AJ completed Algebra 1 last year. She passed it with an A and really enjoyed it. She is lucky, because math comes easy to her. Once she learns a new concept she can usually work out any similar problem easily. This year she is taking Geometry. There are some algebraic skills required, but just basic ones. (So far.) I don’t want her to forget the harder algebraic skills while she is working with angles and proofs. My plan for this year was to have AJ work on algebraic skills once a week to keep the concepts sharp. So when we were given the chance to review No-Nonsense Algebra from **Math Essentials**, I thought it would be perfect.

## What is No-Nonsense Algebra?

They are:

- Necessary Tools for Algebra (22 lessons)
- Solving Equations (9 lessons)
- Graphing and Analyzing Linear Equations (6 lessons)
- Solving and Graphing Inequalities (7 lessons)
- Systems of Linear Equations and Inequalities (4 lessons)
- Polynomials (13 lessons)
- Rational Expressions (10 lessons)
- Radical Expressions and Geometry (10 lessons)
- Quadratic Equations (6 lessons)
- Algebra Word Problems (8 lessons)

### What Does a Lesson Look Like?

The pages in the book are simple and not cluttered, so the student won’t get distracted. Lessons in the beginning chapters take up a single page, where lessons further in the book take up two pages. Each lesson follows the same format. They are broken up into four parts.

**Introduction** – This is the main part of the lesson. It includes basic information about the concept and helpful hints to make solving problems easier. After reading this section you should have a good idea about how to solve the assigned problems.

**Examples** – In this section one or more problems are worked out. Each step is shown and there are helpful notes when needed to visually show the student how to solve the problems.

**Exercises** – These are the problems that the student will work out. Each lesson varies on how many questions it has, but I have not seen any with more than 20. The student will need to copy the problems onto a separate paper to work them out. It might be a good idea to use a composition book or spiral notebook to keep all of their math work in one place.

**Review** – At the end of each lesson (except for lesson 1) there will be 4 review problems for the student to solve. The problems will use concepts that were taught in previous lessons.

#### Online Lessons

There is a video lesson online for each lesson in the book. Before the student completes the problems they can watch the video lesson for more explanation. The video lessons are taught by Richard W. Fisher. He is an award winning teacher who explains topics very well. He works out each problem and explains why he is doing each step.

Your student will need to create an online account using a code in the book to access the video lessons. Once they have an account they can watch the videos in any order and as many times as they want.

The videos are not very fancy. They are simply Mr. Fisher working out the problems while explaining them. He uses problems that are different than the book so the student gets additional examples of how to solve problems using the concept taught in the lesson. He is nice to listen to, easy to understand. and talks at a good pace.

The book combined with the videos will help your students learn the basics of Algebra!

## How We Used No-Nonsense Algebra

Since AJ has already completed Algebra 1 I wasn’t going to make her start at the beginning of this book. A few times a week I would have her pick a lesson from chapters 6 – 10. I would have her watch the video. I had her pause the video after he gave the problem and had AJ see if she could get the correct answer. Then she would watch the teacher work it out.

If she answered all of the questions correctly then she was done with the lesson. If she missed any, then I had her do the last 4 problems from the exercise section. Most math books have the problems get progressively harder, so I had her do the ones at the end to make sure she remembered the concept. Then we checked the solutions. So far she has answered the problems correctly. If she gets them wrong though, I will have her watch the video again and then do the entire set of problems.

I think this is a great way to review concepts.

## What We Thought About No-Nonsense Algebra

I think that it is a great program. I like that the student can use it however they want. They can just read the lesson and go on to the problems, or they can watch the video first. I think that the detailed examples in the book and in the video will help the student understand the algebraic concepts.

The book starts off with the basics. I think this will benefit students who are afraid of algebra. They will be able to solidify skills that they learned in earlier math levels.

This is a solid program, but I don’t know if it would be considered a full Algebra 1 course. Requirements in each state is different. I think it is a little short on lessons, but you could easily supplement a few things to make it a full course. Honestly, the videos by themselves are reason enough to buy the program.

If you need an inexpensive math program that comes with teacher taught videos, then this product is for you! They also offer other math books that you can check out.

See what other members of the Homeschool Review Crew thought by clicking on the graphic below.