Disclaimer: I received a FREE copy of this product through the HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review, nor was I compensated in any other way.
Math… You either love it or hate it, am I right? Personally, I rather like math. Perhaps not as much now as when I was a kid, but I definitely don’t hate it. My kids, on the other hand… even the ones who claim they love it aren’t very willing to do their math classes! And with the teenagers, it’s always been a struggle. In fact, they have always fought me on basic things like learning their times tables. This is why I requested a copy of Mastering Essential Math Skills Book 2 Middle Grades/High School from Math Essentials. We’ve had great experiences with Math Essentials in the past (I’ve done reviews of No-Nonsense Algebra and Math Refresher for Adults), so I knew this would be another fantastic choice for my family.
Mastering Essential Math Skills is a 158-page, softcover book, and like its name implies, it goes over all the most basic essential skills of mathematics. There are chapters on Whole Numbers (adding, subtracting, multiplying, and dividing), Fractions, Decimals, Percent, Geometry, Integers, Charts and Graphs, and Word Problems. It concludes with a final review (could be used as a test if desired) and the answer key, with the final ten pages being a resource center. This includes things like a glossary of terms, reference sheet of math symbols, times table, list of prime numbers, squares and square roots, and fraction-decimal equivalents. The book comes with free access to a plethora of instructional videos taught by author Richard W. Fisher. Everything covered in the book has a corresponding video lesson, which is great if you as the parent/teacher are unfamiliar with a concept – you don’t have to be able to teach it! For the more basic lessons, the “helpful hints” on each page is probably enough, though. For example, on the subtraction page the “helpful hints” are:
- Line up the numbers on the right side
- Subtract the ones first
- Regroup when necessary
For most of us (and our older children, whom this book is geared toward), this is enough information to get through the lesson. On the off chance it’s not, though, you can refer to the appropriate video lesson.
My teens, as I mentioned before, aren’t as quick as we’d like them to be on their times tables. They know them, but they have to think about anything above 5s. So I had them dive into those lessons first (we skipped addition and subtraction). The book allows a little bit of space for working the problems, as well as a column for recording answers, so I had Ballet Boy work right in the book. The lessons took him under 20 minutes, and while he was quite rusty at first (a reasonable number of wrong answers), just a little bit of practice had him up to speed easily.
Mastering Essential Math Skills Book Two has been just as great an asset to us as I knew it would be. I will continue to have the kids work through the book on a regular basis; it is going to be really great for reinforcing the math skills they’ve learned in the past as they look to move into more advanced math programs in the future.
The Homeschool Review Crew is reviewing three books from Math Essentials this week. In fact, it’s the two books I’ve previously reviewed (Math Refresher for Adults and No-Nonsense Algebra) and this one. Make sure to click through to learn more about those books.