Saturday, July 28, 2012

No Nonsense Algebra

Does the thought of your child taking Algebra scare you? It shouldn’t! Although there are several good, solid, Algebra curriculums to choose from, before you buy one, I’d like to introduce you to my new favorite. Math Essentials author Richard W. Fisher has released another winner in his “No-Nonsense Algebra!”

Besides the well-written, concise book (that includes ‘Tips’ pages throughout to encourage your student), this curriculum offers online video lessons to go with each lesson in the book. So whether you’re a math wiz or not, your student can learn Algebra (and you can learn along with them if you want!)
One of the best parts? It sells for ONLY $27.95- including the videos! That is an amazing price! Included in the printed book is an extensive glossary with terms, symbols, squares and square roots, and a ‘Formulas’ page. Then come the solutions--- see? I told you it was affordable, no need for a separate Teacher’s book! I was actually shocked at how low the price was because I didn’t look at that until Emily had done several days’ worth of lessons, and we had both been impressed by the videos. Emily said “He makes it easy to learn.” Each student will vary on the amount of time they’ll need to master a new concept, but I would say most will be able to complete a lesson in 35-45 minutes because the concepts are presented so well.
The first chapter is a review of all of the basic math skills that are necessary to begin Algebra. Spend as much time as you need reviewing this chapter with your child, because it truly is the “essentials.” Once they’ve mastered it, move on to chapter 2 and the Algebra begins. The book has 10 chapters, and even includes Algebra word problems, something that often stumps people. So why not learn alongside your student, and cover those things you never really grasped, or have forgotten?
You could probably find a cheaper Algebra book to use if you really searched, but it would not include the videos, which I would say are “priceless.” In the past I have tutored others in Algebra. When you figure tutoring runs $15-$20 an hour, you can see why I’m recommending this resource so highly. I would have expected it to cost at least $140, not less than $30!
The only drawback to this I can find...He hasn’t written Algebra II yet!
PhotobucketThe Mastering Essential Math Skills program also includes books that focus on helping with the basics for 4th/5th grade and Middle School/ High School, or Pre-Algebra. So if you’ve been using a different curriculum, or your student seems ‘lost’ in that big book they brought home from school, there is an economical solution. You can also get books that focus on Decimals and Percents, Fractions, or Geometry. These additional books cost between  $11.95 to $15.95 each. 

We received the Geometry book. It starts out rather basic, and builds, just like you’d expect from a quality math book. While it only has about 60 pages of basic geometry (no Pythagorean Theorem or proofs here,) it covers all the things your child should have learned about Geometry through the Eighth grade.
I’d give the Mastering Essential Math Skills program an A+! If you decide to try it, rest assured, they offer a 30 day risk-free guarantee. That is quality service with a smile!


As members of the TOS Crew, we received these books free of charge in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are ours!

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