Thursday, August 31, 2017

Our Barn Home: Progress Part 6

Just last week I showed you some of the progress we have made outside on our dream barn home.  Then I decided to jump into some projects and do more outside work...more on that next week.  In that post from last week I told you that I had been working on my laundry room and I would share that with you so that is what I am here to do today.  Let's chat about my laundry room....  This is a room that I really disliked in the barn.  Not that I don't need a laundry area, I definitely need it.  I just strongly disliked how it was "decorated" and it really bugged me.  I put "decorated" in quotes because I am not sure you can call 3 or 4 different paint colors in one small room decorated.  Anyway, this laundry room makeover has been rolling around in my head and somewhere on my Pinterest boards since we first looked at the barn.  Yes, I thought about making over the laundry area even before we purchased this house.  My friends are probably really laughing right about now reading this because those who know me closely have heard me say that I would rather clean toilets than fold laundry.  Let's just say I don't spend more time than I have to in the laundry area, but I do make sure that we always have clean clothes and I am the one who typically washes the clothes, then it is a joint effort between the kids and I for folding duties.  I tell you all this to let you know that I really, really disliked the before of our laundry area.  The makeover got rolling when we we had some friends offer to come up and help in a part of the house.  They are super sweet and wanted to bless us so when I showed them a few of the minor projects that we had, they chose to clean my laundry room to prep it for the makeover for me.  They scrubbed the walls and ceiling.  They cleaned the floor and cleaned behind my washer and dryer.  It looked so much better just being clean and ready for me to start the makeover.  I got the ball rolling by applying a new paint color to the laundry room.  In the pictures you will see that I have a couple of areas to touch up and I still have to paint in the window sill.  I am just waiting for a rainy day for this work.  Next up, I stained some wood boards for shelving.  Staining is actually a lot of fun and I enjoyed that project.  Buddy spray painted the hardware for the shelves and my ironing board area.  Then Handsome Hubby with Buddy's help hung my shelves for me.  He also moved some of the duct work for me that was taking up major space in the laundry area.  Then I stained a wood crate for holding my iron which Buddy hung up on the wall for me.  Lastly, Little Miss arranged the shelves for me.  I realized that we have a ton of cleaning products and I really need to go through them on a rainy day.  Now I have a laundry room that is pretty and I don't mind being in there.  I even folded clothes in there the other day!  There are still a couple of little things to get done like changing out the flooring and finding a light fixture that I like, but those things will get done later on.  We are changing the other end of the room in our next major renovation project so it doesn't make sense to change out the floor right now.

A Glimpse of Normal, #Ireallyliveinabarn, Barn, dream house, Laundry, laundry room makeover, DIY
The before....there are at least 3 different paint colors here and there was a cabinet we ripped out that had the 4th color.

This is one of the boards I stained for shelves.
The After...painted a nice soft gray.



My shelf brackets that Buddy spray painted for me.
My ironing area....I am missing a plate cover that is hiding at the moment.  


What do you think?  Do you like the changes I made?  Check back next week to see how we made major changes with just a few hours of work to the outside of our house.
#ireallyliveinabarn

