Disclaimer: I received a FREE copy of this product through the HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way.
I have said it before and I will say it again, I am a math nerd. I love Math. This wasn’t always the case. It took me having a pretty special teacher to teach my brain how to think about math. My daughter likes math but lacks the confidence she needs to be truly successful. It was because of this that I was eager to get my hands on No-Nonsense Algebra from Math Essentials.
ABOUT MATH ESSENTIALS
Math Essentials is a home or school math curriculum created by Richard W. Fisher. Mr. Fisher was a math instructor for 31 years in California. He has been awarded the “Intel Innovations in Teaching Award and also the Glenn W. Hoffmann Exemplary Awards Program.
He has developed several products including: No-Nonsense Algebra, Math Refresher for Adults, Mastering Essential Math Skills Book 1 (4th and 5th grade), Mastering Essential Math Skills Book 2 (Middle School) and Mastering Essential Math Skills Pre-Algebra Concepts.
ABOUT NO-NONSENSE ALGEBRA
No-Nonsense Algebra is a 294-page, soft-cover book. Each lesson in the book also has a corresponding video that is taught by the creator, Richard Fisher. The videos are found online and can be used at the teacher/student discretion.
The videos average about nine to ten minutes in length and are taught in a very concise, easy-to-follow manner.
The bulk of the lesson is found in the actual book itself. There are ten chapters with lessons ranging from simple integers to the more complex skill of quadratic equations.
Lessons begin by reading and working through the introduction that is at the beginning of each lesson. The introduction includes important key words, and explanations. Helpful Hints are also included with the introduction which includes tricks and shortcuts.
The next part of the lesson are examples which show how to work the problems step-by-step. This serve as an important reminder for the student.
After the examples, are the exercises. The exercises give the student the practice they need to become fluent in the skill.
The review section provides added practice with the skill.
There are several other features in the book that was beneficial. There are quizzes and reviews for the varying chapters that help gauge the student’s level of mastery and understanding.
There is also a glossary, formula page, and several other reference pages for the student to use. Another important feature is the answer key found in the back. Every lesson, chapter review, and quiz has the answer key provided.
WHAT DID WE THINK?
I used this product with my 6th grade daughter, to help her become more confident in her math skills, and to help her have an accelerated math experience. We used this in addition to her core math program.
The lessons were very easy to understand. There weren’t pages and pages of unnecessary information which provided for a “clean” learning experience.
I honestly did not have to spend much time helping her through the concepts. She worked at a self-directed pace, and only asked for help if she truly needed it. Most of her questions could be answered by either watching the video, or referring back to the introduction, helpful hints, and examples. This helped boost her confidence and made her become an advocate for her own learning.
There wasn’t any prep needed from me. Nothing to print, and nothing to grade as I allowed her to grade her own work, after she showed me she was finished. I made her use an ink-pen so she couldn’t change her answers. She liked this independence.
Once she graded her work, any problems she missed, we then sat down and re-worked together. I showed her where she made her mistakes, if she couldn’t easily find them. She then did the review questions.
Each lesson builds from the previous, which provides the learner with a cohesive learning experience.
We loved this program from Math Essentials and I will definitely be using more of their products through our homeschool endeavors.
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