Category Archives: Math

Math Refresher For Adults from Math Essentials . . . My Review

If you (like me) have always hated math, or if you simply have forgotten a lot of what you learned and need to brush up on your Math skills, Math Refresher for Adults from Math Essentials  is a great way to regain those skills!

I was excited at the possibility of reviewing this book, because as I stated above, I’ve had a very long time dislike of Math. My husband is very good at Math, my best friend is good at Math, but I am Math challenged. I had a very bad teacher in junior high school, and have hated it ever since. In fact, when I found out that I only needed one Math class in high school to graduate, I got it out of the way the first year and never looked back!

I don’t want my kids to be math-phobic, so I thought if nothing else, it would be a good example if they were to see my at least TRYING to learn math.

Math Refresher for Adults has so much to offer! There are textbook and video (online) lessons in a variety of topics such as:

  1. Whole numbers, including addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division.
  2. Fractions, including mixed numbers and basic operations.
  3. Decimals, including how to change fractions to decimals and decimals to fractions.
  4. Percentages.
  5. Geometry.
  6. Word Problems.
  7. Pre-Algebra.
  8. Algebra.

And other topics, too!

For the record, it was an Algebra class where the teacher turned me right off of math. And I hate, hate, hate word problems! Math Essentials understands that hate (stumbling block) and instead of calling them word problems, labels them “problem solving.”

The way that Math Refresher for Adults is set up, you could, if you wanted to, just begin at the beginning and work straight through. Or if you are using it to help you to work with your child (homeschooling or helping with homework, for example) you could simply use it as a topical reference. In the latter case, simply look up the topic where the student needs help, and watch the video for tat topic together, working right along with the teacher in the video. Easy peasy!

In my case, I am going to different topics, areas in which I KNOW I need help. In doing so, I’m finding that for years, I have relied solely on calculators for just about every single math operation I needed to do. Now, I really don’t see any problem with my doing so, but it doesn’t really help when it comes to my kids needing some aid in learning a particular area of math.

I have four boys at vastly different ability levels when it comes to math, and I believe this book will help me with the boys. I have two boys at a very early elementary level, one at maybe mid elementary level, and one who worked on No-Nonsense Algebra from Math Essentials last summer, and was very happy when the videos helped him!

We are so far, extremely happy with our experiences with this company!

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As always, I would just love it if you would join me in all of “My Journeys Through Life.” Just go to the subscription box at the top of the blog and enter your email information. After that, you will always know when there is something new happening. I hope to see you here very soon! -)

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UnLock Pre-Algebra, Our Review!

I had never even heard of UnLock Math before this, but I am sure glad that being a member of the Homeschool Review Crew showed it to me!

We were given a number of options to request for review, and have been blessed with the one that would truly work for us (or should I say, work for “The Artist)! We were given for purpose of this review a one year subscription to UnLock Pre-Algebra.

One of the things I particularly like is that UnLock Pre-Algebra breaks the lessons down to small sections, so the student is never overwhelmed. Concepts are built one on top of another, so that the student can understand what is going on in a logical manner, and not fall prey to math anxiety (which is something that I have always had a problem with!), thereby building more confidence, skill and understanding.

The video lessons are approximately 10 minutes in length, and are watched after doing the warm up section. After the video are the practice problems, generally about 10 of them, focusing on what was taught in that particular video. After this, there is a stay sharp section, which covers everything the student has covered since the beginning of the program, and then a challenge yourself, a difficult (in my son’s opinion, anyway) word problem. I understand that, because I myself have always hated word problems.

UnLock Pre-Algebra can be used as a full program for the year, or as a supplement to your main program. This program is 16 units in length, and covers topics from whole numbers all the way to probability and statistics. The entire UnLock Pre-Algebra Scope and Sequence is available for you to read before purchase.

I also like that the program does allow the student to redo the practice questions if he or she feels they could do better. Afterwards, the system will use the highest score they get for their grade. I ESPECIALLY like that this is parent/teacher friendly. I didn’t have to prep or teach anything. I don’t have to grade anything, the system does it for me, and “The Artist” can see how he’s doing from his side as well, so that (as I said before) if he feels he didn’t do well, he can do the practice questions over and the system will take the better grade. I don’t have to decide how to schedule lessons, either, because there is a downloadable scheduling guide already made!

My favorite thing? The absolutely phenomenal customer service! The day that I was out-of-town with “Mr. Loquacious” when he needed surgery for his broken nose, I asked my husband to please make sure “The Artist” kept on schedule with this and one other school assignment. Well, he found a mistake in on of the tests. He had the right answer, his dad (the math geek) said it was right, too. so after I came home, I got into chat on the UnLock Pre-Algebra site, where I got an immediate response, no waiting. Devon came on, he told me he would fix the grade right away and check on the glitch. Then, he emailed me because he forgot to ask my son’s name in the chat, lol!

Then, a few days ago I received an email from Matthew Blackwood, founder of UnLock Math letting me (and apparently everyone else with this program,) to let us know that the testing and assessment platform was updated a couple of weeks ago. An unforseen result is that graphing questions were not grading correctly, and it is a bug they are working on fixing. With apology for any inconvenience, Mr. Blackwood hs told us that we can simply send a list of any questions that the student has answered correctly, but the system is grading as incorrect or incomplete, and it will be manually changed for the student.

In the beginning, I set up my log in and “The Artist’s” student log in, gave him a brief explanation, and away he went! Pretty quickly, he decided to keep paper and pencil at hand in order to work out on paper some of the problems.


The very first day that “The Artist” began UnLock Pre-Algebra, I was hearing an awful lot of “Boo-Yah!” coming from the computer area, which I thought was funny, coming from someone who didn’t even really want to do a math program. 🙂

What does “The Artist” like about UnLock Math? Here are his answers to that question:

  • I can just look at my screen and visually see how  I’m doing percentage-wise
  • UnLock Pre-Algebra made it easier to learn Roman Numerals by explaining it better than other programs I have tried
  • I like that this is all on the computer and I didn’t have to do work sheets
  • I liked the short lesson videos
  • I liked that there was only one problem on the screen at a time, it made it easier to focus.

“The Artist” mostly uses a pair of head phones while working in UnLock Pre-Algebra, so that he can actually focus. With a six person household, it’s not often going to be quiet, hehehe.

I have decided I am a definite fan of this program! Now that the review period is over, we have decided this is a wonderful program to help “The Artist” get going on being where he may need to be in math. I highly recommend it to you!

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Pre-Algebra, Algebra and Geometry {UnLock Math Reviews}Crew DisclaimerAs always, I would just love it if you would join me in all of “My Journeys Through Life.” Just go to the subscription box at the top of the blog and enter your email information. After that, you will always know when there is something new happening. I hope to see you here very soon! -)

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Filed under Homeschool Math, Math, UnLock Math, UnLock Pre-Algebra