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Long gone are the days of traditional board games, pen and paper tasks and working from a notebook. Most things have now moved online, which is an instant, accessible tool for real-time browsing or working.
This is where Sheppard Software comes in. In a nutshell, it’s a website that offers fun, free online learning games and activities for kids – all of which are accessible at the click of a finger.
But is it any good? Our Sheppard Software review is dedicated to helping you understand exactly what it is, and how it might slot into your child’s life. First and foremost, it’s designed to be an educational tool to help children grow and develop.
There are hundreds of online games on offer, from math skills tasks to animal quizzes, that are not only fun but will help your child to retain key information and improve in the subjects they might be struggling with.
And it’s already incredibly popular with parents and children alike; over the last year, they’ve had over 20 million visitors and over 5 million hours of learning. Those are impressive numbers, and one of the best things about Sheppard Software is that teachers can use it to set homework to their class.
By reading our in-depth Sheppard Software review, we hope that you’ll start to understand a bit more about the services on offer, the pros and cons, and what real-life parents think of the software.
Join us as we dive right into learning more about what it’s all about.
Why you might want your child to use Sheppard Software
There are loads of reasons why Sheppard Software might benefit your child, but we’ve rounded up some of the key things that you may not have already thought about yet. Overall it’s a great tool for learning, but these are some other reasons why Sheppard Software might be a useful addition to your child’s learning arsenal.
To complete your child’s homework
Sheppard Software is free for teachers, schools, and homeschoolers. Over one thousand schools worldwide have taken advantage of this so far, and the great thing is this means that children get access to a wide range of educational tools that actually work.
Teachers can use Sheppard Software to set homework on a daily, weekly or monthly basis that children can complete in their own time at home. It’s instant and reduces the need for endless paperwork and expensive workbooks.
To improve your child’s IT skills
As computers and technology are so important in the modern-day and age, getting your child to use this type of software from a young age is a great way to help them get more confident with IT, and will develop these much-needed skills. This will give them the transferable skills they need to take into a job in later life.
To entertain them after-school
The fact is, nothing beats getting your child into the outdoors, where they can breathe in the fresh air and get some all-important exercise. But sometimes the weather doesn’t go the right way, or your child might simply be too tired after a long day at school.
Making the most out of Sheppard Software means your child will feel entertained (and feel like they’re not missing out on playing their ‘video games’, which no doubt many of their friends might do), whilst squeezing some critical learning time in, too. The website is designed with fun in mind, which is great news when you have other things to be getting on with as a parent, like tidying up or cooking dinner.
Sheppard Software Review
Sheppard Software was begun in 1982 by Brad Sheppard, who designed his unique software alongside his graphic designer partner, Jasmine Chapgar. A dynamic duo, they created the technology, designed the visuals and assets, and voiced the videos themselves – which they still do now. The entire thing was a real labor of love, which shows through the success of the finished project.
Today, it’s chock-full of hundreds of interactive games that can be played by kids of all ages, in order to help them develop their skills and knowledge within specific subjects at school. This includes geography (like state capitals and countries capitals), math, animals, science, language arts, creative activities, and health.
There’s no end to how these games can be used either. If your child is struggling with certain subjects then they can use the games to tackle the ones they find difficult. Or if they’re particularly good at a subject, these games can help them improve further and become the best that they can be.
You don’t need to set up any logins when using Sheppard Software either (unless you want to, in which case you’ll need to upgrade to get access to this functionality). This can be seen as a positive if you wish to keep your personal details away from an online space, or don’t want the hassle of signing your children into the website every day, which can be time-consuming.
There are a few downsides to Sheppard Software, however. Firstly, the website itself feels a little outdated; it could definitely do with a refresh. When browsing, there’s so much going on on the page that it can feel a bit overwhelming – especially for younger children who are just starting out with using computers and are honing their IT skills. If you choose to use Sheppard Software with ads, they can get a bit annoying over time, but you might not have the budget to pay to remove them. If so, this means you’ll need to put up with them.
The graphics can be a bit of an issue too, at least for older kids. They feel like they’re aimed at the younger generation, with cute cartoon animals that might not be ‘cool’ enough for the older age range. Some games can be tricky to find too. You have to really delve deep to discover them, and you may not be able to find them again very easily.
- It’s free to use, although there are different prices you can pay to remove ads, depending on whether you’re a family, classroom or school.
- There are hundreds of online interactive games on offer.
- If you’re a teacher setting homework, ages range from year 1 to year 12+.
- There are loads of subjects on offer to learn about, including geography, math, animals, science, language arts, creative activities and health.
- Only age-appropriate content is available; sexual health isn’t covered.
- Visual and audio effects are used to make learning fun.
- There are a variety of difficulty levels to choose from to help your child progress and develop.
- You can pay to remove ads, and it’s very affordable to do so.
- The website can also be used completely free.
- There’s a YouTube channel that supplies videos for children.
- There are so many games on offer that it would be almost impossible to complete them all.
- The website is a little bit cluttered and messy, meaning it’s hard to get to grips with at first.
- There are a lot of ads and pop-ups.
- Older children may feel the website is too ‘young’ for them. The graphics are definitely aimed more at younger kids.
- The site needs more structure as some games are hard to find.
Parents’ popular opinion on Sheppard Software
The best way to gauge how popular something is is to look at real-life reviews from genuine parents and children who have used the software. We’ve tracked down some so you can see for yourself what they are currently saying.
One anonymous teacher has students with learning disabilities in her class that need multiple ways to learn math, and is happy the Sheppard Software helps her to find a way to make it easier to study.
