Unboxed FAQs
Tips

Unboxed FAQs

Unboxed by Prepared Parents is a complete experience that unpacks the best of education into a monthly kit for grades 4–9. Use Unboxed to focus on what matters most to your kids by giving them the habits, skills, knowledge, and routines to learn with a purpose.

Prepared Unboxed is based on leading learning science, psychology, and behavioral research, which shine a light on what a purposeful education looks like.

Below, we answer top questions that parents, learning pod leaders and educators have asked us about Unboxed.

1. Who is Unboxed designed for?

Unboxed offers meaningful learning experiences for kids at home, in learning pods, or in community learning groups. It’s an exciting approach that focuses on project-based learning (PBL) and social-emotional learning by building valuable rituals and routines,  through interactive projects. Unboxed is appropriate for students in grades 4 - 9

Each month you’ll receive:
  • A project with step-by-step instructions
  • Activities for building Habits of Success and Universal Skills
  • Rituals and routines that help kids stay focused and develop self-direction

2. How much does Unboxed cost?

Unboxed is offered throughout the 2020-21 school year completely free of charge thanks to generous philanthropic support. We do not receive funding from advertisements, sponsored content, or commercial partnerships.

3. How easy is it to use Unboxed?

We believe Unboxed can have a transformative and lasting impact on how a kid learns. Unboxed was designed by taking the successful, research-based curriculum that leading schools across the country use and designing it especially for parents, caregivers, tutors, and youth development professionals to use with kids in grades 4 - 9. We believe project-based and social-emotional learning result in joy and purpose for both students and their adult educational leader. 
 
Of course, as with anything new, Unboxed takes some time to learn how to use, but don’t worry, you’ve got this! And we’re right here with you. Take some time to work through Unboxed. Whenever you’ve got a question, just reach out to us at info@preparedparents.org and we’ll give you a hand. You can also text us with questions at +1 (855) 770-0767.

4. Do I have to complete all six tools?

While we’d encourage you to complete the experience, it’s really up to you. Each monthly learning kit contains six tools:
Plan: Set and work on goals that are personal, relevant, and motivating.
Engage: Develop rituals and routines that help kids get ready to learn.
Build: Develop foundational knowledge in reading and math.
Learn: Explore the world through an engaging project that builds career-ready skills
Grow: Nurture habits and skills that are key to learning
Celebrate: Recognize progress and achievement in a “celebration of learning”

These tools have been designed to provide a robust learning experience. Mix ‘em up, skip a few, or double down on the ones you find most meaningful. Regardless of how you use the Unboxed resources, we strongly recommend incorporating Celebrate monthly. This meaningful way to showcase learning is especially important now. Celebrations of learning offer structured, meaningful opportunities to acknowledge your kid’s progress

Looking for more? Our resource center is chock full of helpful information.

5. Is Unboxed academic enrichment or core curriculum?

Yes and yes! Our Unboxed kits are designed for students who are "reading to learn" in grade levels 4-9. They’re creative, fun projects kids will enjoy working on and include research-based routines and social-emotional learning activities that help students experience cohesion and purpose in learning. Unboxed alsoincludes a monthly project modeled on a research-based approach to learning called Project-Based Learning (PBL). PBL offers real-world, personally meaningful activities to challenge your kid’s thinking and inspire action.  

Review Unboxed with your kid’s teacher or academic advisor to see if it fits your school’s learning expectations.

6. Can my high school student receive academic credit for completing Unboxed? 

Good question, but one you should ask your kid’s school. One of the benefits of Unboxed is the routines, rituals and Habits of Success built-in that once adopted have a lasting impact on how a kid learns. And, for a kid searching for a passion and interest, the projects may inspire action with an impact.

We encourage students to show their completed Unboxed projects to their classroom teacher, advisor, or guidance counselor to see if it fulfills any academic requirements. Students could also consider including their Unboxed projects in their academic portfolio as samples of their work as they build transcripts for college applications.

