iRules

iRules
By Janell Burley Hofmann
Rodale
Retail Price $17.99
Amazon Price: $13.16

Book Description: 

As Janell Burley Hofmann, mother of five, wrapped her 13-year-old’s iPhone on Christmas Eve, she was overwhelmed by questions: “Will my children learn to sit and wonder without Googling? Should I know their passwords for online accounts? Will they experience the value of personal connection without technology?”To address her concerns, she outlined boundaries and expectations in a contract for her son to sign upon receiving his first cell phone. When Hofmann’s editor at The Huffington Post posted the contract, now known as iRules, it resonated on a massive scale and went viral, resulting in a tsunami of media coverage and requests. It quickly became apparent that people across the country were hungry for more.

In iRules, Hofmann provides families with the tools they need to find a balance between technology and human interaction through a philosophy she calls Slow Tech Parenting. In the book, she educates parents about the online culture tweens and teens enter the minute they go online, exploring issues like cyberbullying, friend fail, and sexting, as well as helping parents create their own iRules contracts to fit their families’ needs. As funny and readable as it is prescriptive, iRules will help parents figure out when to unplug and how to stay in sync with the changing world of technology, while teaching their children self-respect, integrity, and responsibility.

Review

This book is a ‘must read’ for all parents who want to protect their children while still giving them access to all of the benefits technology has to offer. The author’s realistic approach to navigating the cyber-culture is invaluable as she gives easy-to-follow and sensible advice.  As parents, many of us aren’t as tech savvy as our kids.  This guide gives spot-on strategies for closing that gap and making the whole family’s approach to technology a win-win for the entire family.

~Reviewed by Cherie S.

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    Not With My Daughter!

    Not With My Daughter!
    by Terry Vaughan
    Skyhorse Publishing
    Retail Price $16.95
    Amazon Price: $13.56

    Book Description: 

    Every father experiences the anxiety of knowing that one day his daughter is going to do the inevitable and start dating. In addition to cleaning his shotgun, he can become her date’s worst nightmare by also arming himself with the body language and interview skills necessary to figure out who the potential boyfriend is in less than ten minutes.

    In Not with My Daughter!, Terry Vaughan gives dads vital information on how to decode the gestures, facial expressions, and verbal statements of all prospective boyfriends. With two daughters of his own rapidly coming of age, Vaughan realized he couldn’t water-board every new boyfriend who came through his door. He came up with strategy that all dads can use to effectively “interview” and accurately assess the new men in their daughters’ lives. With Terry’s help, dads will learn how to

    • Master the checklist of items that will accurately assess the boyfriend within seconds
    • Recognize how his utilization of space and volume could be indicators of aggression
    • Uncover words that are used to hide something and those that reflect sincerity

    Based on his extensive military training, Vaughan provides dads with the skills and information they need to interpret what kinds of signals boyfriends are sending out, and then do something smart and positive with the information.

    Review

    This book was a hoot!  The author just says what every parent is thinking!  He gives great advice on reading body language, which can be used in a variety of situations.  While the book was worth while just from the content alone, it was also a very fun read.  And while the title indicates this book is for dads, it is really for anyone who wants to be able to read people better.

    ~Reviewed by Vincent E.

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      Clutter Free

       

      Clutter Free
      By Kathi Lipp
      Harvest House Publishing
      Retail Price $12.99
      Amazon Price: $9.75

      Book Description: 

      If you’ve ever wished you could clear out your clutter, simplify your space, and take back your life, Kathi Lipp’s new book has just the solutions you need. Building off the success of her The Get Yourself Organized Project, this book will provide even more ideas for getting your life and your stuff under control.Do any of these descriptions apply to you?

      • You bought a box of cereal at the store, and then discovered you have several boxes at home that are already past the “best by” date.
      • You bought a book and put it on your nightstand (right on top of ten others you’ve bought recently), but you have yet to open it.
      • You keep hundreds of DVDs around even though you watch everything online now and aren’t really sure where the remote for the DVD player is.
      • You spend valuable time moving your piles around the house, but you can never find that piece of paper when you need it.
      • Your house doesn’t make you happy when you step into it.

