Several members of the Homeschool Review Crew were sent copies of this curriculum to use and review.
No-Nonsense Algebra is 274 pages long and can be purchased for $28.95 not including shipping.
In the No-Nonsense Algebra workbook the first pages offer tips for getting the most out of the curriculum (don’t skip these).
Each lesson in the workbook covers one to two pages. The lessons start with an Introduction that explains the concept.
There is also a “Helpful Hints” section which provides quick tips for getting the right answer (why oh why do kids ignore this?).
Next comes some problem examples. Again another hint for getting things right.
Then the Exercises themselves where your student can practice what they just learned. The number of exercises can vary but usually there are somewhere between 12 and 18.
Moving on there is a small Review section. I liked the Review section. You didn’t just drop a concept because you learned it. Nope! You get to do it again to make sure you remember.
And at the end of each chapter is a Chapter Review.
There is a Final Review test at the back of the book (it’s kinda long at 14 pages) along with a Glossary of Math Terms, a list of Important Formulas and Symbols, a Multiplication Table, Prime Numbers, Square Roots, and Fraction/Decimal Equivalents.
The chapters vary in length but Chapter 1 is the longest with 22 lessons (table of contents)
The purchase of the book also gives you free access to accompanying videos. Each video is a tutorial of how to do the lesson. They are not of a person but of a whiteboard being written on screen. (see my example at the bottom)
How We Are Using No-Nonsense Algebra
Since these are the summer months No-Nonsense Algebra is part of our, keeping on top of our studies, daily school work.
Three days a week after breakfast before the Sweet Peanut can go play she does a lesson in the No-Nonsense workbook. First she watches the video lesson and then she completes the page.
Each lesson takes her about 30 to 45 minutes, including watching the videos. And she mostly works alone.
An example of a lesson is:
Lesson 2 Subtracting Integers.
There are three hints to master the sometimes tricky subtraction of integers and then 3 examples using negative and positive numbers.
Then there 18 problems each using a version of one of the examples. Such as -16 – 12 = . Our hint tell us that double negatives such as this actually mean we need to add the two numbers together and that our answer will be negative.
The directions say to check your own answers against the Solutions in the back of the book but my daughter prefers to bring them to me and have me check them. That way if she missed anything we can go back over the lesson and I can pinpoint exactly where she might have missed something.
She was really dismissing the tips at the top of the page until I pointed out how they could have helped her not to make the mistakes on the work page that she was making. Once she put that together the lessons became much easier.
How Are We Liking No-Nonsense Algebra?
I really like No-Nonsense Algebra for getting a headstart in our (okay her) math studies. It’s painless to have a few lessons each week where we can just focus on these Algebra topics.
Like the title says this is No-Nonsense curriculum. Straight to the point with all the clues you need to get to the answer. I like that. I sometimes think that many homeschool math curriculums try too hard with bells and whistles when just straight to the point may do the job.
I feel like it’s the little things such as the instructions and tips before the book as a whole and before each lesson that really provided the plus to this curriculum. Tips like; Copy the examples on a separate piece of paper. These might be things you would usually overlook but they are the things that can really make a difference in how well your student does.
Even though the Sweet Peanut is watching the accompanying video tutorials for the lessons I also give her a quick run through before she does the workbook. For her, watching the whiteboard without a human doesn’t seem to work as well for comprehension.
For now, we are just using No-Nonsense Algebra on it’s own. Once we start our regular school year my plan is to use it as a supplement along with our regular curriclum.