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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.
(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.