Wee Free Reads (two more free Kindle books)

the bookshelf bannerAegis: Catalyst Grove (Aegis Series Book 1)
Reader review: This, the first book in the Aegis Series and was a real adventure of a book to read. Filled with mystery and secrets, the book was fun and easy to read as so enjoyable.

Graham is an orphan, he’s 15 years old, he has nightmares about his past and during those nightmares he becomes aware of an awakening special power he seems to have within him, but he doesn’t understand it. Nobody has any answers for him. He has heard rumours of a man who understands and has these types of powers too and decides to break the rules and seeks out this man, desperate to know what this is that burns inside him. But first he has to get past the woman who runs the orphanage and is aware of him sneaking off to places he should not go.

It wasn’t that she was unusually evil – she was just strict all the time. Catching her smiling was like spotting a unicorn. You have heard tales of it’s existence, yet no one was ever able to bare witness to it’s existence….

the bookshelf bannerThe Great Thirst Part One: Prepared: an Archaeological Mystery (The Great Thirst Archaeological Mystery Serial Book 1)
Amazon reader review: This will be the second novel I have read of Findley’s, the first being A Dodge, A Twist, And A Tobacconist but under the pen name of Sophonia Belle Lyon. This new novel was supposed to one full-length work, but Findley decided to break it up into three novellas. This move has one very nice effect and that is to whet your appetite more than enough for the next instalment.

I really enjoyed this novella. What attracted me was the subject matter, a missing copy of the Scriptures on gold tablets and the quest by those in the know to find and protect it. This sparks off in me mystery, suspense, intrigue, good versus evil, spiritual warfare and a motive to show the importance of the Gospel and what it means for all mankind. So I am excited about this series.

Findley successfully hides in plain sight the main character, Talia Ramin, as the new English Literature teacher. Findley also has Talia teach a subject as Bible as literature as a sub-plot and this provides much spiritual aspects in this novel, as Talia explains,

“…..we will not just be explaining how ancient literature compares to the Bible. We are going to learn how to be discerning about ancient writings-how to tell the truth from error in what’s being taught by historians, archeologists. This course will prepare you to know truth when you see it.”

Findley then provides more sub-plots with romance between Talia and Keith, Talia having a unique connection with Keith’s disabled sister. Then there is the hints to Talia’s past, Talia talking out loud while she is alone about protecting her identity and her true purpose, a Sprinter van that is trying to scare and scare her.

the bookshelf banner

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Free Kindle Reads: Light, escapist, fun

Del Ryder and the Crystal Seed
by Matthew David Brough
Many positive reviews. Described as Narnia-esque Christian fiction for kids.

Spark (Legends of the Shifters Book 1)
by J.B. North : amazon descrip: For more than a decade, Ivy Oliver has lived in a dark, crumbling orphanage where she was sent after her parents’ death. Her only hope for a life of simplicity and happiness is the trial, a test that frees her second form from where it’s been buried since her birth.

That hope is dashed, however, when she transforms into a creature that rips her away from the only friends she’s ever had and ensures that her enemies are numerous. She is dragged unwillingly to a school that will discipline her in the ways of survival and defense. There, she makes both friend and foe. She discovers things she never knew about her past and her future. This tiny, insignificant girl is faced with a crushing destiny that might be too staggering for her to bear. She will have to abandon her shy, quiet demeanor and take on a fearless spirit if she wants to survive.

Free4Kindle: http://amzn.to/2a9xzLV Jaden Toussaint, the Greatest Episode 1: The Quest for Screen Time
by Marti Dumas
taking a chance on this one, but it looks cute, reviews (117) are positive, Early chapter book for emergent reader.
Free4Kindle: http://amzn.to/29Vkgvu Little Women. Unforgettable. Still makes me cry when I read that one chapter.
Free4Kindle: http://amzn.to/2auXexO, treasure Island, great adventure story.
Free4Kindle; http://amzn.to/2auXeh4 Secret Garden, a classic children’s book not to be missed.
http://amzn.to/2a7ytso free4Kindle: Raining Men and Corpses: A Chinese Cozy Mystery Anne R. Tan
http://amzn.to/2asrgC6 Free4Kindle; Maids of Misfortune: A Victorian San Francisco Mystery, by Louisa Locke, main character is ‘liberated ahead of her time,’ according to a reviewer.
http://amzn.to/29Taz0E free4Kindle: Killer Cannoli (A Terrified Detective Mystery, Carole Fowkes
Posted in Books | Leave a comment