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

A Review of The Greatest Inventors from A Journey Through Learning Lapbooks

Little Miss is a hands-on student.  I have noticed that she learns best when she studies something and then does a project for a subject or creates something from what she studied.  This is why I was excited to receive The Greatest Inventors from A Journey Through Learning Lapbooks for us to review recently.  Lapbooks have been great for her so I thought she would like learning about famous inventors by creating a specific lapbook all about them.
Greatest Inventors Lapbook with Study Guide, lapbook, lapbooking, astronomy, inventor studies, anatomy, history notebooking, Apologia lapbooks
A Journey Through Learning Lapbooks is owned and operated by Paula Winget and Nancy Fileccia.  They are two homeschool moms who saw and felt a need for their own homeschooling purposes which they decided to turn into a business since they thought others could benefit from their need too.  Their website offers many different topical lapbooks, curriculum lapbooks, unit studies, copywork, and notebooking for your homeschool needs.
The Greatest Inventors lapbook we received covers 18 great inventors and their inventions.  It includes a study guide for reading and learning about the inventors and projects to do for each inventor for the lapbook.  The projects have students write about the inventor and their invention.  Sometimes it does this by asking a specific question and other times it is an area for the student to free write.  There are a couple of extra little projects they can do to help them better understand some of the inventors or their invention.  There is even a project where they get to decide on something they will invent.  At the end of the lapbook, there are several resources for deeper study of the inventors if you choose to do so.  These resources include a reading log, a book report form, a form for taking notes, an outline form, and a narration form for using with younger students.  It even includes a list of other books you can read to learn more.  This lapbook sells for as a download for just $8.00 or as a print version for just $18 and it can be used for students in 2nd through 7th grade.
Little Miss was excited to hear that she would be creating another lapbook.  I started out by downloading this lapbook and then reading through the instructions of how to put it together.  I helped her get her file folders folded the right way and then she did the gluing together.  The book recommends using 3 different colored file folders, but I only had plain file folders on hand to use.  This was okay with Little Miss because I told her that she could make the background decorations on the file folders to make each one unique.  Then I printed off the pages for her to read and the projects for her to complete.  I gave her the pages for the inventors one at a time and she would read all about the inventor and then do the project for her lapbook.  Little Miss chose to glue a few of the finished projects in the lapbook at a time rather than putting them in the instant she finished them.  She really liked reading about the inventors and what they invented.  She read about what an invention is and started thinking about what she may invent one day.  She also had to write about what she learned about what an invention is for her lapbook activity.  She has since read and completed the projects for Johannes Gutenberg, Benjamin Franklin, John Deere, Wilbur and Orville Wright, Guglielmo Marconi, George Eastman, Louis Braille, and Eli Whitney.  She has enjoyed learning about their achievements and it has given us a chance to discuss these inventions too.  She will finish this lapbook over the next couple of weeks by reading about the 10 other inventors and completing the projects for them.
Overall Little Miss has liked this lapbook project.  She likes that the passages aren't too long and she likes learning about the inventions we use and the people who created them.  She has said that she wishes she got to do more for the project than just write about what she read about, but there are some little side projects we are going to work on coming up for these inventors.  We skipped over a couple of them because I didn't have egg cartons to make a typeset at the time and also because I wanted to a couple of them when we are fully in school because it fits with what we will be learning for history.  The only other complaint Little Miss had with this lapbook was that there were no women inventors in it.  So my answer to her was that she needs to become an inventor!  I have liked how easy this lapbook was for her to work on over the summer and that I can add more to it for her by having her check out extra resources.  I definitely plan to check out some of their other lapbooks and unit studies to see what fits in with our school this year.  You can learn more about A Journey Through Learning Lapbooks and all they have to offer on their website, Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and Instagram pages.  You can learn about The Greatest Inventors lapbook we received here.  You should also check out the reviews from my friends on the Homeschool Review Crew by clicking the banner below because we got to review many different products from this company.  I will be taking a look at the reviews to see which lapbooks I need to put on my list of things to purchase.
Lapbooks for Classical Conversations, Apologia, Inventors & 20th Century {A Journey Through Learning Lapbooks Reviews}

