Friday, February 15, 2008

Best Homeschooling Deals of the Past Week

I've been curious about the FLY pentop computer for awhile. It looked so neat in the ads on TV and my geeky fingers itched to hold it. Well, we went shopping and I saw a FLY Bundle (as shown in the Amazon widget below):

It was the pen AND a recharger. Now the above widget has it new for $89. The store I was at had it marked down to $26! Needless to say I snatched it up, convinced my daughter she wanted it and had her buy it with her own money. Evil perhaps but she hasn't stopped thanking me ever since. That little thing is soooo cool. You can write a word and it will tell you what the word is. You can draw a calculator and use it. you can draw a keyboard and play it!

Best deal number 3.

At number 2 is another pen. This one is just about the opposite of the Fly as it's a fountain pen. At the local thrift store I found a calligraphy set with a pen, three nibs and 8 unused cartridges and all for a dollar! Since my daughter wasn't with me I sprang for it and presented it to her when I got home. She might possibly think it's neater then the FLY. Silly girl.

The number 1 best deal of the week was a textbook I found at the same thrift store for either a quarter or 50 cents. It's Mathematical Ideas. This is mostly an overview of mathematics concepts that starts out with set theory and ends with matrices (huh?). And it's soooo good! I'm actually going to let an amazon reviewer speak for me because he (Brandt C. S. Sponseller) nailed all my thoughts:
This is an excellent book, and it is very entertaining to read--a description that does not fit many mathematics textbooks. Although geared for students without much math background, it is an enjoyable read for all, with its engaging sidebars, its sense of the history, and believe it or not, a sense of humor (for instance, a problem requiring you to create a Venn diagram for the topics of country songs--truckers, prison and love). As a philosopher, it is refreshing that the first 100 pages are devoted to set theory and logic--something that is not focused on often enough in basic courses. Most topics are likewise presented with a philosophical angle--for example, the first page points out the problems with defining "set." Utlimately, all definitions of set are circular--does this make "set" undisputably axiomatic? These kinds of problems are at least implied throughout the text. The effect is as deligtful as it is rare. You are not given the sense that the subject matter is complete, instead you are inspired to solve the dilemmas.

It's fantastic fun and I think I may start reading it and doing it with Catherine. I know she'll enjoy the logic and I'm pretty sure she'll enjoy learning all the symbols involved in math that the text explains clearer than anything I've seen before.


Anonymous said...

The book looks really good. Pretty funny example about the country songs Venn diagram -- though it got me thinking about prison-love, and trucker-love, and truckers who find love in prison??... (shudder)

I also like how you convinced your daughter that she wanted the FLY pen - and then "had her buy it with her own money." LOL I'd tease you about it except I just maneuvered an addition to our home using the same technique on my husband :)

Dawn said...

I figure I'm entitled to manipulate her a bit like that...You have no idea (actually, you probably do!) how many times we've been at a store and she's looked up at me while clutching some toy or book and said, "Mommy? Pleeeease?" And we go home with whatever she was clutching. :)

We read a bit on set theory tonight from the text and Catherine did enjoy it. I let her know I wanted to work my way through it and if she wanted to do it with me there was a prime cuddle spot reserved for her on the couch. Of course she said yes. Hmmm...More manipulation!

molytail said...

You can write a word and it will tell you what the word is. You can draw a calculator and use it. you can draw a keyboard and play it!

for real? wowsers - i'd heard of that thing, but i didn't know what it could actually DO... now, i'm wondering HOW it's so smart LOL

Dawn said...

The pen is actually a computer and it has a scanner at the tip under the writing nib. It also has to be used with special paper so I'm guessing the dots on that paper help the computer 'read' what you've written.

Oh, and the store I got it at was Winners so if you're near one you might want to pop in! :)

molytail said...'s secrets are now exposed!

There's a Winners in Charlottetown, I think, but we won't be down that way until the end of the month (it's about an hour from here, bit less in the summer)...I'll have to check then though, it sounds like fun! :-)

(as does the calligraphy set - I remember having something like that as a kid, but they were markers with funny tips and special papers to write on)

molytail said...

its. not it's. argh. LOL