Thursday, January 25, 2018

No-Nonsense Algebra (Blogging Through the Alphabet)

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No-Nonsense Algebra (Blogging Through the Alphabet) on Homeschool Coffee Break @

After so many years of homeschooling, I've had plenty of opportunities to try curriculum and explore all kinds of resources, so during this Blogging Through the Alphabet tour, I'm highlighting some of the many homeschooling resources that have been stand-outs. Sometimes it will be a walk down memory lane as I share something we enjoyed many years ago, and sometimes it will be something we're using currently. Sometimes I'll focus on a specific curriculum, and sometimes on a subject area. And I imagine I'll have to be a bit creative with a couple letters of the alphabet! This week I'm going to cheat a little by repeating a lot of what I said about No-Nonsense Algebra in our review. With a little bit of update since we're still using it!

No-Nonsense Algebra  from Math Essentials is the algebra program Kennady has been using since we did that review in August. It's a combination of short, self-contained book lessons and concise online video tutorials. The book gives examples of problems with step-by-step solutions, and provides practice problems and review in each lesson. Chapter tests and a final exam are also included to help evaluate a student's success. 

No-Nonsense Algebra

The first chapter is a refresher of basic math principles and algebra tools to make sure students are ready for the more complex algebra problems in the rest of the book. These lessons are just one page long. From that point on, the lessons are usually two pages long. The concept is taught and summarized, and there are more practice problems for the student to complete. Students who tend to catch on quickly or who are using the course as a review or test prep may need just the text. My student definitely prefers watching the online video instruction for each lesson. The videos are simple and uncluttered, and relatively short - ten minutes or a bit more - but they offer clear examples and explanation. It's basically a whiteboard screen on which Mr Fisher works the example problems while teaching the concept and explaining each step. No background classroom noise or music, nothing on the screen to distract.

No-Nonsense Algebra (Blogging Through the Alphabet) on Homeschool Coffee Break @

Each chapter is followed by a Review test, with a Final Review at the very end. The solutions to all the problems in the book are included at the end, so you may want to reduce the temptation to cheat by pulling those pages out!

My son used this course several years ago, and he also really liked it. Landon liked that he could move quickly through the things he understood without doing what he thought of as pointless practice exercises. Math came more naturally to him than it does for Kennady, so it's interesting that they both found this course a good fit, and for very similar reasons. As I said in our review:
There are enough problems in the book for students to practice and master each concept, but without getting bogged down with something overly repetitive. Get it, prove you got it, and move on.
Kennady liked that each lesson and video focused on one concept and explained it clearly, and because they were concise and visually uncluttered, she was able to comprehend and better retain what she had learned. We both appreciate that it teaches and reviews high school algebra thoroughly, but without it taking huge chunks of time. When she can understand the concept and successfully work the practice problems without it taking forever, her confidence level goes up too. The logical, step-by-step progression through algebra allows her to work at the pace that's right for her, and we don't worry that she'll "never finish the book".

No-Nonsense Algebra (Blogging Through the Alphabet) on Homeschool Coffee Break @

No-Nonsense Algebra (Blogging Through the Alphabet) on Homeschool Coffee Break @

You can read our full review here: No-Nonsense Algebra from Math Essentials (A Homeschool Coffee Break Review)

No-Nonsense Algebra from Math Essentials (A Homeschool Coffee Break Review) on Homeschool Coffee Break @

By the way, it looks like Homeschool Review Crew members will be reviewing something from Math Essentials later this year!

What math curriculum has worked out best in your homeschool? Leave a comment and let me know!

Blogging Through the Alphabet again? Yes, I'm taking the challenge, along with several other Crew members, including our three co-hosts for this round - Amanda at Hopkins Homeschool, DaLynn at Biblical Womanhood, and Kirsten at DoodleMom's Homeschooling Life. The link is open from Thursday to Wednesday each week, so join in if you'd like!

This post is linked at Blogging Through the Alphabet for Week 14, Letter N.

This post is also linked at the Encouraging Hearts & Home Blog Hop hosted by Apron Strings & Other Thingsat Homeschool Blog & Tell at The Homeschool Post; and at the Homeschool Linky Party on the Homeschool Review Crew blog.

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Kristen H said...

This sounds great. If my son continues to struggle with Algebra (in public school), we might have to take a look at this for him. Thank you for sharing.

Linda Sears said...

No-Nonsense Algebra has been a terrific resource in our homeschool! love the straight-forward way it presents lessons and concepts. I'm glad to see how others are using it. Thanks for sharing!

Amanda Hopkins said...

This is the first time my son has understood and will finish an Algebra course! I am so excited to see what they have to offer the Review Crew this year!!

Rebecca C. said...

This looks like something I may need to look into for my daughter when she gets to the high school level. Thanks for sharing.

At Home where life happens said...

It was not a good fit for us for the pre-algebra review sections but I am hoping that it will be a good fit when pre-algebra is done and we are moving on to algebra I. I like the set up and the short practices. The online lessons were good helps. - Lori

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