Helping Parents Do Well in School: Review

Sunday, August 16, 2009 Posted by Dina N

I did very well in school. My memory was pretty much photographic, and I could retain loads of mathematical formulas, geographical locations, historical dates, and chemical compounds. Now, quite a few years later, I come across an old notebook and wonder, did I really write this? I used to know all that? Obviously, I have conveniently forgotten a lot I learned at school to make space for other things. Now that I have a school-age child, I feel I need to brush up on these old subjects - or having to Google constantly facts and dates.

I came across a book by Caroline Taggart, aptly named I Used to Know That: Stuff You Forgot From School. This Reader's Digest edition is a fun cheat sheet that will remind you hundreds of facts you knew in school. The book covers a variety of subjects: English, literature, math, science, history, geography, and general studies. Here is a sampling of some of my faves:

- Did you know Shakespeare wrote 37 plays and 154 sonnets, in addition to a number of much longer poems?

- Did you know that all the mountains in the world that top 26,244 feet (8,000 m) are in the Himalayas? There are another 20 that are above 22,966 feet (7,000 m), all still in Asia. The next one is in South America, then another 19 - all in the Andes, before we even glance elsewhere.

- How many symphonies did Beethoven write? Nine. By the time he wrote the famous Song of Joy, part of his Ninth Symphony, he was already deaf and never heard it performed.

- Robert Frost, who wrote "Two roads diverged in a wood, and I - I took the one less traveled by", won the Pulitzer Prize three times.

- The periodic table of the elements was devised in 1889 by the Russian chemist Dmitri Mendeleev. He predicted that some elements had yet to be discovered.

I Used to Know That is an excellent refresher for parents as well as a good resource for students. You can find it on Amazon.

Reader's Digest have two other books that would complement perfectly I Used to Know That. The first one is co-authored by Taggart and J.A. Wines and will remind you how to speak and write it right. My Grammar and I... Or Should that Be Me?: How to Speak and Write It Right offers useful tips on how to avoid making grammatical errors. It covers spelling and confusables, parts of speech, sentence structure, punctuation, and elements of style. The second book, i Before e (Except After C) by Judy Parkinson reminds you the old-school ways to remember things at school.

Many thanks to FSB Associates for this review opportunity.


Related Posts with Thumbnails