If you are anything like me this may very well be one of the best books you get your hands on. Whether you have a massive fear of math (like I do) or perhaps are changing seasons in your life and just need to strengthen your skills, Math Refresher for Adults from Math Essentials, by Richard W. Fisher, is a resource you do not want to miss out on. I think back to my math studies and honestly, I don’t think I ever recall a time when I felt comfortable when it came to math. There was always a hesitation; a lack of surety and comfort. As we progress in my son’s studies I notice a similar hesitation when it comes to work each day. We struggle to complete the basic tasks each day and we haven’t even started on the advanced math. I have to acknowledge that as the leader of our home education, if I cannot show a positive and confidant attitude when it comes to math, I just cannot expect my son to excel or enjoy learning himself. This is the time, and this is the tool, we are using to conquer our fear of math. 🙂
This is a book for adults but I did encourage my older son (who is almost thirteen) to try a couple of pages in this book as well. I noticed right away, and really liked, that the lessons are all short, with instructions that are so easy to understand. There are helpful hints on each page and video tutorials you can access online with the access code provided within this book. Some of the topics covered within this books are:
- Word Problems
There is also a glossary and a number of pages which contain all of the symbols and tables which are important when we are learning and gaining a solid understanding of all of these mathematical concepts. This includes a table for square roots, multiplication facts, commonly used prime numbers equivalents for fractions/decimals.
Can I say that this was a life saver? I don’t think I ever really had a math vocabulary – I see so much value in that today – so the glossary was very helpful to me and definitely something I plan to use more extensively with all of my children, through time, to help them have a greater vocabulary and understanding of all of these terms.
These tables also reminded me of the value that comes from having math facts well-known; there is that solid foundation that is so necessary in all things. With 270 pages full of review exercises this is definitely a great help in getting us back in shape.
This book says it is the perfect solution for anyone who needs a refresher and I definitely am in agreement with that. My younger son (he is 8) had fun teasing me when he saw the very first page of review exercises. It starts out very simple. Some addition and subtraction of whole numbers; quite a variety of problems to solve. From there we move on to some multiplication and division, fractions ( I am already stuck! Oh My – so embarassing!).
Already I am so grateful for those video lessons. Typically I have a really had time focusing on videos but I really did enjoy these. They were simple and to the point and honestly, I appreciated being able to go back and forth as needed while I was working through one problem or another. The videos weren’t all that long; they were definitely engaging. I am not saying there weren’t moments of frustration and I think I “threw the towel in a couple times” and was quickly reminded by my kids that I always tell them “we don’t quit.”
I really am impressed with all of the teachings presented within this “not that big” math book. I love how it isn’t at all overwhelming at all; there is definitely a lot of tough stuff that gets tackled in these pages but it is done in such a good way. For someone who is really refreshing their skills this would be easy peasy.
For someone like me who, the further along I get, sees more and more how little I truly gained from my years of math classes in school, it is a wonderful help. It saddens me as I go through these pages to see how little I really gained from all that time wasted, that wasn’t learning at all. I do not want my kids to have this same experience when they are older. For my older son, I know we need to step back, slow down and begin again. With a fresh perpsective and new eyes. Definitely with a better spirit about us.
Baby steps right? Or as my son says, famous words of Yoda, “There is no try; there is only do.” This book definitely makes it alot more possible to do math. I am still working through it. Slow and steady. In fact we are even told, in the pages of this book, it is good to spend no more than an hour on math. I still shudder at the idea of spending an hour on math BUT I am definitely beginning to enjoy it more and as my kids see me at work on something they know I dread, I am hopeful that it encourages them to tackle those things that are in their life.
This is definitely not just an affordable resource, but also one that is so full of amazing helps, I am certain we will use this again and again as our children get older, as well. I do lovev materials like this. Even though it is math and I still admit, I don’t love it, there is no doubt a great benefit to be had from this and I am sure we will all grow to understand and love math more, thanks to this book!