Choose the format that suits your needs, convenience, and preference. Here is some general information that might help you decide.
- Hardback, paperback, ebook, CD, audio player formats are available from multiple vendors.
- PDFs and MP3s are available only from Well-Trained Mind Press. We keep your files in your account, so you can download them as needed. Even so, we recommend that you download them and keep a copy on a local storage device.
Pros and Cons of Physical Formats: Hardback, paperback, CDs
- + Students write in most of our Student Workbooks, and that can get expensive to print at home. Buying a printed Workbook (even with shipping costs) can be more convenient and less expensive.
- + CDs can be easier to manage for some families
- - Shipping can add to the price; WTM Press offers free shipping on purchases over $150 from our webstore.
- - CD players are disappearing from cars, computers, and home entertainment systems.
Pros and Cons of Digital Formats: PDF, ebook, MP3, audiobook apps and vendors
- + Parents who are comfortable teaching from with laptops, tablets, or phones can use the PDF or the ebook format for their device.
- + Digital purchases are available immediately on purchase.
- + International shipping is very expensive; digital purchase can save a lot of money
- + People increasingly use mobile devices to play audiobooks, using an MP3 player or an audiobook vendor's offering (eg. Audible) from an audiobook app. If you download MP3 files directly to an iPhone or iPad, check out this FAQ.
- + When we make corrections to a title, the PDF you download from your account will include the updated material. (We note updates on our Corrections page.)
- + Digital materials are easier to store; this is helpful when you have limited storage space or if you move frequently.
- + When you need to print only some of the pages from a Student Workbook (eg. The Story of the World Student Pages), getting the PDF can save a bit of money as it costs less to start with and there are no shipping charges.
- - Ebooks cannot be printed. We do not recommend purchasing student materials in ebook format.
- - Digital formats require a higher level of set-up for use and technical know-how.
Most student material must be paper-based - the student writes on it, colors the picture, cuts out the craft. Here are some points to consider for different titles.
- Students using The Story of the World Student Pages will likely need only a portion of the pages (age and subject depending). Print them as needed from the PDF of the Activity Book or the PDF of the Student Pages.
- If students using Writing With Ease write on their own paper (composition book, penmanship paper), most of the PDF need not be printed.
- Math with Confidence student workbooks must be printed.
For US customers, even with shipping costs, the paperback student workbooks are a good choice. Color printing is expensive, but it also enhances the student's enjoyment in using the materials.
Math With Confidence Student Workbooks and Math Facts That Stick PDFs files are optimized for color printing, and you have the option of printing in black-and-white).
- Writing With Skill and Grammar for the Well-Trained Mind Student Workbooks are big books, and most of the pages will need to be printed. Paperbacks are a good choice for the student workbooks, even with the cost of shipping, at least for US customers.
To compare the cost of buying printed books with printing the PDF files yourself, do the math:
- Physical materials cost = price of the book + shipping.
- Printing of PDF cost = price of the PDF + (cost of printing per page x number of pages to be printed) + cost of binding (if any).
Copy centers charge different rates per page (and you usually get minimal benefit by printing double-sided), so check with a couple of vendors to compare their rates.