Sunday, July 29, 2012

No-Nonsense Algebra by Math Essentials

I'm happy to be able to share with you about a math curriculum I hadn't heard of until Math Essentials gave me the opportunity (through the Schoolhouse Review Crew) to review No-Nonsense Algebra. I also received Mastering Essential Math Skills Geometry.

No-Nonsense Algebra is a text book with access to free (with the purchase of the book) online video teaching.


Chapter 1 Necessary Tools for Algebra
Chapter 2 Solving Equations
Chapter 3 Graphing and Analyzing Linear Equations
Chapter 4 Solving and Graphing Inequalities
Chapter 5 Systems of Linear Equations and Inequalities
Chapter 6 Polynomials
Chapter 7 Rational Expressions (Algebraic Fractions)
Chapter 8 Radical Expressions and Geometry
Chapter 9 Quadratic Equations
Chapter 10 Algebra Word Problems

No-Nonsense Algebra also includes: a “How to Use This Book” section, chapter reviews, final exam, solutions for all problems, glossary and a resource center.

Though there is teaching in the text, much of the teaching is in the videos.  The videos feature a white board lesson with audio.  I like how the teacher encourages students to actually take notes and I think this is perfect training for homeschooled students who don't necessarily learn traditional note taking (at least I know that has been lacking here.)  The video lessons are concise usually lasting about 5-10 minutes and the teaching is easy to follow.
Choose the lesson you wish to view by using the arrows above and below the lessons.

This is a clip of the video player.  You can view it as a full page or smaller player. 

My husband has been a math teacher for over 20 years and he looked this book over and likes it. He said the newer algebra texts have too much "nonsense" in them. (OK he didn't really use that word but that was the idea and since this is No-Nonsense Algebra I thought it was the appropriate word.)

The lessons in the book are divided into an Introduction where the new skill is introduced, followed by Examples, Exercises then Review of previous topics. Solutions are provided for all of the exercises (but they are solutions only...they are not worked out step by step.) You could always remove the answer key pages if this is a concern for you but frankly, you can't do most Algebra in your head so if your student isn't showing their work, you already know there is a problem.

This is not a Christian curriculum but I did not find anything offensive in the book at all. I highly recommend you try No-Nonsense Algebra. I plan to use this in our homeschool for a long time to come.

We also received Mastering Essential Math Skills Geometry. This is from a series of books written for 4th-5th graders though I think it contains an excellent introduction to Geometry for any age student that might need it. Each lesson takes about 20 minutes to complete.

It contains Review Exercises which covers arithmetic and review from lessons as you go, helpful hints for the current topic, next you will find a section of exercises followed by a word problem.

This book has 63 pages of exercises including a final test, followed by an answer key and glossary for a total of 80 pages. View the Table of Contents and Sample Pages. I do like this book but find it lacking in detailed teaching. As a former math major (and with my husband being a math teacher) I am completely comfortable with this, but someone less comfortable with math may not be. (This is different from my opinion of the Algebra which I feel is thorough.)

You can purchase No-Nonsense Algebra text book with online video access for only $27.95 which will also come with a free ($4.99 value) A+ Math Kit. (limited time offer...prices current as of this posting.) Can you believe that price?? It is an amazing value! This has to be one of the most affordable Algebra courses on the market.

Mastering Essential Math Skills Geometry is available for $11.95. Other titles in this series can be seen here.

The Math Essentials offers a no risk guarantee. At the end of 30 days, if you do not see a dramatic improvement in math skills among your student(s), simply return the materials and for a full refund. There is absolutely NO obligation.

Learn more about the author, Rick Fisher and how these books came to be.

See what others on the Crew are saying about various Math Essentials programs on the Schoolhouse Review Crew blog. Titles being reviewed include Mastering Essential Math Skills Book 1 and DVD, Mastering Essential Math Skills Book 2 and DVD and Mastering Essential Math Skills Pre-Algebra. View all available courses here.

I received free copies of No-Nonsense Algebra with online lesson access and Math Essentials Geometry in exchange for an honest review.

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