Friday, August 25, 2017

Friday Faves: Crochet Edition

It's Friday!!!  Whoop, whoop!!!
Friday Faves, A Glimpse of Normal. Crochet
We have been busy, busy, busy around the house this week.  We are trying to get some outside projects finished before school starts and fall sets in.  Yesterday and today around where we live it has been unseasonably cool, break out the sweatshirt during the day kind of cool.  This made me want to just sit and crochet all day, but I couldn't.  Instead I thought about projects I want to do.  If you have ever seen my Pinterest board for crochet you know that it contains way more pins than I have time, but I guess that is the fun of Pinterest.  So then I got to thinking about my favorite crochet blogs and decided to share them with you today.  These are the blogs I follow because they have great patterns and tutorials.  They are also great places for inspiration and I would love to be as talented as these ladies are some day.  So without further ado, here are my top 5 favorite crochet blogs:
  • Repeat Crafter Me - One day I want to be able to crochet as fast as she does.  This was probably one of the first crochet blogs I started to follow because she creates the cutest projects.  
  • The Unraveled Mitten - This blog is one I found recently, but I am in love with her patterns and she always uses the cutest yarn.  She also has great tutorials.
  • One Dog Woof - I found this blog through Pinterest searching and love so many of the patterns she puts up.  She is very creative.
  • Hopeful Honey - This lady comes up with the most beautiful stitches.  I love to see what she is working on and hope to learn from her skills.
  • Petals to Picots - She has a great weekly round-up for inspiration along with her own beautiful designs.  She also has tutorials that are very helpful.
Do you follow any crochet blogs?  Which ones are your favorite?  I probably don't need anymore items on my to do someday list, but I always take a look.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Our Barn Home: Progress Part 5

It has been awhile since I posted about our barn house.  We are still loving it, working on it, and still finding more things to do, but we have also been busy with summer.  We got to a little bit of a stopping point at the beginning of summer.  We haven't stopped all the work, but the next BIG project is on hold until we get through summer and have more time at home to dedicate to major renovation.  In the meantime we have been working around the outside and making our home look lived in and loved.  We have also been finding all kinds of things in the yard...sets of silverware, broken bottles, animal skeletons, markers, and the list goes on and on.  Anyway I thought I would take a quick moment to show off all the hard work that has been done outside thanks to the Handsome Hubby and Buddy who have done the majority of the work.











Next up for the outside is fixing the siding, painting the wood, and cleaning our deck.  For now we are going to enjoy the outside areas that are done and enjoy the rest of the summer.  Next week I will share my laundry room make over.  #ireallyliveinabarn

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

A Review of Everyday Cooking from Everyday Homemaking

In our homeschool we don't just focus on the core subjects like reading, math, and science.  We also focus on life skills because we want our kids to be prepared for all they can be by the time they graduate high school.  Cooking is a life skill I have been working on with Buddy for a little while now.  This is why I was excited to receive a copy of Everyday Cooking from Everyday Homemaking to review with him.
Everyday Cooking, chore system, Home making, Everyday Cooking
Everyday Homemaking is a website created by Vicki Bentley.  She designed her site not only to sell her homemaking products, but also to give parents practical ideas and tools to help us manage our time and household.  She believes in helping get the kids involved and teaching them while they help.  Her website is filled with ideas, tips, products, and resources to help the family.  Vicki is no stranger to raising children as she is a mom of eight children and a foster mom of fifty children.  She knows how busy a schedule can get and has great, simple ideas for making it work.  The Homeschool Review Crew got to review two of her products: The Everyday Family Chore System or Everyday Cooking.  Both of these products are available as e-books or in print format.  If you choose to purchase e-books they are $15.99 and if you want a physical book they are $19.99.
Buddy put sticky notes on the recipes he wanted to make for us.
We received a physical copy of Everyday Cooking and as soon as it arrived in the mail, Buddy hijacked it and starting marking which recipes he wanted to try.  Then I told him that he would be doing the cooking for some of the recipes and he marked more with Post-It Notes.  He looked at me and said, "I can make these."  So I put him to the test.  He picked out Chili Pie to cook for us for dinner.  He even remembered what ingredients we needed at the store to make the recipe (that is how I know he is serious about cooking, he knows what he needs).  We decided to double the recipe so that dad could have lunch the next day too.  I had to drop my car off at the shop and Buddy stayed home to make dinner.  He followed the instructions for recipe all on his own.  He did a great job!  He was even taking pictures for me along the way so you all could see what he did.  The only part he got a little worried about was that the meal was taking longer to bake.  I forgot to tell him that since we used a bigger pan and doubled the recipe it would take longer to bake.  Once it did finish baking, it was EXCELLENT!!!  We have a new family favorite.  The next Buddy cooked, he made us Kale and Kielbasa with Potatoes.  He got it all ready and the only thing I did was close the Instant Pot and set the timer for it.  Buddy likes using the Instant Pot, but always wants me to make sure it is closed right so we don't have any issues pressure cooking and I completely understand that.  This recipe turned out great too.  I have also personally tried a few of the recipes  - oven roasted potatoes, pizza dough, and the kale dish Buddy did, but I added white beans too.  All of the recipes we have tried are easy to follow, use regular ingredients, and taste great.  They can be adjusted to what your family likes.



