How well do you remember the math and algebra you learned when you were in school? Well enough to feel confident teaching it to your homeschool student? Many of us homeschool moms admit to feeling some trepidation about how we'll get our kids through algebra when we struggled with it a couple decades ago and now struggle to remember it. That's where this

**book from***Math Refresher for Adults***comes in. I got the chance to review the book over the past several weeks and see if I could brush up my own math skills.***Math Essentials*
Materials from

*are designed to teach students the math they need to know, and the emphasis is on "need". The lessons are short, concise, and get right to the point of teaching the concept and skill. Author Rick Fisher was an award-winning math instructor in California for over 30 years, and brings his highly functional and easy-to-understand teaching system to the***Math Essentials***Math Essentials*series of materials.
We've previously reviewed and used

Whether we realize it or not, math skills are simply problem-solving skills, and are so important in our everyday lives, from managing our household finances to functioning in our jobs. And although we rely heavily on technology to do calculations for us, we really do need to understand how numbers work or how will we be able to correctly interpret and analyze the data? Or even know that the answers our calculator gives us are accurate? And if you've ever witnessed (or experienced) the embarrassing confusion of trying to make change at a checkout or split a restaurant bill without the help of a calculator, you know exactly what I mean.

*No-Nonsense Algebra*from*Math Essentials,*so I was already familiar with the video and workbook practice style of instruction. This new book,*Math Refresher for Adults*is designed for parents who need to help their kids with math, for adults returning to college, for students preparing for the GED or SAT/PSAT, and for anyone who needs to improve or brush up on math skills. And yes, for homeschool parents who find themselves in need of a refresher so they can more confidently teach math to their own kids! This book is an all-in-one solution to help adults and older students learn and review basic math, geometry, problem-solving, pre-algebra, and algebra.Whether we realize it or not, math skills are simply problem-solving skills, and are so important in our everyday lives, from managing our household finances to functioning in our jobs. And although we rely heavily on technology to do calculations for us, we really do need to understand how numbers work or how will we be able to correctly interpret and analyze the data? Or even know that the answers our calculator gives us are accurate? And if you've ever witnessed (or experienced) the embarrassing confusion of trying to make change at a checkout or split a restaurant bill without the help of a calculator, you know exactly what I mean.

*Math Refresher for Adults*is set up in chapters with very short lessons in simple language. The Table of Contents is detailed enough for you to find the exact topic you need to work on, and you don't need to work through the entire book in order. There are video lessons (most are less than 10 minutes long) for each lesson, and practice and review in the book so you can work through the calculations yourself. The answers are in the back of the book, along with a glossary of terms and a couple of helpful tables.

**How did we use it?**Well, as the adult in our homeschool, I got to use this book. I did not care much for my math classes when I was in school, but I did fairly well with everything until I got to high school. And honestly, I got lost on some concepts around Grade 10 and kind of faked my way through large swaths of Grade 11. In Grade 12 I had a different teacher and was able to fill in some of the holes. All the same, I was greatly relieved that I did not need to take any math classes when I went to college, because I don't think I would have managed very well. Now as a homeschool mom I've had to be able to help my teens through algebra and I've noticed some of those holes in my own math knowledge again - most because I've just forgotten what I learned so long ago, and some because I didn't truly understand or know how to apply.

This is pretty accurate. |

The

*Math Refresher for Adults*is a sort of like a compilation and summary of the Mastering Math Skills series of books from Math Essentials. These books cover math skills taught from about Grade 4 and up. So for any adult (or teen) that finds they need to re-learn or practice some of the foundational concepts, this puts all the teaching in one place to provide review of those topics. I'm now helping my fourth homeschool student through high school math, so I was looking for something to jog my memory when it comes to algebra and geometry, but figured I could also use a quick refresher to make sure I was using the same terminology for all kinds of equations. Like when my student asks for help and uses words like "disjoint set" and "polynomials" and my eyes glaze over just a little bit.
I paged through the General Math lessons covering Whole Numbers, Fractions, Decimals, and Percents - over 80 pages of those to start the book! - because I'm confident in my understanding of all that. I reviewed a little bit of Geometry and the lessons on Integers. Because why not? Good news - I do remember how to do that stuff, and honestly I found it interesting to view the video lessons. These lessons were less than 10 minutes long and focused on the topic at hand with a clear explanation. The one in the photo below is on calculating the area of a triangle or parallelogram. Concise explanation of the formula, why it works, and then a couple of examples. All without distracting music or graphics - just a whiteboard with Mr Fisher teaching the concept and working through the examples step by step.

Depending on how much space you need, and the type of problems, you can work some of the problems right in the book, but it's probably best to follow the recommendation to copy out the problems on a separate paper to work through them. There are numbered spaces in the practice section to write down your final answers, which makes it quick to check them using the answer key in the back.

Why yes, I had a glass of wine while reviewing Sets and Statistics. Because I got all the answers right, and it is a course for adults, after all!

The Pre-Algebra and Algebra section in the book was what I needed most, but the lessons and problems in the book itself were of the more basic variety, and are the lessons covered in the

*Mastering Essential Math Skills: Pre-Algebra Concepts*book. This was a good foundation, but I really wanted a bit of help with the type of problems in the*No-Nonsense Algebra*book that my daughter has been using. The good news is that this*Math Refresher for Adults*book DOES give access to the video lessons that accompany No-Nonsense Algebra, but unfortunately for me, those lessons are NOT in the book, nor are there additional practice problems. I went ahead and did the Final Review in the book and aced it though! Whew! I really was hoping for practice problems and lessons that covered all of the Algebra material though.
I do want to clarify this, because I wasn't sure when the opportunity for this review first came up. The video lessons for the Math Refresher book are the

*same*video lessons that go along with the Mastering Essential Math Skills series, and purchase of the Math Refresher book gives you access to the No-Nonsense Algebra instructional videos, but there isn't printed material in the book that goes with those high school algebra lessons.**What we liked best:**

- all in one place refresher course that's good for homeschool moms or dads that need to brush up on their math
- concise, no-frills video lessons that explain the concepts so clearly without taking up a lot of time
- one concept at a time so you can learn it well before moving on to the next thing

**What I need to mention:**

- the answers are in the back of the book so if it's being used by a student, it may be necessary to pull out those pages
- the video lessons are the same ones used for the Mastering Essential Math Skills
- the listing of video lessons on the website has the page numbers for the Mastering Essential Math Skills books, and not for this book, so you'll need to do a little deciphering to match them to the Math Refresher book's chapters.

**Our bottom line:**I really do like the teaching style and presentation of the material, and I think this is a great resource for adults who need to ramp up their understanding of math concepts. I found that it didn't provide exactly what I'd hoped for, so I'd like to see the Product Information page rewritten a bit to make it more clear what is included and that the video lessons that accompany this are the same ones that accompany the other Math Essentials series. However, if you need to review some basics and don't already have the other books in the series, this is ideal.

**Would you like to refresh your understanding of math concepts? Here's what you need to know:**

Visit the website:

*www.MathEssentials.net*See all the products available from Math Essentials:

*www.MathEssentials.net/products*

Pricing: Math Refresher for Adults is available from the

*Math Essentials website*for $28.95. This includes the workbook and access to all the online video tutorials.

Age Recommendation: teens and adults

You can follow Math Essentials on

You can read our No-Nonsense Algebra review here:

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

Visit the

*for more information and to read other reviews.*

**Homeschool Review Crew blog**
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