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No-Nonsense Algebra

No-Nonsense Algebra

No-Nonsense Algebra

Oh, my goodness.  I’m in love.  Better yet, my son is in love.

Let me back this story up just a bit…We have used and loved Saxon Math for years.  My oldest has thrived on it and we have no plans to change gears for her.  However, my son has complained about Saxon since the 6th grade.  He can do the lessons with success, but doesn’t prefer the format or extensive daily review.  I hadn’t given into his whines before now because I didn’t think there was anything comparable in academic strength that offered a drastically different format.

Enter No-Nonsense Algebra by Richard Fisher.  Not only do I find it to be comparable to Saxon academically, the format suits my son and his “no-nonsense” personality perfectly.


The lessons are short and sweet.  Explanations, examples and exercises are contained to one or two clean, easy-to-read pages.  There isn’t an extensive amount of wordiness, which is right up my son’s alley.  His opinion is: “Tell me what I need to know quick.  Don’t waste my time.  And, please, please don’t give me a ton of busy work.”  That’s what he gets with No-Nonsense Algebra.

  • Each lesson begins with an introduction that quickly explains the ONE new concept.  (You know how some math programs will try to introduce several new concepts in one lesson?  Yeah, that’s a booger.  This program doesn’t do that.)
  • Clear written examples are included after the introduction.
  • Plenty of practice problems allow for practice of the new concept – usually between 14-20 problems.  These aren’t overwhelming for my son, though, because each problem allows for practice of the concept that is fresh on his mind.  In other words, he isn’t having to process something new, only practice it a few times, then have 36 additional problems that are considered review.  This method drills the new information into his head better.
  • A short review section of about four problems is included at the end which constantly reviews the previous lessons.  Four problems doesn’t make my son shake in his boots.


Best of All:

You might not believe this, but your book comes with a special code that allows you access to FREE online video lessons!  For each lesson, you can watch a video that clearly explains each new concept.  The teacher is encouraging and offers many written examples explaining each and every step your child will need to know to jump into the practice problems.  Did I mention this is FREE with the purchase of your book??

Each of the ten chapters is followed by a chapter review (which I use as the chapter test), as well as a comprehensive final review at the end of the book.  Answer keys are included for all lessons and reviews.

no-nonsense algebra video screen shot

Better Than Best of All:

Okay, there is actually something better than the FREE online lessons.  What could that possible be?  Um, No-Nonsense Algebra is only $27.95!  Yes, that’s twenty-seven dollars and ninety-five cents.  Seriously.   Yes, I’ll understand when you leave my post and head right on over to No-Nonsense Algebra’s website.

But wait.  Before you go, you might want to “like” the Math Essentials Facebook Page.

(Cindy received a free copy of No-Nonsense Algebra in exchange for an honest review.)

-Cindy West is an eclectically Charlotte Mason homeschooling mom of three from Central KY.  You can find her blogging at Our Journey Westward and check out her curriculum resources at Shining Dawn Books.


Cindy (89 Posts)

The biggest reason Cindy chose to homeschool was because she loves experiencing life with her children and watching them grow inside and out. She's sure that’s why the Charlotte Mason method first caught her attention. It allows her to be creative in scheduling, rigorous in learning, yet opens the door for plenty of close-knit time, opportunities for her children to explore their interests and offers enough free time for them to be children. She implements many of Charlotte Mason's methods with an eclectic twist of things that work for her family! Besides writing on her blog, Our Journey Westward, you can find her NaturExplorers studies and other creative curricula at Shining Dawn Books.

{ 7 comments… add one }

  • Ellen @ the Bluestocking Belle April 17, 2013, 6:36 am

    Love it, love it! This sounds like exactly what I’ll need in a couple of years. My math-minded dd sounds a lot like your son: no fluff — just the facts, please. And the perk of the online video lessons is extra nice.

    Thanks for letting us know about this curriculum!
    Ellen @ the Bluestocking Belle´s last blog post ..Giving Up on My Hair

  • Jeanne April 17, 2013, 8:35 am

    Would you replace Saxon Algebra 1 with this? Or supplement? What about Algebra 2? Would love to use, just wanna be sure we won’t miss some concepts. We are finishing Saxon 1/2 right now.

  • Tricia April 17, 2013, 2:09 pm

    This is definitely on my list! We love Teaching Textbooks but why not have another way of learning – especially when we will be all about algebra in a few short months with 9th and 10th graders :) Thanks!
    Tricia´s last blog post ..You CAN Be An Artist! Paint Landscapes

  • Cindy April 17, 2013, 9:50 pm

    For my son, I am replacing Saxon 1 with No-Nonsense Algebra. While it also covers some of Saxon’s Algebra 2 concepts, I don’t feel comfortable saying it can take the place of Saxon’s Algebra 2.

    However, with that said, we use Saxon’s 3rd edition Algebra books, which also include some geometry. In fact, if you use the 3rd edition Saxon Algebra 1, Algebra 2 and Advanced Math, you can count it as 4-credits because enough geometry is covered to not specifically teach another year of geometry.

    Did I just talk in circles, or make at least a little sense? What I’m trying to say is that No-Nonsense Algebra doesn’t include geometry, but the author does have a separate geometry program. :)
    Cindy´s last blog post ..Project-Based Learning: Paper Projects

  • Taunya June 23, 2013, 1:19 pm

    My son LOVES this program! He’s going to finish Algebra with about a 95% average! An A in Algebra…doesn’t get any better than that!

    Now with approaching the last chapters I need to figure out what to do next.

    Geometry? Algebra 2?

    He’s not traditional college-bound. He’ll probably go into a vocational school, welding or flying, something that requires his body & hands. So, I’m not interested in forcing my son to spend the next 4 years preparing for an academic experience he has no interest in. Did I say the kid doesn’t like the extra fluff!

    Sorry to ramble…so what are you going to use next?
    Taunya´s last blog post ..Tennessee Sunsets and Moonshine

  • April March 27, 2014, 6:48 pm

    Came across your review on No-Nonsense Algebra today as I was doing some research on it. I am curious how you feel about it now. Would you still recommend it? Anything new you have learned about it that isn’t in your review above? Thanks!

  • Cindy March 30, 2014, 4:31 pm

    Yes, April. I still love it. :)

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