Thursday, July 26, 2012

Math Essentials

Math Essentials is a math program for students working at a 4th grade level in math through algebra.  Books available are:

  • Mastering Essential Math Skills Book 1 (w/DVD)
  • Mastering Essential Math Skills Book 2 (w/DVD)
  • Mastering Essential Math Skills Pre-Algebra Concepts (w/DVD)
  • No-Nonsense Algebra (w/online lessons)
  • Decimals and Percents
  • Fractions
  • Geometry
  • Problem Solving
  • Whole Numbers and Integers

 I received Mastering Essential Math Skills Book 1 and Geometry to review.


Mastering Essential Math Skills Book 1 is the first book in this math series and is for grades 4-5 (table of contents).  Rick Fisher, the author of Math Essentials, is a teacher who developed this math system for use in his classroom to prepare students for algebra.  Lessons are short--20 minutes a day is all that is needed.  A DVD is included, and Mr. Fisher is the tutor.  He asks students to bring paper and pencil when they watch the DVD segment, and the student writes down the problems and works through the problems with Mr. Fisher.  After the DVD segment, the student works the problems in the workbook.  Each page is made up of review exercises, speed drills, helpful hints, problem solving, and problems based on the day's lesson.


In addition to Mastering Essential Math Skills Book 1, I received the Geometry book (table of contents).  This book doesn't come with a teaching DVD, but the lessons are similar to the lessons in Mastering Essential Math Skills.  Daily lessons begin with review exercises, then helpful hints (this is where the teaching occurs), problems based on the day's lesson, and problem solving.  Once again, lessons take only 20 minutes.

I used this program with Jacob, who is going into 5th grade.  I'll admit that I was skeptical about what he would think.  It's a very no-frills program; the DVD teaching isn't exciting, and the workbook pages are very utilitarian.  But he liked the program.  He enjoyed working through the practice problems with Mr. Fisher, and he really liked that the workbook pages took less than 20 minutes.  Priced at only $33.95 for Mastering Math Essentials Book 1 (including the DVD) and $11.95 for the Geometry book, it's an affordable option.


For more reviews of the Math Essentials program, go here.


Disclaimer:  As a member of the TOS Crew, I received this product, at no cost to me, in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions are mine.

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