Wednesday, August 9, 2017

No-Nonsense Algebra a Homeschool Crew Review

It’s hard to believe that my son is getting to that point that he is learning algebra. Yikes I don’t remember algebra myself. I love finding curriculum that makes me feel confident when teaching my children. Math Essentials is one of those curriculums that I can sigh in relief with their No-Nonsense Algebra curriculum. I received a physical copy for this review.
No-Nonsense Algebra is a unique approach to teaching algebra. Math Essentials doesn’t consider this an algebra text but, more of a method of teaching algebra. The lessons are short and to the point. Each lesson contains five key parts:

*Clear introduction and explanation for every topic and it is written out easily for the student to understand
*Helpful hints section that has shortcuts and useful tips.
*Step by step examples.
*Written exercises and the answers are provided.
*Review section to help your student recall what they have learned.

No-Nonsense Algebra is very easy to understand. The book is divided by sections on different algebraic topics. In addition to the text, there are online videos. Access to the website is part of the purchase of the book. The access code is inside of each book. The website is easy to create an account and to navigate.

The videos are no fluff showing just a white board from the author Richard W. Fisher teaching each topic. He gives several examples step by step of the problems on the lesson. The written explanations are clear and concise-a big plus for me.

No-Nonsense Algebra can be used as a main curriculum or as a supplemental program. Since Little Man is just learning algebra he is in the pre-algebra stage. The first few lessons are pre-algebra topics reviewing. 

The work text is a soft cover book and has 275 pages and 10 chapters. The lessons in each chapter vary from 4 to 10 lessons. Each lesson has a short review. The end of each chapter there is a chapter review. So far the lesson we have done are similar.

 I would recommend a notebook for this so you have room to write down your answers.

 The back of the book is your final review, glossary, important formulas and symbols. There is also a multiplication table, commonly used prime numbers, squares and square roots, fraction/decimal equivalents, and the solutions to the problems in the book.

How did I use No-Nonsense Algebra in my homeschool?

We are just about to close up our summer mode of school. We typically work three days in a week for no more than an hour. Little Man wasn’t too thrilled starting algebra in the summer but, he didn’t complain about the program either. 

Each lesson has an introductory that goes over the lesson. Little Man would then watch the online videos. So far the videos he has watched have been no more than 10 minutes. The book has a few examples on how to solve the problems. Then it follows the exercises and closes with a brief review from the previous lessons. Little Man has completed the first chapter and is a few lessons into the second chapter. With it being a newer topic for him that he has just began to learn awhile ago we went slowly. That is how he likes to work with new topics in the beginning to build up a foundation.

Thankfully my son is good with math just like his father. I was grateful for the pace of the program with working on one algebraic concept at a time. It has been a review for me also. The videos I felt that the author hit the mark with the quality of the videos. His voice is perfect at presenting the concepts. You don’t have all the distractions of a classroom setting, a person covering up parts of the equations. They weren’t blurry or over busy. 

One thing that I really liked was the charts and other items in the back of the book. The glossary contains terms and an explanation on what they are.

The charts are extremely helpful. The chart that I thought was the most beneficial was the chart with important formulas and symbols. Now my son wasn’t sure which section in the back of the book he thought would be the most helpful to him.

The only thing that I’m not crazy about is the answer key being in the same book as the student book. I think I’d prefer them separate. I could see some kids taking advantage of this. However the answer key just shows the answer and not the solution of how it’s done. 

I think No-Nonsense Algebra is a keeper and we plan on using this in the coming year. I think this would be a wonderful resource to review for the SAT test.

Others have been reviewing No-Nonsense Algebra. You can click on the link below to see what they have to say.

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