Because my son struggles with grasping math skills, I am always looking for new curriculum that will not only help him master essential skills but will also keep him engaged without pulling out my hair. When I was offered the chance to review No-Nonsense Algebra from Math Essentials, I didn't hesitate to accept.
No-Nonsense Algebra is a complete math curriculum. You receive a comprehensive book and access to online videos. The book starts with an Introduction in which it is explained that the book isn't merely a text book on Algebra but a system of teaching Algebra. The system is the same in each lesson: Introduction and Explanation, Helpful Hints, Examples, Written Exercises, and Review. After the Introduction, the book launches into the lessons. Each lesson, which follows the systematic teaching method, is thorough but succinct with the majority of lessons being two pages in length.
In addition, the book is divided into ten chapters: 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, and Algebra Word Problems. Furthermore, the book also provides a list of important formulas, a list of important symbols, a chart with multiplication tables, a chart with commonly used prime numbers, a chart with squares and square roots, a chart with fraction and decimal equivalents. Finally, the book contains the solutions to all of the exercises. This is a tremendous help to homeschool families.
The second component of No-Nonsense Algebra is the Online Lessons. With the special access code you receive when you purchase the book, you are able to access the Online Lessons. These lessons explain the day's topic in the same systematic teaching method by introducing the topic and providing examples. Students can work on the problems with the lesson as the instructor goes over each example. This allows them to work on problems like those they will work on in the exercise section of the book.
Because my son struggles with math, I have learned the best ways to teach him new skills and to help him retain what he has learned. No-Nonsense Algebra from Math Essentials utilizes short online lessons and book instruction. This is excellent for children like my son who have diagnoses of ADHD and Dyscalculia: a math learning disability. The length of the lessons and book instruction is important as the brevity helps my son stay focused. However, you shouldn't equate this brevity with a lack of thoroughness as each lesson is comprehensive. The repetitive structure of each lesson not only helps keep my son focused but also helps him stay organized which appeals to his desire of "following the rules," which is a result of his diagnosis of Asperger's Syndrome (High-Functioning Autism). In addition, the concise lessons, both online and in the book, help him to not be overwhelmed. This is essential for his success! The provided formulas and charts are also a tremendous help to students, like my son, who have learning disabilities and memory issues.
Math Essentials provides full math curriculum for a wide array of levels, including No-Nonsense Algebra. To learn more about their products, check out their Facebook page.
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