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Profile for Bob Collier > Reviews


Bob Collier's Profile

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Bob Collier RSS Feed (Canberra, Australia)

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The Cunning Man: A Hippo Yeoman anthology
The Cunning Man: A Hippo Yeoman anthology
Price: $2.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The 'fictorial' concept is excellent and very well executed, January 1, 2015
I've been greatly impressed by John Yeoman's expertise as a writer and a teacher of writing in the past through his Writer's Village course and he's impressed me again with The Cunning Man. The 'fictorial' concept is excellent and very well executed. The Elizabethan adventures of Hippo Yeoman will, I'm sure, be a very helpful learning experience for any aspiring writer as well as an entertaining read. I love a good detective story and thoroughly enjoyed this anthology.

Your Personal Paradigm Shift (Go From Broke) (True Life Success Lessons Book 2)
Your Personal Paradigm Shift (Go From Broke) (True Life Success Lessons Book 2)
Price: $3.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent plain English guide to metaphor, December 15, 2012
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One thing I know about Jim Edwards is that everything he writes is worth reading. Not only can he speak knowledgeably from his great personal experience, he has a knack for explaining ideas clearly in plain English. This is an excellent guide to metaphor, what it is, how it affects our thinking, and how making wise choices in the metaphors we use can benefit us and improve our lives.

Bob Collier
Author, How To Use Hypnosis Effectively

Mother's Intention: How Belief Shapes Birth
Mother's Intention: How Belief Shapes Birth
Price: $9.95

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't get pregnant without it, November 7, 2012
I discovered this gem of a book when I read the first edition in 2003 and I've followed the work of the author ever since. I think this book is brilliant, and, to be honest, much needed. It's so well researched, by somebody with a ton of relevant personal experience, and offers so much more to the thinking person than advice on 'what to do when you're pregnant'. Certainly it would be one of my top recommendations for anybody contemplating, or in the the process of, bringing a new life into the world.

Bob Collier
Formerly Publisher of the Parental Intelligence Newsletter

Big Book of Unschooling
Big Book of Unschooling
by Sandra Dodd
Edition: Paperback
Price: $25.00
20 used & new from $18.70

15 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My review of Sandra Dodd's Big Book of Unschooling from Issue 161 of the Parental Intelligence Newsletter, March 30, 2011
I don't recall now where or when I first encountered Sandra Dodd on the internet, but I've been a member of her Always Learning discussion group since April 2007. It's one of my favourite online places, and I nearly always return from a visit there with an idea or two to ponder upon.

Sandra is the "unschooling mother of Kirby, Marty and Holly, who never went to school." At the time of writing, Kirby is 23, Marty is 20, and Holly is 17, and they're all fine young adults and an asset to the world according to everything I've seen of them and read about them.

In other words, as far as "unschooling" is concerned, Sandra has 'been there and done that' very successfully. Now she's written a book from her experiences in which she paints as clear and complete a picture of what "unschooling" is really all about as perhaps there can be. Is it simply an alternative to the school classroom? Is it an educational philosophy? Is it a parenting philosophy? Is it a lifestyle choice? Now you can be the judge.

I have to say, personally, I don't use the word "unschooling" to describe my own situation. It seems to me a somewhat misleading term now that its historical significance is usually overlooked. But I certainly appreciate that, even so, it's a long established and widely used term that is gaining currency in society at large and I think those viewing the world of the unschooled child from the outside will benefit greatly from having what is meant by this increasingly familiar term explained to them as fully as possible - what is it that actually lies beyond the description "unschooling"? Or whatever else we might choose to call it. In that respect, Sandra Dodd has done a marvellous job. Her book is, however, not necessarily for bewildered members of the general public. It's primarily a book of wisdom for those who are already "unschooling" or who are thinking about it.

Given my admiration for what this lady has achieved and for the depth of her knowledge and understanding, I hope Sandra Dodd's Big Book of Unschooling becomes "The Unschooler's Bible". It deserves to be. As well as being an inspiring read in any event, I think it answers every question anybody could ask about "unschooling", or at the very least puts them on the right track to an answer.

