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Dumb question about textbooks

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We just got the Prentice Hall United States History for ds, and I really like the looks of it so far. However, it's a hefty tome (1100 pages), which seems like a lot to cover in 36 weeks. Approx. 31 pages a week, which is definitely more than he did when he took science at the co-op, which is his only recent textbook experience. We did do a bit of early American history last year (explorers through end of Revolution), so we could probably skim and review the first five chapters if we need to. (I know some early American history will also be covered in our government curriculum.) That leaves us with 26 pages a week, which sounds less scary. :-) When you use textbooks, how much do you typically cover per week?



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Depends completely on the book, the course, and what you do with the text.


Designated high school texts tend to have huge font and numerous pictures and "activities", so there really is not much actual text on the pages, and it goes quickly. 30+ pages of that sounds not much to me. OTOH, the history text we use is an old college text with only black and white consecutive text in small font and dense information; of that, DD manages only few pages at once.

It also depends on the course. For science, we finish the major part of the text in a year. For history, I use one textbook for four years of World history and a lot of additional material... so impossible to say.

And of course, it depends on whether it is a text the student just reads, or is required to take detailed notes, or whether it has exercises that have to be completed as the student goes through the text.

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I agree with Regentrude. Usually high school textbooks are fairly light reading. You are only talking about 5-6 pages/day on either plan you mentioned. That doesn't sound at all excessive to me. It would vary by the book though and by how much other reading you are doing with it.

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In some cases, this is where having the teacher's addition can be very nice :)

I've noticed that in all of the PS texts I've used (so far algebra, geometry, and two science texts) the text is set up with about 4 or 5 chapters of extra information. Meaning- the teacher is given the flexibility to leave out whichever chapters he/she does not see as necessary for her/his class and focus on the rest of the book. The author of the text usually provides suggestions as to what he/she thinks are the least important chapters, which ones can most easily be dropped, etc.

For example, in my DS's Hewitt's Conceptual Chemistry this year, there are 40 chapters. Hewitt recommends choosing about 36 or 37 of them. Then mentions which ones he thinks are the least important. Now - I plan on doing all 40 chapters, but I was able to figure out where we could rush when we needed to by using his recommendations. For example - there are two chapters where I will only be having him read/outline and watch videos when DH and I are gone for two weeks (his grandpa will be here, but wanted to make his life easier).

That was probably as succinct and clear as mud :)

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That sounds like a reasonable level of reading for a high school textbook. This can be used as semi-independent work, with him reading and creating notes that you look over with him - great practice for college.


We do this as a spine. And then use other materials to supplement my lectures or discussion on the topic.

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