7. Why should we add Unboxed to our kid’s already full school schedule?

Unboxed is more than just another learning activity. The Habits of Success and Universal Skills a kid will develop are invaluable for life-long learning. The projects are engaging because they’re interesting. They may spark a passion that can influence the direction a kid may take as they find the interests that will fulfill them. Besides that, kids will find a way to channel energy into action as they discover a way to make a lasting impact on the world around them.

8. Can Unboxed be adapted for younger kids?

While Unboxed learning kits are for grades 4-9, they can be modified for kids who are younger, especially those who are working closely with an adult or older student. This is  a great way to get siblings to work together. Your older kid can help the younger as they learn side-by-side. 

9. Can a kid use Unboxed independently, without an adult?

Absolutely! Let them try. We encourage self-directed learning which allows a kid to work at their own pace, but stick close by. Parents should register for Unboxed for their children, and we recommend adults check in regularly to see how it’s going. You can help your kid set some goals and suggest strategies if they get stuck. Everyone needs a little help sometimes, but help doesn’t mean you do the work!  

10. Will anyone at Prepared Parents evaluate my kid’s projects?

We’re looking forward to celebrating your kid’s Unboxed projects, but we won’t be grading them or writing evaluations. We recommend showing your kid’s project to their classroom teacher and including it in their learning portfolio for the school year.

We’ll be supporting your kid’s efforts with tips and tools included in Unboxed and Prepared Parents provides technical support through our Help Desk. For help, email us at info@preparedparents.org or text us at +1 (855) 770-0767.

We also provide community support in our Unboxed Facebook group where parents can show us how it’s going with their kids. 

11. If a learning pod is using Unboxed, does each member need to sign up?

Yes, parents who plan to use Unboxed projects for their children or plan for their children to engage with Unboxed projects through learning pods should register each of their children, whether you or another adult is directly supervising the projects; Unboxed contains helpful tips, tools, and advice you can use at home.
 
Learning pod leaders who are supervising Unboxed should also sign up, and can include the names of the children in the pod.  But, learning pod leaders should just be sure to confirm permission from parents or legal guardians before providing the names of anyone under the age of eighteen. Prepared Parents values and respects online privacy, so we reserve the right to delete the names and any accompanying information of any children for whom parental consent was not obtained.

12. Is Unboxed appropriate for a kid who is behind, needs specific interventions, or has special needs?

Prepared Parents knows that every kid is unique, with different interests, skills, and knowledge. We celebrate our differences as a great asset. Our Unboxed kits are designed to be accessible for students who are "reading to learn" in grade levels 4-9. Unboxed kits are creative, fun projects kids will enjoy working on, along with research-based routines and social-emotional learning activities that help students experience cohesion and purpose in their learning. The focus on reading, math, and English language arts will support student learning, but should not be considered a solution that addresses specific academic concerns. Your kid’s classroom teacher, learning specialist, or clinician might have recommendations for how to use Unboxed for remediation or for a child with special needs.

13. I love this! Can I ask my kid’s classroom teacher to use this at school? 

Sure! Share Unboxed with educators, parents, and others. It’s a free resource that’s rooted in the best learning science. We’d love to see more kids reap the benefits of the habits, skills, and projects included. 

14. Can my kid or I submit an idea for an Unboxed monthly learning kit?

Please do! We're only just getting started and are looking forward to developing more learning kits. We’re excited to see what you’re interested in exploring. Send ideas to info@preparedparents.org and our educators will take a look.

15. What is a Celebration of Learning and how can my kid participate?

Here’s where your kid can showcase their project and what they have learned all month to friends, family, and classmates. They’ve worked hard all month; they should be proud of what they’ve done. It’s up to you and your kid to design the event. How about an online gallery or a Zoom presentation with family members or peers/friends? Keep an eye on your Inbox for more ideas on this.

16. How do I sign up for more monthly learning kits?

We will provide an Unboxed learning kit each month for the rest of this school year. You can enroll once and easily receive a new learning kit in your email inbox every month. They’re also always available in the Prepared Parents Resource Center, too, once you enroll. While each kit builds on the previous month’s, you can tackle them in any order. 

17. I’d like to unenroll.

We’ll be sad to see you go, but if you choose to discontinue Unboxed, email us at  info@preparedparents.org and we will remove you from the program.