For CM Geeks and Wonks- from In Memoriam

“Miss Mason stood, firm as a rock in the Utilitarian age, for the essentials of a Humanist education. She grew up in an atmosphere of materialism in education; that this is no longer dominant is due largely to her efforts. The fact that she had to fight for her humanist ideal braced her and called forth her full powers. I sometimes wonder how it was that the Victorian age produced women leaders of such distinction compared with their successors of to-day. We recall Miss Buss, Miss Beale, Dr. Garrett Anderson, Dr. Emily Davies, and many others besides Miss Mason, in women’s education; Mrs. Fawcett, Miss Octavia Hill, Florence Nightingale in other fields. Was it not that they had to fight for their causes against strong opposition? Miss Mason’s life was one long struggle against mechanism. She distrusted organisation and standardisation. For this reason, she would have no truck with government departments or municipal control. Again, she set little store by the results of public examinations. It is noteworthy that these great Victorian reformers had no University degrees. The admission of women to degrees is, assuredly, a great onward step, but we go wrong if we regard them as essential to the good teacher. Many of the best teachers at the House of Education are Miss Mason’s own products and show that first-rate teaching by no means depends on University qualifications. I should like all sticklers for such things to hear, as I have often had the pleasure of hearing, Miss Drury take a class in Science, or Miss Millar (if I may call her by her maiden name) in Mathematics.”

A popular rhyme in the late 1800s:
Miss Buss and Miss Beale,
Cupid’s darts do not feel.
How different from us,
Miss Beale and Miss Buss.

Another excerpt:

“This is the case, e.g., with Italian, and with Greek, a subject which I induced Miss Mason to add to the curriculum. Miss Mason ever looked ahead. One of the striking characteristics of teachers trained by her is that they too move forward on their own in after life; realising that they must teach from a flowing stream, not from a stagnant pool.”

And more:

“The “House of Education” founded by her rapidly acquired a tradition and a spirit radiating throughout the great system which she evolved of “home schools,” with many hundreds of children and governesses widely separated in space but one in endeavour, working through the same syllabuses with the same books, and passing by means of test-papers, sent to Ambleside for correction, through the same series of grades. Until almost the last it was the pride of Miss Mason’s many disciples that she knew all the children in the “Parents’ Union School,” looked through their work, and followed their progress. The “House of Education” has been, incidentally, the only institution that has offered special professional training to the private governess.”


From ‘In Memoriam’

Posted in Charlotte Mason | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

P.N.E.U. Principles As Illustrated by Teaching 1

habit idea lightbulbI have written about this before, but every time I read this article I am reminded of something I had forgotten, or I see something new, or I am inspired again.

“In every undertaking it is well to have an ideal end, and a scientific means for realizing that ideal.”

Goal:  training our children to at least be “their best,” and as much as possible to fulfil their relationships with God, the world, and themelves.
To do this, we must look at the child as a whole, his or her entire personality or character as it is, not as we wish it were.
“Character is the result of heredity, environment, and ideas, worked out, and exemplified, as habits of thought or action.”
Education is the building of character.  If you think of character, our goal for education, as a house, understand that we are probably spending all our lives building and designing our own ‘houses,’ and with our children, ‘we do not enter into possession of our house, we build it, and our inherited possession is no more than the soil.’
Spend some time in prayer and in working and playing with your children, attempting to discern each child’s character, again, as it is, not as we wish it would be.  See their strengths, weaknesses, the defects of their qualities and the qualities of their defects.  What do you have to work with? Where are you beginning, and what can be done?  What habits might help your children temper his faults, protect him from the outcome of those faults if they were left unchecked?
“Secondly.–Environment is one of those subtle influences which train the unconscious mind, of which we have been lately led to think so much.
The whole surrounding are in themselves an education.”

What is the environment where your children spend most of their time? Where you spend most of yours? What does it communicate?

Is it ‘bright, well furnished and cultured-looking… with good pictures…’?
Have you, ‘Good apparatus, clean school books, and perfect order?’  Well, I don’t, either.  But some kind of order is better than no sort of order at all.  I leave it to you to decide what kind of order is suitable for your home.
“Our last and greatest materials for “mind-building” are ‘ideas.’
These spiritual things of the mind come to us in a vast variety of ways, but we cannot leave their advent to chance and the most ready method of imparting them in early years is through the medium of “lessons.”
As our mind-builders tell us, ideas are added to one another like to like, and experiences are aggregated and grouped, until the sum of our ideas becomes “a dome more vast,” namely, character and active force for good or bad.
We believe in an “open-door policy” for our children; the larger and nobler an idea, the more fit are the children to receive it, for their hearts and minds are like a great open porch, not yet bricked up by prejudices.
We therefore adopt a time-table calculated to give ideas and experiences in as many branches of our relationships as possible.
We don’t want, for example, to teach children “all about Africa” in their geography lessons, we want to give them such ideas of the dawning continent as will send them to books of travel, and later to the place itself, to view its panoramas or take their share in its future destinies.
Therefore, for each group of subjects, as for each lesson given from them, we have an idea to give, a habit of mind or body to initiate or strengthen.”
When you introduce your lesson or reading:
“First.–Proceed from what is known to what is unknown, in other words touch upon old associations with former lessons or experiences before plunging into something fresh.”