One homeschooling mom likes that Sheppard Software encourages brain activity and reinforces the facts she teaches during learning time.
One particular parent likes that you can choose the level of difficulty and finds the games simple and easy to understand.
Another parent doesn’t see the point of upgrading your membership, as it’s pretty much the same version without ads.
How do other online educational games websites compare? An Alternative
Learning Games For Kids
Similar to Sheppard Software, Learning Games For Kids offers fun, interactive, educational games that are available for free online. All are designed to help with your child’s learning and development, with pretty much any school subject available – and more. Hand-eye coordination, keyboarding, and spelling can all be tested too, so nothing’s off-limits when it comes to education.
All age ranges are covered, including preschoolers to give them a taste for what’s to come when they head into the education system. You can choose the difficulty levels and tailor the learning to suit your child, whatever they need to improve on. It’s completely adaptable and versatile, and it’s a great way to get your child to learn whilst having fun.
If you’re a teacher, you can use the website to set homework or print out worksheets to be used in your classes – there’s a section dedicated to useful printables. They include math, science, and social studies worksheets, but unfortunately nothing else for any other subject. However, they’re a great place to start if you need some inspiration.
With the website, the layout is perhaps a little less chaotic than Sheppard Software. It does look very similar though, but it’s better organized and the graphics suit a wider range of children.
Sheppard Software Program Features:
- Offers educational games and exercises in the following subjects: math, language arts games, grammar, science, learn about animals and nature, words / vocabulary (verbs, nouns, adjectives, etc…), parts of speech, art and music, logic, memory, hand-eye coordination, keyboarding, and geography.
- There’s a newsletter that you can sign up to, to find out what’s new.
- Games are offered for all age groups, including preschoolers and high schoolers.
- For teachers, there’s a printables section where you can print off worksheets for any subject. Students can then fill these out in class.
- There’s an app that can be downloaded from the Apple Store for iOS or Play Store for Android, meaning children can learn on the go.
- There are a series of video lessons for your children to follow and learn from.
Sheppard Software Pros
- New educational games get added frequently to keep learning fun and exciting.
- There’s a learning blog, which is great for parents.
- Games are neatly organized into categories, making them easy to find.
- The site is free to use.
Sheppard Software Cons
- There are lots of ads that can interrupt a game
- Like Sheppard Software, the graphics are a little young, although they’re a bit more older-child friendly than Sheppard.
Parents’ popular opinion on Learning Games For Kids
Unfortunately, there isn’t very much online content to support the popular opinion of Learning Games For Kids so this time, you’ll have only your own opinions to benefit from. However, we see this as a positive as there are no opinions to put you off from using it!
Conclusion – What do we really think?
Overall, Sheppard Software almost gets top marks. Using it is as easy as A, B, C, and your child is sure to get to grips with how it works in no time. Almost every subject is covered and there really is something for everyone to help them grow and develop, whether they’re a maths whizz looking to get even better or are struggling with science and need a helping hand.
If you’re a teacher (ideal for all ages and grade level groups from preschool, elementary school, to middle school), homeschooler or classroom assistant, Sheppard Software is a really great tool to have under your belt. Sometimes children need to be inspired and working from a notebook just won’t cut it.
Setting homework using games and tasks on the website can really help children who don’t always respond to typical classroom techniques, and the pleasing sounds and colorful visuals can help bring a boring subject to life.
As we’ve already mentioned, it loses points for how the games and site, in general, are organized. It could be made a bit easier, like how Learning Games For Kids keeps everything in check using handy, easy-to-use navigation tabs.
It could probably do with a section for older children too, where the graphics are more suited to children who are starting to grow – or have already grown – out of the cutesy animal images that are littered all over the website. It feels like it could alienate kids who don’t respond to those kinds of visuals.
We definitely recommend giving Sheppard Software a go. As it’s free, you don’t need to invest unless you don’t want the ads. And you don’t need to commit to signing up with a login either. You can give the site a quick trial first to see if it works for you and your family.
FAQ’s About The Sheppard Software
Yes – it’s completely free should you choose to use the basic package. You’ll get access to absolutely everything, including all games across the site. However, if you’d prefer to use Sheppard Software ad-free then you can pay $36 per year to remove them. If you can’t trust your child not to click on the ads, it might be a worthy investment.
For schools that wish to remove ads, you can pay $300 a year. The price allows unlimited logins in all classrooms and computer labs. Classrooms will be $70 a year and will allow unlimited logins in all classrooms too
Unfortunately not. To use Sheppard Software, you must have a web browser (it will work with most if not all operators) and you’ll need working internet, too. An app might be available in the future, but for now, you’ll need to stick to the desktop version.
You can access some features on Facebook and YouTube, but your child might be a bit too young to use these platforms – especially Facebook.
No account is needed, which is great news for anyone worried about sharing personal data, or who thinks they might forget their login details. Your child can simply go online and start playing the games straight away.
It’s incredibly easy and this way saves everyone loads of time. However, if you’d prefer to use logins or are a school or classroom, then you can upgrade your membership and get access to logins in classrooms and computer labs, or for all family members.
The bottom line
Whether you decide that Sheppard Software is the right educational tool for you and your children or not, hopefully, we’ve given you all the information you need to be able to make an informed choice. As we’ve already mentioned, it’s an amazingly useful educational tool that’s not only functional and practical, but it’s fun too. Let your children give it a go and see how they get on, as that’s the best way to trial it.
We would love to know if we have helped you.
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