Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Book Review: I Used to Know that

By Caroline Taggart

Published by Reader's Digest

March 2009;$14.95US; 978-0-7621-0995-1

Facts from School You Forgot to Remember

(information released by FSB Associates)

Take an entertaining trip back to the classroom with I Used to Know That. Witty, engaging, and fun, this little book will appeal to the student in each of us. A one-of-a-kind collection of hundreds of facts learned long ago, it includes:

  • Our Changing World: Test your knowledge of the latest geography.
  • Prose and Poetry: From Shakespeare to diphthongs, English class will come alive again here.
  • Math and Science: Quotients, phalanges, and protons . . . do these long-forgotten words take you back to high school days?
  • History: As Santayana once said so well: "Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it."

Author Bio
Caroline Taggart has been an editor of non-fiction books for nearly 30 years and has covered nearly every subject from natural history and business to gardening and astronomy. She has written several books and was the editor of Writer’s Market UK 2009.


This book came in for me to review at a perfect time! I'm preparing for the new school year for my three homeschooling daughters! Two of them are starting 9th grade and the other, 6th grade! I struggle at times with deciding what do they really need to know. The author, Caroline Taggart, said that while she was researching the book that she discovered that everybody had been to school and that they had forgotten different things. One person said that she couldn't remember what was "square root" and the author said that she wasn't even sure why she now wanted to know this fact again.

Topics covered in the book

1- English: Learning how to master your language. It covers parts of speech, phrases and clauses, synonyms and antonyms, diphthongs (remember those?), figures of speech and prosody! I wasn't surprised by anything listed in this chapter. How often do you think noun, direct object, adjective,etc before you speak or write?

2-Literature: She gives a run down on the "classics" of literature by Author and their work. I loved this chapter! It gave me a lot of ideas for my high school girls this school year! Time to dust off the classics, many of which I had forgotten, and go exploring in the world of classic literature! Did you remember that Jane Austen only completed 6 novels? Can you name them?

3-Math: Arithmetic (do you really ever hear that term anymore?) which is all about sums- adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing and their vocabulary words! The use math is in our every day life. What is important to teach children today? Do they need to know Algebra and Equations? How about Trig and The Pythagorean Theorem? I feel that this is the year for my high school students to really take some time and think about what they want to do for future employment. This math chapter covers some very important concepts. Silly mom and wife of 16 years that I am, I think of blueberry and cherry when I hear the word pie not pi as in the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter! The only reason I've needed to know pi as an adult is to teach it to my children.

4- Science: The author made a very important point at the beginning of this chapter! Every school teaches and covers topics differently. So as a teacher of three what am I suppose to teach them? She covers biology, chemistry and physics! My approach thus far for science is to teach based on their interest. The high school students will have a very structured science this year. Why? Will they really need to know about all those elements and their atomic numbers? How much of what we learn in science do we really need to know?

5- History: We learn history to understand where we have been, why we are headed in this direction and how to not make the same mistakes that so and so made! The presidential facts were full of historical tidbit as well as minor trivia such as "Clinton spent a lot of time in the headlines because of his alleged affair with a White House intern". How many people can name that intern? How many people can name what Act was passed during Lyndon B. Johnson's term? The chapter includes major conflicts as well as other important historical dates.

6-Geography: This chapter is full of facts about the Countries of the World, the States in our Country, Mountains and Bodies of Water. The last part of the chapter covers Paleozoic Era up to the Cenozoic Era. This chapter is very rich with information. All of which someone probably recalls. I do not remember the the capital of Uruguay but know how to use an Atlas to find the information as well as GOGGLE search! That is what I teach my daughters.

7- General Studies: Could you call this chapter "Extra Credit"? All the fun extras of World Religions, Roman Numerals, Mythology, Famous Artist,etc. Very fun and I was surprised as to how much of that chapter I could recall!

Two thumbs up on this book. It only has 175 pages! I would call it a quick read but I can't! It is so full of facts that had me thinking "did I ever learn that?" It also made me think about what my daughters are learning. Learning is to be fun and engaging. Do they love to learn? Will they be able to recall more of these facts if they had fun learning them? What do they want to learn? Thanks for putting together all these "Facts from School You Forgot to Remember"!

Thanks to Caitlin Price, Publicist at FSB Associates for the book to review!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Back to School with Master Lock

Master Lock is introducing two new locks just in time for back to school buying!

