Math is one of those subjects that the right curriculum makes all the difference in success. It is one of the subjects for which we have used many different curricula. It is also the subject that most of my children hope to finish quickly. Enter Math Essentials. Just as their name implies, they take the essentials and teach math via video lessons and to the point work pages. We have used Math Essentials resources during middle school with great success. Now that we are in the high school years, algebra is needed. No-Nonsense Algebra fits the needs of my dyslexic daughter perfectly.
My daughter’s favorite aspect of lessons in the Mastering Essential Math Skills series is that the lesson sheets are so concise. In the No-Nonsense Algebra, which is part of the Mastering Essential Math Skills series, the new topic is introduced on a two-page spread for each lesson. If your learner needs more than this introduction, it is easy to pull up the video lessons online to watch (and repeat as needed). The access code is included in the book. There are example problems that are recommended to copy onto a separate piece of paper. The second page has the practice problems to complete, then you have a little review. Having daily review works towards mastery, which is more important to us than the pace of completing the book.
With each lesson comprising only the two-page spread (and only a single page for some of the early lessons), the overwhelm that can plague my daughter while working on math isn’t there. Copying the problems onto a separate sheet of paper helps engage different parts of the brain so that the topic being worked on is retained better. The online video of each lesson features the author, award-winning teacher, Richard W. Fisher. Mr. Fisher not only teaches each lesson but works through the example problems as well. For the parent that feels inadequate to teach algebra (or lacks the patience, ahem), this is a huge help — and easier than hiring a tutor.
The book begins with a “How to Use This Book” section that includes the hint about writing out the example problems for better understanding. I love that the book is telling my learner to do this and it is not just a “Mama said” thing. After each chapter, there are ten, is a complete review. We treat these like quizzes and do no other lesson on this day. There are glossary, reference section and solutions sections in the back of the book. With the book (and the online video access), a student of any age, from high schooler to adult, can “open and go” and work their way to mastering algebra. Some of the other titles we have from the Mastering Math Essentials series have a DVD instead of this online access. In some ways, we prefer a DVD option. This frees up a computer for a sibling to use. In times when our internet is down, it would be nice to pop in a disc. That being said, my daughter can easily pull the videos up on her Kindle and work in her room — away from noisy siblings and other distractions.
Check out what other Homeschool Crew Families think of No-Nonsense Algebra. Click the image below to read their reviews.