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Everything posted by shawthorne44

  1. For Europe, you wouldn't go wrong reading nothing but Stephen Ambrose. Don't be fooled by the fact that his books were NYT best sellers. His books are both meaty and interesting. It has been awhile since I read one of his (He died about 10 years ago). But I remember the last one I read had perspectives on both sides. His son had contacts to get the perspective from the other side, and did the leg work. Small things like each side was jealous of the other's provisions. We had chocolate and Spam and they had dairy and wine. Soldiers so miserable in the trenches that they wanted to be taken prisoner, and when two groups on patrol would meet they would negotiate over which group got to be taken prisoner. Since they are bestsellers, they are probably all available on Unabridged CD or tapes.
  2. I have never seen an attractive one. When shown one, I will nod and use words like "interesting." They start out looking at best OK, and then the color goes away and the black gets blurry. Anyone remember the reality TV show of Ozzy Osbourne? Probably 10+ years ago. One or both of his kids got a tattoo. He was upset, I forget what his words were exactly but it was something like "when I got mine, they were cool. Now they are just passe." Not that I live my life according to Ozzy, but well, if my mother and Ozzy agree on something, it may be worth paying attention. I remember my husband telling me about a breakroom conversation at work. A female coworker said that since she got a small tattoo at the small of her back every guy she meets thinks she is a tramp. DH explained that guys think any small of the back tattoo is really "Insert here" and then a down arrow. The other guys in the room agreed as well as the one other woman (sheepishly). I berated him for having that type of conversation at work. But, you asked the question. I also don't put bumper stickers on my car.
  3. Why worry about age appropriate? I've watched a couple of documentaries on Underwater Archaeology. They weren't aimed at kids, but they were G-rated.
  4. I have read that doodling can improve focus. If it is something that doesn't require all available brain power, then the mind can wander. The doodling uses the excess brain power and keeps it from wandering. The toys probably do the same thing.
  5. By percentage of the schools budget, state funding is a lot lower. The percentage is what is usually reported. By real dollars, it is about the same. There is a lot of what I consider fluff in the budget. Amount meant on Admin salaries skyrocketed. I don't know the landscaping budget since I haven't seen that broken out, but it is posh. The school was and still is a very non-athletic university. It didn't even have a football team and students were glad. But, after I got my Masters they built a sports stadium for a gazillion dollars. OK, maybe not a gazillion. But, more appropriate for a major league professional team in a small city than a non-athletic University. When they call wanting money I laugh.
  6. When I went back to the same state college to finish my Masters, the tuition costs were 3x what they had been in real dollars. The only difference that I could see was the landscaping was really really pretty,.
  7. "Ancient Rome for 10 denarii a Day." Note, title is by memory. I really enjoyed that book. Obviously written as if it were a "travel guide".
  8. You can do living books for ancient history too. Livy is a very good read, although the Rape of Lucretia story might be for an older person. Although, there was nothing graphic. Herodotus is good too. Skip Babylon, though.
  9. I see nothing wrong with the scaled back versions. I think because of the nuances in the language, you need spoilers to grasp most of it. My favorite way to read Shakespeare for the first time is to get a BBC production at the library and an unabridged version meant for children, i.e 40% of the text is explanatory footnotes. Then read a little, watch a little, repeat.
  10. I have a suggestion. Declare a vacation for yourself. Announce to your family that you are sick and tired of being the only one that does X, Y and Z. Let it get messy. Really really messy. Where people can't find things. Any personal stuff left in communal areas gets dumped in one large pile somewhere like maybe in the hallway (i.e. not divided out by person).
  11. Clockwork Orange in High School????? That was assigned in College Freshman English. I didn't think I was old enough then. Still not old enough. I just remembered another one. There are three books I wish I could unread, and the original version Grimm's Fairy Tales is one. Particularly Cinderella. The movie would be NR because of the violence.
