Homework for Grownups: Everything You Learned At School and Promptly Forgot by E. Foley & B. Coates

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Stars: *****

Harper Collins Canada (2010)
Canadian Edition
432 pages

Summary: Homework for Grown-ups is a brilliantly informative and entertaining book of old-school knowledge for adults. It is the ultimate refresher course on mathematics (remember Pythagoras’ theorem? You will!), English grammar and literature (do you know your Margarets?), and chemistry and the sciences (including the big bang theory). It spans geography (can you name the planets in order?), history (what exactly was the Family Compact?), art, Latin, phys. ed. (hockey!), home economics and much more… including, crucially, recess (finally, definitive rules for Red Rover!).

I LOVED school. Well I loved the education part, not the social part. I love learning and I love knowing a little about a lot of things. It bugs me that I’ve forgotten knowledge I learned in school. I love watching Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader? but it makes me mad that I can’t remember it all, or at least the subjects I enjoyed. So this is the PERFECT book for me.

In this book, the following subjects are covered: English, Mathematics, Home Economics, History, Science, Religious Education, Geography, Classics, Physical Education and Art (plus a Recess!) For each subject there is a section covering some of the basics you would have learned in school. Important terms, dates or names are in bold. At the end of each section is a quiz (answers are at the back) if you really want to feel like you are in school. I didn’t really take the quizzes. I looked over them and answered the ones I could quickly but didn’t write anything down, score myself or look up answers.

I really enjoyed reading the subjects I enjoyed and was good at but found myself struggling with the ones I didn’t care as much about. I guess I only care about remembering what I learned in school in certain subjects. This is NOT a book you read in one day. It took me a few months to get through this book because I read a bunch of other books as well. For the last few chapters I kept the book in the bathroom as a little knowledge pick me up when I get a break. (If you’re a parent you know what I mean!)

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About Kathleen

I've been a nonfiction lover for as long as I can remember. I love children's nonfiction as well and love to share my knowledge and the books I gained them from, with the world. I wish more people would give nonfiction a chance.