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Mathseeds Review by Karen WaideBlake eLearning
37 West 26th Street Suite 201
New York, NY 10010
My son has been using the online math program Mathseeds for the last couple of months. This comprehensive program was created by educational experts to ensure children would learn math skills in a structured, yet enjoyable way. The program starts at the very beginning, teaching fundamental number skills such as number recognition, counting, colors, and shapes. There are a total of 200 lessons, with 50 lessons in each grade from grades Kindergarten through Third Grade. Each of these lessons builds upon the previous lessons, expanding knowledge, teaching new concepts, and reviewing past skills through fun animated lessons and interactive games. A child will take an assessment test when first starting with the program to ensure they are working at their level.
Mathseeds can be accessed on both a computer and a tablet. The program provides the child with their own colorful, child-friendly dashboard which is accessed through the parent’s account. From this screen the child can choose from several different options.
- Driving Tests
The lessons are arranged on a map which the child’s avatar makes its way across as the child completes each lesson. The next stop on the map appears as the previous lesson is completed. Each map focuses on a different area of the world, from a small place (like a farm), to a country (like China) to an entire continent (like Australia), and different ecosystems (like the dessert). On each of the maps the child will have the opportunity to reveal five animals, one for each lesson. A completed map will show all the lesson points plus the animals that were earned. Even though a child moves on, they may go back to any map to work on the lessons again at any time.
In order to complete the lesson, the child has to work through a number of animated videos, lessons, and interactive activities. During the activities a child has three chances to get the answer correct before the program will give them the answer and move on. In addition to revealing pets at the completion of lessons, children will earn acorns after successfully completing each activity. These acorns are wonderful motivators as children can use them to play games and buy items at the shop.
The Playroom offers lots of fun activities designed for younger children. They can work on numbers, art, building, virtual cooking, and simple measurement and estimation. There is also a section where children can listen to songs, and one with carnival type games. These games all reinforce math skills in one way or another. Children are able to explore in a leisurely manner, learning as they play.
The games available in this section are appropriate for older children and they have to use acorns in order to play them. Compared to the activities in the Playroom, these games are more challenging and require a certain amount of skill and knowledge. Children will earn scores and can play multiple times to improve their score. Also, while playing the games they can run out of lives. There are games to reinforce such math concepts as shapes, colors, addition, and number recognition.
This section allows a child to take short quizzes in several different topics: Number, Operations, Patterns & Fractions, Measurement, Geometry, and Data & Chance. There are between 13 to 28 different tests under each topic. As they complete each test they unlock the next one in that topic.
The child is to work their way around a racetrack by answering questions correctly. If they can successfully answer every multiple choice question, they can play a racing game where they try to collect traffic cones by jumping over obstacles and avoiding oil slicks. For children who love competition this is a fun motivator as they can try to get on a leader board.
Here, children can see the awards they have earned. Every time a child finishes a map they receive a dated certificate that shows the grade they achieved on that map’s quiz, along with little pictures of the animals they earned.
This is where the child’s acorn avatar lives. The child can decorate the different levels of their treehouse, change the background, and dress their avatar. They can even check out their awards from this section. In fact, it seems my son spends a lot of time here, adding and rearranging items, including his pets that he earned by successfully completing lessons.
In addition to the Arcade, this is the spot where acorns can be spent. It is here where children can purchase the different furniture, appliances, accessories, and clothing to play around with in the treehouse.
How have we been using Mathseeds?
When we first gained access to Mathseeds, my son took the placement test. He answered the questions until he got a certain amount incorrect. He was then placed at the appropriate level. I was surprised, yet pleased that he was placed at lesson 81, which is in First Grade. If your child takes the assessment and you find they are struggling or the lessons are too easy, you can always have them retake the placement test.
I require my son to complete a lesson before he is given the opportunity to play around in the shop, treehouse, playroom, or arcade. He spends about half an hour, four times a week working on his math with Mathseeds. He works his way through the lesson, and then if he has time left he can choose other sections from his dashboard. From what he has told me, he likes to spend a lot of time in his treehouse, changing his avatar, buying items for it and rearranging them. It surprised me when he mentioned that he spends more time in the playroom than the arcade. I know he is capable of playing the arcade games, but it appears that he enjoys the relaxed atmosphere of the playroom, where he just has to click and play. Now that I am aware of this, I think I may allow him a day or two where he can choose to play in the arcade or take driving tests instead of doing a lesson. This will give him additional time to reinforce basic math skills.
Furthermore, I can give my son more practice by printing out activity sheets that are available from the bonus section of the parent dashboard. These worksheets are available in either black & white or color. There are worksheets available for each lesson in the program.
While I don’t have a record of what he does each day, though I would like to, I do get an email when he completes a map. This email tells me whether or not he passed the quiz, and what topics were taught in these lessons.
In addition to the email that I receive as a parent, I can also check out the Content Overview. This is a list of what will be taught in each grade. I can access this through a link in the email, plus it is available from the main Mathseeds page. In order to see what a child will be learning specifically in each 10-lesson section, you can check out the Placement Test Overview.
Mathseeds is a wonderful elementary math program, suitable for children ages 3-9. It truly is comprehensive, teaching children math concepts in a fun yet thorough way. I love that topics are taught and then reviewed throughout the program, and that lots of practice is available both online and offline. My son has been having a blast while learning. In fact, he can’t wait for his computer time, and he even asks for worksheets to be printed out for him.
You can try out Mathseeds through their free trial to see if the program is right for your child. If you choose to purchase a membership, it is only $49.95 for 12 months. There are even deals available where you can save money by purchasing a combined subscription to their Reading Eggs programs in addition to the Mathseeds.
-Product review by Karen Waide, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, June, 2018