No-Nonsense Algebra from Math Essentials: A TOS Crew Review

Math Essentials  My girls are getting older and I’m always on the lookout for where we are heading with math in the higher grades. I’ve had my eye on Math Essentials for a while now because of recommendations, incredibly low price, and the availability of video lessons if desired. I was super excited to have the opportunity to review  No-Nonsense Algebra from Math Essentials. I decided to have my middle daughter, Beth, give this a try. She is beginning 5th grade, but has always found math to be both enjoyable and fairly easy. To be honest, she’s never been challenged really. My husband and I decided it would be good for her to give this a try and see how she did. I also have been working hard to brush up on my own mathematics skills. It isn’t my strength, but this does not need to mean it is a weakness. I’ll touch on my own experience at the end of the review.  No-Nonsense Algebra I love the title. No-Nonsense is absolutely the best description for this course! There are no frills or excessive practice pages. Honestly, there isn’t a need with the direct way the course approaches math is beautiful. I struggled to excel in mathematics once I passed the elementary levels and I can’t help but think a more stream-lined approach may have helped me. The instructional videos are clear and easy to follow. They are also fairly short, so if a student needs to watch a video again it will not feel it is taking an excessive amount of time.  

 As I said before Beth is entering into 5th grade, but has never found math challenging. She just turned 10 and almost always makes a perfect score on every math assignment I give her. I honestly rarely even have to “teach” a concept to her in the traditional way because she intuitively understands mathematics concepts and reading the instructional information is usually enough. Because of these things which are consistently true to her nature I was pretty certain she would do well with this Algebra course. I was not disappointed!  Beth thoroughly enjoyed doing her math on the computer. I was a little surprised because while she enjoys the screen time we give her, she’s never been one to ask for computer-based learning. She told me she liked the lesson because it was easy to understand. Because Beth finds math easy, it is never a subject she complains over completing. What was really neat to see was that she was even more eager to complete math lessons than usual and this is really high praise indeed!  

Our standard course for mathematics is to use graphing paper for written assignments. This math course is non-consumable (My favorite kind!!!!) so students will need to copy the problems onto their own paper. This was excellent for Beth. Our regular curriculum does not function this way and I found this to be a skill in which she was lacking! For the first time in a very long time Beth missed several answers. Now this may not be cause for celebration for most people, but it was for me. Finally my smart little girl was being challenged! What I discovered was all but one of the mistakes was due to a transcription error. This was only in the first lesson, but she was learning about the concept of negative numbers which was completely new to her. She comprehended the lesson completely, but the transcription errors were her downfall. This was an incredible learning experience for her I had not anticipated. 

Since Beth is young compared to most students beginning an algebra course, I had her take more than one day for each lesson. This was an excellent pace for her. The first day she watched the video and completed half of the written work. I would check the work. If there were multiple errors the second day she would watch the lesson again if needed and correct her errors. If there were no errors we moved forward and finish the rest of the written work. This gave her between 8 and 10 problems a day which worked very well.  

Beth has thoroughly enjoyed this program. I too have enjoyed working through it, although at a slightly faster pace. The concepts were more familiar for me. I did not feel the need to watch the videos as the instruction in the book were adequate for review. Because this is review I felt very comfortable working on one lesson a day and did so rather quickly. If I were not already stretching my time as far as possible I would have been able to complete two lessons in a day. For anyone needing to brush up on higher mathematics prior to testing for college entry this would be a good course with which to begin. 
I highly, highly recommend this math course. In fact, it has been such a great fit for our style of learning that I fully intend to explore the other courses available from Math Essentials.
Check out what my fellow Crewmates have to say!

No-Nonsense Algebra {Math Essentials Reviews}Crew Disclaimer

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