- The Speed Dial Set-Your-Own Combination Lock opens on up-down-left-right directional movements, instead of the traditional rotary dial, and can be customized with letters, shapes or numbers, depending on how students most easily remember their combination. I love this feature! Master Lock has "unlocked" the secret! They realized that students have different ways of learning and that kids are NOT all the same. So their new lock encourages individuals to set the combo in a way that they will remember. Thank you, Master Lock!

- The Set-Your-Own Combination Lock is a traditional rotary dial for students more comfortable with that method, but with a new reset feature that allows them to choose their own combination using, letters, numbers or both. I personally am "old school" and will appreciate the comfort of the traditional rotary dial! I love that you can set your own combo! It makes life so much easier! We live in a password world! How wonderful that we have the option to set the combo to one we already have and know! Thank you, Master Lock!

Check out the video

They are also introducing the "Master Lock Secret Vault" Facebook application. This fun application will help keep users' secrets safe and secure, as well as offer participants a chance to win a cash prize in the "Master Lock $5,000 Secure Your Future Sweepstakes." I love the application! I"m a Facebook Ap junkie! This one is actually practical and worth having!!

just posted this promotion! Please help us spread the news! The first twenty 20 bloggers to post an entry about Master Lock’s new combination locks and/or Facebook application and sweepstakes, and send the URL to, will win a combination lock to give away on her site.

So go to TwitterMoms and get the full scoop!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Three Things ...... MckLinky Blog Hop

BLOG Hop theme is 3 Things you don't know about me!
This is easy because I can think of 3 things that my blog readers and twitter friends don't know about me!

*************************************************************************************1) I'm a RN- BSN from Purdue University. I went into Nursing because it was suggested to me in High School. I had fun working but never really my passion. So that is the reason for me going in and out of retirement since becoming a RN!
2) My family (hubby and 3 girls) lived in New Orleans for almost 6 years. My hubby received his first Call as a Pastor there out of the Seminary. I REALLY learned to cook in New Orleans. I had a lot of fun and the people were great at explaining why they used this and that! Mrs Dotsy was the most help. We have a lot of good memories from living there. We were kicked out of New Orleans because of Hurricane Katrina. Our heart still aches at times when we sit back and think about our life before Katrina. We hold our memories and the people we encountered very near and dear in our hearts.
*************************************************************************************3) I have a secret desire to be a Special Crime Scene Investigator for the FBI. I have always thought it would be very exciting to be a Medical Examiner. I really should have taken this route in College. I"m way to0ooo old now and have lost way toOooo many brain cells since giving birth to my girls to really consider this now!
THANKS FOR the Stop on the BLog HOP! Please say HI so I can visit you too!!!

MckLinky Blog Hop

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Wii Fit SiteWarming for Dr. Dolgoff

On Friday July 10th ResourcefulMommy is hosting a Twitter Party Site warming for Dr. Weigh by Joanna Dolgoff, MD

THE BELOW POST IS ALL FROM RESOURCEFULMOMMY. Please click the button to go right to her blog and register for the sitewarming to learn and win!


You know that for an hour we will be able to ask Dr. Dolgoff our toughest kids' nutrition and exercise questions as well as share tips and concerns with fellow parents - aunts & uncles - grandparents on Twitter.

I would Love to incorporate this into our HOMESCHOOL routine. This would be for the entire family.
Did you know that you have a chance to win a Wii Fit?

Maintaining a balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle is difficult for many parents. Helping their kids do the same can be nearly impossible, but programs such as Dr. Weigh and fun fitness tools like the Wii Fit certainly help!

Are you ready to win Door Prizes?

Ten SiteWarming Party winners will receive gift cards to eat fresh at Subway! One SiteWarming Grand Prize winner will win one free month of membership to Dr. Weigh.

WHO IS Dr. Janna Dolgoff and what is the Dr. Weigh website? Go exploring to see what all is on her site. I found Nutrition lessons, recipes, food database, blog and newsletter access and even a message board! According to her site, a child's road to wellness begins here!

