Thursday, May 14, 2020

Mastering Essential Math Skills (A Homeschool Crew Review)

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.

If your looking for a resource to help review as well as learn those skills essential for a strong foundation of math, look no further than Mastering Essential Math Skills Book 2 Middle Grades/High School from Math Essentials.  From addition of whole numbers to fractions and integers, this 3rd Edition of Mastering Essential Math Skills written by Richard W. Fisher will help your student proficient in these foundational skills in as little as 20 minutes a day.

This 158 page softcover book provides 114 pages of activities, an 8 page Final review and a convienent online Math Resource Center that offers a library of video lessons taught by the author to ensure your student becomes proficient in math.  This is Book 2 which targets Middle and High School grade students (book 1 is available for grades 4-5th).

Using Mastering Essential Math Skills:

The book is designed to be used daily but breaking lessons up over the course of several days.  Using a step by step approach

Step 1:  Students begin working on the lesson, showing all their work as they go along.

Step 2:  Timed exercises.  Students work for a given amount of time (roughly 2-3 minutes) on review material and speed drills.  Students work until the time is complete.  Parent and teacher go over the exercises together, making corrections to the problems the student got incorrect.

Speed Drills, Review Problems and Helpful hints

Step 3:  Students work thru the review problems together

Step 4: New material is introduced.  Concepts, vocabulary and skills are demonstrated on the white board.

Step 5: .Parent/teacher goes over the "Helpful Hints" section with the students, which has examples that can be helpful to the student.

Exercises along with sample problems to help build proficiency

Step 6:  Parent/teacher and the student go over the two sample problems together. Students can demonstrate to the teacher how to work the problems and the teacher can provide help to be sure the student understands the math concept being worked on.

Step 7:  Students complete the exercises and word problems for the day. 

Step 8: Parent/Teacher collects the material and then grades the students work.  Students can be given the opportunity to correct the problems they were wrong on and material can be reviewed if necessary.

Over the course of the book, students will work through numerous concepts in eight major sections:

  • Whole Numbers
  • Fractions
  • Decimals
  • Percents
  • Geometry
  • Integers
  • Charts and Graphs
  • Word Problems
A table of contents breaks the sections down into the various skills practiced.  This makes it easy to locate a particular skill if you wish to skip around or if you use the book as a supplement with another math curriculum.

Table of Contents to Quickly Locate a particular math skill

A final section offers a final review section as well as the answer key and resource section that contains a glossary of terms, important symbols and more.

Glossary of Terms

How We Used It:

We decided to use Mastering Essential Math Skills with Garrett as a supplement to our current math curriculum.  As Garrett enjoys math, this worked well for him as he enjoyed the extra practice each day.   I would have him complete a page over the course of two days.  The speed drill and review exercises he would complete on Tuesday and on Thursday he would complete the page.

We found that for Garrett, it was easiest to have him write the problems down on loose leaf paper, work the problem out and then put transfer the answer to the workbook.  We switched this method after he complained about not having enough room to show his work.

The workbook is a great resource for extra practice for any student who needs the help or to help introduce new skills to a student who can pick up new material quickly.

For more information about Math Essentials and their line of Math books, visit their website.  You can also find them on Facebook at Facebook:

Be sure to click the banner below to read reviews from other Homeschool Review Crew members who reviewed one of three math book choices with their family.

No-Nonsense Algebra, Math Refresher for Adults &  Mastering Essential Math Skills Book 2 Middle Grades/High School {Math Essentials Reviews}

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