Mastering Essential Math, A Review and Giveaway

I’ve told you about Mastering Essential Math Skills  in the past.  We worked through Book 1 and Book 2 with both boys and also No-Nonsense Algebra. I was thrilled when No-Nonsense Algebra came with a link to online videos – included in the price of the book. 




From the Publisher: 

“Now,  all four of their titles will now include online video tutorials for each lesson in the book. That’s right, the book, plus instruction for each lesson, taught by the author, Richard W. Fisher. Nothing like it is available. Talk about value. This is a home school family’s dream come true.” The titles are listed below:

  • Mastering Essential Math Skills Book 1   Grades 4-5 $17.95
  • Mastering Essential Math Skills Book 2   Middle Grades/High School $17.95
  • Mastering Essential Math Skills Pre-Algebra Concepts $13.95
  • No-Nonsense Algebra $27.95

Each book will include simple instructions on how to access the tutorials. Once you receive your book, go and click on Videos.

No-Nonsense Algebra has its own separate site. Directions in book.


Here is the exciting part – You may leave a comment here for your chance to win a bundle of Books 1 and 2, Pre-Algebra, and No-Nonsense Algebra. All of these include access to the free online videos; one for each lesson in the book.

I’d like to pull out my review for you to see from our experience with No-Nonsense Algebra published last year.  I am sitting with a friend and our sons did the book together, even though one as in a town over 90 miles away. Both of our sons enjoyed the program, and her son got a 95% average on the final for the course.

If I had a dollar for every time someone put High School Math as a reason not to homeschool . . . . (along with a nickel for the socialization comments) I would probably have a large trust fund growing for the boys.  . . . Truth is – if I had a dime for every time in the last 10 years I personally have thought of High School Algebra – as the stopping point of teaching the boys at home, I’d probably have a REALLY heavy change jar. Winking smile

And yet, here we are. Entering 9th grade. I looked through my reviews of math products over the last 3 years – I counted 14. I didn’t look through the times I’ve talked about math – learning how to teach, learning how they learn. I’ve been researching how to teach math for about 11 years now. So when I’m standing in the parking lot at church, and a confused public school teacher or mom shares their concern, “How will he learn high school math?” with an inference that I, a mere mom, would never be equipped to teach it – I just smile.

I believe he will learn High School Math the same way he mastered Elementary level math:

  • Incrementally.
  • Math Mastery (vs. of Spiral)
  • One step at a time.
  • Simple easy to understand lesson.
  • Understanding clearly explained topics.
  • Clear examples.
  • Video Instruction
  • Step by step solutions.
  • Review.
  • 10-20 challenges a day.
  • 20 minutes a day.

Back the truck up.  20 minutes a day? Really? As few as 10 exercises a day?  Sure! If the instruction is clear, then the child will understand.

So  – Here’s the kicker.  And this is why I’m writing to you, specifically today.  And here is where I start to sound like an infomercial.  You may think I’m leading up to telling you about some amazing Algebra Product with Videos and Examples and Workbooks, and Solutions – all for the amazing price of Just Under $200.00!!!!

Um. No. Well it is under 200 but –

What about FREE? How about Free Online Access to Video Lessons? Nathan really enjoys these video lessons. For the first time in years, (we’ve tried a lot of different video teachers), he actually follows along with pencil in hand and works out the exercises with the teacher. I went through the first 5 videos and FINALLY understand how to add/subtract/multiply and divide negative numbers.  I can’t tell you how excited I am!!! Nathan already had them figured out – but he says that the way Richard explains it is so much simpler. He says he likes his voice.

What would you say to $27.95 for the consumable workbook? The Access code to the FREE video lessons is in the back of the book.  (The only tricky part for me was recognizing that some characters were Capital O’s and some were Zeros).  If you use this workbook for more than one student – guess what?  You may use the access code for Each New Student.  For FREE.  I rarely do this in reviews – but I’m here to tell ya – You. Will. Not. Regret this under $30.00 purchase!!!! They have a money back guarantee!