      As you try out the many easy, doable solutions that helped Kathi win her battle with clutter, you’ll begin to understand why you hold on to the things you do, eliminate what’s crowding out real life, and make room for the life of true abundance God wants for you.

      .

      Review

      I really enjoyed this book. It has practical, simple steps for organizing your home.  It moves you from disorganization to organized step-by-step and helps to keep you from being overwhelmed with the process.  I like the easy tone of the author’s writing.  She is direct and enthusiastic without being saccharin.  This book is the most polished presentation of organizing your life and home that I have found.  It is a treasure that you will use and appreciate.

      ~Reviewed by Quella S.

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        Being Mortal

        Product DetailsBeing Mortal(Unabridged)
        by Atul Gawande
        Macmillan Audio
        Retail Price $14.95
        Amazon Price: $14.95

        Book Description: 

        In Being Mortal, best-selling author Atul Gawande tackles the hardest challenge of his profession: How medicine can not only improve life but also the process of its ending. Medicine has triumphed in modern times, transforming birth, injury, and infectious disease from harrowing to manageable. But in the inevitable condition of aging and death, the goals of medicine seem too frequently to run counter to the interest of the human spirit. Nursing homes, preoccupied with safety, pin patients into railed beds and wheelchairs. Hospitals isolate the dying, checking for vital signs long after the goals of cure have become moot. Doctors, committed to extending life, continue to carry out devastating procedures that in the end extend suffering.Gawande, a practicing surgeon, addresses his profession’s ultimate limitation, arguing that quality of life is the desired goal for patients and families. Gawande offers examples of freer, more socially fulfilling models for assisting the infirm and dependent elderly, and he explores the varieties of hospice care to demonstrate that a person’s last weeks or months may be rich and dignified.Full of eye-opening research and riveting storytelling, Being Mortal asserts that medicine can comfort and enhance our experience even to the end, providing not only a good life but also a good end.

        Review

        Wow.  This book was enlightening.  I have aging parents and have a deep interest in the topic of elder care.  I want to make sure my parents are comfortable in their old age.  I want to repay them for all they have done me as their child by making sure they die with the greatest amount of dignity possible.  This audiobook was quite an eye opener for me about what really goes on in nursing facilities and other long term care facilities and how modern medicine sometimes fail those who need it most.  The author doesn’t spend time pointing fingers, he just lays out the truth for us to see, ponder, and then apply what we can to our own lives.  His words are honest, but sometimes hard to bear, but they spur us on to help give quality of life to those we love who are aging or suffering from terminal illness, helping them to end their stories on their own terms.   While I wouldn’t say this book is uplifting, I did find it comforting as it inspired me to do right by my parents.

        ~Reviewed by Pat C.

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          Chicken Soup for the Soul: Living with Alzheimer’s and Other Dementias

          Chicken Soup for the Soul: Living with Alzheimer’s and Other Dementias
          By Amy Newmark and Engela Timashenka Geiger
          Chicken Soup for the Soul
          Retail Price $14.95
          Amazon Price: $11.85

          Book Description: 

          Caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia? You are not alone. With 101 encouraging and inspiring stories by others like you, this book is a source of support and encouragement throughout your caregiving journey.Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia affect millions of people, and this book is especially for caregivers. This collection, a joint project with the Alzheimer’s Association, is filled with 101 stories of love and lessons from others like you, will support and encourage you as you care for your loved one.

          Review

           

          I just loved this book and would recommend it to anyone who finds themselves in a caregiving role. Though it targets those dealing with Alzheimer’s and other dementias, it is also helpful to all caregivers in general.  You will find thoughtful stories from the perspective of caregiver that will help you  realize that you are not alone and that you can gain wisdom, strength and courage from someone else’s experiences.  I highly recommend it.

          ~Reviewed by Nancy S.

           

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            Hope For the Caregiver

            Hope For the Caregiver
            By Peter Rosenberger and Ken Tada
            Worthy Publishing
            Retail Price $12.99
            Amazon Price: $9.33

            Book Description: 

            “If you love somebody, you will be a caregiver.
            If you live long enough, you’ll need one.”
            –Peter Rosenbergerrt

            Now the 65.7 million caregivers in America, making up 29 percent of the U.S. adult population, can turn to one of their own for encouragement and renewal. With three decades of experience and immense credibility, Peter Rosenberger offers proven practical help with biblical truths.

