As this graphic demonstrates, there are six parts (well, five plus notes) to every single UnLock Math lesson. Each lesson begins with a Warm Up, or a series of 10 problems to get you into the math mood and remind you of what you already know. Then you watch the video lesson for the topic at hand. The lessons are taught by Alesia Blackwood, a math teacher from Ontario. Alesia has a talent for breaking down math problems into very doable bite sized chunks, a huge bonus for students learning algebra. Her teaching style is what makes UnLock Pre-Algebra suitable for students who are too young for other Pre-Algebra programs. After the video lesson, there are practice problems, followed by the "Stay Sharp" section. In "Stay Sharp," students answer questions from previous lessons as quickly as they can. The "Challenge Yourself" question was my son's favorite. It is one question only and it is kind of a brain teaser. Finally, if you are the kind of parent (or have the kind of kid) who likes to have written notes for math, this program allows you to have them! You can print out the notes from every lesson. Once you have completed all sections of a lesson, the next section "unlocks."
It really is like having your own math teacher there with you.
Also, each lesson is designed to take about 30 minutes (again, ours were taking longer, but Michael is only 10 and was getting very frustrated because of things like Roman Numerals which, somehow, he had never had before - my fault totally), so the program can be finished in the standard nine months. I can easily see a child finishing sooner, though. Had Nicholas (12) been doing this program, he would probably have been doing four lessons a day, at least at first. UnLock Pre-Algebra is very flexible in that regard. It is great that you can get Pre-Algebra done in a year in only 1/2 hour/day, though. For a math-averse kid, that time combined with Mrs. Blackwood's teaching style could really make math so much less painful.
Speaking of Mrs. Blackwood, I have to put in a word for Mr. Blackwood. This is a completely family-run company. Both of the Blackwoods were at least partially homeschooled, and their compassion for and understanding of homeschoolers absolutely comes through in all of their communications. Mr. Blackwood was in constant communication with the Crew to make sure that everything was working okay and to seek input regarding things like pricing. It makes me so happy to be able to support a company that cares so much about homeschoolers, especially when they are putting out such a quality product. I can't even imagine the hours that this endeavor takes. Speaking of which, UnLock Math also has an Algebra course, with Algebra II in the works!
To check out UnLock Math, please watch some sample videos. Also, be sure to read all of the reviews by clicking the banner below.