For a homeschool that is not very math-friendly, we sure have been blessed lately with some great reviews for math products. This one is no exception!
Math Essentials is an award-winning program written, researched, and refined by a 6th grade math teacher, Richard Fisher — “America’s Math Teacher,” — over the course of 30 years. It boasts the ability to greatly improve math proficiency in just 20 minutes a day.
“As a sixth-grade teacher, over one-half of my sixth grade students bypass the seventh grade, and go directly to a high powered eighth-grade algebra program.”
We received Mastering Essential Math Skills Book One (Grades 4-5) consumable workbook and DVD and Problem Solving consumable workbook, for review.
We began with Book One, using both the workbook and DVD. While the DVD is not completely necessary for a confident teacher, Ben enjoyed having “math class” with Mr. Fisher. I enjoyed having someone else teach math concepts, that sometimes don’t come so easy for my student.
The first thing that struck me is the organization of each lesson. Just one page in length, each page is organized in a way to provide drill activities, review and new material with lessons which are short and concise. This was perfect for Ben, who is often overwhelmed at the sight of a page full of math problems.
The workbook is divided into 10 chapters:
- Whole Numbers
- Ratios, Proportions, Percent
- Number Theory and Algebra
- Charts and Graphs
- Probability and Statistics
- Word Problems
Each chapter contains several lessons and a review. There is an 11-page final review at the end of the book. See the Table of Contents and a few sample pages.
Problem Solving is primarily a book of word problems, using real life situations. It’s meant to supplement, give extra practice. And it turned out to be Ben’s favorite part. Problem Solving begins slowly with one-step problems and quickly progresses to problems with multiple steps. There are also pages for review of whole number, fraction, and decimal operations. The word problems often use graphs and pie charts. This kind of visualization of the word problem was very helpful for Ben and he really enjoyed the parts of this book he completed because he was good at them. This alone helped build his confidence! See the Table of Contents and a few sample pages. There is no DVD or instruction of any kind for this book. I assume it’s to be used as a supplement or extra practice for areas in which your student needs that.
Time will tell if Math Essentials does what it promises as far as greatly improving math abilities. So far, I am impressed with what I see. It greatly benefits Ben that every lesson contains drills, review, and an oral walk-through of the new material. Having the DVD for instruction is a great back-up for days when I need someone else to do the teaching, or for concepts Ben is struggling with. It’s definitely a program we want to continue using, and we look forward to digging in deeper in our new school year.
Mastering Essential Math Skills, Book One (with DVD) can be purchased for $33.95.
Problem Solving can be purchased for $11.95.
A special bonus from Math Essentials — for all orders placed in July, August or September — Any order that includes Mastering Essential Math Skills Book 1, or Mastering Essential Math Skills Book 2, or No-Nonsense Algebra, will include a free copy of Geometry (A $14.95 value) plus a free Homework Kit (A $4.99 value).
Math Essentials also has a free app, Math Expert, compatible with iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch to help with basic math skills!
Several other books were reviewed by the Schoolhouse Review Crew, so be sure to follow the banner link below to read more . . .
Disclaimer: As a member of
the TOS Crew, I received this
product, at no cost to me,
in exchange for my honest
review. All opinions are those
of myself and/or my son.