Power Basics is a line of courses from Walch Publishing that might best be used for situations where there might be holes or gaps in learning. Courses are suggested for grades 6-12. For each course there are a student worktext, student workbook, teacher guide, test book, and workbook answer key. These courses are designed for students to work independently most of the time. They require no lesson preparation or prepresentation unless a student needs assistance.
Basic Mathematics is likely to be one of the most useful of these courses for homeschoolers, especially those in middle school who need a strong foundation in basic skills before moving on to algebra.
This course covers the four basic operations (addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division), fractions, decimals, percents, powers, and roots. It assumes only a basic familiarity with numbers and counting. For example, the chapter on multiplication begins by talking about multiplication as a faster way of adding numbers. It identifies terms such as "factors" and "products." It progresses through everything students need to know about multiplication with frequent sets of practice problems to be completed within the book to ensure understanding as the student proceeds.
Student workbooks have additional activities and practice. However, some student activities are classroom oriented, requiring at least a pair of students working together. These might be skipped if need be. Answers for the worktext problems are in the teacher guide, answers to workbook problems are at the back of the workbook, and the test book contains its own answer key.
Lessons move at a very rapid pace which is not surprising given that the course is trying to condense information that usually is taught over four or five years.
This course is not a substitute for a regular math program at younger levels because of the rapid pace as well as the fact that it does not attempt to cover all the other math topics such as measurement, time, money, and geometry. It should only be used at high school level for remediation. For many students in middle school this will be an efficient way to quickly get them up to speed.
Note: Power Basics courses are sold in classroom sets or as single packs. Most homeschoolers will want the single pack.