Math Essentials Review

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Curriculum Review by Sarah Shelton

Mastering Essential Math Skills Book Two – Middle and High School Grades: Pre- Algebra Concepts

I have a son who is in 8th grade and has been struggling with math this past year and a half. When pursuing the information on Math Essentials, I was very curious to see how it was possible to earn “dramatically better math scores in just 20 minutes per day!” 

My son was very pleased to see that the books weren’t a few hundred pages long like other math texts we have used and that the lessons didn’t seem too lengthy and redundant with lots of extra information that may not be essential! 

Mastering Essential Math Skills Book Two -Middle and High School Grades
The book is 122 pages long. There is a how to section in the front and an answer key in the back of the book. This book covers so many essential math topics. If you are using this as a supplement and need help in a certain area you could jump right to the section you needed extra practice with. For the struggling math learner I suggest going through the entire book starting at the beginning with the basics. My son was able to work on this over the summer and throughout this year and really enjoyed using this and it has helped him in math tremendously this year!

The topics covered in this book are:

  • Whole Numbers: addition, subtraction, multiplication, division and many different types of math problems
  • Fractions: Changing improper fractions, subtracting, adding, least common denominator, multiplying, reciprocals, dividing and much more
  • Decimals: changing words to decimals, changing fractions and mixed numbers to decimals, comparing, adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing decimals
  • Percent: Changing tenths and hundredths to percents, decimals to percents, percents to decimals and fractions, finding the percent of a number, finding the percent in word problems
  • Geometry: Points, lines, planes, parallel, measuring angles, types of angles, polygons, triangles, perimeter of polygons, circles, circumference, areas
  • Integers: addition, subtraction, multiplication, division
  • Charts and Bar Graphs: bar, line, circle, picture
  • Word Problems: whole numbers, fractions, decimals, 2 step whole numbers, 2 step fractions, 2 step decimals, multi-step word problems

Each Lesson has 4 Review Exercises, a little speed drill section, a helpful hints section, 10 math problems and one word problem to complete.

Pre- Algebra Concepts
The lessons in this book are 72 pages long, with an answer key and a glossary of mathematical terms in the back of the book. 
The topics covered are:

  • Integers
  • Positive and Negative Fractions
  • Positive and Negative Decimals
  • Exponents
  • Square Roots
  • Order of Operations
  • Properties of Numbers
  • Scientific Notation
  • Ratios and Proportions
  • Percents
  • Number Theory
  • Number Lines
  • Coordinate Systems
  • Slope
  • Graphing Linear Equations
  • Equations
  • Algebra Word Problems
  • Probability
  • Statistics

Each lesson has 6 review exercises at the top of each page with a Helpful Hints Box right in the middle, before the problems you need to complete that day. So you get built in review and a helpful hints teaching reminder right in front of you before you proceed to finish the page. The rest of the lesson has 10 problems and one word problem to complete. 

These books do not look cluttered and full of huge math problems. They are laid out very clean and simple looking, great for a student that would get easily overwhelmed by a large textbook. It also comes with a Bonus Complete Tutorial DVD included in the back of the book. The DVD is a teacher directed dvd with Mr. Rick Fisher teaching in front of a whiteboard. We have homeschooled since preschool and my son who has never been in a classroom told me that he really enjoyed watching a teacher teach the problems and work them out in front of him on the board! This is a great program for the parent that has a hard time teaching and explaining Math because Mr. Fisher does it all for you. 

The lecture on the DVD for each section in the book is only about 10 minutes in length. You pop in the DVD and watch the lecture for the set of problems you are about to do. Then you proceed to do the problems. There are about 2 pages of problems for each lecture. They both could be done at one time immediately following the lecture or one page each day. With watching the DVD and doing one page it really is about 20 minutes a day of math. 

My son is really enjoying this math program. He has been doing both books alongside another program as a supplement and to help him catch up. He is improving greatly in his math skills! He is understanding, grasping and actually mastering the concepts, whereas before he was just skating through and not really understanding how things were working. This really is an easy to follow program that helps students to master, and reinforce math skills by the daily systematic reviews.