Because sometimes in life you just need an easy button, I was happy to review No-Nonsense Algebra by Math Essentials this summer. My daughter has been using it as a "keep your mind going" resource while we were on our official school break, prompting my son to get his copy out as a refresher while he prepares for college entrance. No-Nonsense Algebra is part of the Mastering Essential Math Skills Series designed by Richard W. Foster (a master teacher and former high school math teacher) and it is what it claims to be -- a no fluff, no-nonsense curriculum that explains math topics in an easy-to-understand, no-frills language.
Divided into 10 Chapters that begin with the very basics and work through equations, graphing, polynomials, and word problems, No-Nonsense Algebra is a solid curriculum. The 275-page softcover book used alongside the online video lessons truly are designed so that your students can "master Algebra the easy way!". And did I mention that students can typically complete a lesson in about 20 minutes a day? I don't know about you, but we find that to be the absolute perfect amount of time at Long Leaf Academy. It's enough time to really get the meat of the lesson without my students become antsy.
The textbook is written directly to the student and provides a clear explanation for each topic presented. This makes it easy for the student to understand what is being taught and what they are required to do to complete the lesson successfully. Chapters are broken down into lessons (there are 4 - 22 lessons per chapter with the first chapter being the longest as it covers the necessary tools for algebra and prepares your child for what is to come) and each lesson contains an introductory explanation, worked problems as examples, and 12 - 18 exercises to be completed by the student for mastery of the lesson. After the very first lesson, there is a short review section that finishes the daily lesson. The review section of each lesson is compiled of 2 - 4 questions that offer a reminder of what has already been taught. The Final Review is comprehensive (157 questions) and makes for a great final exam. Solutions to all problems are found in the very back of the textbook.
Here's the really cool part and I want to make sure that you catch this tidbit: For each lesson in the textbook, there is a corresponding video lesson online. Students are given an access code in their textbook that gives them instant access to the video lessons and they are encouraged to actively work through all problems as the instructor (America's Math TeacherRick Fisher) teaches. These are short videos that range in length from 3 - 10 minutes. The online videos consist of the instructor speaking as the problem is worked on a digital whiteboard. You do not see the instructor so there are absolutely no distractions. Students watch the problems, write them down in their notebook, and then read and complete the corresponding lesson from the text. What I like is that the basic algebraic concepts are taught, reinforced and mastered. Students are not required to work countless math problems over and over. Do you remember those days and nights of math problems that never ended? Surely it wasn't just my teachers? Once they have mastered a topic, my kids are free to move on with a brief review in the days and weeks ahead.
When we first came across this curriculum a few years ago, my MainMost said that he found No-Nonsense Algebra to be very clear, concise teaching. As a former high school math teacher himself, he stated that "the examples used are very good and every topic in the book is reinforced by the Instructor. The lessons are easy to understand. I could learn algebra from this if I didn't already know it." I considered that high praise then and still do today. It is our opinion that No-Nonsense Algebra is quality math instruction and the fact that they offer quite a few other resources to help your students succeed in math is just icing on the cake. You can find out more information about the different Math Essentials offerings by visiting their website and checking out the following Social Media site:
From basic integers to algebraic word problems, No-Nonsense Algebra makes it easy to succeed. I like that. Working through math problems to keep refreshed during the summer is a win at my house and will make it so much easier to go "back to school" in the coming weeks.
This little bird spends most every night tucked into the nook above the door into my garage. I'm not sure why that's his spot or why he doesn't have a nest, but he's been safe and sound here for months. It's intriguing to me to watch him and know that he is not afraid. He is sheltered and protected. How much GOD cares for this little bird. How much HE cares for me. I am loved.
I'm joining with my friend Jennifer over at a glimpse of our life as we give glory to GOD through our photos.
It's been a whirlwind summer with camps and VBS and more. I feel like I'm in recovery mode for getting it all back together so we can begin our new school year. How's your August going so far?
Here's a look at what is currently on my mind . . .
Snacking (on): My all-time favorite snack is Salt and Vinegar chips. There's just something about them that I can't get enough of. I've done so well choosing healthy options, drinking tons of water, and walking, walking, walking . . . but sometimes I just need those chips. Yummy!
Anticipating: a possible trip to the beach, a kidmin conference, a women's ministry event, AND a trip to NYC with my Girl Scout
Borrowing: mostly I'm borrowing time. I know there are only 24 hours in a day, but seems like I keep squeezing more and more stuff in to do. I may need a reality check. How about you?
Admiring: the craziest thing has been happening in my front yard and I can't help but admire the little guy to pieces. There's a HUGE pine tree and a tiny squirrel and he makes multiple trips up and down that tree to build his nest. It's amazing to watch him scurry down, grab something in his mouth, and scurry right back up to deposit it in the growing nest.
