(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).
Math Essentials No-Nonsense Algebra
My son really struggles with math. For example, this year we have been working through pre-algebra but have not been able to completely finish the first semester. In the state of Oregon where we live, a standard diploma (SD) requires three (3) full years of math with Algebra 1 being the first class and the other 2 classes following after. In other words, pre-algebra doesn’t even count as a year of math for the standard diploma (SD).
As you can imagine, my original goal was for my son to get through pre-algebra this year and then follow up with the next three math year requirements. However, I’ve finally accepted the fact that this is not a realistic goal for him. Nonetheless, we have spent some time together working through Math Essentials No-Nonsense Algebra workbook.
I believe Math Essentials No-Nonsense Algebra workbook is perfect for kids who like math and who are going to take Algebra 1 and beyond for high school graduation.
I compared this Math Essentials No-Nonsense Algebra to other Algebra 1 textbooks and it is right on. The subjects covered are:
- Necessary Tools for Algebra
- Solving Equations
- Graphing and Analyzing Linear Equations
- Solving and Graphing Inequalities
- Systems of Linear Equations and Inequalities
- Rational Expressions (Algebraic Fractions)
- Radical Expressions and Geometry
- Quadratic Equations
- Algebra Word Problems
Chapter Quizzes are included as well as a Final Review/Test and all Solutions.
Also included are the following teaching aids and tables:
- A glossary
- Important Formulas
- Important Symbols
- Multiplication Table
- Commonly Used Prime Numbers
- Squares and Square Roots
- Fraction/Decimal Equivalents
- A Link and Password to Access the Online Videos, which are available for every lesson.
One of the things I appreciated the most while going through the Math Essentials No-Nonsense Algebra lessons are the videos.
After I watched the first video, I was sold.
First of all, the style of teaching is visual, so I could see the instructor working through the problems on the white board. Secondly, he instructs students to have a notebook and to write everything down. He also explains why writing everything down is helpful in the learning process. Plus, watching the videos gave me insights on how to reduce the confusion my son has with some of his basic math concepts.
For example, adding and subtracting negative integers.
Math Essentials No-Nonsense Algebra is also a great way for me to review my algebra.
For example, the quadratic equation and slope. I recently signed up to be a tutor and got qualified for middle school math. However, when I took the pre-algebra assessment I didn’t pass. This is because I couldn’t remember the formula for slope and I’ve completely forgotten how to use the quadratic equation. So, I obviously need to brush up on my Algebra. And I am using this book to do just that.
Another awesome thing about No-Nonsense Algebra is how inexpensive the text book is.
I don’t know if you’ve priced Algebra textbooks lately, but they can run close to $100. In contrast, Math Essentials No-Nonsense Algebra is less than $40. Not only that, but there is a Spanish version available. By the way, there are other books in the series, including a practice textbook to go along with the main textbook. (This is not necessary because there are math problems in the textbook, the practice companion is just what it says–opportunity for further practice).
Other books in this series include Mastering Essential Math Skills books, which provide practice with division, multiplication, fractions, geometry, and more. And the videos are included with the price of the textbooks.
Speaking of the videos. Richard W. Fisher is an excellent teacher and when I watch the videos, I get insights into how to better explain confusing concepts to my son.
You might have noticed by now that every time you start a new year in math, the review makes the class seem almost identical to the previous year. This is why I thought my son might be ready for Algebra.
If he liked math, that would be a different story.
However, the amount of time it takes to convince him to do the work combined with the amount of time it takes for him to actually complete the assignments just isn’t a long-term solution. It will only make him hate school. And this is definitely not my goal!
We’ve discussed the fact that if he decides to become an engineer, then he will need higher level math. He has no intention to enter a university straight out of high school (and neither do we).
So, if he decides when he is older to become a train conductor or other type of engineer, he can take the math classes required then.
I was given a choice regarding which level I wanted to review, and I probably should have picked one of the more basic Mastering Essential Math Series. However, one really good thing about having this book available to me is to realize that Nathan’s energy is better spent elsewhere, than on higher level math–at least at this point of his life.
Math Essentials No-Nonsense Algebra helped me to teach my son the basic concepts that he has difficulty with such as adding and subtracting integers. However, the more difficult concepts such as the quadratic equation are overwhelming to him at this time.
He is just barely starting to master his single-digit math facts, so that he can better add, subtract, multiply, and divide without a calculator. And he’s gaining confidence along the way.
Math Essentials helped me with the process of what to do for math with my son. This is because it gave me the final clue I needed to realize that my son is just not ready for Algebra 1.
I’m looking at the other books, knowing the style of this one, and I just may decide to purchase one of the other Mastering Essential Math Skills Series.
Don’t forget to check out the other awesome Homeschool Review Crew reviews here.