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Oh, my goodness. I’m in love. Better yet, my son is in love.
Let me back this story up just a bit…We have used and loved Saxon Math for years. My oldest has thrived on it and we have no plans to change gears for her. However, my son has complained about Saxon since the 6th grade. He can do the lessons with success, but doesn’t prefer the format or extensive daily review. I hadn’t given into his whines before now because I didn’t think there was anything comparable in academic strength that offered a drastically different format.
Enter No-Nonsense Algebra by Richard Fisher. Not only do I find it to be comparable to Saxon academically, the format suits my son and his “no-nonsense” personality perfectly.
The lessons are short and sweet. Explanations, examples and exercises are contained to one or two clean, easy-to-read pages. There isn’t an extensive amount of wordiness, which is right up my son’s alley. His opinion is: “Tell me what I need to know quick. Don’t waste my time. And, please, please don’t give me a ton of busy work.” That’s what he gets with No-Nonsense Algebra.
- Each lesson begins with an introduction that quickly explains the ONE new concept. (You know how some math programs will try to introduce several new concepts in one lesson? Yeah, that’s a booger. This program doesn’t do that.)
- Clear written examples are included after the introduction.
- Plenty of practice problems allow for practice of the new concept – usually between 14-20 problems. These aren’t overwhelming for my son, though, because each problem allows for practice of the concept that is fresh on his mind. In other words, he isn’t having to process something new, only practice it a few times, then have 36 additional problems that are considered review. This method drills the new information into his head better.
- A short review section of about four problems is included at the end which constantly reviews the previous lessons. Four problems doesn’t make my son shake in his boots.
Best of All:
You might not believe this, but your book comes with a special code that allows you access to FREE online video lessons! For each lesson, you can watch a video that clearly explains each new concept. The teacher is encouraging and offers many written examples explaining each and every step your child will need to know to jump into the practice problems. Did I mention this is FREE with the purchase of your book??
Each of the ten chapters is followed by a chapter review (which I use as the chapter test), as well as a comprehensive final review at the end of the book. Answer keys are included for all lessons and reviews.
(Cindy received a free copy of No-Nonsense Algebra in exchange for an honest review.)
-Cindy West is an eclectically Charlotte Mason homeschooling mom of three from Central KY. You can find her blogging at Our Journey Westward and check out her curriculum resources at Shining Dawn Books.
Ellen @ the Bluestocking Belle says
Love it, love it! This sounds like exactly what I’ll need in a couple of years. My math-minded dd sounds a lot like your son: no fluff — just the facts, please. And the perk of the online video lessons is extra nice.
Thanks for letting us know about this curriculum!
Would you replace Saxon Algebra 1 with this? Or supplement? What about Algebra 2? Would love to use, just wanna be sure we won’t miss some concepts. We are finishing Saxon 1/2 right now.
This is definitely on my list! We love Teaching Textbooks but why not have another way of learning – especially when we will be all about algebra in a few short months with 9th and 10th graders 🙂 Thanks!
For my son, I am replacing Saxon 1 with No-Nonsense Algebra. While it also covers some of Saxon’s Algebra 2 concepts, I don’t feel comfortable saying it can take the place of Saxon’s Algebra 2.
However, with that said, we use Saxon’s 3rd edition Algebra books, which also include some geometry. In fact, if you use the 3rd edition Saxon Algebra 1, Algebra 2 and Advanced Math, you can count it as 4-credits because enough geometry is covered to not specifically teach another year of geometry.
Did I just talk in circles, or make at least a little sense? What I’m trying to say is that No-Nonsense Algebra doesn’t include geometry, but the author does have a separate geometry program. 🙂
My son LOVES this program! He’s going to finish Algebra with about a 95% average! An A in Algebra…doesn’t get any better than that!
Now with approaching the last chapters I need to figure out what to do next.
Geometry? Algebra 2?
He’s not traditional college-bound. He’ll probably go into a vocational school, welding or flying, something that requires his body & hands. So, I’m not interested in forcing my son to spend the next 4 years preparing for an academic experience he has no interest in. Did I say the kid doesn’t like the extra fluff!
Sorry to ramble…so what are you going to use next?
Came across your review on No-Nonsense Algebra today as I was doing some research on it. I am curious how you feel about it now. Would you still recommend it? Anything new you have learned about it that isn’t in your review above? Thanks!
Yes, April. I still love it. 🙂
My son also struggles with Saxon Algebra a lot. Will No-nonsense Algebra cover both Algebra 1 and 2 (minus geometry?) Do you go back to Saxon after that? Is there a separate booklet for answer keys or is it all-in-one?
What did you wind up using to follow No nonsense Algebra? We are finishing up and have loved it but I’m stumped on where, which curriculum to use next since this is Richard Fishers last book in the series. Thanks
Gloria Pratt says
Do you know if there is an Algebra 2 at all? If not, do you know what curriculum is recommended for Algebra 2 after using No Nonsense?
Cindy West says
I don’t know of Algebra 2 from No Nonsense. We went right into Teaching Textbooks Algebra 2 afterwards without any problems.