Buddy's Chili Pie he cooked for us all on his own.
Included in this cookbook are helpful tips, menu planning charts, sample menus, grocery shopping tips, grocery lists, and instructions for pressure cooking methods.  She also includes substitutions you can use and instructions for using this book for a mini food and nutrition unit for your students.  It has 198 pages and includes recipes for everything from breakfast to dinner from appetizers to dessert.  Her recipes are designed to be nutritious, healthy, and use whole foods.  She even included some of her kitchen bloopers which I got a kick out of because I have done some similar things.
Kale, Kielbasa and Potatoes
We really enjoyed reviewing this cookbook.  I love that I can use it with my 14 year old and he can cook us a whole meal on his own.  We really appreciated how easy yet delicious the recipes were.  I appreciated all the cooking tips and the instructions on how I can use this as a food and nutrition unit for my son.  I  really enjoyed that she uses common ingredients and I don't have to spend a fortune on ingredients that we may not like.  We will definitely continue cooking from this cookbook and I am planning on Buddy doing the unit described in the book when we start school.  Even though Little Miss hasn't gotten a chance to help with any of the recipes yet, she has marked out some of the dessert ones she would like to make with me.  We highly recommend adding this book to your collection.  You can learn more about it on the Everyday Homemaking website and Facebook.  You can check out the book we received here.  As a special to my readers, Vicki from Everyday Homemaking is offering 10% off The Everyday Family Chore System and/or Everyday Cooking in either print or e-book.  She is offering this discount through Labor Day and you just have to add the items to your cart and then add the code TOS10books for the discount.  What a great deal!  I would also recommend clicking on the banner below to read the reviews from my friends on the Homeschool Review Crew because we did get to review different products.  I know I am excited to ready about The Everyday Family Chore System too.
Everyday Cooking and Chores Systems for your Family {Everyday Homemaking Reviews}

