Thursday, September 30, 2021

Math Essentials (A Homeschool Crew Review)

   DISCLAIMER:  I received this complimentary product through the Homeschool Review Crew

For the last few weeks, Garrett has been working on his math skills using Basic Math Skills Rescue Parts 1 and 2 from Math Essentials.  These are consumable workbooks designed to help sharpen math skills and establish a solid foundation for solving algebraic equations. 


Basic Math Skills Rescue is a set of two books written by Richard W. Fisher that covers a large range of mathematics skills. The first book, Part 1, covers topics involving whole numbers, fractions and decimals and percentages. The softbound book is 242 pages in length and includes skills such as addition, subtraction, multiplication and division and then using these skills to solve problems with integers, fractions, and decimals.  Students also work on skills involving percentages.   

The second book, Part 2, begins taking the skills from book 2 and apply them to more advanced mathematical problems.  In this book, students begin with geometry equations such as finding the perimeter and area of various shapes, circumference and radius of circles and more.  The second part of the book focuses on problem solving such as using various graphs, multi-step problems using whole numbers, fractions and decimals, and reviewing percents.  The third portion of the book focuses on pre-algebra skills such as learning the order of operations, scientific notation, square roots, and solving algebraic equations. This softbound book is 248 pages in length. 

Both books have a table of contents at the beginning showing each of the type of skills to review. An answer key for each of the problems, as well as a glossary of mathematics terms, a list of important symbols, a multiplication table, list of prime numbers, a charge of squares and square roots, and a chart of fraction/decimal equivalents is also found at the back of both Book 1 and Book 2.  

Both books follow a very similar format. Each page focuses on a particular skill.  At the top of the page, students have a set of 6 review exercises to help refresh the students memory of previous skills.  After the review exercises, the author includes a "Helpful Hints" section to remind students how to solve particular types of equations or other helpful information they may not remember.  Then the student will find new material to work on with several problems for them to solve.  The final portion of the page includes a "Problem Solving" section - this typically is a word problem that often not only uses the skill the student had worked with, but also requires them to "go beyond" and use other additional skills.  For example, after learning about how to calculate square footage of a room, the student might have a question asking for them to not only calculate the square footage of the room, but how much it would cost to re-floor the room if the cost is $20 per square foot.  


While neither book actually contains lessons on the topics, the book does include lessons on how to access online video tutorials that coincide with the books where students can access lessons for each skill.  Students can either access these lessons prior to turning to the page in the workbook if they are unfamiliar with the skill, or if they attempt the page and do not understand as well as they originally thought, they can review the lesson in order to help understand better.

For this review, I have simply been getting Garrett to work on a page a week in addition to his current math lessons. We had opted to start with Book 1 and just work our way thru the book from beginning to end.

More often than not, he does all the work on the page, although occasionally he will get a piece of scratch paper to work on if he feels there isn't enough room for his work.  I then simply just use the answer key in the back to check his answers. Anything he gets wrong, I mark on the side for him to know which ones he needs to go back and correct.  This has worked well for us.

Overall, I do think the book is helpful for remediation for skills he might not understand as well as he could, but we have not really used the videos for our review simply because we are using this in addition to our regular math curriculum. However, it's a great resource for extra practice and it will definitely be helpful as we get into more advanced math skills as he enters high school level/algebra math.  

For more information about Math Essentials and the large variety of resources available for your homeschooling setting, be sure to visit their website. 

Members of the Crew have been using the these two workbooks in various ways with their own families.  Be sure to click the banner below to read their reviews today.

Ensure Success in Algebra 1 with Math Essentials

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