So here’s my cheater secret.  We’ve used Richard Fisher’s books before.  For 4th grade math, and 7th grade math. We were frustrated with products that spent 5 minutes teaching a slice of a new concept, and 45 minutes working through 30 problems of different topics that they had already learned.  This is when we learned about Math Mastery. Mastering Math Essentials.  Spend 5 minutes learning a slice of a new concept, and 15 minutes practicing that concept in 10-15 problems. 20 minutes a day – until the essential skill has been mastered.  Spend 4 questions a day in a quick review. Seems backwards to what the main stream publishers think the kids should be doing – but it works. I know it works, because we’ve used it. When I had the opportunity to review Richard Fisher’s new book, No-Nonsense Algebra, I BEGGED on my request form from the Schoolhouse Review Crew. Begged. I wanted to see if his way of teaching would work with the upper grades.  Why wouldn’t it continue to work in High School?

We also reviewed a book, without video – Geometry.  It is for Mastering Essential Math Skills – intended for under 8th grade students.  It works the same as his other topics.  For $11.95, the  book will provide students with all the essential geometry skills. Vocabulary, points, lines, planes, perimeter, area, volume, and the Pythagorean theorem are just some of the topics that are covered. There is plenty of practical, real-life problem solving that shows students the importance of geometry in the real world.  Table of Contents ~ Sample Pages ~

Schooleze Nitty GrittyStudents master the exact topics recommended for algebra readiness by the National Math Advisory Panel. No extra fluff or side topics to confuse or distract. Program is aligned with NCTM Standards. Acclaimed by superintendents, principals, teachers, department heads, parents, and tutors as being the best text/workbook available.Winner: Intel Innovations in Teaching Award. Winner: Glenn Hoffman Exemplary Program Award: Santa Clara County, CA, Office of Education

Disclaimer: As you may have guessed, I was given Mastering Essential Math Skills Geometry and No Nonsense Algebra for Free in exchange for using it in my home for a few weeks and sharing our experience with you as a part of my tour on the Schoolhouse Review Crew. I asked to receive this product based on my past positive experience with his products.


About +Angie Wright

The Transparent Thoughts of an Unschooling Family of Boys - Answering the question - What DO you DO all day?
This entry was posted in Math, Reviews, Schoolhouse Crew and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

20 Responses to Mastering Essential Math, A Review and Giveaway

  1. Lindee Calderwood says:

    My son is an 8th grader but having trouble with fractions so I think that book 2 would be a great place to start. When done, he will be ready to take on Algebra. So I would love to win this set!!

  2. Michele P says:

    Would love to win! Thanks for a very thorough review!

  3. Lynn McInnis says:

    This would be a great set for my youngest! I’d love to win!

  4. Cindy H. says:

    Sounds like a great product. I would love to try it!

  5. Pamela Roy says:

    It sounds great. I would love to win it.

  6. My son is struggling with our current math program, and I’d love to see if this program and videos makes a difference.

  7. Lis says:

    Awesome review, Angie! We didn’t get the Algebra, which is where my son is going to be next year~ not sure if he’s up to the curriculum we already own… this might be a good alternative!

  8. lauraw68 says:

    I would love to win this! I will soon have 3 that I am teaching high school too.

  9. Alyson says:

    I would love to win this!!!!

  10. any help in the math department is awesome!

  11. Rashell says:

    We could use this at our house! As Isabelle gets older, the harder math is for me to explain! I’m already dreading algebra!:)

  12. Jane Emery says:

    I would love to give this a try!!

  13. coricox says:

    We would love to win & give this a try!!

  14. Anonymous says:

    We would love to win this & give it a try!

  15. Jeniffer Do Nascimento says:

    Oh wow! This would he great to add to our homeschool!

  16. Sarah belcher says:

    My son flunked math last year so this free give away would be awesome. We are home schooling this year & in a rough spot with finances so this would be such a blessing.

  17. Great review!! I’m with you. I am totally talking this one up! He even made square roots FINALLY make sense to me!

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