            Review

            This book is a memoir of sorts written by a man who, after a tragic accident, has been his wife’s caregiver for nearly 30 years.  He shares how he faced his challenges, failed in some ways and gained victory in other, and finds the strength to carry on.  Though it might sound like a downer, this book is actually uplifting and encouraging to other caregivers who are “in the trenches.”  For me personally, it made me realize that my situation could be worse and that God won’t give me more than I can handle.   The author also offers tips and advice on how to care for yourself so you can continue to care for others.  This was an enjoyable, enlightening read.

            ~Reviewed by Addie H.

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              Parenting Without Borders

              Parenting Without Borders
              By Christine Gross-Loh PH.D (May 2, 2013)
              Avery
              Retail Price $17.00
              Amazon Price: $12.10

              Book Description: 

              Research reveals that American kids lag behind in academic achievement, happiness, and wellness. Christine Gross-Loh exposes culturally determined norms we have about “good parenting,” and asks, Are there parenting strategies other countries are getting right that we are not? This book takes us across the globe and examines how parents successfully foster resilience, creativity, independence, and academic excellence in their children. Illuminating the surprising ways in which culture shapes our parenting practices, Gross-Loh offers objective, research-based insight such as:

              • Co-sleeping may promote independence in kids.
              • “Hoverparenting” can damage a child’s resilience.
              • Finnish children, who rank among the highest academic achievers, enjoy multiple recesses a day.
              • Our obsession with self-esteem may limit a child’s potential.

              Review

               

              Living in America, we classically think the way we do things is the best way, including how we parent.  This book helps us to take a global view of parenting by showing us what parenting success looks like in other countries.  I found this to be very enlightening and actually life changing. The author gives several hands-on examples of how other cultures raise calm, smart, respectful children. I learned a lot and began implementing some of the strategies in my own family with great success.

              ~Reviewed by Allie B.

               

               

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                Dyslexia

                Dyslexia: Time for Talent
                By Carolina Frohlich
                Frohlich Publishing
                Retail Price $19.99
                Amazon Price: $17.71

                Book Description: 

                FINALLY, the much needed dyslexia guide for parents!Dyslexia: Time for Talent is a wealth of information for parents of children with dyslexia. It guides and empowers parents through dyslexia, from the early years through to adulthood. It is the first book of its kind to address dyslexia from a holistic perspective: academically, emotionally, behaviourally, socially and spiritually.The author, Carolina Frohlich, is a qualified specialist teacher, educational cognitive/abilities/attainment assessor of learning difficulties and educational consultant to schools. The author has dyslexia and is the parent of 2 children with dyslexia and dyspraxia.

                From personal and professional experience, the author knows that if dyslexia is not addressed early, considerately or holistically, it can affect children’s self-esteem, morale, achievement potential and self-confidence. Time For Talent empowers parents and children by providing proven learning strategies that work for parents and children at home and in the classroom.

                ~ Discover how children can learn successfully

                ~ Identify children’s strengths and talents

                ~ Identify Multiple Intelligences and Learning Preferences

                ~Learn excellent strategies for home and in the classroom

                ~Find proven learning solutions

                ~ Boost your child’s self-confidence and self-esteem

                ~ Raise achievement potential

                ~ Access emotional support (parents and children)

                ~Manage behaviour and survive homework time

                ~Get physical’: health, nutrition and exercise

                As dyslexia often co-exists with other ‘conditions’, there is information about dyspraxia, dysgraphia, dyscalculia, dysnomia, ADHD, Speech and Language, Sensory Processing Disorder, Auditory Processing Disorder, Visual Processing difficulties, Asperger Syndrome, Irlen Syndrome, Primitive Reflexes, among other learning difficulties.

                 

                 

                Review

                 

                This book is informative and easy to read. It seems to really cover all the bases. The author gives a thorough explanation of what scientific research has revealed about dyslexia. This book also has practical information and suggestions for dealing with dyslexia. It has taught me to understand and deal with what my son is going through and finding ways to help him. This helps me to support him and develop his self-esteem. It has taught me a lot and I refer back to it often.

