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They say you have learned and know a topic when you can teach it to someone else. I guess I really don’t know math. I prefer math over language arts, I do well with mental math or anything mathy that comes up in day-to-day life, I like mathy puzzles, I see things from a mathy perspective, etc. But, if my children don’t get something from the way I can explain it to them, then we’re both stuck. So, I must not know math. But now, we no longer need to be stuck. I have Math Refresher for Adults in my arsenal. This great new resource from Math Essentials is just what this mama needs to go from knowing how to do it to explaining how to do it.

I have to be honest, when my book arrived, I was a bit giddy. I started a brand new notebook and was working through the early pages rapidly. This was fun! Then one of my daughters had a question about her math work. I rattled off how to tackle the fractions. Then was second-guessing myself. I think that’s when you flip the fraction and multiply, right? Or maybe that is another situation. I know for sure at some point working with fractions you flip it and multiply, but when? for what purpose? That’s when I realized the true value of what I had in my hands.

The table of contents shows quickly where to find a needed topic. Each topic is a single page (one side), quick, simple and to the point. That page has a few review problems at the top, then gives hints and tips for the topic at hand. A few sample problems (full answers are in the back) followed by practice problems. The bottom of the page is almost always more a word problem. If the sample problems were difficult or this topic is just not clicking, then I head to the website and find the relevant video. Sometimes there is a little bit of searching needed to find what I’m looking for. Copy the password, then click over to the video. This is all it has taken to refresh my memory on how to work a specific problem set. The back of the book also contains a glossary (sometimes that is all it takes to help a child stuck with their work – a quick refresher on what some of those words mean). You’ll also find a page of symbols and a few cheat sheets, I mean tables, of prime numbers, square roots, and fraction/decimal equivalents.

Prior to my need for the guidance in Math Refresher for Adults, I was thinking how great this would be for moms re-entering the workforce or going back to college. And those are great reasons to need this book. My husband pointed out that the IBEW/NECA Joint Apprenticeship Training Program has an aptitude test when applying. It is math heavy – electrical work requires more than everyday math skills. If it’s been more than a few years since your last class, you could likely benefit, too.

We’ve used other resources from Math Essentials – and the learners using them have been successful. Things are well laid-out, easy to understand, and often, if not always, have a video to really see how to tackle the topic. Math Refresher for Adults is no exception. This is a great reference to keep around, even if you don’t “need” to brush-up on your skills.