One wonders if “Homework for Grown-ups” was inspired by the Fox TV show Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader? It’s filled with the kind of information you learned in school, but have probably failed to retain—the kind of questions that a 12-year-old can answer more readily than you. Think of “Homework for Grown-ups” as a grade school refresher course in book form, with chapters covering English and literature, math, history, science, geography, art, home economics, classics, and religious education.
Unfortunately, the use of the word “homework” in the title is likely to turn some people off. “Why would I want to buy a book that asks me to do homework?” some might ask.
First, adults ought to want to recall this information, and thanks to the authors’ light, engaging style, it’s not nearly as difficult to re-learn, say, how to analyze a poem, as it was to learn the first time around. Second, a parent might find that this book comes in handy when children ask for help with their homework—or have questions about the world around them. When your child asks, “Why is the sky blue?” for example, you’ll have an answer, or at least a ready reference guide.
The authors have even accounted for the fact that out-of-practice adults may suffer from information overload, and include a section on recess, reminding the reader to take short breaks. So get out the Kool-Aid and cookies, and get ready to show your kids a thing or two.