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Schoolhouse Review: Math Essentials Book 2


When a new math vendor popped up for the Schoolhouse Review Crew, I quickly went to visit Math Essentials website to research this math program. I'm so glad I did. This was a perfect fit for my oldest son Joshua who struggles with math.
What I received for this review, Mastering Essential Math Skills 2 with a workbook and DVD . I also received Decimals and Percents. The target age for this level is Middle Grade to High School.
To have your child ready for Pre-Algebra, it is recommended that the child also complete the Geometry and the Problem Solving books. This is what I plan to do with Joshua.

Each daily lesson consist of five parts: two speed drills, review, helpful hints, problems containing the new material that was introduced and a Problem Solving question. The book is divided into 8 chapters: Whole Numbers, Fractions, Decimals, Percent, Geometry, Integers, Charts and Graphs and Word Problems.


Math Essentials has some unique features.With the speed drills you can have your child work on a facts that they have trouble with by putting that number in the center of the 'wheel'.
After the new concept is taught the child can refer to the Helpful Hint if needed.
The first two problems have an S. This is so the parent/teacher can go over the first two before letting your child loose to complete the page on their own.

Math Essentials has 127 student pages. The pages are black and white, uncluttered, with no fluff, just math.
Josh was happy that Math Essentials took between 20-30 minutes a day. In that time he completed a drill, did some review and worked on problems that were recently introduced, he was done with math and could move onto another subject. He absolutely loved that there was no distractions on the pages. They were clean and uncluttered. His brain works best with tidy, to-the-point pages. I have found when the pages of any subject are in disarray it's too much for his organized ways.

I'm so thankful for math programs that include DVDs. For us this is a wonderful bonus because Joshua doesn't have to wait for me (he really dislikes waiting for me because I'm so busy with his younger siblings). There are times when Joshua will wake before the sun is up and with the Math Essentials he can do math and be done before school-time even starts. So yes, we like having Mr. Fisher teach at our house. If Josh needs more help, I'm always available.

Mr. Fisher, has been teaching since 1971 with a B.A. in mathematics. One can tell that he truly knows math and has a passion to share his knowledge with his students. What Joshua likes about watching the DVD is there's no fluff. Mr. Fisher gets to the point and teaches. He doesn't over explain and make a math problem more complicated then it has to be. Joshua thrives on structure, organization and clear instructions. This is exactly what Math Essential delivers for him.

A note about the DVD. You don't have to watch it every, single, day. At first Joshua was watching each DVD lesson daily and was wondering why he was being taught something different from what was in his workbook. He soon realized that after watching one lesson he could do the next couple of workbook pages on his own. To make things easier we quickly figured out a way for Josh to know when he needed to watch a lesson. We put a dot next to each lesson that he would need to first watch. As you can see below for example, he would need to watch a lesson via DVD for Identifying Fractions. For the next few days he would only do the workbook pages. Then for Adding Like Denominators he would watch a lesson before completing the workbook page.
Math Essentials is a very affordable program. It can be a stand alone program or use it as a supplement. Mastering Essential Skills Book Two for Middle Grades and High School cost $33.95. This includes the Workbook, DVD, and for a limited a free A+ Math Kit. You can purchase extra workbooks for $15.95 each. If your child needs to concentrate on a certain math skill there are workbooks for Fractions, Geometry, Problem Solving, Decimals & Percents, and Whole Numbers & Integers. Each workbook (which include an Answer Key in the back) are $11.95.

Through the months of July, August and September, any order that includes Mastering Essential Math Skills Book 1, OR, Mastering Essential Math Skills Book 2, OR, No-Nonsense Algebra, will include a free copy of Geometry (A $14.95 value) plus a free Homework Kit (A $4.99 value).

The Decimal and Percent workbook that I received is set up the same way as Mastering Essential Math Skills Book 2 but minus the DVD. The extra workbooks do not have an accompanying DVD.
How did we use Math Essentials? Joshua pretty much used this on his own daily. Once he starts the percent and decimal lessons, I will add the Percents & Decimal book as well. I also plan on purchasing the Geometry and Problem Solving books as suggested by Mr. Fisher.

What did I think of Math Essentials? Like Josh, I appreciated the no fluff, clean and uncluttered pages. I liked the ease of use, that my son could pop the DVD in the computer and have a math teacher teach him day or night, 24/7.

What did Joshua think of Math Essentials? He liked the structure of the program. He liked his 'math' teacher, which is always a plus and like mentioned above the clean, uncluttered workbook pages kept him focused.

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**Disclaimer: As a member of the TOS Crew, I received this product, at no cost to me, in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are mine.

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