You might say, “remember when we saw a toad outside by the porch?  I want you to picture him as clearly as you can. Now imagine he could talk and wanted to sit by you at table and share your fork and plate?” and then begin reading about the toad and princess and the golden ball.

Or ‘You know the old cannon on the courthouse square?  I want you to picture a cannon maybe 3 times larger than that, and place it on a hot brick platform in a hotter city in India where palm trees grow, and monkeys climb, and children play freely in the road because it is a hundred years ago or more, and some of them have no parents who care anyway,’ and then begin Kim.

Or maybe, “Remember when we found a dead squirrel at the park, teeming with small white grubs?  We’re going to find out where they came from and how they got there,” and then begin reading Fabre’s Life of the Fly, chapter 14. 

Or merely as, “Where were we?  What had happened last time we read?” and when they answer, tell them ‘we are going to read about what happened next.

I have shared fairly simple ideas here, but you will know what your children already know, which you can use as a peg upon which to hang some ideas from the reading, which you will have skimmed rapidly as possible ahead of time.
“Secondly.–Give simple ideas before complex.”
“Thirdly.–Work from the concrete to the abstract, or don’t fly before you can walk.”
“Fourthly.–Illustrations are the hooks which fasten ideas to the mind.”
“Fifthly.–Reproduction is the only proof of retention, therefore narration or recapitulation must form a part of the each lesson.”

I will insert here that I have been told by more than one person that there are certain people charging money for educational advice and calling their advice ‘Charlotte Mason’ who also say that narration is not a required part of a CM education.  Now it’s one thing if you don’t want a CM education.  But you can’t call anything a CM education if narration isn’t required.  It’s part of every lesson.
“Sixthly.–An idea is valuable in proportion as it enlarges the mental vision, forms the ground-work of a valuable habit, and is simple, clear, definite and suitable to the degree of experience in the pupil.
One other condition will affect our choice of ideas; they must be “interesting” in their nature or in their method of presentation.
This doctrine of interest explains why we should omit dry areas of foreign countries, strings of parliamentary enactments; what is interesting to us and therefore to the children, is the nature of the scenery of a country or the spirit of a bygone age.
But the children are not to sit still and merely passively receive ideas.
No lesson is valuable which does not promote self-activity by making the child think, exercising its powers of narration or reproduction, or laying the ground-work for some future mental habit, making the idea given a well-spring of activity.
We can judge then of the value of a lesson by the amount of work which it gives the children to do.
There is therefore in a really good lesson only one place for the teacher, and that is the background.”


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Don Lemon VS Sheriff Clarke

I found much of this frustrating to listen to and to watch. Both of these men are talking past each other. Each of them have an agenda, things they want to say. Of course, one of them is a reporter and he ought not to have such a blatant agenda, but we’re used to that.

Sheriff Clarke wants to blame all the hostility on Black Lives Matter and similar groups and ideology without ever giving a moments’ thought to whether police hostility to the public at large hasn’t created some fear and hostility.

Don Lemon wants to shut him up, basically, and do what he can to pretend the man is changing the subject. But Clarke is like a bulldog, and he knows a pattern when he sees one.

However, there is one key exchange which demonstrates decicisively the basic intellectual dishonesty and entirely bankrupt notion of journalism held by Don Lemon, who is playing a reporter. Begin at 3.58 for this part.

He is challenged by Sheriff David Clarke, and he fails rather spectacularly. Sheriff Clarke asks him what data he has to back up his claims about police treating blacks disproportionately.

First, as proof, as what he calls ‘data’, he cites something Obama said in a political speech. Um. No. What the president says in a speech is only proof that the president said something in a speech. It’s not science. It’s not research. He then says the Washington Post reported on this.

Sheriff Clarke argues that the Wapo may have reported on it, but what they said is the opposite of what Lemon is claiming. Obviously, what the WaPo or any other paper says is also not original research or science. It’s just an article.

Lemon next cites a Harvard study. When Clarke can get a word in edgewise, he tells him he’s misrepresenting the study, he has read it himself, and that is not what it says. He starts explaining what it really said- and Lemon interrupts him and without batting an eye does a complete about face and tells him that Harvard study- that Harvard study Lemon himself brought into the conversation as evidence for his point of view- isn’t credible, and has been debunked!.

You cannot honestly cite a study as the supporting source for your claim and then turn around and claim that same study isn’t credible and has been debunked when somebody points out you’re misrepresenting it. Even if Clarke is wrong, it’s irrelevant at this point. Lemon is a liar.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

  • The Common Room on Facebook

  • Amazon: Buy our Kindle Books

  • Search Amazon

  • Brainy Fridays Recommends: