30

5.0 out of 5 stars I watched the series a number of times -- Wonderful!, Nov. 2 2001
It is because of this series that I read Jane Austen to begin with - and Pride and Prejudice is just such a wonderful story!
I found this adaptation to be completely faithful to the novel. Great acting, very funny and enlightening. I would not have expected that a novel like this could be faithfully portrayed on film, but they did a wonderful job.
I especially liked Mrs. Bennet in this film, but really, all the actors were superb.
The costumes and scenery were lovely, the dialogue witty, the story romantic. This is indeed a great "chick-flick" - I watched it with my 7 year old daughter, and the romantic-hearted girl is now a die-hard Austen fan as well.
Very well done! Highly recommended to all romantically-inclined individuals.

Everything You Need to Know About Science Homework
Everything You Need to Know About Science Homework
by Anne Zeman
Edition: Paperback
57 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars Packed full of great info!, Nov. 2 2001
This book, like the others in the series, is full of bright pictures, diagrams and charts.
The chapters are:
What's Life All About? (with an easy to understand description of the various plant and animal kingdoms)
The Animal Kingdom
The Plant Kingdom
Ecology and the Landscapes of Life
Planet Earth
Outer Space
The Physical World
The basic concepts are simply explained, with helpful graphics, so it is very easy to understand.
From the history of plants on earth to the effects of erosion on the earth and oceans, to the table of elements and the laws of motion, every concept is easy to grasp.
This is a wonderful book, and my kids really enjoy it.
Highly recommended for children from 2nd through 8th grade. (Although the book says 4 - 6 grades.)

The Golden Egg Book
The Golden Egg Book
by Golden Books
Edition: Hardcover
23 used & new from CDN$ 4.21

5.0 out of 5 stars Sweet, sweet story!, Oct. 24 2001
This review is from: The Golden Egg Book (Hardcover)
This is a cute little story about a sleepy little bunny who needs a friend, and the chick that finds him.
This would be a great springtime gift for a younger child. The illustrations are very nice and it is written in language that the youngest children can understand.
I recommend it for children ages 2 - 5.

Everything You Need To Know About English Homework
Everything You Need To Know About English Homework
by Anne Zeman
Edition: Paperback
44 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars Every household needs this book!, Oct. 24 2001
This is a very concise, yet thorough look at our language. It starts with the history of languages, the percentage of the world population that speak the most common languages, a diagram of Indo-European languages and which one evolved from what. It defines terms like "semantics", "phonetics", "phonemics", "phonics", "morphemics", etc. It gives nine different alphabets, including sign language, smoke signals and morse code. It gives examples of Hebrew and Japanese. There are some very informative drawings of the mouth, and how sounds are made.
And that's just the first 15 pages.
If you want to know what the "CAT" in CAT scan stands for, or why we write "please R.S.V.P." on party invitations, you can find the answers here.
This book is very nicely laid out, easy to read and aesthetic, with nice pictures and lots of color. There is just tons of information in this book, but it's not weighty or difficult to understand. Unlike a typical textbook, one piece can be understood at a time - one doesn't need to start from the beginning and read all the way through it.
I knew this book would be useful for my kids, but when I read the page that completely - and simply - defined "past perfect tense", "present perfect tense" and "future perfect tense", I was sold. I immediately called my friend who is the head teacher at a K-12 school, and told her she needed to get this book! (Turns out she already has it, and uses it all the time with her students.)
I can't say enough good things about this book!

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