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This post, Introducing UnLock Math, a New Homeschool Pre-Algebra Online Math Curriculum, was made possible with the chance to review the UnLock Pre-Algebra from UnLock Math as part of the Schoolhouse Review Crew.
I will admit that I find myself a bit unique when it comes to being a homeschool mother. Teaching math for the upper levels does not evoke a feeling of terror for me. Rather, I loved to solve math problems….for fun! However, I have found that teaching the boys a subject I love does not always come easily. When you add to the equation the need to facilitate learning for so many subjects at multiple grade levels, I find myself wanting work that can be done independently most of the time.
UnLock Math: Homeschool Pre-Algebra Online Math Curriculum
UnLock Math is launching with their homeschool pre-algebra online math curriculum come August 3, 2015. This program seeks to be unlike others as concepts are broken down into bite sized chunks with videos that “engage, explain and entertain.” The instructor is Alesia Blackwood who has taken years of teaching high school math and her ability to reignite a love of learning math in her students. The scope and sequence of the course was established to cover all of the major concepts for both the United States and Canada. You can pay by the month or an annual fee with discounts available for siblings. (Save $74.75 on your own annual subscription by purchasing from our UnLock Math affiliate link.)
With a total of 16 units broken down into anywhere from 5 to 11 sections, students can move methodically through the material. Lessons include a warm up, video for the lesson’s concepts, practice problems, staying sharp and challenge yourself.
The warm up section does not carry any weight towards the grade, but rather provides students with the opportunity to get into ‘math mode.” Questions are NOT simple multiple choice and are adaptive so that more ‘teaching’ can happen while a student works on the problem. Stay sharp questions are where concepts from previous lessons are reviewed so that knowledge gained is not easily lost. The challenge question does not count against their overall grade and can be about a concept which is not always connected directly with that particular lesson (e.g. a question that requires the use of logic to solve.)
Reference notes which outline key concepts and vocabulary to know are available as well for each lesson. Additionally, there is a wonderful formula sheet that is a great reference when working through the course. All notes and the formula sheet are available in pdf format to download and subsequently print if desired.
At the end of each unit there is a review which proceeds the unit test. Review problems do not count towards the final grade, but rather provide a chance for them to go over the key concepts and flush out any trouble spots before taking the unit test which does affect their grade. Unlike a print test for many math programs, this one shows problems one at a time so that students are not overwhelmed thinking about all they have to complete. Half way through the course (after unit 8), the student is given a mid-term exam which has its own review section to help them prepare to do well.
Scheduling the workload is even done for the parent as UnLock math offers a pacing guide which has the student completing the course in 32 weeks if done 5 days per week or 40 weeks if done 4 days per week. Of course, if you have a more motivated child, they might make it through the class even faster. Individual lessons can take upwards of 30 minutes, although students might move more quickly or slowly depending upon their current abilities.
From the dashboard, you can also look at the course gradebook or a progress report for the course.
From the gradebook, you can click on individual components to see the questions asked, the student answer and the correct answer.
The progress report shows you an overall snapshot of where their grade is derived.
Our Experience with UnLock Math
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Does teaching math for pre-Algebra and beyond terrify you?
Have you used online curriculum such as UnLock Math in the past to help teach your older homeschool students?
Don’t just take my word for how we found this to be. Visit the UnLock Math Review post on the Schoolhouse Review Crew website to see what other homeschooling parents thought about this and other self-paced courses.