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Schoolhouse Review: UnLock Math

I’m absolutely thrilled that we were selected to review UnLock Math. Their UnLock Pre-Algebra course is truly a unique math program that we are loving here at Homeschooling6!
A Homeschooling6 Review
Review helper: 13 year old Brent

We received a full year of Pre-Algebra from UnLock Math an online program. Alesia Blackwood has a gift for teaching math. Her enthusiasm with teaching math really does make it so much more enjoyable. 

The Blackwoods have truly created an easy to navigate program. Unlock Math not only teaches your child math but gives immediate grading and feedback.
Some neat features of Unlock Math:
  • Immediate feedback on lessons, quizzes, and test!
  • Grading, saves mom time (I don’t like grading papers so this is wonderful).
  • Fully explained solutions
  • One problem shown at a time so it’s not overwhelming for the child.
  • Grade book and progress report, I love this!!! I can log into the parent account and see Brent’s scores.
  • Adaptive to your student. As your child masters the concepts the problems become more difficult (this begins in the 5th unit).
Navigation is super easy. 

I love the way Alesia and Mathew have set up UnLock Math. Each lesson follows the same path: Wrap-Up, Lesson, Practice, Stay Sharp, Challenge, and Reference Notes.
Unlock Math  
Warm-Up to get your child’s brain into ‘math’ mode. There is a set of five questions to stretch those brain muscles.

Lesson: Next your child will watch an entertaining tutorial. No boring math lessons when using Unlock Math. Alesia is energetic and really knows how to liven up a subject that is usually boring. Sometimes she uses props to really get the child’s attention. We absolutely love Alesia and are so thankful to have her as Brent’s math ‘teacher’!

Practice: here your child will get a chance to practice what he learned in the video lesson. There’s between 10-12 questions. If your child needs more practice new questions will be generated and Unlock Math will record the child’s best grade.

Stay Sharp: to make sure your child doesn’t forget anything from previous lessons your child will complete 10 review questions. And as with the Practice section, if your child needs to have more practice in this area the program will generate a new set of questions and the best score will be recorded.

Challenge: your child will get 1 challenge question. The challenge question doesn’t count against the child’s score but if answered correctly he will get extra credit!

Reference Notes: your child can print the lesson if necessary.
UnLock Your Childs Potential
UnLock Math includes 16 Units and a Final Review & Test. Each unit is titled and contains the lessons, quizzes and tests.

UnLock Math grading system:
  • Warm-ups are given weight of 0%
  • Practice Problems are given the weight of 30%
  • Stay Sharp 10%
  • Challenge 5% bonus on their overall grade, but it’s not counted against them
  • Review 0% – this reviews the entire unit and has more questions which your student may take 2 days to complete.
  • Quizzes 15% (your child can take the quiz twice, the best score will be recorded)
  • Test 30% and again, your child can take the test twice with the best score being recorded.
  • Midterm Exam 5% (taken after unit 8)
  • Final Exam 10% (taken at the end of the program)
A note about the review: I find that if Brent knows that the review questions will not count against him he is more relaxed.

As your child completes each lesson a padlock icon becomes unlocked and changes from purple to blue so your child will always know where he/she left off!
UnLock Math a Homeschooling6 Review
Everyone loves a program that adapts to your child’s needs. UnLock doesn’t disappoint in this area. Unlike many other programs UnLock Math shepherds your child through the difficult problems and is reteaching your child through the process.

So instead of only giving your child easier problems to work with UnLock directs your child through them.

The parent account houses all your students if you have more than one. The Gradebook shows the assignment your child completed, their score, grading detail meaning you can see which problems were missed and which ones he did fabulous on, and the time spent completing each portion of the assignment.

I love that I can pull up Brent’s work and see exactly which math problem he missed. Also included is mom stuff like billing, contact, courses, etc.

The Student account: Brent’s account mirrors the parent account (minus the mom stuff). Brent was able go to the Gradebook and look to see what he did wrong by viewing the complete solutions below the problem he missed.
UnLock Math a Homeschooling6 Review
How we used UnLock Math: Brent was able to use this independently and I must say, he really enjoyed math ‘class’!

The program was so easy to navigate. There wasn’t a lot of clicking around to get to the lesson. The lessons where not super long either.

I had Brent use Unlock Math 3-4 times a week. He stopped using his current math program (and I don’t think he’ll be going back to it anytime soon).

Alesia made math understandable to Brent. Her fun teaching style made things stick. If he did have a difficult time with understanding a concept he would either re-watch the video, re-do the practice problems until he better understood it, and/or print out the reference notes to study the lesson. This is what we both liked about Unlock Math, there’s more than one way to review a concept if needed.

Being able to see his progress was motivating for Brent. For some reason my kids love receiving grades.

When UnLock Math claims they will melt your child’s math anxiety, they mean it!

Any cons with UnLock Math? We did experience a few glitches with Unlock Math. Brent completed a few lessons with his grade not being recorded. Thankfully it only happened a few times and Brent was okay with  just continuing on with his lessons. He will redo them before moving on to the next unit to receive a recorded grade.

UnLock Math has resolved the issues. Their customer service is top notch. UnLock responded to my issues in a timely manner and were always friendly.
UnLock Math
Final thoughts: On a scale from 1-5 Brent and I give UnLock Math a 10! It’s one of the best math programs we’ve used. Brent asked to continue only using UnLock Math, and of course I responded with a bit “Yes!”

After watching only the first lesson with Brent, I knew this math program was a winner. Alesia’s enthusiasm for math is contagious. She truly has a gift of making math a not-so-boring subject.

I must say I have not seen anything like UnLock Math on the market. The technology of using a large digital screen was a brilliant idea. The graphics help keep the child’s attention and the zeal of the teacher really makes this a unique math program.

Now if I can only talk Alesia into adding UnLock Grammar and UnLock Writing!
You can visit UnLock Math to watch a free demo and pricing.
Unlock Math Review
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  1. Curious to know how this compares with CTC Math, which I believe you also reviewed. I know through Homeschool Buyers Co-op, you can get a 15 month subscription for all kids to CTC Math for $118. So for the money and the value, in your opinion, which would be a better buy?

  2. Linda,

    Thank you for this review. It has been a pleasure corresponding with you throughout the process. Alesia and I both appreciate your enthusiasm and zeal for UnLock Math. Who knows what the future holds, maybe once we have completed the rest of our math courses we'll branch out :)

    Matthew Blackwood

    Co-Founder UnLock Math, Inc.