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No-Nonsense Algebra | Review

No-Nonsense Algebra is a simple, straight forward system by Math Essentials that teaches Algebra with lessons that are short and sweet, as well as complete.


Each lesson includes five key elements:
  1. An Introduction and explanation that is clear and concise 
  2. Helpful Hints with relevant tips and shortcuts for each topic
  3. Examples worked out step-by-step
  4. Written Exercises 
  5. Progressive Review 

How No-Nonsense Algebra works:


Step 1: Read the Introduction. 

Step 2: Read the Helpful Hints. 

Step 3: Read each example and copy each one step-by-step on a piece of paper. (Writing out the steps is very important in this program).

Step 4: Do the Written Exercises. Repeat Steps 1 through 3 as needed. 

Step 5: Do the Review problems. 

Step 6: Correct your work. (Solutions are in the back of the book). 

But, you are not left alone. Each lesson has a video created by Richard W. Fisher, author of No-Nonsense Algebra. So, it's like having your own personal math tutor who not only shows you step-by-step how to solve a math problem, but also makes math relatable. For example, when learning about integers, he wraps up the lesson by saying:

"Integers: What are they? They are whole numbers and their opposites. What's a good thing to think about when you add them? Think of money you have, money you owe..."



Looking at the problem on the right - we have $2 but we owe $5. We can pay the $2, but we will still owe $3 so the answer is a negative 3. 

No-Nonsense Algebra is full of these kinds of helpful hints and tips. Even the book itself has hints and tips throughout, such as this page reminding me to check out the resources in the back of the book. 


The 11 page Glossary is like an Algebra dictionary. Important Formulas has algebraic, geometric, and other formulas - it's like a little cheat sheet of all the formulas you may need. Important Symbols has all the math symbols you may need from "less than" and "greater than" to "subset" and "not a subset of." Multiplication Table, Commonly Used Prime Numbers, Squares and Square Roots, and Fraction/Decimal Equivalents are all more little cheat sheets to help your student be successful. 

These full page tips throughout the text made me feel like Mr. Fisher was guiding us through each lesson we did. 

His reminders were helpful, and he offer tips or answer questions you may have, such as:
  • Don't Forget to Use the Free Online Video Lessons
  • Some Easy Ways to Stay Tuned-Up!
  • One of the Most Important Tips of All!  
  • What About the Problems that I Get Wrong?

When I first got this book, I wanted to use it for ME! It is so simple and straight-forward, that I I thought it would be great to use as a refresher course to prepare myself to teach Algebra to my next round of kids. 

For example, I have never seen a math program teach me to find the sign of the answer first when adding, subtracting, multiplying or dividing integers. This and more is in Chapter 1, which teaches all the Necessary Tools for Algebra

When I saw how simple these lessons were, I decided to use it with my 7th grader, Malachi, who is currently taking Pre-Algebra. At first, he was like, "Me?" But, I showed him how easy it was, and said he'd only have to work through the content in Chapter 1 or what he has covered in pre-Algebra. To be honest, though, this program is pretty clear - he could have done much more. 



I took Mr. Fisher's Most Important Tip of All to heart, and had Malachi write down each step as he was watching the video and as he worked the Examples. 


I had to remind him several times to be sure to copy the problem AND all the steps. 


As you can see, he watched the videos on my phone. I loved how easy that was. I didn't have to sign in again after I entered my access code (provided in the book). I sent the link to my phone, clicked on it, entered the access code, and we were ready to watch.

I'll admit - I initially wanted No-Nonsense Algebra for Dylan, my 17 year old. He has completed Algebra 1, but it's been several years and he could use a review course on basic Algebra. He looked at the book and said he wants to do it to review for the ACT.

This paperback book is a complete non-consumable 275 page text book - all work is meant to be completed on a separate sheet of paper, so this book can be used again and again. At $28.95, that's very affordable. I can have Dylan use it for review, and I can have Malachi use it when he completes Pre-Algebra... or I can have him do the Pre-Algebra Concepts book! I was so pleased with this program that I was curious to know if Math Essentials offers other courses. I was happy to see that they do.


I then clicked on "Why Us" on the website and discovered that Math Essentials offers an Unconditional Guarantee. If you don't see "dramatically improved results," you can send them a note for a full refund - no questions asked. To be honest, when deciding if I wanted to review this, I read several very positive reviews about it. No-Nonsense Algebra had such great reviews that I couldn't pass this one up, and I'm glad I didn't.

No-Nonsense Algebra {Math Essentials Reviews}

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1 comment

Megan Russell said...

I am going to buy this TONIGHT for myself! I looked at it a while ago, and I almost bought it so I could learn algebra (again). I have forgotten so much from high school.