Freebie Friday – OpenStax Textbooks
by Kristen Lauria
For my first Freebie Friday post, I’d like to tell you all about an awesome group of textbooks available online (or downloadable in pdf or in iBooks) for absolutely NOTHING! These books are written by the same people who write most textbooks, PhDs and the like, who really know what they are writing and how to explain difficult subject matter. Plus the textbooks are peer-reviewed, which means they’ve had lots of eyes on them who have the knowledge and experience to look for errors and fix them before they get to a student.
I got started using OpenStax textbooks last year when I started teaching physics and AP physics online (see here to look at the course description and sign up!). I wanted a textbook that was thorough and would provide rigorous questions for my students to practice with, but without the usual high price tag of a high school or college level textbook. My answer was found with OpenStax.
OpenStax offers more than 20 textbooks, not just physics, and they are all available to thepublic at no charge. There are often even other materials available to students that will help them use the textbooks in the best ways possible, including an answer key that has some, but not all, of the solutions including the work that went along with solving it. If you register as a teacher (as a parent), you can access even more materials.
If you are looking for books to use with an AP course (which you can register to teach as a homeschooling parent. Look for a blog post on this coming soon!), there are many choices for AP courses through OpenStax that have AP style questions right inside the book in each section and in the problems at the end of each chapter. Currently available are Physics, Economics, and Biology.
If you’re wondering about OpenStax themselves, they are a non-profit affiliated with Rice University.
Please comment below and let me know if you’ve used any of the textbooks that OpenStax offers. Or do you know of another great textbook resource?