                ~Reviewed by Deb M.

                 

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                  Middle School: The Inside Story

                  Middle School: The Inside Story
                  By Cynthia Ulrich Tobias and Sue Acuna
                  Tyndale
                  Retail Price $14.99
                  Amazon Price: $12.30

                  Book Description: 

                  Remember middle school? Many parents would rather not. It’s often a rough ride, filled with insecurity, peer pressure, awkwardness, and world-rocking change. This book provides practical, hands-on advice for helping your child through this minefield—with information about what he or she is really going through, but isn’t likely to share.

                  Best-selling learning-styles expert Cynthia Tobias and veteran teacher Sue Acuña reveal what they’ve found by listening to kids when parents aren’t around—and give you insider tips on how to bless your middle-schooler with success in class, at home, and in relationships. Topics include advice for keeping communication lines open, predictable physical and social issues, and solutions for problems like self-centeredness and over-the-top emotions.

                  Review

                  This is a fantastic book for parents and teachers alike that will help you to understand the mind of the middle-school student.  You will gain insight not only into HOW they think, but WHAT they are thinking about, and the culture that they are immersed in.  This book was filled with great suggestions and the authors made use of stories and quotes from middle schoolers.  They share share better ways of communicating about a variety of topics where parents often miss the mark.

                  The middle school years are difficult, no doubt.  But I remember talking to one of my kids favorite teachers and she told me that she truly enjoyed teaching this age group.  In fact, when she was deciding which grade to teach, she decided to teach middle school because she felt that “these kids deserved a teacher that liked them.”  This book will help you to become THAT teacher or parent who actually LIKES this age group.  This book is a winner.

                  ~Reviewed by Helen M.

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                    The Brainy Bunch

                    The Brainy Bunch
                    By Mona Lisa Harding and Kip Harding
                    Gallery
                    Retail Price $21.99
                    Amazon Price: $16.65

                    Book Description: 

                    Having six out of ten kids go to college is no small feat on its own, but having six kids in college by the age of twelve— that’s nothing short of incredible. Meet Kip and Mona Lisa Harding, high school sweethearts whose simple homeschooling method produced exactly those extraordinary results. Kip and Mona Lisa are parents to an engineer (who earned her BS in mathematics at 17), an architect (who finished her five-year program at 18 and became the youngest member of the American Institute of Architects), a Navy physician (who earned her biology degree at 17), an entrepreneur (who earned a BA in English at 15 and an MS in computer science at 17), a 15-year-old college senior studying music theory and performance, a 12-year-old Middle Ages scholar with the highest average in his college class, and four others who are following fast in their siblings’ footsteps! No wonder the family is so used to being asked: How did you do it?

                    The Hardings are the first to say they’re not geniuses. Nor do they run a strict, high-pressure household. Instead, they find out early what really motivates their children, instill their kids with dreams, and allow those dreams to blossom. In a remarkable, down-to-earth narrative that is part captivating memoir, part invaluable guidebook for parents, Kip and Mona Lisa reveal with warmth and humility the strategies behind their family’s amazing educational accomplishments. Filled with daily regimens, advice for providing children with fulfilling experiences that go beyond the home, and tips for making the transition to college, theirs is an inspirational real-life success story that anyone can achieve—whether you homeschool your children or not.

                    The Brainy Bunch is uplifting and ultimately relatable proof of what any family can accomplish through dedication, love, faith, and hard work.

                    Review

                     

                    I enjoyed this book immensely and highly recommend it for those who want their children to succeed academically, whether at public school, private school, or home school. Think of it as a cafeteria style meal as you read. You may not agree with or would be willing to try every tip, but you will find something new you will be interested in implementing. The Hardings’ story is very much one of putting love and family first. They are not pushing their children to overachieve, but they are helping them to find their own unique potential by using different approaches to learning and teaching that fit each child. Not everything in it will fit your situation, but you will certainly find enough to glean to use in your own family. This both an easy and enlightening read.

                    ~Reviewed by Liz S.

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