Arithmetic/pre-algebra/basic geometry textbook recommendations

In summary: The Open University textbooks are a good option, but they may not be the best ones for you. Shaum's outlines are also a good option, but they can be a bit more expensive.
  • #1
Ephemeria
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Hi,

My name is Cam and I've just literally joined so wanted to say hi first 🙂

I'm self studying Maths and Physics and wanted to know a good textbook that deals with arithmetic/pre-algebra/basic geometry? I know Physics mainly used Applied Maths, but I'm wanting to educate myself as thoroughly as possible with all branches of maths. This will be a years long journey, so I understand that.

I have read the maths recommendation articles on this site, but it seems to start from Algebra level. I know there are resources that deal with the topics I'm looking at such as Khan's Academy, etc. What I'm hoping for is a comprehensive textbook covering the topics in more detail. In a way that really gets deep down into the basics. I can remember how to do fractions from many years ago, but this is about my current level as everything else has disappeared from my memory.

I'm looking for a textbook over online material, purely as I study at work and it's something I prefer. Would be nice to have a lot of practice questions as well.

Thank you for your time.

Cam
 
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  • #2
Checkout the Openstax.org site. They have a set of math textbooks that have developed and vetted by math teachers. They are in PDF file format, easy to download to a PC or tablet for viewing.

You can also augment your studies using Khan Academy and MathIsPower4u.com where there are numerous videos on math topics otganized by subject. MathIs Power4u.com has very short videos often involving solving a particular math problem. You can watch, pause, do the problem and then check your answer.
 
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  • #3
jedishrfu said:
Checkout the Openstax.org site. They have a set of math textbooks that have developed and vetted by math teachers. They are in PDF file format, easy to download to a PC or tablet for viewing.

You can also augment your studies using Khan Academy and MathIsPower4u.com where there are numerous videos on math topics otganized by subject. MathIs Power4u.com has very short videos often involving solving a particular math problem. You can watch, pause, do the problem and then check your answer.

Hi.

Thanks for your response. As I previously mentioned, I am aware of Kahn, etc. but this is not what I'm after. I am after a textbook, not online resources. I also can't justify the cost of printing stuff off as I don't own a printer, and ink costs are a fortune. Just an expense I can't afford at the moment in the current climate due to recently being made redundant.

I also don't own a tablet, and where I study I don't have access to a PC. So again, a textbook is a must! So if you have any actual textbook recommendations, that will be much appreciated. Of course, not a textbook that costs dozens of pounds. Just one you can pick up dead cheap.

Thanks again for your response 🙂
 
  • #4
Your only other options are to find a second hand bookstore and look at their math and science book section. Many times students will sell or donate their books.

The price will be a fraction of the actual cost when new. I’ve found a few bargains that way. However, the student may have gone hilighter crazy making the text somewhat unreadable or distracting to the eye.

Another is to look for Schaums Outlines for the courses you want to learn. These have brief succinct chapters, worked problems and ones for you to test your skills. They cost about $15 USD a piece. Big bookstores like Barnes and Noble, college bookstores, second hand bookstores carry them. You even find them at a Goodwill or Salvation Army store.

Lastly, there’s Jan Gullbergs Mathematics: Birth of Numbers book that covers many math topics from high school to first year college. It’s a tome of around 1000pgs, interesting to read with math history shorts and has some problems to solve. He was a medical doctor who wrote it to help his son through college.

https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=&ved=2ahUKEwi4zr3hksTvAhVQCs0KHWncD-8QFjAEegQIBRAD&url=https://www.amazon.com/Mathematics-Birth-Numbers-Jan-Gullberg/dp/039304002X&usg=AOvVaw08l_PQJEOJi-5-XGegsfiL

I have to say though, you should get a tablet or an ereader that can handle pdf files. In that way, you can carry a lot of math books with you. The Openstax books being free in pdf format can offset the cost of the tablet. I also realize there are some jobs where that is not allowed so the Schaums would be a better solution.
 
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  • #5
Cheers again for responding.

I've checked out Shaun's. I take it Basic Mathematics with Applications to Science and Technology, along with Elementary Mathematics are good choices? Just making sure these are the correct ones?

I'll give the maths book a check out as well.

I'm curious to whether following the Open University textbooks would be beneficial? Alongside Shaum's. I'm not sure the quality of the material, if there's anyone who has studied with them?

Cam
 
  • #6
Schaums are designed to be used in concert with standard textbooks. However, you will find that things in the textbook aren’t always in the associated outline and vice versa. Many of the Schaums series have a long pedigree in publishing meaning some problems may be dated and have fallen out of modern curricula of a recent textbook.

I really like the Openstax books. They are pretty comprehensive, are vetted by subject matter experts, are current and are cheap.

I don’t have any experience with Open University courses or books but they seem to get pretty good grades from what I’ve seen online. You should check with any students you know who’ve taken courses this way.
 
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  • #7
Would you say OpenStax would be better to learn from than Khan Academy in that case?
 
  • #9
Cheers for the recommendations. I actually never realized Khan Academy has a mobile app. I've just been trying it out and it's pretty great. I can actually practice on the train now. I guess I can use Open Stax when at home.

