Math, you either hate it or you love it. I love it, Moe Man hates it. This is the one struggle we have in our homeschool. UnLock Math has this wonderful program, UnLock Pre-Algebra, that has been taking that struggle out of our homeschool day!
What It Is
UnLock Math is a full online math curriculum. This program has a different approach to learning from other programs we have tried in our house. Each lesson starts out with a Warm Up. This is a great way to help your child get into “math mode”. Math mode is a way to make sure your child is focused on math and a great way to start the lesson. I used to print up worksheets to have Moe Man get into math mode, but now I don’t have to and can save a little in paper and ink costs.
After their warm up, your child has a Video Lesson! Yes, a video lesson with a real teacher! This makes a difference. You can listen all you want and try to learn, but for someone like Moe Man who has a hard time with math, seeing an actual teacher other than me is awesome! The lessons are not that long, but they cover what you need to know.
Once your child goes over the lesson, they will work on Practice Problems. This is where you will see what they learned during the lesson and they will be able to practice what they have learned. The best part about this section, your child will be able to re-do the practice problems until they get a grade they are happy with, or a grade you are happy with.
Following the practice problems, your child will see what they can remember from earlier lessons with the Stay Sharp section. In this section, your child will continue practicing what they have learned. This is the part that I love the best because your child will always have to work on previous skills, so they won’t easily forget them. Once again your child will be able to work on this as many times as needed until the desired grade is achieved.
After the Stay Sharp section your child will have the chance to do a Challenge Yourself problem. They will only have once chance to do this problem, but it is all extra credit. There is no effect to the grade, unless they get it right!
Finally, if your child needs a constant visual reminder of what they are learning, like Moe Man, the Reference Notes are available to print and keep available for your child.
How We Used It
As soon as we had access to this program, I started planning! I loved that I could simply say do this lesson and let Moe Man go. I did use the pacing guide. My only problem with this was that it did not show the occasional quizzes on the pacing guide. I was able to quickly fix that and just add those in. Everything else was listed on the pacing guide.
Moe Man does one lesson per school day, or a quiz, depending on the schedule. He spends about 30-50 minutes, depending on the lesson and his focus on that specific day. I did notice that on the days when he was distracted, he would take longer in his lessons.
I loved being able to log in as the parent/teacher. I set a goal for 70% or higher on any graded section for Moe Man. While I trusted him most of the time, there were some days that I knew he was just getting it done to get it done. Those were the days that I would double check his gradebook from my section.
The Gradebook is available for both parents and students to view. This grade book does more than just show you the grades. You can view each assignment, where the problems were and what your child needs to work on more.
What We Thought
We love this program! This program is helping Moe Man to understand math. He has the chance to warm up, watch a teacher teach the lesson, practice what he learned, and keep his mind fresh with what he already leaned before. This program has Moe Man working and learning from many different ways. I love that he has it all right there. I love that he is able to check out his scores and I love that he can’t move forward without first passing each lesson.
Moe Man loves that he doesn’t have to listen to me bug him anymore. He has found that thing that helps the math click for him. He, most of the time, takes his time and makes sure that he keeps reviewing his lesson until he gets the concept that is being taught.
This is a math program that we will continue to use. I am even looking at using this again next year for him. Hey, if it works don’t fix it, right!