The site stated:

"She created a simple traffic light-based system which allows children to lose weight safely and easily. With Dr. Dolgoff's Weigh, kids learn which foods are healthiest without counting calories or fat. Dr. Dolgoff has divided over one thousand foods into green light, yellow light, and red light categories with appropriate serving sizes. Each child is allotted a certain number of colors for each meal and snack. No food is off-limits. Dr. Dolgoff’s flexible program allows kids to be kids. Your child will lose weight safely with a program designed by a Board Certified Pediatrician."
Hope to see you at the Twitter Chat! Don't forget you must go visit ResourcefulMommy to learn more and enter! Just click her button!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Homeschool FUN MckLinky Blog Hop

Post your favorite photo week for MckLinky Blog Hop! This one is a favorite because we homeschool and my dd was having science fun! She likes homeschooling because she always gets to participate in every activity! She is the perfect homeschooler!
Thanks for hopping in! PLEASE leave a comment and I'll hop back to you! Thanks!
MckLinky Blog Hop

Monday, July 6, 2009

Win Weird Unsocializied Homeschool T-Shirts

THIS ENTIRE POST IS from Weird, Unsocialized Homeschooler BLOG! Click on button to get all the details.
Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers

Question: What does every weird, unsocialized homeschool family need? Why, t-shirts to announce your weirdness to the world, of course! Have you seen the homeschool shirts at Homeschool Boutique? They're awesome! My two personal favorites are:

I think I like them so much because they combine my love of computer/bloggy/Twitter stuff and my love of homeschooling. Want to win one? How about a whole family of shirts?

You can and it doesn't have to be one of the two pictured shirts. Tracy, of Homeschool Boutique, has graciously agreed to give one lucky winner their choice of a family of t-shirts from the Homeschool Boutique website.

Want to know how to win? CLICK THE BUTTON and find out the details!!!!!

Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers

This contest is open to U.S. residents only. It will run until approximately 6:00 PM (EST) on Monday, July 6, 2009. The winner will be chosen at random and announced on my blog on Tuesday, July 7, 2009. The winner will receive a "family" of homeschooling shirts -- one for each member of your family (up to five shirts). The winner will have three days to respond or a new winner will be chosen.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Try an online class at Educator for Free!

My blog friend, Lisa, over at
is hosting a giveaway from

She just recently graduated from college in December with a 3.89 GPA in Psychology and Business Management.

She states on her blog "Not that unusual, but I did it at age 42, with 2 kids & a household to maintain. (Yes, my boys & hubby still expected me to cook and clean - there is no rest for Moms.) Since graduating in December I've been going crazy. I need to learn new things. Are you like that? My brain needs exercise."

She was was recently approached by, an online scholastic education series about doing a review and decided to check it out. Although this site is great for your high school student to get help with Chemistry, Algebra 1, Calculus BC, Calculus AB, Biology, and other subjects, it is also a great resource for the non-traditional student returning to school.A large amount of the videos and learning tools are free, but you can opt for a monthly subscription ($20) or annual subscription ($200) that opens up a whole new database of interactive learning tools. The professors that teach the classes are all educated with advanced degrees and in many cases already teach at various colleges. For example: Dr. Harold Goldwhite (Ph.D and B.A.) and Dr. Massoud Ghyam (Ed.D) from the University of Southern California have lecture videos here.

Now, not everyone is interested in learning new subjects - but most of us are moms and dads who have children in school. This tool could be your life saver. I know when my son asks me a question about Chemistry I'm lost. With I don't have to answer those tough questions anymore. I can refer him to the website and he can get his questions answered by someone who knows. He can watch an interactive video explaining the how/what/why and I don't have to spend hours on the internet trying to understand it in order to explain it to him.

The Giveaway: 3 people will win! Each will get a 3-months access to Educator. So please click on the button and go visit for your chance to win!!!!

This giveaway will end July 15th at 11:59 pm EST. Winners will be determined by and will have 48 hours to send contact information to lisa(dot) It is mandatory to leave your email address in your first comment because I need to be able to contact you.

Disclosure: This review was paid for by

Friday, July 3, 2009

The Homeschool Messenger Blog hoppin' Friday!

Welcome to The Homeschool Messenger! !

I'm mom of 3 tween/teens. We are a busy family and love to learn and have fun! I love to post on activities we do at our homeschool. This is where I keep educational and homeschool links! Go check out my other blog, Scraps of Life. I have a book giveaway going on right now!

Thanks for stopping in! Come back soon! I have 4 big projects that will be starting related to Online Classes!

Sign in and let me know your linky number so I can visit! Have fun checking out the other blogs! Check out Scraps of life #226 and go see #141 and tell Lisa HI! I got Mr. Linky from visiting her blog today!

MckLinky Blog Hop

Blog Archive


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