I had never heard of Sheppard Software until recently. I was thrilled when I checked out! I don’t want my six year old to play random games because I don’t trust what might appear on the screen.
This is a good solution.
At SheppardSoftware.com you will find free software that provides student-based content in a protected online area.
The site had over 20 million visitors in the last year alone (so apparently some other people were already aware of this gem. Ha!)
This software is the perfect solution for some good and attractive media for my kindergarten son. We still want to cut the screen time down to a dull roar, but in moderation, this is a great option.
This software would work well for family use as well as home school students and school computer labs.
Advantages and Disadvantages
Before we take a closer look at the website, let’s start with a few pros and cons:
Free (as long as you don’t mind some unobtrusive ads)
Attractive for young children
The focus is on the educational material, but it is provided in the form of a game to attract children.
Many subjects are covered (from math to geography, Spanish and much more)
Easy to focus on what you’re looking for (e.g. material to help a child practice; card-based games for an older child who wants to prepare for a history test in a fun way, etc.)
Graphics are old school which might put some kids off
Navigation can be a bit overwhelming
There are so many games out there that they can be distracting for some children.
The site seems to be aimed primarily at younger children (from preschool through high school) and is probably not that attractive to high school kids.
How Much Does Sheppard Software Cost?
It’s free. Yup!
You can’t beat this price unless, for some reason, you find a company that wants to pay YOU to use their products. If you find this company please let me know.
If you want an ad-free site, you can pay $ 36 a year for personal use, although it is not required as the ads are very discreet in the free version. In all honesty, I don’t even notice them.
Why Will Children Use Sheppard Software?
The software could be great for a number of reasons, but mainly:
To strengthen the academic content that they are working on in school
As homework (if used by schools)
For entertainment (this is a great alternative to traditional video games)
For tutoring when a child is struggling with some basic academic concepts (e.g. identifying letters, basic math, etc.)
AGE APPROPRIATE CONTENT FOR CHILDREN
Sheppard Software organizes its content according to age groups.
They provide sections for:
- Elementary level
- Middle school
- Adult learners
The site would have more appeal for younger students, I would say especially for preschools and elementary schools.
The nice thing about the structure of the content is that you can easily find exactly the right setting for your child’s level of learning.
It’s good to find a website that you can feel comfortable using your child without worrying about what content they might stumble upon.
Layout and Design of the Website
Sheppard Software can be a bit overwhelming at first.
There are many options on the home page, but once you know the terrain it’s pretty easy to find your way around.
There is a Popular Games section on the left side of the page and new content on the right.
The Recommended Sections by Level tab is particularly useful for quickly navigating to the age / relevant content you’re looking for. You can find it by scrolling down on the home page:
Once you’ve started playing the various games, you can easily walk through a cave of related content.
Unlike YouTube, however, there is nothing incomplete for kids on this website. So you can be sure that your child won’t stumble across a really scary rabbit hole full of bizarre challenges and cult-created cartoons. So win!
In the worst case scenario, they will end up in a game too difficult for them and you may have to help them navigate back to the correct skill level. I’ll take that risk for the whole cult thing.
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