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Teaching Math at the elementary school level can be challenging for some homeschooling parents, so imagine Middle School and High School?! Whew! Upper Levels can downright give some of us heart palpitations. Just kidding….but am I?
One of the many benefits of homeschooling is the ability to truly go at one own pace. As we are heading into middle school, I feel there are certain topics my kid should review and solidify before officially beginning Pre-Algebra. As you already know, Math only gets more complicated without a solid foundation. However, what was I going to use that would connect with my son and make my life easier?
It’s as if the Math Gods heard my calling, and allowed the brilliant opportunity for The Melanated Squad to review Unlock Math Foundations! It could not have come at a better time!
What is Unlock Math?
Taught by Alesia Blackwood, homeschool mom & high school math teacher, UnLockMath videos clearly explain math concepts while engaging students in the learning process. Unlock Math offers six areas of math disciplines; Foundations, Pre-Algebra, Algebra 1, Algebra II, Geometry, and Pre-Calculus. All of these courses can potentially carry you well into the High School years.
Grade/Age: 6th- 12th grade
Parent Involvement: Very minimal; possibly non-existent depending on your child’s abilities
Schedule/Lessons: There are 13 units covered in Unlock Foundation Math;
- Numbers Sense
- Operations with Numbers
- Order of Operations
- Factors and Multiples
- Mixed and Improper Fractions
- Ratio and Percent
- Data Management
Totaling 149 days of instruction including Exam Review and Final Exam days. Depending on how you schedule out your year, you can complete the course in as little as 30 weeks.
- Example: 149 days/5= 30 Weeks
- Example: 149 days/4= 37.25 Weeks
- Example: 149 days/3= 49.6 Weeks
Please be aware, however, that you only have 12 months to complete the course.
Costs: So, here’s the sticky part for some homeschooling families. This is one of the most pricier math curricula I have come across during my homeschooling journey. It has an annual subscription fee of $300 a year.
Family Discount: Families purchasing subscriptions directly from UnLock Math are eligible for a 50% sibling discount for each additional student subscription that they add. No further discounts are allowed on sibling subscriptions.
But you are limited to use with 12 months and families with multiple kids can get expensive fairly quickly. If your student finishes foundations earlier within our 1-year subscription we are able to move to another Unlock Math curriculum at no extra charge.
Is it worth the price? You really have to factor in all the benefits of this program. One is, Unlock Math frees up your time. It is also a comprehensive math curriculum using its own materials. It is self-paced. It automatically grades each lesson and exam; beneficial for those homes that need to submit a portfolio or maybe you need transcripts for College. The detailed video lesson and human support for the students really take the pressure off the parents. Additionally, for those states that follow the National Math Standards, UnLock Math checks off all the boxes. Unlock Math is also Vendor approved!
Enter to Win a FREE Math Curriculum! You Never Know!!
How It Works
The lessons are broken into 5 sections:
- Warm-Up ( 5 questions on prior lessons)
- Pre-Recorded Video Lessons (approximately 10 minutes)
- Practice Lessons (10 Questions pertaining to new topic only)
- Stay Sharp (10 questions combining old and new topics)
- Challenge Yourself (1 Question – consider it extra credit)
How We Use It:
Right now, since we are winding down for the school year, we are using it mostly as review or extra practice alongside our main math curriculum. I personally love that it reinforces procedures that I try to teach my son, outside of Math. For example, organize your work. Read the questions carefully and make sure you record your notes properly. Work out the problem and double /triple-check before entering your final answer. Some might find it constricting that the student has one chance to answer correctly, but I appreciate it. It adds a little pressure to get the answer right, the first time; which my son needs. He tends to rush through Math and make frivolous mistakes. This forces him to slow down, a bit.
Please note: There is an option to adjust scores in the Parent Portal. The details will be in the Grade Management Guide on the Support Tab on the parent side.
Our Overall Impression
I’m glad we were given the opportunity to review Unlock Math Foundations. It gives me the peace of mind that my son is using quality materials to bridge 5th and 6th-grade mathematics. Alesia, the video instructor, explains the “why” in math so there connection to real-life applications. We are also able to review specific topics with ample practice. There are opportunities to correct the wrong answers using new questions within the topic. There are no multiple-choice questions nor two questions are repeated. This curriculum really emphasized learning the content instead of just bubbling in answers.
Check out what my fellow Melanated Gold Review Squad Members thought about UnLock Math!