For parents of younger children, Sheppard Software can be a great way to introduce math concepts in an engaging way. This is a particularly good option if your child enjoys interactive games (which, ok yes is basically all children).
Sheppard Software is a free online educational resource, great for at-home use as well as use in school settings.
You can check out a complete review of Sheppard Software – there really is quite a bit to this website!
Here are some quick links to the best of Sheppard Software, so that you can easily navigate a sometimes overwhelming website.
This post focuses on Sheppard Software’s math offerings.
Sheppard Software’s math section is extensive, comprehensive and really fun for kids.
It combines old school computer graphics (reminiscent of the 80s childhood that I wish I could recreate for my kids, but perhaps with less hairspray and neon).
In any event, you can go nuts in this math section if “nuts” and “math” go together in your brain.
I have younger kids, so my focus in looking at the offerings on Sheppard Software is geared toward pre-school and Kindergarten aged kids. However, there’s plenty to offer for older kids as well.
Younger children can start out with the basics: addition and subtraction, and move on up from there, straight through to higher level math – algebra, probabilities, ratios, etc.
I don’t necessarily see pre-teen or teenagers being as engaged with the software as younger children might be, although the material is certainly available. The dated graphics will be a deterrent for some older kids used to high tech, sophisticated media.
Sheppard Math Categories
Sheppard Math has sections on everything from decimals to percentages to geometry and integers.
If your older child is struggling with any of these concepts, the Sheppard Software math sections may well be useful (particularly if your child enjoys using media, and screen time feels like a treat).
Here’s a breakdown of the categories:
- Basic operations (addition, subtraction, multiplication, division)
- Mixed operations (combination of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division)
- Fractions (simple, mixed, equivalent, and more)
- Place Value
- Telling Time
- Early Math (math games for Kindergarteners and beyond)
- Geometry (shapes, lines, rays, angles and more)
- Measurements (length, weight, volume, etc.)
- Algebra (includes pre-algebra, and focuses on how to solve for a variable)
- Integers (learn about the positive and negative whole numbers)
- Round and Estimate
As you can see- this is quite a long list! And each individual section is rather extensive.
For example, in the “Basic Operations” section alone there are 22 different games!)
Way to give us a lot of bang for our buck here, Sheppard Software! Which, if you’re curious – is ZERO BUCKS. Yep, the software really is free.
Best of Sheppard Software Math
Math Man Math Games
The Math Man Math Games are “addictive and fun arcade math games!” I would have to agree. Reminiscent of Pacman, these games combine fun and learning in a way that will hold a lot of appeal for kids.
Monkey Drive Math Games
The Monkey Drive math games are really fun for slightly older kids. They move at a fast clip and may be a bit overwhelming for a younger child who doesn’t have a pretty good grasp of basic math facts yet.
For a child who’s got a decent grip on math facts, this game would be a really entertaining way to practice speed of recall, and doing math problems in your head. It combines the higher stakes of real world testing with a decidedly arcade feel that is a lot of fun for kids (and adults, come to think of it).
Fruit Splat Addition
This popular game is leveled from 1-7 to accommodate kids at various stages of learning. With cute graphics and the ability to play in “relaxed” or “timed” mode, this game is a good bet for a wide variety of little learners.
*Several of the games include the “relaxed” mode as well as “timed” modes. I really like this option – it allows kids to practice their math without pressure, but it also makes it possible to turn the practice into a more competitive game, which some kids will find really appealing.
*I should admit here that I was embarrassingly slow in the timed mode on some of these math games.
Math is not my strength, but we can’t all be beautiful and brilliant at math, eh?
I mean there can only so many Danica McKellar’s in the world (In case you’re like “what are you even talking about!?” – Danica McKellar was Winnie Cooper in the Wonder Years, and then went on to write six non-fiction books, all dealing with math! How’s that for a double threat!)
Math Skills and Developmental Milestones
Like when kids learn to read, kids develop math skills at various ages. If you’re curious about the typical math milestones that children hit, and at what age they tend to hit them, check out “Math Skills: What to Expect at Different Ages.”
What’s to Love
In sum: Many kids will love the interactive games on Sheppard Software math. They’ll learn math and they won’t even know they’re learning math! Sneaky, right? Like hiding veggies in mac and cheese.
This software offers a lot for families, homeschoolers, and classrooms alike. Particularly for children who enjoy games, Sheppard Software Math can be used as a fantastic supplement to support the concepts that children are learning in their more formal education.
Great Math Books for Kids
If you have a budding mathematician in your family, check out these great books about math:
The Girl With a Mind for Math: The Story of Raye Montague (Amazing Scientists) by Julia Finley Mosca
Do Not Open This Math Book by Danica McKellar
This is an Amazon Best Children’s Book of the Year Selection.
Sheppard Software shows kids and adults alike that math really can be fun, even for the math-phobic amongst us. And it does it for free. What’s not to like about that?
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