Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Review: UnLock Math-Geometry

UnLock Math
Math has been a bit hit or miss in our house. We've used various programs and some have worked for some of the kids and some for the other.  Our middle child has disliked math from a very young age :( She struggled, she felt she didn't understand and we'd spend HOURS working through problems in her lessons.  About two years ago we switched programs and it seemed that she was starting to understand math better. I was very happy and we moved forward.  That seemed very short lived and we were back to the complaints, struggles and basically tears.  When I checked out the website for UnLock Math I realized this program might be what my daughter needed.  We requested the UnLock Geometry and jumped right into it.  Since my daughter has had such issues with math she was not very excited about this review. I on the other hand felt the way this program was setup might be just the thing to help her.  
UnLock Math
Every lesson has the same basic sections.  You have the warm up, a teaching video, practice problems, stay sharp and a challenge question. The warm up gets the student ready for their math lesson. After they watch the daily video, which teaches in bite sized chunks, they practice what they learned in the practice problem section.  They review what they've previously learned in the stay sharp and ultimately get a challenge question that might be something they haven't studied yet.  There is also a gradebook section where you can check and see how your child is doing on all sections. There are fifteen section in the program and they are as follows:
Prerequisite Skills
Logic & Proofs
Distance & Length
Angles, Lines & Transversals
Triangles
Polygons
Circles Pt. 1 & 2
Perimeter
Area
Geometry in the Coordinate Plane
Triangles Pt. 2
Transformations
3D Geomety & Volume
3D Geometry & Surface Area
We spent quite a long time in the first section, prerequisite skills.  I felt that my daughter really needed a good foundation to move forward in the program. One thing I really liked is that you can go back in if you feel they need to redo the work. We chose a grade that we felt was acceptable and told my daughter if she fell lower than that we needed to redo the lessons.  She wasn't really happy about that because she didn't want to redo any lessons. I explained to her that it wasn't a race to finish the program, but to learn and understand how to do the work.  Geometry was actually the hardest math I ever dealt with. I did better in Calculus than Geometry because it's just hard for my mind to process those angles and really all things Geometry (LOL) I feel like my daughter follows in my footsteps, so I wanted to really help her get a good foundation. I like how the program is setup because I think it's the best  possible way for the student to learn and excel with the material.  
I asked my daughter what she liked and disliked about the program and this is what she told me. She really liked that the videos were made with a "real" person. Other programs that we've used seemed childish to her because there were cartoon type characters.  This gave her the feel of a real class setting and she could focus on the video better because she felt she was somewhat engaging with a teacher.  She also liked that she could see how to work a problem if she missed it. She will often come to me when she misses one, but honestly she gets frustrated with me because she feels they are so easy for me and not for her. This gives her the chance to see what she did wrong without feeling stress in the explanation.  Another thing she liked and I LOVED was the printable reference notes. My husband has been telling our daughter for YEARS that she needs to take notes, so that she can easily refer back when she has a question. She doesn't like to take notes, doesn't want to take notes and that hurts her ultimately when she's doing her math. With UnLock Math there are printable reference notes with every lesson that have all the information you'll need. That's been a huge resource for her and it might be my favorite part of the program :) I think she's realized how helpful the notes can really be while working the problems. I think for her it might be a focus issue of paying attention to the lesson AND trying to take notes. Some of the things she didn't like were that she felt there were "too many sections" of problems to do and that frustrated her somewhat. She said she'd prefer just having the warm up, video, stay sharp and the challenge.  She understood that the different sections had a specific purpose, but she felt the practice problems and stay sharp were too much.  She also felt that when she missed a problem it would be nice if there was a second chance for her to try without having to go out and do the lesson over. Let's say there were 10 problems and she missed 5 of them. She would prefer having a second chance on those 5 right when she was doing the lesson verses having to go back in and redo all 10 to have a better score.  Even with all her complaints about math and doing the problems she told me this past week that she prefers UnLock Math over all the other programs that she's done in the past. This program can be completed in about nine months if used daily. My daughter moves at a slower pace, but I'm just excited that we are getting positive comments. 
 One last thing to mention is the customer service.  UnLock Math may have THE BEST customer service that I've ever experience with any program.  We ran into a few glitches along our journey, but with this being the newest program that's always to be expected.  The times that I emailed with questions I got very quick responses and once even a phone call.  Matthew was the one I dealt with and I just can't say enough good things about him.  Once the program wasn't working and I needed to empty my cache. He could have made a big deal about that not being an issue on his end, but he suggested I do that and told me to let him know if it didn't work. He never made me feel that my questions or concerns weren't important. Great customer service can make or break a company for me and that's just one more thing to bump this company up a notch in my opinion.  
 
UnLock Math
UnLock Math currently has just a few programs available.  They have UnLock Pre-AlgebraUnLock Algebra1UnLock Algebra2 and UnLock Geometry. The one change I would make would be to have these programs available on disk or have lifetime access available. When I purchase materials I'm always thinking will they work for another child of mine. Sometimes they do and sometimes they don't. UnLock Math is a little more expensive then the other programs we've used and I wish there was a way to use it with more than one student.  It will be 5 years or so before our youngest is ready for Geometry and I'd love to be able to try this program out with him.  
If you want more information check out this sample lesson or check out their social media sites: FacebookTwitter or Pinterest.  Also check out what my fellow crew members thought.
Pre-Algebra, Algebra and Geometry {UnLock Math Reviews}

3 comments:

  1. I have never heard of Unlock Math before. This was a great review. I am happy you found something that is working better for your daughter. Are you planning on continuing with Unlock Math next year?

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    Replies
    1. I hadn't heard of it before either Roxanne. I think they are fairly new compared to the other programs that have been around for so many years. She's working on the Geometry and I HOPE it will be completed by the end of summer, but who knows with her (LOL) Geometry was suppose to be for this year, but she has struggled and been so frustrated that I'm trying to back off a little. I would love to have her do Algebra 2 with Unlock, but it's really a wait and see for right now.

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  2. I hope she is able to complete Geometry by the end of summer for you! It is hard when they are not where we would like to be, but if she is finally understanding it better I wouldn't push too hard either.

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