Free Range Learning: How Homeschooling Changes Everything
Free Range Learning: How Homeschooling Changes Everything
by Laura Grace Weldon
Edition: Paperback
Price: $20.96
77 used & new from $8.95

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My review of Free Range Learning: How Homeschooling Changes Everything from Issue 174 of the Parental Intelligence Newsletter, March 30, 2011
Wow, what a labour of love this book is! It must surely have taken hundreds of hours of work to compile - the depth and breadth of it is awesome.

To say that Free Range Learning is "about homeschooling" would be to tell only a fraction of the story. Laura Grace Weldon clearly has an understanding of how children really are and of what it means to be a parent - and of where all that might fit into "The Big Picture" - that goes far beyond her powerful demonstration of the many benefits of homeschooling.

So many ideas jumped out at me as I was reading this book - some new to me, some very familiar - I found myself stopping frequently to ponder. Not only on matters of educating my children and on my life as a dad, but also on life, the universe and everything! Light bulb moments. And at the same time, the many short and meaningful stories of personal experience contributed by dozens of real life homeschoolers were especially intriguing: pockets of illumination here and there throughout the pages providing me with an insight into how different homeschoolers live their everyday lives, as individuals and as families.

Whilst there's ample discussion in this book of "homeschooling" as a concept and numerous contentions in its favour that need to be supported by research (and are), in the end this book for me is about what people actually do, what they've discovered from what they've done, what works for them, what doesn't - and what we can all perhaps learn from their bold adventure. Add to that an abundant supply of practical ideas and resources and here is a guide to how homeschooling can indeed change everything that's enterprising in its scope yet comprehensive in its exposition of a brave and potentially wonderful new world.

Free Range Learning is a totally splendid and encouraging book and I'm very happy to have it available to me to share with others.

Unschooling Rules: 55 Ways to Unlearn What We Know About Schools and Rediscover Education
Unschooling Rules: 55 Ways to Unlearn What We Know About Schools and Rediscover Education
by Clark Aldrich
Edition: Paperback
Price: $9.95
48 used & new from $3.25

29 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Some people might be surprised to learn that "unschooling" is not just for hippies, February 2, 2011
This expansive and intelligent look at the concept of "unschooling" is not only as penetrating an exposition of "what's wrong with schools" as I've seen but also gives the reader what I think is a very useful insight into the appeal of unschooling, why it's booming and why, to borrow an opinion from elsewhere, "it's not just for hippies".

Whatever our 'love affair' with the school classroom might have been in the past (I have a grown up daughter who was very successful in school throughout the 1990s), I live now in a culture of unprecedented educational opportunity, a reality where every self-motivated individual with an internet connection is free to learn whatever they choose to learn whenever and wherever it suits them. It's the age of the "digital revolution" - and that has made schools the laggards of the education world and in need of the kinds of fundamental changes that Clark Aldrich explores through his ideas, often with the help of some wry and perceptive humour.

I do like this little book very much (which is why it features on my website!) and consider it recommended reading for anybody interested in the future of education, whatever form that might ultimately take. For those who are unschooling, I think it's a gift for biting back at the critics. For parents with children in school who just want schools to be better than they've become it may however be a provocative read - there are many things to think about in this book that you might find yourself thinking about for the very first time.

Don't Bother Me Mom--I'm Learning!
Don't Bother Me Mom--I'm Learning!
by Marc Prensky
Edition: Paperback
Price: $16.53
138 used & new from $0.01

12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good news from an expert who's got it right., April 22, 2006
"Don't Bother Me Mom - I'm Learning!" is a vital book to read if you're the least bit worried about the computer and video games your children are playing (or would like to play).

There are, however, many aspects to this book that make it much more than an enlightening and positive response to all the objections, criticisms, negative opinions and fears that surround the world of digital gaming - it's an equally important read if you want to know what's happening in the rapidly changing world of teaching and learning.

Of particular interest to me as the father of a home educated boy was the mention in the book of developments in the application of games technology to the school curriculum - including a little something called "disintermediation", or 'cutting out the middleman', a subject I've written about myself.

To be honest, I was practically bouncing up and down with excitement as I read of the possibilities for learning and self-development that are emanating from the most recent advances in video gaming technology. The potential now unfolding is absolutely thrilling.

But, even if you're not as ready as I am to share Marc Prensky's enthusiasm for computer and video games as a means of educating and preparing our children for success in the modern world, you'll discover at the very least from reading "Don't Bother Me Mom - I'm Learning!" that what you may have been reading or hearing in the media about the games melting our children's brains and turning them into violent zombies has been both highly selective and greatly exaggerated.

