Wednesday, May 13, 2020

REVIEW: Math Refresher for Adults by Math Essentials

Disclaimer: I received a FREE copy of this product through the HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way.

I have been a fan of Math Essentials products for many years in my homeschool, so I was looking forward to using and reviewing Math Refresher for Adults myself.


Math Refresher for Adults is a math practice book that helps adults to easily review essential math skills from basic math through algebra.  It’s a great way to Cover Photorefresh your math skills so you can help your kids with their homework, prepare for a college math placement test, prepare for the SAT/PSAT, prepare to reenter the workforce, etc. 

This 270-page workbook includes practice exercises, review tests, answer keys, a glossary of terms, and a few pages of handy reference guides.  The general math topics covered include whole numbers, fractions, decimals, percents, geometry, integers, charts and graphs, and word problems.  It also includes 20 pre-algebra and algebra topics such as integer operations, exponents and square roots, ratios and proportions, percents, number lines and coordinate systems, equations and algebra based word problems, and probability and statistics.

This book is available for just $28.95.


Over the years, we’ve used other products from Math Essentials that were instrumental in getting my kids over a hump in the math learning journeys.  My oldest son, now 20, was always great in math until he hit algebra, and then he really struggled.  After trying other things, we had the opportunity to try out No-Nonsense Algebra and really reached a breakthrough!  Later, my daughter was struggling with math in middle school, so I got her the Mastering Essential Math Skills Book 2 for Middle/High School, which greatly helped her to improve her standardized test scores the following year.  When the time came, she, too, used No-Nonsense Algebra and did pretty well with it, which was saying a lot considering her lack of confidence and her need to be relearn concepts before she really got them.

With those positive experiences behind us, I was excited to try out the Math Refresher for Adults for myself.  I had every confidence that it would be a great product, and I was not disappointed!  One of the things that makes these products stand out is the tips section in every lesson that gives simpler methods of doing the work and straight-forward examples that are easy to understand and follow.  Each lesson in these programs is designed to be completed in about 15 minutes per day.  Another thing that sets this and the other products apart is that each book provides an access code that takes you to FREE video tutorials for every lesson in the book.  My kids always enjoyed the videos and found them easy to understand.  We liked that the teacher, Richard W. Fisher, is very animated and interesting to listen to.  He doesn’t speak in a dry, boring, monotone way like teachers in other math videos we’ve used in the past.  This Math Refresher for Adults book also includes access to these video lessons.  The web address and access code is printed in the tips section at the front of the workbook.

Each lesson includes 4 review problems that draw on previous lessons to start out, and there is a small section for note-taking, as well, in case you need to make any notes after watching the corresponding video.  Then there is a section of helpful hints that really do save you time and help refresh your memory on the topic at hand.  There are also 2 sample problems provided, which allow the student to try a couple of the new problems and check to make sure their answers are correct before they begin the practice problems for the lesson.  There are a total of 10 lesson problems to work plus a problem solving question at the end of each lesson.  There is a handy space down the margin of the page to record your answers in one place so that grading is really simple.  When you’re finished, you simply flip to the answer key in the back of the book and compare your answers.  These are simple answers, not an explanation of how to work the problem to arrive at the answer.

To begin the review, I tried out the first 4 lesson pages at the beginning of the book, which were just addition and subtraction lessons with whole numbers.  I did these just to illustrate how the individual lesson pages work.

Addition 11 Addition with Large Numbers 12

                                  Addition                           Addition with Large Numbers

Subtraction 13 Whole Numbers 14

                                Subtraction                           Subtraction with Zeroes

I’ve always been really good at math, so from here on out, I decided to skim over the individual lessons and only do the review tests for each section in general math.  There was only one lesson I decided to do as a refresher, and that was for the classification of triangles.  This is not something I have to do every day, so I thought I could probably use a refresher in that section.

Classification of Triangles 88

Classification of Triangles

There were 8 review tests in general math, plus a final review for that whole section.  After completing the 8 review tests and repeatedly getting them all right, I decided to skip the 8-page final review test for general math containing 160 questions.  Instead, I moved on to look more closely at the pre-algebra and algebra portion of the book.

Reviewing Geometry 97 Reviewing All Integer Operation 106

                        Reviewing Geometry              Reviewing All Integer Operations

 Reviewing Charts and Graphs 115 Reviewing Problem Solving 125

             Reviewing Charts and Graphs            Reviewing Problem Solving

I took a much closer look in this portion of the book, knowing there would probably be some things I might need to review if I don’t have practical application in my daily life.  I looked over the symbols and meanings associated with the use of sets, and then I completed the lesson on slope, which I didn’t remember how to do.  Once I began the lesson, I remembered teaching it to my kids, and it was super easy, so it was a great refresher for me.

Slope of a Line 76

Slope of a Line

Beyond that, I found that I really just needed to do the 7 review tests in this portion of the book.  Honestly, it was so much fun for me that I just kept working my way through this book until I felt like I was done for the day!  I was doing it in my spare time, and  I found it truly relaxing!  It was kind of like doing a puzzle book while you watch tv.  I know that sounds odd, but math was always my favorite subject.  My kids are so NOT like me in that regard!

Reviewing All Integer Operations 141 Reviewing Exponents and Square Roots 148 Reviewing Ratios and Proportions 159

Rev. All Integer Ops   Rev. Exponents/Sq. Roots   Rev. Ratios/Proportions

Reviewing Percents 166 Reviewing Number Lines and Coordinate Systems 177 Reviewing Equations and Algebra Word Problems 190

         Rev. Percents            Rev. # Lines/Coord. Sys.   Rev. Equ./Alg. Word Prob.

Reviewing Probability and Statistics 196

Rev. Probability/Statistics

I did so well with the reviews that I knew I was ready to take the final review test for pre-algebra and algebra.  This was a 6-page test with a total of 100 questions.  I got 99%, and I was kicking myself for the silly error I made on the one problem I missed.  I had run out of room to write, and my numbers ran over the page numbers at the bottom where I could no longer read my writing very well.  If I could wish for one improvement with this book, it would be that there might be just a tad more room on some of the pages to work the problems without needing separate scratch paper. 

Final Review 219 Final Review 220 Final Review 221

Final Review 222 Final Review 223 Final Review 224

Final Review – Pre-Algebra and Algebra

I really enjoyed the layout of this book, and I feel like I’m up to speed and ready to teach pre-algebra and algebra to my youngest son for the last time!  He will be starting 7th grade in June, and he just began a basic math and pre-algebra course, so my confidence is up, and I’m ready to help him tackle the next couple of years of math!  I would highly recommend this book to anyone who needs to brush up on their skills for any reason, and those online math videos are there and ready to assist you if you need a true reteaching of any lesson.  Those videos are concise, fun to watch, and a great resource when you need them.

Take a look at what other Crew members have to say about Math Refresher for Adults as well as other products from Math Essentials by clicking the banner below.

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