Note: This review is repeated from the full review of Reading Eggs. Homeschoolers will generally subscribe to Mathseeds along with Reading Eggs. See the overview information at the beginning of the Reading Eggs review.
Homeschool lesson plans for Mathseeds show lessons 1 through 150 taking children from kindergarten through second grade. However, many preschoolers might be able to work through the beginning lessons. There are also additional lessons 151 through 185, not quite enough for all of third grade at this point. However, Mathseeds says they will soon have have complete lessons for third grade as well.
Children can either start from the beginning or take a placement test to start at an appropriate lesson. I appreciate that the placement test might start a child at any lesson rather than at the one identified in the homeschool lesson plans as the starting point for their grade level, since the test is likely to be more accurate.
Lessons are sequenced so that children need to complete them in order. You might find that you want to use lessons in a different order, especially if you are using Mathseeds as a supplement to another math program. Parents can enter the dashboard and set the lesson level to beyond where children are working which then lets children move freely through all lessons below the targeted lesson. This requires parents to direct children’s attention to the correct lessons, but it does give you the freedom to use topics whenever you want. Note that when you reset the lessons you lose tracking information. So think about this carefully before using this trick. While you will be able to check student progress from the parent dashboard, you start tracking them all over again any time you reset the program.
Mathseeds uses teaching formats similar to those used in Reading Eggs, working through each topical lesson with a variety of activities. Most lessons focus on only one topic or just a few closely related topics. For example, multiplication is taught in Lesson 115. The lesson begins by introducing groups of items then shows the groups in arrays. To find the total each time, children can count items individually or use skip counting. The program then shows and restates the result in a numerical multiplication problem. Specific skip counting activities follow in this lesson as well as in the next. While this particular lesson includes one segment on tesselations, all other segments relate to multiplication. In the homeschooling lesson plans, this lesson would be used near the beginning of second grade. While multiplication will be revisited in later lessons, topics are not covered thoroughly in a sequence of adjacent lessons. Multiplication was first introduced in lessons 71 through 74 (the middle of first grade), but it does not show up again until Lesson 111.
Mathseeds covers a broad range of math topics including time telling, geometry, word problems, measurement (both standard and metric systems), and money. Topics are continually intermixed, so you might have a sequence of lessons covering measurement, addition, patterns, fractions, and subtraction as is found in lessons 64 through 68.
The program has more of a British/Australian feel to it because of the slight accents of some of the speakers. While I don't know the country in which Math Seeds was created, I assumed it was not the United States given the accents and some items I noted under Reading Eggs Junior. Whatever the origin of the program, it has been adapted for different countries, and you will find that lessons on money use U.S. currency.
Under the Bonus Material you will find printable activity sheets for Mathseeds with four pages per lesson. While the online lessons can serve as a supplement to other math programs, by using these printable activity pages you can use MathSeeds as a complete program. Just as for Reading Eggs, there is a page for the parent explaining how to use all of the components to create the entire lesson. The activity pages are essential to provide the written practice that students require.
While there is sometimes excessive repetition of easy topics, overall the program is well done and effective. While children can complete online lessons independently, they will need parental assistance for the activity sheets.