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Thursday, August 10, 2017

Homeschool Crew Review: No-Nonsense Algebra

Math Essentials

Math Essentials offers straight forward, easy to use and understand math products for elementary, middle, and high school students.  The author, Rick Fisher,  has been a math teacher for over 30 years and has devoted his time to teaching and developing products that produce results.  We have had an opportunity to use and review No-Nonsense Algebra over the last several weeks.

No-Nonsense Algebra

No-Nonsense Algebra has two different components.  First you have a 275 page paperback book.  Purchase of the book also gives you access to instructional videos for each lesson.  Students will also need a notebook or paper to copy down each of the problems.  No-Nonsense Algebra has 10 chapters with several lessons in each chapter.  Chapters include:

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
Chapter 8: Radical Expressions and Geometry
Chapter 9: Quadratic Equations
Chapter 10: Algebra Word Problems

Each lesson follows the same format.  In the book you read through the introduction and helpful hints section and then go over the examples.  Then you work through the exercises.  It is strongly recommended that you copy each of the problems on a piece of paper and work them out step by step.  Then you go through the review section and correct your work using the solutions in the back of the book.

You have the option of using the online videos along with the lesson and watching the videos before doing the work in the book  In the videos you can see example problems worked out step by step.  The videos vary in length, but are under 20 minutes long. 

No-Nonsense Algebra is a full curriculum and can be used as such.  It also can be used as a supplement to go along with your regular math curriculum.  We used it as a review.  My son took Algebra 1 in 8th grade and then Geometry in 9th grade.  For 10th grade he will be doing Algebra 2 and I thought a review of Algebra would be good before starting that and also as a refresher for math that he will have to do when taking the ACT this year.

The name No-Nonsense Algebra describes this course exactly.  There are no extras or frills with this program, they are not necessary.  It goes step by step through examples to teach students how to work out the problems.  The videos are short but teach the necessary information.  You do not need a separate teacher book, everything you need is contained in one book, including the solutions.  Students can use this book completely independently.

I recommended No-Nonsense Algebra just the other day to a high school homeschooler who did not score as well in the math section of the ACT as she wanted to.  I think this book is a great, affordable way to go over areas of Algebra that you may struggle in, spending only minutes a day.  It can be used as a complete curriculum as well and I love how flexible the program is. 

To see what my Crew Mates had to say, stop by  the Crew Blog!

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