Time sneaks up on you sometimes, you know? I knew the day would come where our boys would be doing Algebra. I just didn't know that it would come so fast. Our 13 year old is in Algebra this year and, to be honest, I was a little nervous. Math Essentials was the perfect solution to my apprehension. They have put out a book called No-Nonsense Algebra and I really like it!
I say that I really like it because I don't think that our 8th grader would ever say that he really liked anything math related. I think that he appreciates the program and I don't usually have trouble getting him to do it. That is a definite win in my book! I always liked math when I was in school. I found it fun to work through a problem step by step. I liked that there was a right answer if I just completed the problem correctly. Our 13 year old - not so much. He wants things simple, easy, and quick. As he gets into higher level learning, he is finding out that things are not simple, easy, and quick. Quite the contrary. Subjects become complex, the material gets harder, and it simply takes longer to complete.
In comes No-Nonsense Algebra by Math Essentials. I can actually count this as his Algebra 1 credit for high-school! Win! High school credit as an 8th grader? Love it! I don't usually mention price in posts, but the price is unbelievable! $28.95 for an entire year of Algebra? Sign me up! I wanted to go through what the cover says and then add in my thoughts about them. My thoughts are in red.
Access to FREE Online Video Lessons included
Above is a picture of our son watching one of the videos before he works through his lesson. This is extremely helpful! You see, when he doesn't think that I know what I'm talking about (this NEVER happens, by the way), I can point him to the video. He hasn't watched all of the videos as we were able to work through a few of the lessons on our own. But, you know what? It's so nice knowing that they are there. I know that we will be relying on them more and more as the lessons get more and more difficult.
No fluff! No distractions!
The lessons stick to the content. For a "to the point" 13 year old, this is great!
Short, concise, self-contained lessons
Thank you, Math Essentials. He was getting overwhelmed when we were talking about him going through Algebra this year. We have done other math programs where one lesson could go for 7 pages and could take multiple days to complete. These lessons are 1-2 pages, including the Introduction, Helpful Hints, Examples, Exercises, and Review! I showed him the lessons and he was relieved and really felt as though they were very manageable. These lessons DO NOT take us hours to complete. Thank goodness!
Each topic is explained in a way that the student can easily understand
Yes! He is understanding Algebra, thank goodness! Richard Fisher walks through each problem in a step-by-step method.
Lots of examples with fully explained step-by-step solutions
I love that he completely solves problems so that we can see how to solve actual problems.
Review built into each lesson to ensure mastery
This, I think, has to be my favorite! I love that they have review problems at the end of each lesson! The problem that I have found with other math programs is that they just keep moving on to new material without any review of older material. This is so helpful to really putting this information into the student's long term memory.
Chapter tests and a final exam allow students to measure progress
Since we are using this as a full Algebra curriculum, we haven't gotten to this yet, as we will be finishing up Chapter 1 this week and he'll take his first Chapter test next Monday. I looked ahead at the Chapter 1 test and I actually like it. It really does go over all of the information that was learned so that he and I can make sure that he is understanding everything before we move him on to the next chapter.
Dramatically improves test scores!
He doesn't take any standardized tests, so this doesn't completely apply to us, but I can see how this really helps students nail down their understanding of Algebra.
As you can see, Math Essentials really live up to the claims they make about their No-Nonsense Algebra. I have to add a few things.
First of all, look at the pictures below.
What do you notice about each of the pictures? Give up? He's writing! Okay, that may not seem like a big deal to you, but, to me it's HUGE! You see, he likes to try to do all math in his head. Not just the easy addition, multiplication, etc. No way! For some reason, he thinks that he should be able to do all math in his head. ALL MATH. Really? This has been a tension-filled issue for quite awhile now.
Another thing I like about this program is that it stresses not only to write down the problems and your work, but to make sure that you do so in a clean and clear manner. I love that!
So, if you aren't sure where I stand on Math Essential's No-Nonsense Algebra, here's the final answer. I love it and we will be continuing this resource to the end!
There were many other homeschool families who have reviewed this same product. Go on and check out what they had to say!
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