We have all seen them. Orange or Yellow? The Complete Idiot’s Guide or the For Dummies? Pepsi or Coke? McDonald’s or Burger King? Windows or Mac?
These well-known brands have gone head to head for many years to see which products consumers prefer. And I have been comparing the two books to see which I prefer. You may be familiar with both the bright orange covered how-to idiot’s guides books as well as the yellow dummies, but have you ever compared them?
We took on the challenge by comparing the guides for Chemistry and Calculus. Whew, deep subjects, both of which I am an Idiot or Dummy in, whichever way you want to lean. But, Tate is taking both subjects…and there are times that I have to help. (insert a LARGE sigh and eyeroll here). I have to say, both guides are great in their own right. Let’s Compare:
The Complete Idiots Guide: LOVE how the definitions, Critical Points and Kelly’s Cautions are in boxes and are clearly pointed out. Kelly’s Cautions were REALLY helpful in cautioning against commonly made mistakes. I also really like the “You’ve Got Problems”. They helped to give something to work out and teach you as well as giving the answer to check yourself to make sure you got it right. The comics provided a good laugh needed when dealing with such deep subjects. The Glossary was helpful for quickly finding definitions. The one downfall was that there was no index.
For Dummies: Provides good tips, comics, and I loved that it had an index to quickly find and refer to the material you are studying. It doesn’t have a glossary and the tips sometimes blend into other material and isn’t clearly pointed out. I did like the “Top Things to Remember”.
Both Guides are pretty good but I leaned more using the Idiots Guides and would have used them exclusively if there had been an index.The Idiots Guides did seem to flow smoother for me and were easier to navigate. Comparing these turned out to be a much bigger task that I anticipated. I knew I Math was not my best subject but WHOA, I found out just where my shortcomings are. I did learn a lot and was able to help Tate in a much better way thanks to the guides because without them…I am lost.
I do think that the Complete Idiots Guides are a great addition to typical school curriculum and have been a fabulous addition to our homeschooling curriculum. Erin also used the Calculus to help her with her college homework. And there are so many subjects that you could find The Complete Idiots Guide to most anything that you want to learn about. Check them out when you get time, you won’t be sorry you did!
“The Complete Idiot’s Gide provided me with samples to help facilitate this review. All opinions are those of my own and I was in no other way compensated.”