Monday, August 21, 2017

A Review of Phonics Museum App from Veritas Press

Even though both of my kids have been reading for years, I still like to check out products for younger children.  I like to know what products are out there for younger children and I have a lot of friends with young children.  This is why I was interested in receiving the new Phonics Museum App from Veritas Press to review.
Veritas Press Phonics Museum, Classical Education, Classical Christian Education, Homeschool, Homeschool Phonics App,
Veritas Press is a company that was developed as homeschool parents saw the need for a better Classical Christian Curriculum.  They researched many products that were on the market when they were homeschooling their children and became convinced they wanted to teach history chronologically with the Bible integrated into recorded history.  They started developing their products based on the fact that they wanted their children to know the relationship between what they study in "history books" and what they read in the Bible.  Veritas Press has grown tremendously since they started their journey and they now offer many curriculum choices, online classes, the Veritas Press Scholars Academy and now an App to help children learn to read.  The Phonics Museum App is available through iTunes.
The Phonics Museum App is all about teaching kids to read.  it is designed specifically with kids ages 3-7 in mind, but can be used for other ages too.  This app takes children into a museum, but this is not any ordinary museum.  It is one where everything comes to life, even the suit of armor, Percival.  Children are told that they can touch and explore everything in this museum.  As kids start looking around the museum, they find 10 floors of activities to work on.  There are also videos, songs, games, books, and activities for your child to complete.  They can venture through the museum at their own pace and they can even play the games for practice in the game area once they unlock them.  Fun characters like Percival, Miss Biddle, William, and Wendy help the kids learn their letter sounds, sing songs, read books, and teach them about history, art, and animals.  They also practice writing skills, writing the alphabet, letter sounds, and reading.  There are a couple of options for purchasing this app after the free 2 week trial they offer.  You can purchase a monthly subscription with unlimited access for up to 3 children for just $9.99 a month or you can purchase an annual subscription with unlimited access for up to 3 children for just $99 a year.
We received the annual subscription to Phonics Museum to review.  Even though my daughter knows how to read, she was happy to help me out and try out this app.  I also played it as well just to see what it is all about.  Once I got the app all downloaded and set up, Little Miss was more than happy to play on it.  It starts out with an introduction of where to go and what to do that is very easy to understand.  Your character walks into the elevator and then you can push the button for the floor of the museum you are working on.  Of course we started at floor one, the beginning.  I could not find a way to skip floors or go on to other floors without completing each floor.  Percival met us on floor one and told us that we can touch the paintings and learn about the alphabet.  When we touched the painting, it gives us a series of videos, songs, and games to unlock.  You watch a video that explains what will be taught.  This unlocks the next task which is sometimes an activity and sometimes a song.  Then you complete that to unlock the next task.  You continue doing this until you finish all the activities for that painting.  Some of the games have you practice line shapes, some have you picking out certain objects to complete a task, and some have you writing letters.  Once you have finished with the painting, you end up in the museum looking at the painting again and from there you can choose to move on to the next painting or you can go back to the main area and play the games you unlocked again.  While you are in these areas you meet Miss Biddle who work at the museum and she teaches you about many things.  Sometimes Miss Biddle is a cartoon character and sometimes she is a real person.  We learned about letter sounds, interesting history facts, and things like what a mummy is from her.  Miss Biddle is fun to watch, full of encouragement, and easy to understand.  The overall pace of this app would be just right for a preschool or kindergarten age child.  It would also be perfect if you had a struggling reader.  We each worked through several areas and can’t wait to get to the higher floors of the museum.
Overall all if your child doesn’t know how to read or is just starting to read this would be a great app to use with them.  It is fun, entertaining, and you always want to do the next task.  We had a hard time putting it down because it is fun and we were waiting to see what was next on our adventure.  Some of the things I really liked as a parent were  that the app automatically saves your progress and it sends progress report emails to the email you signed up with.  I also liked  that you have to use your email and password to log in to this app every time you want to access it so the kids can’t just get into this app by themselves.  Also if you want to get into the settings to add a child or change between child accounts, you have to answer a math question.  This adds a layer of protection for younger students not to be able to change the settings which I liked.  Even though my daughter is older, she didn’t mess with the settings even though she would have been able to answer the math questions.  I liked all the different characters and that each character speaks slowly and clearly so you can understand them completely.  Little Miss liked all the tasks she could complete and the little games in the museum.  She had fun practicing her letters and using her finger to “write” on our iPad.  She thought the story was fun and entertaining.  She said that should could see her younger cousins having fun with this app along with her piano teacher’s daughter who is  3.  I can’t wait for our next piano lesson this fall so I will have something to entertain the teacher’s daughter with while Little Miss is working on piano.
One of the emails I got on Little Miss' progress.
I think this is a great app for teaching little ones their letter sounds and to read.  I would have definitely considered purchasing it when my daughter was younger because it is something she could have worked on while I worked with her older brother on school.  You can find out more about the Phonics Museum App from Veritas Press on their website, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram.  You can learn more about the app we received here.  As always you can see what my friends on the Homeschool Review Crew are saying about the Phonics Museum App by clicking on the banner below.
Phonics Museum App {Veritas Press Reviews}

