A great education starts with a few fundamentals. A good school with an excellent curriculum is important, as is having committed teachers who want to see their students succeed. But there is something else that children need to make sure they are being taught as well as possible – good textbooks. We aren’t just talking about books that are in good physical condition. We are talking about books that include correct, up-to-date, and inclusive information.
Textbooks are a staple in schools, whether public or private, general education or specialized programs. But not all schools are able to provide the same quality of materials as others. Schools in poorer districts without tax money available to them may have to use older books with outdated information. They may also have to give children books that have been written in and/or physically damaged. A student will have a hard time learning from a book they can’t read properly.
There are also different textbooks purchased by different school districts. Some may not include all of the information that a well rounded educational tool should provide. If the books used by your child’s school are published in very religious or political areas, they may censor certain topics that the publisher didn’t feel should be included. While this censoring and omitting may serve a purpose to some, it can also serve a disservice to children that won’t be learning everything children at other schools without those restrictions will be learning.
How do you make sure your child is getting the best education possible, from the best books possible? If you are in an area that doesn’t provide newer books, or if you are in an area that utilizes censored books, you may want to consider purchasing books yourself. This isn’t always easy, and it certainly won’t be cheap. These kinds of books can cost around a hundred dollars, and can be hard to purchase as individual units. Most elementary, secondary, and high schools have to use the same book for every child in their district. Unless they purchase all new books, your child may be stuck with an inferior learning tool.
Thankfully, however, there are some options in this day and age that provide opportunities for students with a less than stellar book selection. Younger students can find online portals that provide many of the lessons, reading, and notes that a good school book can. There may be a subscription fee for some of these sites, or children may be able to log in as a student user through their school or library and get free access.
And for older students who are now in college and are finding the idea of purchasing the proper materials daunting, there is the option to rent textbooks they need. Multiple companies exist online that can rent textbooks to students at schools across the country. They often offer free shipping as well, so the fees stay nominal.
How much difference is there between renting books and buying them? Sometimes up to 60% or more off the retail value of the materials! A $65 to purchase book may be only $17 to rent, while a $125 book may cost just $22 to rent. That’s an immense savings, especially if the book won’t be needed after a specific class in college. Instead of having to deal with trying to sell the book off, or keeping it somewhere to take up space and gather dust, the book can be returned to the rental company.
There are some pitfalls to renting books, however. If a book is in high demand it may be hard to find as rental companies may have already rented them all out. They may also be a more expensive rental price as, once again, they are in high demand. Rented books will also need to be taken care of so they can be returned in the same condition they were rented in. But if a student can find the books they need, and be responsible for them, renting is a great, money-saving option.
There are multiple factors that go into a good education. Great schools and excellent teachers are just a part of it. Properly cared for materials with up-to-date information that your child can use to keep up with other students at their school and schools across the country are also an important element.
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