My oldest son recently had a math meltdown. I had sensed it was coming for a while, but it was the fractions that finally did it. He just couldn’t grasp the concept with the program we had been using. So I did what any parent would do in the same situation – started searching for an alternative. Then, as if on cue, we got chosen to review UnLock Pre-Algebra from UnLock Math.

UnLock Math is a unique online math program that combines video instruction with practice problems. The videos are short (always a plus for boys!) and the problems are automatically graded by the program, saving me time and effort (always a plus for me!).

The Pre-Algebra class is divided into 16 units: whole numbers, integers, variables and expressions, rational numbers, fractions, equations, inequalities, the coordinate plane, decimals, percent, polynomials, triangles, 2D geometry, 3D geometry, analyzing data, and probability and statistics. Each unit is made up of several bite-sized lessons with a quiz every 2 lessons, a review, and a test. The lessons start with a warm up to get the student into math mode, the lesson video, a set of practice problems, a stay sharp section that reviews prior lessons, a challenge question, and printable reference notes. This combination is so powerful in helping my son get a firm grasp on math.

The student dashboard shows which units have been completed and displays the average grade and percentage of the course that is finished. There are files for a formula sheet and all the reference pages for the individual lessons (380 pages!). I am having my son print them off as he does the lesson and keep them in a notebook for easy access. A pacing guide lays out a suggested schedule for this year-long course.

As you can see, he has a 96% average so far but he doesn’t feel like he has grasped integers quite yet so he is reviewing those videos and doing more practice problems (which change every time he clicks on it) to strengthen this area. I love that this program makes it easy to review a problem area before moving on. And since I don’t actually make any schedules out he feels like he can go slower in some parts, but also go faster in areas that he knows well already.

The gradebook has details of what date each lesson was done, the score, how many times the student did a particular portion, and even how long it took them to do it. The progress report is less detailed but is printable if you need a printed record of the work for reporting purposes. It can be viewed overall and per unit.

My son’s favorite part is the challenge problem because it makes him feel like Sherlock Holmes solving a mystery. He also likes that the problem set is not too long. There was a learning curve for figuring out how to navigate the site, but now that he has the hang of it there hasn’t been any problem with usage.

In addition to Pre-Algebra, UnLock Math also offers Algebra 1, Algebra 2, and their newest course, Geometry. For more information about any of the courses, click the button below to read more reviews. For a $50 discount code, click here!.

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