Thursday, August 17, 2017

I'm Not Ready

This week is typically the week we head back to school, but we aren't this year.  I could give you a whole list of reasons why we aren't going back to school yet, but honestly it just boils down to....
A Glimpse of Normal, Not Ready, Back to School
Yes, you read that right.  I am not ready yet.  Our summer has went by way too fast and I have been so busy that I don't think I have everything I need to get our school going yet.  I have at least half of each of curriculum for my kids and I have an idea of what I need to finish getting, but I just haven't done it yet.  I need to take a day and sit down to wrap it all up, but we just got back from vacation and my brain has not cooperated yet.  So this year we are pushing back the start of school until after Labor Day.  While I felt a little guilty for doing this at first, I decided that I wasn't going to push rushing back to school.  This would have just been chaos and that is the last way I want to start school.  So I am giving myself a little more time to get ready, a few more days for the kids to play, and a chance for us to ease into school rather than rushing in to a flurry.  Once I get it all figured out, I will come and share our curriculum for the year, but until then I am off to do some planning....

Friday, August 11, 2017

More About Mae

I introduced you to our new wonder pup, Mae, earlier this year in this post.  I have to tell you that she is the sweetest dog we have ever had.  I have loved every single dog we have ever had in our home, but Miss Mae has truly just captured our hearts.  She is a rescue dog and I have a new place in my heart for rescue dogs.
A Glimpse of Normal, Mae, Rescue Dog
Mae was bought as a new puppy by a couple.  They surrendered her to an animal shelter because she chewed things and she had accidents.  To me this is just being a puppy, but if you have never raised a puppy before it would be frustrating.  The animal shelter she was given to works with a vet tech school a couple of hours away from us so that the vet tech students can learn.  The vet tech school then works to get the animals adopted by the staff, students, and friends/family of the students.  This is how we got Mae, we know a student in this program.  When the student we know heard we were ready to get a dog again, she said, "I have the perfect dog for you."  We were looking for a dog that could be active with us, but then turn around and chill out with us too.  The dog had to be excellent with kids and not be afraid of strangers (we love to have friends over).  We were looking for a medium size dog.  Those were pretty much the basics of what we were looking for and to us the breed didn't really matter.  So after talking to our student friend, we filled out our application.  Then we got the call to come and meet Mae.  Oh my goodness, she walked in the room, walked up to the kids and licked their hands.  She then quickly made friends with the kids and she loved on hubby and me too.  We found out that she is very patient, she loved people, and she was so good she would sit in the classroom as the vet tech students were having class.  She just loved being near people.  There was one other person scheduled to meet Mae and the vet in charge of the program ultimately got to decide which home was the best choice for Mae.  Of course you already know that we got the phone call to let us know, we had a puppy to bring home.
Bringing Mae home was a little bit of an adventure.  She did not really care for her first big car ride and spent a good 30 minutes of the ride in my lap, glued to me.  We finally got her calmed down and sitting between the kids.  She was okay as long as they talked to her.  Her first couple of nights were rough as she adjusted to being with us.  She just wanted her people close to her all the time.  She still does love to have her people close.  Most of the time when I blog, I have a blogging assistant who lays right by my computer chair patiently waiting for me to finish.  She brings her food over to where we are eating so she can eat with us.  She loves to lay in the living room where she can see us all.
We quickly figured out that due to Mae's background, she spent most of her early life in a cage/kennel/crate (whichever you prefer to call it).  So she is just learning to play.  She won't really chew on toys except for one.  The other toys she has she pulls the fur off of them, but won't play with them.  She also chews the fuzz off of tennis balls and she will go to it if you throw it, but she isn't interested in fetching it.  She has learned new tricks and she loves getting rewarded for being good.  She can sit, shake, stay, and sit up pretty.  Mae is very obedient and for the most part stays close by us when we are outside, she does have her determined moments when she gets on the trail of a chipmunk or the geese, but those are rare.  She responds to commands and knows where she should be.  She likes other dogs and has become good friends with Liberty and Tucker.  Mae loves her peoples and is definitely loved by us too.  I am sure there are days that Mae gets loved on too much, if that is possible for a dog.
Mae is so well behaved and mellow.  She goes with the flow and is adjusting well.  She still gets a little worried when we go away, but every time we come home it reassures her that she is staying.  If you have ever thought about rescuing a dog, I would encourage you to check out the dogs available to rescue.  Our rescue dog is loyal, loved, and sweet as can be.  .

