One of the great things about the Barron's Painless series is that, while it's aimed at middle school and high school students, none of the books are dumbed down or childish and can work just as well as brush-ups for adults. Even for the younger audience these texts are multi-purpose, working either as introductions or as remedial texts for those who still need help.
Each volume is written by an area specialist and clearly presents the basics (and sometimes even more advanced material) of the subject. Because there isn't any abstruse language, poorly written text, or confusing explanations, students will actually learn what they're supposed to. While there are fun illustrations, jokes and humor throughout, none of it detracts from the matters at hand, and unlike similar attempts, actually illuminates the main content.
Kids' knowledge is frequently tested with Brain Teaser exercises (answers always follow on the next page). But these are never introduced until the material they test has been thoroughly discussed and demonstrated with examples and step-by-step problem solving. Again, don't get the impression that just because they're painless these texts are simply fun or entertaining. Students will actually learn the subject at hand.
At the same time, these aren't comprehensive courses. They are excellent introductions or refreshers, but if you want your kids to really know the topic you'll need to have them continue study after they finish any of these books. The Barron's Painless books also make great guides for parents about to teach a subject they barely remember or never studied themselves....or for any adult or student simply interested in having fun while expanding their knowledge.
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