Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Reviewing Math Refresher for Adults from Math Essentials

Math Refresher for Adults book cover

I admit that math has never been my strongest subject. So, when given the chance to review Math Refresher for Adults from Math Essentials, I knew this would be a good fit for me and my family. When our teen needs help with his math homework, his dad usually helps him. By using Math Refresher for Adults, I am feeling more confident in my own math abilities.

There are multiple books available from Math Essentials geared towards elementary-aged students and middle school and high school students, along with books pertaining to algebra and geometry, to name a few.

Richard W. Fisher, the author of Math Refresher for Adults, was a math instructor for 31 years in California. Fisher developed materials that are easy-to-understand and easy-to-use to help students succeed in math.

Math Essentials provides your child with the skills needed to help them build the foundations of algebra. This list of "Critical foundations of algebra [includes]:
  • Whole numbers
  • Fractions and decimals, including percents, integers, and positive and negative fractions and decimals 
  • Some aspects of measurement and geometry." 
All of these topics are covered in Math Refresher for Adults which I find to be fantastic! Knowing that my stepson struggles with math, this is a perfect book to help me point him on the path of success in math.

Specific areas of general math covered in Math Refresher for Adults include:

  • Whole Numbers 
  • Fractions
  • Decimals 
  • Percents 
  • Geometry
  • Integers
  • Charts and Graphs
  • Word Problems 
Topics pertaining to Pre-Algebra and Algebra include some of the following: 
  • Sets
  • Exponents
  • Scientific Notation
  • Number Theory and Lines 
  • Slope
  • Equations 
  • Statistics 
  • And more! 

How We Are Using Math Refresher for Adults

During the evenings, after the children have gone to bed, I have worked through one or two pages a night. I started with the first topic of addition and worked through subtraction, multiplying by 1- and 2-Digit factors, and then skipped around a bit to division and geometry. As the two children we are homeschooling are still too young for the math reviewed, I am finding it a great way to prepare for the future when they will be studying higher forms of mathematics.

Math Refresher for Adults fractions work

Video Lessons 

Videos lessons are available for each lesson. At first, I had trouble finding the videos I wanted because they are not listed just for this one book. There are also additional Algebra tutorials available and the access code is provided in Math Refresher for Adults.

As I started with the beginning of the book (because it has been many years since I have had to do math long-hand, without the aid of a calculator), I viewed several of the videos associated with the earlier topics. I found the video instruction to be easy to understand as each example was explained and worked on during the video.

Use by Our Teen 

In addition to working through Math Refresher for Adults myself, I have also asked my stepson to work on pages this summer as a review and refresher of his previous mathematics courses in public school. While I started towards the beginning of the book, I asked him to start with the Pre-Algebra and Algebra topics as he took Algebra I during the 2017-2018 school year.

Math Refresher for AdultsTo start, I asked my teenage stepson to work on the pages that reviewed sets and integers not knowing he hadn't studied sets yet in school. Even though it was new material, he was still pretty successful. He found the helpful hints section to be useful in explaining the difference between infinite sets, finite sets, disjoint sets, null sets (or empty sets), and equivalent sets. He just needed to remember to go back and look at the first page that dealt with sets when he got to problems later as he forgot about null sets.

My husband went over the work with our teenager. As my husband is using it to go over work with our son, he finds it easy to use from a teaching perspective. He highlighted definitions of the various sets with a red pen to help our son better understand them. Our son commented that this helped him better comprehend the differences between types of sets.

Sets definition

Reasons Why You May Need This Book (as stated by Math Essentials – and I agree!)

  • "You have a math phobia
  • You have forgotten most of the math that you learned
  • You want to be able to help your kids with their homework
  • You are re-entering the workforce
  • You are returning to college and will be taking a math placement test
  • You are applying for a job that requires a math competency test
  • You are entering a medical or tech field
  • You need to improve your math skills to advance your career
  • You are preparing for the SAT/PSAT
  • You are preparing for the PRAXIS test"
I am very happy to be able to add this book – Math Refresher for Adults – to our homeschool bookshelves because I know we will getting plenty of use out of it as our younger children grow and our teen works his way through more advanced mathematics in high school and maybe college.

Fractions work from Math Refresher for Adults
I like that if I understand the concept, I can move on to the next topic. 

The text of Math Refresher for Adults is clear and easy to read. Each topic starts with several review exercises (that go over previous material learned in the book), provides helpful hints for the material to come, a set of 10 questions, and one problem-solving word problem. There is little space to work on all the problems in the book, so we used separate paper.

The solutions are provided in the back of the book along with a glossary, a list of important symbols, multiplication table, a commonly-used prime numbers chart, a squares and square roots chart, and a fraction/decimal equivalents chart. I love having all these materials handy! In fact, I will probably pull them out of the book and put them in plastic sleeves to use while working on problems throughout Math Refresher for Adults

I think this book will be a welcome resource for any parent or adult who needs to brush up on their mathematics skills. No matter whether you are homeschooling your children or they attend public school, you will find it helpful in working with your children as they progress in their own math studies. It would also be extremely useful for anyone needing to take a placement test – for college, work, etc.

To find out more, please visit the following:

To see how other families have used Math Refresher for Adults, please visit the Homeschool Review Crew


  1. I love math products that work to demystify math for all age levels. Sadly, when people see math in a way that math that matches learning style success is so much higher. I say sadly because it just doesn't happen for so many students as we keep changing our teaching methods, but we still think one method is the right method for all students. I've always believed you work towards finding something that helps a child/adult understand math.

    For some it means lots of manipulatives, for others a more logic based approach, and there are plenty of options that reach different types of learners. It is one of the things I love about homeschooling. The ability to find a curriculum that suits the child, not forcing the child to match the curriculum.

    Congrats on meeting one of your challenges to be prepared to help all of your children as you homeschool. It is a great model for all your children.

    1. I agree completely. I think that is why my stepson has struggled off and on in math. Teachers that taught in a way he understood and those who didn't. We have given him the choice of homeschooling but he would rather finish in public school.