Homeschool Crew Review: UnLock Pre-Algebra

This is the start of our 5th year homeschooling.  For two years, we had a math program that worked great for Bookworm.  Last year, that program stopped working for us because the visual element was no longer working for him.  We searched, and searched, and searched for something else to no avail. . .until we found UnLock Math and the program UnLock Pre-Algebra.

About UnLock Math

UnLock Math

UnLock Math can be a full math curriculum, but it can also be used as a supplement.  Each lesson includes a warm up, video lesson, practice problems, stay sharp, challenge yourself and reference notes.

About UnLock Pre-Algebra

UnLock Math pre-algebra

UnLock Pre-Algebra starts with Whole Numbers and ends with Probability and Stats.  There are 16 units total, and there is also a midterm exam, final exam, and multiple quizzes in each unit.  According to the downloadable pacing guide, this program should take 32 weeks if the student works five days a week, or 40 weeks if the student works four days a week.

Students take the warm up first, at the beginning of the lesson.  The warm up opens in a new tab and is a review of earlier math concepts that the student should easily know such as 163-4.

Next, students watch the video lesson, which is approximately seven to 10 minutes in length.

Then the student moves on to the approximately 20 practice problems.  These problems only cover the things learned in the video lesson.

Stay Sharp is review of the whole program that they’ve completed so far.

Challenge Yourself is a word problem that is usually quite complex.  For example, in lesson 2.7, Multiplying Integers, students are asked:

Marcie runs at a constant speed of 12 km in one hour. Kyle runs in short bursts; he will start by running 1 km in 4 minutes, then he will walk 1 km in 8 minutes, and alternates back and forth.

If they start running at the same time and place, will Kyle ever be ahead of Marcie?

Finally, Reference Notes are a PDF of everything learned in this particular lesson.  Students can opt to use these or not.

How We Used UnLock Pre-Algebra

Summer is a busy time for us, but Bookworm worked on this program three to four times a week.  Most of the time, he was the one to ask to do the program.  (For all the moms out there who have kids that don’t like math, you know how huge this is!)  On average, each lesson took him 20 to 30 minutes.

What We Liked about UnLock Pre-Algebra

Bookworm found the program inspiring, especially because it is so different than any other math program he’s used.    He loved both that he got to see immediate results and that he could redo his work to get a higher grade.  While my standard for the class was 80% or above, his standard was 90%.  He would spend quite a bit of time on this program redoing work so he could get the grade he wanted.   Finally, he liked the visual component, both the video and the pathway to follow assignments.

He also enjoyed having immediate access to both his course progress and his current grades.

What We Disliked about UnLock Pre-Algebra

For the most part, we both loved this program.  Bookworm’s only complaint was that it was confusing that for each unit you click on the rocket button, not the unit words.  (See the graphic above.)  Otherwise, we have no complaints; Bookworm is already planning on using this program for the rest of high school.

Keep up with UnLock Math via social media:


I was one of 65 people to review either UnLock Pre-Algebra, UnLock Algebra I, UnLock Algebra II, or UnLock Geometry.  To read more reviews click on the image below.

Pre-Algebra, Algebra and Geometry {UnLock Math Reviews}

Crew Disclaimer

My Vicksburg by Ann Rinaldi: A Book Review

This year, the girls and I have read several books about The Underground Railroad, and now we’re learning about the Civil War.

This post contains affiliate links.

My Vicksburg by Ann Rinaldi was the perfect complement to our studies, and I learned about a piece of Civil War history I had not previously known about.

Claire Louise Corbet is thirteen years old in 1863, when her hometown, Vicksburg, is seized by Union soldiers.  Every day there is endless shelling, except for the three times during the day when the Union soldiers take their meals.  Many residents of Vicksburg seek shelter in the caves surrounding the town.  Lucky for Claire Louise and her family, her father has taken the time to create a cave that has as many comforts of home as possible.

While they are hiding out in the cave, Claire Louise’s brother, Landon, returns home.  Landon is a doctor like his father, but much to his physician father’s dismay, Landon decided to serve in the Union army, not the Confederate army.

Landon comes home with Robert, a Confederate soldier who is accused of treason and could face death if discovered.  While Landon prefers to protect Robert, he knows that he can’t.  However, he did not plan on his little sister, Claire Louise, taking matters into her own hands and doing what she feels is right.

This young adult novel offers a peek into a unique time in the Civil War and how the siege of Vicksburg affected the residents.  I highly recommend this book.

I give this book 5 out of 5 stars on the Mom’s Plans’ scale.


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