Thursday, August 10, 2017

No-Nonsense Algebra REVIEW

No-Nonsense Algebra
It seems you can never get too much help in the math department so when I had the chance to review No-Nonsense Algebra from Math Essentials, I jumped at the chance.  My 8th grader is set to start Algebra this fall.  I took Algebra when I was in 8th grade and it dawned on me that this is a year ahead of time!  Oh no, I thought I messed up but his current math program covers pre-algebra for his 7th grade math so we should be okay.  Also, now that I know we have this book available to us we will be just fine. The author, Richard W. Fisher is an award-winning math teacher with a proven system that produces fantastic results.

The current math program we are using has short videos as the lesson and No-Nonsense Algebra is much the same.  It is basically a textbook (not a workbook) that has 10 chapters of lessons that include:
  • Necessary Tools for Algebra
  • Solving Equations
  • Graphing and Analyzing Linear Equations
  • Solving and Graphing Inequalities
  • Systems of Linear Equations and Inequalities
  • Polynomials
  • Rational Expressions (Algebraic Fractions)
  • Radical Expressions and Geometry
  • Quadratic Equations
  • Algebra Word Problems
The lessons begin with an introduction that includes helpful hints on the subject followed by examples and then some practice problems. Each chapter ends with a review section to help solidify what was learned.  Almost every topic has a corresponding video lesson to also teach the concept (there is supposed to be a video for every lesson but we found a few to be missing). The FREE videos are accessed online with an access code that is given to you when you purchase the book.  There is a final review (comprehensive test) at the end of the book as well as answers to all the problems, a glossary, important formulas, important symbols, and various other helps (multiplication table, commonly used prime numbers, squared and square roots, and fraction/decimal equivalents).

Math Essentials Final Cut from Richard Fisher on Vimeo.

The approach taken is a systematic approach that allows the teaching to flow from one concept to the next in a very logical sequence. This book can be used in various ways.  It can be your sole stand alone program or you can use it as a supplement to a program you are already using or even as a review text to be sure that your student has mastered all of the algebra concepts.

Since we have a current program that works well with my son we chose to use this as a supplement and a review for concepts he has already learned in pre-algebra.  Our current homeschool schedule for summer is 3 days a week and this has worked well in working through this text.  He likes that the video lessons are fairly short (approximately 10 min each - some a little shorter some a minute or two longer) and that the lessons include helpful hints.  I was even able to use some of the helpful hint concepts with a 7th grader I homeschool and they were helpful for her.  The entire first chapter is dedicated to reviewing pre-algebra concepts so it has been a good review for my son.

Sample snip from a video lesson

We plan to continue using this as a supplemental text as he moves on to Algebra in a few weeks.  I would definitely recommend this book for anyone needing a quick review of pre-algebra concepts, needing to solidify their Algebra or even just needing a full Algebra curriculum.  This text can rise to the task and you will not be disappointed in the results it can bring.  I have learned from experience with my son that curriculum that is bogged down with endless lessons and practice questions does not make for a better source of teaching.  Short, concise and to the point gets it done with less pain to the student and I think they learn and retain the material much better.

Math Essentials

You can connect with Math Essentials on FACEBOOK. Also be sure to check out their website for more math books and helps.

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No-Nonsense Algebra {Math Essentials Reviews}

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