My oldest son said to me the other day, “I don’t really need to know all of this stuff!” We were talking about math. And I had to admit that some of what he was learning, I wasn’t sure was really something he needed. At least not yet. He is soon to be twelve; very advanced in many ways yet in others, not so much. Needless to say, given the opportunity, I was happy to try out Mastering Essentials Math Skills No-Nonsense Algebra from Math Essentials. This is a complete algebra high school program that includes free access to online video tutorials. Although my son is a bit young for this program, he certainly was eager to get ahold of a program that only teaches “what you need to know.”

I think I still have nightmares about high school math! Since I do not want my children to “suffer” through years of math as I did when I was young, the concept of Math Essentials really excited me! Their lessons are short and simple; where my son gets distracted easily (which then turns into frustration and discouragement, this program is so concise in every lesson that he isn’t given the chance to get lost. 🙂

Some of the topics taught within this program are:

- Necessary Tools
- Graphing and Analysing Linear Equations
- Polynomials
- Rational Expressions (Algebraic Fractions)
- Radical Expressions and Geometry
- Algebra Word Problems

It begins with pre-algebra and goes all the way through to quadratic equations.

This program really is no nonsense! Isn’t that a relief for anyone that is struggling with math?

Throughout the pages of this book there are** helpful hints. **These offer some great shortcuts and tips.

There are examples that show every step you will take, all the way to the solution.

And of course there is a review at the end of each section to ensure that what has been taught has also been caught.

In all honesty I had a feeling this would be pretty challenging for my oldest son BUT I reminded him when we started with the very fist lesson that this is meant to be taught in short and simple lessons, only what he needs to know. The goal being to master those things that are essential in math.

In the very first video, he makes sure the kids know how important it is for them to copy the work that is being done as they watch in the video. And as he goes along he often says, “copy this along with me.” I know my son needs those reminders.

As my son begins each lesson, he makes sure to keep his notebook and pencil nearby. Each lesson begins with an introduction which defines important mathematical words. There are also examples that walk you through each step and then exercises to complete (do these in your notebook because this is really more of a text than a work book). He recommends that you also keep handy graph paper and a ruler. We begin each lesson watching the video; often we will watch it a second (maybe even third) time as my son works through the exercises.

There are also a couple handy resources in the back of this book:

- multiplication tables
- fraction/decimal equivalents
- important symbols and formulas
- square roots table
- common prime numbers

We really liked the way this program is put together. My younger son (who is only seven but loves math) even watched the videos here and there with us. At times he would even work some problems himself along with his brother. For my oldest son this was a perfect program to use. With simple yet direct lessons and instruction, he was able to see, and do, right along with the instructor. Between the hands on method, and the audio and visual provided, this really helped him to learn and grow a greater understanding of the value that math has in life. This is a very simple program; no frills and no thrills. Just straightforward math, the simplest way possible. And they have many more programs to choose from so be sure and check this one out!

Math Essentials can be found on Facebook