A great kid came by the house yesterday, to sell me these fantastic books that will help put my kids at an advantage when they are doing homework, or just interested in learning something new.
These are really a great bargain when you think of the cost of College texts these days (they were ridiculous twenty years ago. I can only imagine today’s prices). But see, I don’t think about my books in comparison to College texts. I think of Borders going out of Business and stocking up. I think of yard sales and library sales. Some of the best books we’ve found for the kids have been in random places.
The math book that he showed me–books, actually, there are two volumes for math–was excellent. I loved the straight-forward way it laid out the steps for any math function, be it algebraic, simple calculations or geometry. I wanted it. Like, I really wanted this book in my home. It’s awesome, it’s packed with stuff. Perfect for the family with a kid who reads the encyclopedia. For fun.
All the books are supplemented with a website. Free through September (when the kids go back to school, natch) and after that it’s a subscription based site. For just Twenty Bucks.
Twenty bucks? Not bad, that’s what–a buck-sixty a month?
Uh, no–that’s twenty bucks… A. Month. Dude, I don’t pay that much to host my own freaking site. I am not paying it to access yours.
Because, son, $420 is just too rich for my blood. Oh, yes, you did read that right. I’d pay $220 for the math volumes, and then $200 for ten months of subscription site service.
Do I want my kids to have access to information at their fingertips? Yes.
Are they the kinds of learners who do well from multiple presentation approaches? Yes.
Do these books with the subscription website offer just that? Without a doubt.
Daisy and Bubba are both readers and still find that there are certain things you can read all day long, but never understand how it works until you actually do it yourself. So they benefit from approaching math, especially, from various angles (heh, heh…)
So, for my fellow parents in Podunk, and elsewhere, who may not necessarily be able to cough up hundreds of dollars for very cool, information-rich books that I am not denigrating in any way whatsoever beyond their exorbitant price…I have a few workarounds for you:
You can use the FPU library year round (it’s open all summer) as a resident of Podunk. That’s free (well, you probably pay taxes already, but hey, there’s no out-of-pocket).
Even if you’re not a local, check into local colleges in your area. They often offer local residents access to their collections.
If you want a great straight-up mathematics resource to keep in the home, I recommend Math on Call. The hub actually found it at the swap shed at the transfer station, but you can purchase it online. Seriously, click the link and read the reviews of this book–it is invaluable.
The kid selling the books was great–he was smart and personable, and awesome in general, with me and with my kids. But I can’t see my way clear to paying that kind of money for brand new books when $20 bucks covers my mathematics needs with Math on Call, there’s a University Library in town, and on-line resource at Kahn Academy both of which don’t cost me
over $200 a year ANYTHING.