Our family has been reviewing one of the brand new workbooks from Reading Eggs. Our five-year-old son and three-year-old daughter have been focusing upon the Mathseeds online learning program (part of Reading Eggs) while using the 200 Essential Math Skills for Kindergarten workbook. The workbook has quickly become a hit with both of our children as they complete different lessons on different maps.
The Mathseeds program is an "instructional product that uses highly interactive and rewarding lessons to teach children aged 4-9 the core math and problem solving skills" needed to succeed. Also, "Mathseeds combines highly structured lessons with fun motivational elements to keep children engaged and excited to learn" (Kindergarten Workbook). Each online lesson has multiple ways to introduce, teach, and review the particular concept being addressed. Our five-year-old son enjoyed the lessons so much that he asks to work on it almost every day. (I don't think he realizes he is completing homeschool lessons.)
|Working through lessons on Reading Eggs.|
- Copy work
- Stamping a pattern
- Making shapes
- Reading a book about patterns
Completing the activities provides your child with acorns that they can use to decorate their Treehouse or play games in the arcade (one of our son's favorite parts). I think the acorns (or eggs if you are using Reading Eggs) provides a great motivation for children.
|Working on the Patterns Lesson in the Workbook.|
|One of the online activities on Mathseeds for Lesson 27.|
|Our daughter and son working through lessons on Mathseeds.|
The 200 Essential Math Skills for Kindergarten workbook ties in perfectly with the online lessons. The workbook's lessons are short (four pages each) but there is a great variety of methods in which each topic is taught. This mirrors the way in which the online lessons are taught. For example, in the long and short workbook lesson (Lesson 26) our son matched objects, practiced writing the words "long" and "short", drew pictures, and cut out pictures to organize from longest to shortest. I love that there are so many different ways to reinforce the concept.
|I love that there are so many different ways the information is taught and reinforced in the workbook.|
When we first started working on the lessons from the workbook, I was printing them from a PDF that Reading Eggs emailed to reviewers. Our actual workbook took some time to arrive so we used black and white copies of the lessons. As I printed several of the first lessons, our three-year-old daughter and five-year-old son worked on completing different lessons at the same time. While some of the activities are too difficult for our daughter (she is younger than the recommended age but she loves doing 'homework' with her brother), she is able to understand the early concepts of numbers and shapes taught in the early lessons.
|For the printouts, I modified them to help our daughter complete the work using stickers.|
Before the arrival of the workbook, I had our son complete the placement test on Mathseeds. He placed several lessons beyond the Kindergarten workbook so I was worried that the material would be boring for him. So while he is working on material from Map 13 online, we are working through the lessons in Map 6 in the workbook. I am also having him work on those lessons online. It is nice that he can move around on the Maps online to review skills as well as learn new material as needed.
|Our son is working on the online lessons that correspond to those he is completing in the workbook.|
Because he is working on Map 13, I was curious how to move back to previous maps and lessons. As I was unsure how to do it, I used the live chat button one evening and within minutes I had my answer! Lindsey was super helpful and polite. I love customer support that is prompt and helpful.
So far, none of the materials required to complete the lessons go beyond items you would already have around the house – pen or pencil, crayons, scissors, and glue. If you choose to do the suggested learning activities in the front of the workbook, you need additional supplies such as play dough, chalk, items to count, items of varying sizes, and other simple objects.
200 Essential Math Skills for Kindergarten also provides a one-page "How to Use this Book" overview, learning activities, and a Year Planner that breaks down the Maps, lessons, and skills covered. "The Mathseeds program provides step-by-step lessons that children really enjoy" (workbook).
How We Are Using 200 Essential Math Skills for Kindergarten
Our son is completing a lesson in the workbook (mostly without guidance from me) in one day. Either later that day or the next, he is then working with the online program to gain more practice with the skills introduced in the workbook. In addition to using Mathseeds, he has also been enjoying the lessons and activities on Reading Eggs.
As our daughter likes to be involved in the same activities her brother is completing, she completed some of the early lessons that focused upon the numbers and shapes. I also let her take a turn on Mathseeds. She really enjoyed the parts of the lessons where she would 'catch' the appropriate numbered butterflies or dinosaurs.
Together we completed one of the learning activities as suggested in the front of the workbook. In the Operations Learning Activity, it is said to "give children a set of 10 items" and practice word and number recognition. In addition, children can also work on adding numbers together to make ten.
I collected foam shapes to work on this activity with our son and daughter. It was a great hit with both of them. In fact, our son continued to create his own math games based on the concept.
What We Like
I love the quality of the workbook. Heavy pages with colorful illustrations. To me this means it will not be easy for our children to accidentally tear a page.
The directions are easy to read and understand. I love directions that our son can read on his own and complete. Before he starts each lesson, I review what the lesson is about and go over the basic instructions. For example, we haven't done any work with number lines yet so – when working on Lesson 28 – we talked about what they were and how they worked a bit. He then completed the different activities pretty much on his own.
To further illustrate what I like about the workbook, let me explain Lesson 29 – Heavy and Light. The lesson begins with matching the picture to the correct word and then moves onto differentiating the heavier object through coloring the image. Lesson 29 then asks your child to match pictures to light, heavier, and heaviest and then work on comparing objects on scales. As in earlier lessons, our son cut out pictures from the back of the workbook to complete an activity before one last scale activity.
|Matching heavy and light...choosing the heavier object.|
|Cutting out images to complete a weighing activity.|
The only thing I have not tried yet with our son is having him complete the online lessons first and then complete the activities in the workbook as we have been focusing on the 200 Essential Math Skills for Kindergarten workbook for this review. After we complete Map 6 (which is only one lesson and quiz away from being completed!), we may try using Mathseeds first and then the workbook. Since you can use the workbook without using Mathseeds online, I do not know if it will make a huge difference.
When asking our son what his favorite part of 200 Essential Math Skills for Kindergarten workbook was, he said he liked the lesson on Heavy and Light the best. He enjoyed cutting out the pictures for comparison on the scales. And when I asked him what his favorite part of the online lessons – Mathseeds – was, his answer was "Everything!"I think Reading Eggs and Mathseeds will become a mainstay in our homeschool curriculum.
Why Not Try Reading Eggs?
Just in time for back to school you can try four weeks of Reading Eggs free! With Reading Eggs our son has been practicing sound recognition, word recognition, learning new vocabulary, reading, and more. If you would like to see what the program is all about, you can try it for four weeks free courtesy of Reading Eggs.
If you are interested in the 9 brand new Reading Eggs and Mathseeds workbooks, Reading Eggs is offering 10% discount to our readers. Please use the coupon code (WK10FX31ERM) when purchasing your new 200 Essential skills workbooks. These fun-filled activity books will add to your children's learning experience!
For more information, please visit the following:
Other members of the Homeschool Review Crew focused upon the online programs – Reading Eggs and Mathseeds – while others received one of the Reading Skills workbooks. Please take a moment to visit some of the other reviews to learn more about Reading Eggs and their new workbooks.