My oldest son, age 12, is working through a math workbook called Mastering Essential Math Skills: 20 minutes a day to success.
This is Book Two in the Math Essentials math program and is geared for middle school and high school. Book One is geared for elementary students in grades 4th-5th. You can read the program overview for both books here. The next book in the set is Pre-Algebra Concepts. Then the next book is No-Nonsense Algebra. Each of these books are available as a workbook, as a DVD, and as a set containing both.
The focus of the Math Essentials program is a system of progression in teaching the essential math skills. It is accomplished by doing 1 page each day, a 20 minute daily assignment, that covers:
two speed drills
helpful hints / teacher tips
introduction to new material
a daily word problem
Mastering Essential Math Skills has 8 chapters full of 1 page daily assignments covering:
charts and graphs
Book Two in Mastering Essential Math Skills is 144 pages and included a sample day of how to use the program in the front of the book, followed by daily worksheets, and an answer key in the back. Assignments are on pages 5 – 127. This workbook can be finished in 122 days if you follow the 1 page for 20 minutes a day plan.
The workbook and DVD set retails for $33.95. It is also available for $15.95 for just the workbook, and $24.95 for just the DVD. The sets (book and DVD) also come bundled with book one, book two, and Pre-Algebra for $89.95 You can buy all these products from the Math Essentials website.
Math Essentials keeps it simple and straight forward. There is no glamor, color, fun stories, or games. It is basic problems geared to help you master a basic skill. The introduction explains the reason for this is that often kids miss learning the essential skill when all the “other stuff” is mixed in to the learning process.
Math Essentials was created by an award winning math teacher named Richard W. Fisher. On the back of the book, it states: “At least a third of the 6th grade students who use his program, bypass math in the 7th grade and go directly into 8th grade algebra”.
This statement really peeked my interest. Not because I want my son to bypass 7th grade math, but because I want him to feel confident in his math skills, something I personally never mastered.
About a year ago, I went to hear a guest speaker talk about Math at a homeschool mom’s get together. He stated the biggest problem he see’s in kids who reach 7th and 8th grade and older, is they failed to learn the basics of math. They don’t know their multiplication facts. They don’t know the fact families. They aren’t confident in the four basics of addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. He encouraged homeschool parents to practice the math facts with our kids from k-6th grade, so they were ready for higher level math by the time they reached highschool age.
Math Essentials has several wonderful math books and DVD’s to help your child master the essential math skills. In addition to the Mastering Essential Math Skills books 1 and 2, they have pre-algebra, algebra, and lots of workbooks that specialize in specific areas.
We are also working at Fractions by Math Essentials. It is available on the Math Essentials website and retails for $11.95 It is an 80 page workbook that specializes in mastering fractions.
It is also a simple book full of black and white pages of math problems. Again, no more than 20 minutes a day is expected to master the workbook. Check out the table of contents to see what is covered. Assignments are on pages 4 – 63. This book can be done in 59 days.
Both books are a great addition to our homeschool. These would also be wonderful to use in a coop situation, an after school program, schools, and math tutoring programs. Both books are easy to use and implement. I definately recomend these books to my homeschool friends.
122 days to master essential math skills and 59 days to master fractions. We are planning on success! We are planning on mastering essential math skills! We decided to shorten our goal into one simple statement:
Math Essentials + 20 minutes a day = success!!!
Please check out what others on the Crew had to say about this product.
Disclaimer: We received a copy of the above mentioned product in exchange for writing an honest review.