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

A Review of No-Nonsense Algebra from Math Essentials

Algebra can be a very tough subject for kids to learn.  Buddy just finished Algebra I this past school year, but I am always looking for ways to keep this subject fresh in his mind since he will need the skills he learned for other math classes.  This is why I was very happy to receive a copy of No-Nonsense Algebra from Math Essentials to review recently.
No-Nonsense Algebra, Algebra, Homeschool Math, Math Essentials
No-Nonsense Algebra is a textbook style book that is designed to help students master essential math skills.  Each lesson begins with an introduction which explains the topic for the lesson.  The introduction also has helpful hints for students to remember when solving the problems.  Next there are several examples that show exactly how the problems should be worked.  Then there are exercises for the students to complete so that they can practice what they have learned.  Finally there are some review problems that review concepts that have been previously covered.  There are 10 chapters in this book and at the end of each chapter there is a chapter review which you could use as test if you would like to.  There is also a final review that covers the contents of the entire book.  The 10 chapters cover:
  • Necessary Tools for Algebra
  • Solving Equations
  • Graphing and Analyzing Linear Equations
  • Solving and Graphing Inequalities
  • Systems of Linear Equations and Inequalities
  • Polynomials
  • Rational Expressions (Algebraic Fractions)
  • Radical Expressions and Geometry
  • Quadratic Equations
  • Algebra Word Problems
When you purchase this book for $28.95 you also get access to free online video lessons.  They have a video for every lesson in this book and the videos are clear, concise, and helpful.  This textbook can be used in a variety of ways.  It can be used as a main Algebra curriculum, a supplement to another Algebra curriculum, or as a review if your student has already completed Algebra.
We used this textbook as a review tool since Buddy has just completed Algebra I this past school year.  He did well in Algebra I, but I figured that review over the summer couldn't hurt before he takes his next math course.  When we first received this book I had him complete a couple of lessons from Chapter 1.  I wanted him to review working with integers and the order of operations.  I thought these were both important topics for him to look at again.  He read through the introduction and examples so he could be reminded of what these concepts were all about.  Then he completed the exercises.  Even though this book is meant to be used as a textbook, I had him use it as a workbook and I let him write in it.  After that I had him skip around in the book and cover some of the lessons with concepts that were harder for him when he took Algebra I.  When I found a lesson that I wanted him to work on, I used my access code that comes with the book and logged in so that he could watch the corresponding video.  The videos are very well done.  They are easy to understand and the examples are very clear.  They show you step by step how to do the problems and tell you why it works.  I also had Buddy complete some of the lessons in the later chapters so he could review the concepts he learned towards the end of the year.  We will continue using this resource for review to keep Buddy's Algebra skills fresh.

We liked No-Nonsense Algebra and we would definitely recommend it.  As a parent and teacher, I feel like it is thorough enough that it could be used for a math curriculum while at the same time being used for a thorough review for those who have completed Algebra I.  I liked that the book is so thorough and well explained and that there are the videos to go along with the lessons.  Buddy liked that this book was to the point.  There weren't long, drawn out explanations so the lessons were easy to understand and took 20 minutes or so to complete since he was familiar with the concepts already.  You can learn more about Math Essentials and all the course they have to offer on their website and on Facebook.  You can learn about the No-Nonsense Algebra we received here.  As always you can see what my friends on the Homeschool Review Crew are saying about this textbook by clicking on the banner below.
No-Nonsense Algebra {Math Essentials Reviews}