I will have some questions for when I reach algebra, but I'll post when I get there as probably won't know the extent of the questions I will ask until then.

Hopefully get through this sooner rather than later.

Cam
 
  • #10
These OpenStax books are huge! They seem great. Think I'll start with PreAlgebra 😁

I do have a quick question: is the statistics important to learn on OpenStax as well? I also notice OpenStax doesn't include Geometry. Since I'm not familiar with this, is this included in any of the course on OpenStax instead? I'm just not too sure what I should be looking for, etc.

Cam
 
  • #11
Wow, hadn't noticed that there's no geometry book. It looks like some geometry sans proofs are sprinkled in the pre / algebra / trig / calculus books and not in its own book.

I know schools have been de-emphasizing geometry proofs but didn't realize the extent.
 
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  • #12
jedishrfu said:
Wow, hadn't noticed that there's no geometry book. It looks like some geometry sans proofs are sprinkled in the pre / algebra / trig / calculus books and not in its own book.

I know schools have been de-emphasizing geometry proofs but didn't realize the extent.

Have you any recommendations for Geometry? I see Khan Academy has Basic Geometry and High School Geometry. Just if there are better learning resources/textbooks out there that can take you from basic (no knowledge) and progress to advanced levels.

Cam
 
  • #13
My preference of inexpensive books I personally used:

For geometry. Then Lang High School Geometry book is not a bad choice. My preference is Moise/Downs:Geometry. The author really gives lucid and insightful information. Moreover, he offers a concise and easy to understand examples of different proof methods using geometry.

The only problem I have with this book. Is lack of constructions. He does have a section dedicated to constructions (non-constructible). If you are considering going more into the applied area, then this is not a deal breaker. Look around. The book is usually $5 - $30.

For Pre-Calculus. You have the huge pre-calculus book by David Cohen: A problem Solving Approach.
Problems that are further numbered are challenging. It is readable. Very cheap too.

You also have Axler: Pre-Calculus. A lot smaller than Cohen, but offers solutions to exercises.Im not sure if all editions have this feature, but mine did. Maybe not a good choice for beginning students. They may rely too much on solutions and cheat!

You also have Lang: Basic Mathematics. Very concise book, and my personal favorite. Although, it lacks exercises. I would personally go with Cohen and Lang book.

For Calculus:

My favorite Calculus book is Moise: Calculus. Notice I mentioned Moise named a few times now. He wrote very clear books. Moise Calculus is a nice blend of applied and pure math. It is between books like Stewart and Apostol, Courant. Maybe closer to Courant but not as difficult.

We cannot forget about Thomas: Calculus with Analytic Geometry 3rd ed. Very good applied math book. Explanations are concise and book is not riddled with diagram after diagram, but only gives useful diagram when needed. Neat section on the theorem of pappus. Shell method of integration is also explained very clearly.It has other good things, but too lazy to type further. Please note to get only the 3rd edition. Later editions were bastardized, I am assuming by the publisher, so they do not really resemble Thomas book.

I would personally buy both Moise and Thomas for Calculus and work through them together.
 
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  • #14
Ephemeria said:
I am after a textbook, not online resources. I also can't justify the cost of printing stuff off as I don't own a printer, and ink costs are a fortune. Just an expense I can't afford at the moment in the current climate due to recently being made redundant.
OpenStax does sell printed copies of its book on Amazon (in the US at least). I bought a paperback version of the second volume of University Physics, and it wasn't printed in color. The hardback versions are. I don't know if it's the same situation with the math textbooks.
 
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  • #15
Thank you again all for your advice. I'm currently working through OpenStax PreAlgebra. I'm sure I'll have more questions when I complete it. 😁
 
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Related to Arithmetic/pre-algebra/basic geometry textbook recommendations

1. What are the key topics covered in an arithmetic/pre-algebra/basic geometry textbook?

Most textbooks covering these subjects will include topics such as whole numbers, fractions, decimals, percents, basic operations (addition, subtraction, multiplication, division), equations, inequalities, graphing, angles, triangles, and basic geometric shapes.

2. Are there any recommended textbooks for self-study or homeschooling?

Yes, there are several textbooks that are commonly recommended for self-study or homeschooling. Some popular options include "Saxon Math" by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, "Math-U-See" by Demme Learning, and "Singapore Math" by Marshall Cavendish Education.

3. What is the best textbook for preparing for standardized tests such as the SAT or ACT?

Many textbooks cover the material needed for standardized tests, but some are specifically designed for test prep. Some popular options include "The Official SAT Study Guide" by The College Board and "The Real ACT Prep Guide" by ACT, Inc.

4. Are there any textbooks that incorporate technology or interactive elements?

Yes, there are textbooks that incorporate technology and interactive elements to enhance the learning experience. Some examples include "Big Ideas Math" by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, which offers online resources and interactive activities, and "MathXL" by Pearson, which is an online platform that provides personalized practice and assessment.

5. Are there any textbooks specifically designed for students with learning disabilities?

Yes, there are textbooks that are designed for students with learning disabilities. Some options include "Connecting Math Concepts" by McGraw-Hill, which uses multisensory instruction, and "Mathematics: Applications and Concepts" by Glencoe, which offers differentiated instruction and support for struggling learners.

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