Wednesday, June 21, 2017

UnLock Math ~ A Review

My son has been working through UnLock Geometry from UnLock Math over the past weeks. UnLock Math currently have courses in Pre-Algebra through Geometry with Geometry being its newest course. Eventually they plan on adding more advanced courses to their course line-up. This is an online program so there is no disks, downloads, or software to install. The founder of UnLock Math, Alesia Blackwood is a member of the Ontario College of Teachers and is certified in Intermediate and Senior Divisions of Mathematics and Computer Science. Both Alesia and her husband Matthew wanted to create a math curriculum to take the stress and frustration out of math for both the parent as well as the student. They created UnLock Math with the vision for it to be INTERESTING, ENGAGING, AND FUN!

UnLock Geometry has 15 units which cover:
  1. Prerequisite Skills
  2. Logic & Proofs
  3. Distance & Length
  4. Angles, Lines & Transversals  
  5. Triangles
  6. Polygons
  7. Circles
  8. Circles Pt. 2
  9. Perimeter
  10. Area
  11. Geometry in the Coordinate Plane
  12. Triangles Pt. 2
  13. Transformations
  14. 3D Geometry & Volume
  15. 3D Geometry & Surface Area
The course layout is very easy to navigate. Once logged in your students progress will be saved. Your student can check their progress and the parent or teacher, with their separate log-in can access their students progress. 

Each lesson includes the following path to completion: 
  • Warm Up 
  • Video Lesson
  • Practice Problems
  • Stay Sharp 
  • Challenge Yourself
  • Reference Notes 

The video lessons are long enough to explain the concepts without being too long that the student gets bored. As the teacher lectures examples are shown on the screen. Your student can pause the lesson or rewind if they need to listen to the subject material again. The videos are entertaining and definitely not boring. 

Problems are given one at a time in order to not overwhelm the student. After each problem the student click the NEXT button to move on to the next question. If the student gets a specific problem wrong an explanation is given underneath each problem and the student is asked to verify that they read through and understood how to do the problem. 

After completing practice problems your student can look at the completed lesson problems that display the problem, answer, and either a green check for correct or a red x for missed. This gives your student another chance to review the problems. 

The Stay Sharp section reviews past concepts to ensure that your child is constantly reviewing. Challenge Yourself is a section that is all about thinking outside of the box. They really can stump you! These are extra credit problems and do not count against your student. They are simply there to challenge your student.  

At the end of each lesson the student can view Reference Notes which are pretty much a written print out of the video lesson. This is very helpful for the student that needs extra help or needs to look back on past lessons at concepts that are a bit foggy. 

 Built into the curriculum are quizzes, unit tests, a midterm, and a final exam. UnLock Math is a complete curriculum. On average each lesson takes about 30 minutes to complete. The courses can be completed in a period of about 9 months if lessons are done consistently. In the past I have had some issues with one child saying that they have completed something when really they hadn't. These courses keep your child accountable. The dashboard shows exactly what has and hasn't been completed. Whether your student struggles or excels in math this online curriculum is great because your child can go at their own pace. 

My son has tried many different math curriculums over the years. What he likes about UnLock Math is that he can go at his own pace. He can listen to the videos more than once if needed. Problems are able to be reviewed and he really liked the fact that there was a written lesson summary. He liked that their was unlimited practice and review. 

Upper level math can often be intimidating for the homeschool parent. Alecia definitely takes the stress out for the parent. The only drawback that I can think of is that there are not a lot of practice problems in each lesson. For the student that excels in math this is fine but for the student that needs a good deal of practice there may not be enough problems to ensure that concepts are fully understood. With that said, I do like that past concepts are reviewed as part of each lesson. I will say that having 6 children I do find that sometimes some students learn a lot better actually writing out problems verses just giving answers on a screen. Again, with that said, it would be very easy to have your student keep a notebook and have them write the problem and solve them on paper.  

**I wanted to add an update to my review. I was either unaware or just didn't realize but Practice Problems are only 10 questions in order to not "kill & drill" but for the student needing more practice, EVERY time they click on the practice problems it will give new questions.** Thank you UnLock Math for the prompt feedback. Great customer service and follow-up! 

This online curriculum is definitely set up to help the student succeed! 

I would most definitely recommend this program to others. You can go to the website and view a sample lesson. Go check UnLock Math. 

To read more reviews click here.

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