  12. Animal Farm and Ulysses come to mind. Death in Venice (there are many, but the classic German one where an old man spends the whole book lusting after a pre-pub. boy. I remember starting one as a kid that was supposed to be a classic. It was supposed to be a train of thought of a retarded kid. His little sister liked to pull down her panties for the neighbor man. I'd be careful though about banning them to keep these books from being too interesting. I remember reading a bio of an American Revolutionary Admiral. It mentioned that one group in Brussels(?) that published a list of censored books actually put their own list on their of censored books. Apparently, Society types were using it as a reading list.
  13. I thought the AP classes I took where harder than the corresponding college classes. I didn't study for the AP test and only took it because it was free. I got 3's which wasn't sufficient for my large state U.
  14. I looked at the link provided by a PP with the conditions where the parent's aren't needed for the FAFSA. One of them was, "As determined by a court in your state of legal residence, are you or were you an emancipated minor?" So, it looks like that would work Although a sham marriage sounds easier. I can just see it. A subgrouping on the same level as the ForSale and Wanted sections. For parents to match their kids up. My father flat refused to do anything regarding financial aid forms, so I spent a lot of college hungry.
  15. I wonder if that might be part of it. When it wasn't quite so easy to find used homeschooling materials, cost-conscious comsumers were likely to say "That is too expensive" and kept looking for something else. (And probably said so to the seller) Now, even the cost-conscious will consider just about any curriculum because they know the retail price isn't really what they will have to pay. So, at a convention for example, they might continue to look through the books and walk away after saying to the salesperson, "That looks interesting." Although, a few years ago I went back to finish my Engineering Masters. I was totally and completely shocked at the prices of textbooks, even used. It had been bad when I went to college 20-ish years ago. But, now it is just Highway Robbery.
  16. Some products I think are absolutely worth the price. I know one of the grumbles about the All About Reading/Spelling products is their price. But, I think it is worth every penny. Expensive e-books bug me, and I refuse to buy them. I remember grumbling about the steeply rising price of books - back in the 80's probably. Someone told me that it was the cost of paper. I knew that wood was a lot more expensive, so that made sense. So, for an e-book to be near the same price as a physical book? No way.
  17. I have the Nook Touch (e-ink) and I love it! My daughter is too young for them, but Overdrive seemed to have a pretty good selection of "Young Adult" books. Overdrive is what my library uses for ebooks. Although I think the library can tweak what ebooks are offered. I've read several myself just because they looked interesting. I love that I can make the text big. Much easier on the eyes, particularly since I read to fall asleep. I should pay more attention to the Free Book Of The Day offering.
  18. Have you looked into Mensa? They take just about every IQ test, and joining would be a matter of sending over the scores.
  19. I too suspect the independence thing, which was why I suggested the bookstore. It was this that made me think that: " Yet, if I hand him any book, he doesn't want to read it." In Elementary School, I was bored with school and I read some books that make adults groan with boredom. But, I picked them out, which made all the difference.
  20. Why don't you let him pick out his own books at the library or used book store? Give him a basket. Let him picks out books he wants to read. Then you par down the books because of budget and suitability.
  21. Try "Set". It is cards with patterns on them. You lay out several of them. And everyone at once tries to find three cards in which everything in the three are either the same or different. When you do, you grab those cards, and replace them from the pile. The game is fairly cheap because it is just large cards. Amazing at Pattern Rec. and thinking quickly. What is wild is that it is a thinking game in which children can regularly beat adults. The agility of their young minds is an advantage.
  22. One idea might be to pick a subject that your kids love and you would do anyway, but do that exclusively during the summer. It won't seem like "school", but it will free you up to maybe to 4 day weeks during the "school year".
  23. That is exactly what my elementary education was from when we moved in 3rd grade to 6th grade (late 70's early 80's). Including not being able to talk during lunch. Then I went to an excellent Junior High. Only thing that saved me was that I turned to reading. I probably read 4-5 hours per day while at school. I remember as an adult talking to a friend of mine that as a kid always got in trouble for reading during school. He said to me, "You didn't get in trouble?" I thought a minute and said, "They probably knew that the other option was me talking."
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