Purchasing: nothing at all right now. Remember those "anticipating" events I mentioned above? Yep, I'm saving up for those. But I did get a new cut and fresh color yesterday, so maybe that counts, too.
currently, this month has great potential.
I'm linking up with Anne and Shea to share what is currently going on in the world around me. Join us? Check back in on September 6 when we'll be sharing what we're currently celebrating, watching, welcoming, preparing, and photographing.
I LOVE all things Heirloom Audio Productions and was super excited to receive their newest audio theatre offering In the Reign of Terror for review. After reading about it and listening to the preview, I wanted my family to be able to listen together to discuss and learn, and as always, Heirloom Audio did not disappoint. The battle for religion is alive and real in the world today and In the Reign of Terror offers great insight to be used as both a Bible Study tool and Christian apologetics study with my high schooler. It is of the utmost importance to me that my children know what they believe and why and that they can defend their beliefs no matter what.
In the Reign of Terror is a great place to begin this discussion. The two-CD set is divided into 22 tracks/chapters that tell G.A. Henty's story of the French Revolution -- the why, how, when, and what's next of life under the oppressive state of persecution for those of noble birth. Let me forewarn you: for over two hours of theatrical production, you will remain on the edge of your seat as you walk alongside a sixteen-year-old boy named Harry who has come to live with the Marquis family and serve as tutor and companion. Due to his service to a French noble family and the relationships he forges with them, Harry becomes an enemy to those in revolt when he chooses to remain with the family and offers his help in protecting those they love. Throughout the entire drama, JESUS is glorified as Harry and his friends rely solely on HIM. What we like about Heirloom Audio is that it is real and it is raw and it fairly depicts history. Unfortunately, not all characters in the story end with a "happily ever after" but GOD is magnified throughout. This is summed up best in the printable artwork (below) hanging in my kitchen as our daily reminder:
printable hanging in my kitchen as a reminder
New this year to the Heirloom Audio family is the Live the Adventure Club which offers a wealth of information and resources to help parents and grandparents teach, encourage, and inspire the children they love as they work to make a positive difference in their lives. You can sign up today for a free three-month trial offer and see for yourself how awesome it is. I like that you can bookmark a chapter making it easy to return to, mark when you finish a chapter in its entirety, and even signify a chapter as your favorite. Students can follow along with the audio drama by reading the script provided and can take a chapter quiz to test how much they are gleaning from the radio theater. These new resources are super cool, but there's even more. I really like the Inspiration Station that shares inspiring quotes, daily devotions, and a place to share prayer requests with a staff committed to praying over your needs. This added bonus makes Heirloom Audio even more family. I already knew how beneficial the Study Guides are to the audio dramas, but y'all, the Crash Course to the Constitution is PHENOMENAL and the history and grammar textbook resources they now share from the 1700s and 1800s are crazy helpful. You are definitely going to want to be a part of this Club.
I'm excited to be using the Study Guide (43-page pdf) as we listen together and I appreciate just how easy Heirloom Audio makes that for me. The Study Guide is divided into three sections per listening track -- Listening Well, Thinking Further, and Defining Words -- and includes expanded learning sections that take the people, places, or things from the audio drama one step further (think architecture, fashion, food). Listening Well asks basic questions to make sure the listener pays close attention and understands what is going on in the drama. Thinking Further offers an opportunity for hands-on learning as you explore maps and work on projects related to the drama -- including writing assignments PERFECT for high school students. Defining Words has students looking up words (both French and English) from the drama to make sure that you grasp their meaning. Expanded vocabulary anyone? It's perfect! The Study Guide also encourages students and families to read literature from the time period of the French Revolution (A Tale of Two Cities) and incorporates Bible study, as well. There are resources for additional study that make this perfect for the entire family of learners. Younger children may want to just listen to the story, older students and parents will want to dig into the surrounding history. It's the perfect tool for all.
You know, we've listened to and learned from each of the audio dramas that we've been able to review (Under Drake's Flag, In Freedom's Cause,With Lee in Virginia, The Dragon and the Raven, Beric the Briton, and The Cat of Bubastes). and each one just gets better and better. Each time we finish one, I think there's no way they can get any better than this. Yet it always does. Heirloom Audio Productions offers an unsurpassed quality of Christian entertainment that is sure to bless families with children of all ages. Heroes that you can count on to share moral values, strong character, and uphold the highest standards of integrity are provided in each audiodrama. You can feel good about what your children are listening to with Heirloom Audio Productions.
For more information about this drama or any of the others lovingly produced by Heirloom Audio Productions, please visit the following Social Media sites:
Did I mention that I love Heirloom Audio? Really, y'all, their passion for "igniting the next generation's love for CHRISTIAN history" is a phenomenal way to do life. THIS is why we homeschool. Won't you join us on the journey?