Something that quickly became apparent to me as I read this book was that negative opinions about computer and video games tend to come from people who don't play them! Indeed, it seems to be that many parents who are worried about the games their children are playing don't actually know what it is they're worried about.

Both of my children play computer and video games. Without restrictions of any kind.

My daughter started playing video games at the age of six. Her mother - yes, folks, her mother - bought her a Sega Master System II and all three of us ended up happily playing Alex Kidd in Miracle World for hours on end every day until we'd completed the game. Then we bought some more games and haven't looked back.

My son Pat has been playing video games since he was three. He started with Mario the fat plumber on the Nintendo 64. We still have the N64. Pat now also has a Game Cube and a Playstation 2 and plays Empire Earth and RuneScape on the PC and various mini-games he finds on the internet.

Computer and video games are the biggest passion in my son's life right now, and I think it would be most odd if I didn't know at least a little bit about every game he plays. Because I play them, too!

My own interest in video games goes back to playing Pong, Space Invaders and Asteroids in various pubs I frequented in Sydney when I lived there in the mid-1970s to mid-1980s (in my pre-parenthood days).

As Marc Prensky explains clearly and comprehensively in "Don't Bother Me Mom - I'm Learning!", "games are NOT the enemy". Games are a medium. TV is a medium. Books are a medium. Did you know that even the piano was once considered by many to be dangerous new-fangled technology?

Though it certainly does seem to me at times that there's a very questionable motive behind the making of certain individual games, of course, that really is no different to the questionable motives behind the making of certain movies or TV programs, or the writing of certain books, and so on.

So, as with movies, TV and books, it's crucially important to separate the medium from the message. To optimise the positive qualities of the medium and exercise informed choice as far as the message is concerned. Which, no surprise, requires parental involvement - something that Marc Prensky advocates throughout his book, despite what its title might suggest.

In fact, this is one of the book's great strengths. It's a book of solutions for parents. It does acknowledge the problems and it does offer thoughtful, experience-based advice on how we can develop a more positive and helpful perception of our children's love affair with computer and video games and find ways to move forward and upward together with them into a new world of opportunity and accomplishment.

Marc Prensky's knowledge and understanding of the Brave New Digital World is truly awesome and I, for one, as a fifty-something with a 10-year old "Digital Native" son, am deeply grateful to him for his positive contribution to my life.

If you have a child who plays computer and video games, I hope you'll read this book. For reassurance, if that's all you need - or for mind expanding inspiration if you're ready for it. You'll discover plenty of that in its pages.

Bob Collier
Publisher of the Parental Intelligence Newsletter

Keepers of the Children: Native American Wisdom and Parenting
Keepers of the Children: Native American Wisdom and Parenting
by Laura M. Ramirez
Edition: Paperback
Price: $15.70
61 used & new from $0.01

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A parenting book for every parent's bookshelf, September 23, 2004
In her book Keepers of the Children, Laura Ramirez has combined her expertise in child development with her understanding of Native American perceptions and the customs and rituals that have grown from them to produce an analysis of the art and science of successful parenting that's both comprehensive and highly original.

This is much more than a 'training manual' for the aspiring parent. It's a deeply spiritual book that explores important issues of human nature and development that transcend both Native American and 'western' cultures. It will appeal to parents of all races and creeds who desire to expand their abilities beyond the mere mechanics of 'child management' to the attainment of true parenting success.

Laura Ramirez writes knowledgeably and with passion about the necessity of having a clear vision for our children and of understanding the sacred nature of our part in their lives; of the importance of honouring our children as unique individuals and of constantly promoting their wellbeing and development even as we work on ourselves to become the best role models for them that we can be.

This book, once read, can be referred to again and again for good ideas, for comfort and support, for hope and inspiration. Virtually every page is a reminder of something we can do as parents to make the world a better place for our children and for ourselves and others.

A work of meaning with its heart very much in the right place, Keepers of the Children is a very welcome addition to my personal library of parenting books and I'm sure it would be to yours, too.

Buy yourself a copy and join Laura in her mission: to raise a generation of children who use their strengths to create a sense of belonging, meaning and contribution. "Such children will grow up to be adults who are lights unto our world."

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