Have you ever said, “I’ll NEVER try anything different”? I have. We LOVE our current math curriculum. When the Crew posted requests for Math Essentials No-Nonsense Algebra I figured we’d use the program for review time and return to our regularly scheduled plan. I was wrong.
When I first received the book I thought, “This is it? Really?” Yet, as we delved into learning, I realized the genius of this program.
How it Works
No-Nonsense Algebra consists of 2 components: The student book and the free online video lectures. Each lesson contains five key parts:
- Introduction and explanation of topic; easy-to understand. There is not sample problem after sample problem. It’s one simple introduction, easy for the student to understand.
- Helpful Hints offer bullet point tips that give a further insight into the lesson. They can include tips, formulas or explanations.
Example of Helpful Hints From Lesson 1-7 Exponents
Any number to the power of zero is equal to one. For example n0 = 1 and 50 = 1.
- Examples with step-by-step solutions. Simple, easy-to-understand. Even the more advanced lessons. There is NO FLUFF. Just pure math!
- Written Exercises: The number of exercises that coordinate with the lesson range from 12 to 20 depending upon the complexity of the lesson. Some concepts will require more practice to master.
- Review: Every lesson ends with a set of review problems to ensure that the student is consistently practicing previously learned concepts. There is on average 4 review problems to solve.
The book includes FREE access to online video lessons that correspond with each lesson! The author Richard W Fisher guides you through step-by-step. He is not a “dry” lecturer. The video has audio with a whiteboard. The longest we’ve found is 11 minutes. It kept a 14-year old boy entertained…need I say more?
Non-Nonsense Algebra is really…No-Nonsense!
A simple book and the videos. No fluffy word problems. Just pure 100% algebra. Math. Simple. Basic. Easy.
How We Used this Program
The book is divided into chapters and lessons with a review at the end of each chapter. There are a total of 10 chapters.
I assigned a lesson per day to The Boy. He began by watching the video upstairs on his computer. After watching the lecture he would read through introduction, tips and examples. Often he would complete the problems & review on his own. As the answers are in the back of the book, I require him to “score” his own work. Any problems missed we go over together.
Occasionally I would find a lesson that I knew The Boy needed further instruction. I would note at the top in red pen *Complete lesson with mom. Watch additional video online. Complete additional worksheet.* If he missed more than 5 problems on a lesson, we would have a review the next day. (Unless of course he just forgets to multiply instead of adding!)
We are consuming the book as a workbook. It may not be reproduced in any manner.
My son and I had this conversation.
Me: So, how do you like the Math program.
Boy: I like it. Can I use this for math?
Me: Really? You don’t want to continue with XYZ?
Boy: No. I want to use this. You can sell the other program.
Me: Why? Can you tell me what you like?
Boy: It’s easy. There are not a lot of problems. I understand the videos…they are better. It’s just math. That’s all I want.
Me: OK. So would you write a review paragraph for me?
Boy: (arching his eyebrow) Uh, no way mom.
Me: Well, I tried.
We are selling our XYZ program and continuing with this program. I cannot think of any better recommendation than a 14-year old asking to use the program. Way to go Mr. Fisher! Thank you for making my journey into high school homeschooling easier!
Additional Review Item
We also received an additional book to review from Math Essentials. We chose Fractions.
This book covers all four operations for fractions. Specific and easy-to-follow instructions ensure that students master the “dreaded” fraction. With consistent, built-in review included in each lesson, students will conquer this topic that gives many students so much difficulty. Each book also contains plenty of practical, real-life problem solving.
Daily drills can be finished in 20 minutes or less! Same simple format as the Algebra book!
Get the Program
Website: Math Essentials
- No-Nonsense Algebra: $27.95 book & online videos
- Mastering Essential Math Skills (grades 4-12): $33.95 book & DVD
- Fractions Skills Book: $11.95
Thank you to Math Essentials and Schoolhouse Review Crew for the opportunity to review this program!
Read how other homeschool families from the Schoolhouse Review Crew are using this product.
Disclaimer: As a member of the Schoolhouse Review Crew, I received this product, at no cost to me, in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are mine.