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Free, online math site for primary grades

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

I mean 1st-4th grade-ish.  Beyond that is fine as well.


ETA: a free game download would also fit our needs.


I started using Khan Academy for myself to brush up on my atrophied math skills.  My girls were interested, so I signed them up, and they've been using it and having some fun, but the format is not really fabulous for the younger ages.  I don't mind the lack of cartoons and games, but not having them makes repeating skills for the fun of mastery rather... repetitious.  And the videos--very helpful for me-- are not very engaging for this set and seem dry, although helpful...*if* their attention doesn't drift!


However, they are having some fun with it.  They like the points and the "badges".  One thing I like is the ability to move up and down the skill levels at will.  Nothing is stopping me from reviewing my one-digit addition after reviewing slopes and ratios and all that, and nothing stops them from dabbling in algebra after a subtraction review.  I like that you can do it, but Khan still doesn't make it really simple for a kid to navigate around to do it.  You need to go *here* but for mastery, you have to go back *there*.  The site navigation is not incredibly intuitive, and when using just the learning dashboard, they queue up skills that are way, way beyond what we are learning, forcing me to go back to other spots and searching over and over.  Not easy.  I want easy.  I want the girls to be able to log in and play and puzzle away without me, if I need to move on to other things (I do enjoy sitting with them a lot, but I want the freedom.)  


And I want free.  Free it must be for now.  I know that's limiting, but I'm afraid that's the current reality of our finances right now.


Sorry if this is a rehashing of another thread I know is here somewhere, but I'm feeling lazy and would love a repeat, if you will indulge me.  

Edited by SweetSilver - 10/14/13 at 11:33am
post #2 of 13

can you access the bbc bitesize site? http://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/


ks1 is age 4/5-7/8 . ks2 is age 7/8-10/11


my kids like it a lot

post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 

I did access it easily.  DD1 has already played around with it some and seems to enjoy it.  And it was definitely easy for her to move around it.  Thanks!  That's a great start!

post #4 of 13
http://www.hoodamath.com - my kids have been using this one. It is all games, some of them look kinda dumb, but I am having them use the math munchers to work on memorization.

If you can print, http://krazydad.com/ has free sudoku math puzzles.
post #5 of 13
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the suggestion.  I found another free sudoku site last month that the girls enjoy now and then.  I found it when they asked for a 6-square sudoku puzzle.


We played with the bbc site last night.  It's a fun cultural experience in addition to the games (I look forward to learning more about British money).  They even experienced there first computer glitch, when the number sequence game got stuck in an endless loop.  DD2 overshot the next number in the series and couldn't take the character back, only forward, and the numbers started getting to 300, 301.... that was one long suspension bridge!


Funny, though.  I like that they can hop on and play this without logging on or with any assistance, but they still talk about Khan Academy because they have a visual of your progress. So, I think whatever we find, they will stick with Khan for some of it.

post #6 of 13
Thread Starter 

I had another suggestion by pm that turned out to be a good one.  We found Square One TV on YouTube (nothing official, I'm sure, and the quality varies).  But what we've enjoyed even more is the MathNet sequences.  Some dedicated folks have collected each series from several Square One episodes to make one continuous MathNet story.  Again, the video quality is not great, but it's fun.


We've also been having fun with the bbc bitesize, in more than one way.  The voice sounds like some character off Bob the Builder, and we are having some (fun) frustration with the spelling.  The voice says "rut", so we choose r.u.t.  Oh, but no, that's how they pronounce "rot".  For the life of me, we couldn't figure out "drut", until we eliminated all possibilities and chose d.r.a.t.  Otherwise, it's been fun and helpful and I highly recommend it--math, science and literacy.

post #7 of 13
Thread Starter 

One last comment on bbc bitesize: American kids might have an easier time understanding voices on the Scottish Level 1.  The light Scottish accent has a richer "r" sound, for one (the voice says "haRd, not "hahd", for example), and some key vowel sounds are closer to American pronunciations.  Neither is difficult to understand on the whole, but some words can occasionally be hard to comprehend on "KS1".  The problem is compounded in the spelling games, when a word is presented completely out of context.  You could get by with simply reading the prompts for most areas, but at this level they don't rely on reading instructions, do they?  My girls are having a much easier time with the switch.


But the girls are having loads of fun, and dd1 is sporting a fairly decent approximation of a Scottish accent.  A big "Thank you" to Fillyjonk for hooking us up with this.

post #8 of 13

ha that's funny. My kids are totally used to things having American accents (and coinage) that it never occurred to me! Is there an (northern) Irish part of the site? If so, you might find that works too. Irish accents always sound like American ones to me. Far more than Scottish though it would depend which part of Scotland.


Ditto the spelling, I'm pretty sure my kids can spell it either way-British or American-because they've used American and Australian learn to read programs. I think they'd just key into the accent and spell it either way-and they are not good spellers! Its just normal for us to be able to understand and spell the American way, I guess. 


You'll be aware of the few minor spelling differences between American and British English, I assume? 

post #9 of 13
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by Fillyjonk View Post


You'll be aware of the few minor spelling differences between American and British English, I assume? 

Yes.  At this level so far it seems that those spelling differences haven't come up.  Mainly it's because in the Pirate Spelling app, the word is spoken, and entirely out of context.  The Scottish accent sounds far milder than anything I have heard from movies.  I'm not sure if anyone in Scotland actually sounds like the voice (anymore than the English version sounds like anyone there) but it is much easier.  Yes, probably a typical person in N Ireland would be more intelligible to Americans than a typical person in Scotland.


Luckily, movies like Harry Potter, shows like Hercules Poirot and Sherlock Holmes keep my girls somewhat familiar with some typical speech patterns over there.  Conversely, decades ago when I watched "Gregory's Girl" I would have loved to have captions, the Scottish accent being unfamiliar to me at the time.  I think we as a whole are more familiar with various accents from both the UK and Australia these days, and that's a good thing because I love listening to them.  Years ago, a stand-up comic I was watching was commenting on why he loved Sean Connery as James Bond.  He said that Connery could sound good doing anything, and proceeded to read a grocery list in a dead-on imitation of Connery's voice and manner: "Milk, eggs, bread, kitty litter..."


Whoa.... way OT.... sorry.  Dialect/etymology nerd here.

post #10 of 13

Just took a look on bitesize...the pirate spelling game has an odd accent going on anyway. I can't hear properly (late here, volume down) but it sounds Northern, but trying to be very clear. Whereas the pronunciation on Sherlock Holmes, Poirot etc is RP, so incredibly posh, and not actually spoken by anyone outside private school or parliament. I think any British child would not struggle with the accent, but I can see how it might be a bit hard. The accent they are using might change between the levels. There's a strong Liverpudlian accent on the Dancemat typing tutor, iirc, which might be actually easier. Or not...


I went to uni in Scotland-Edinburgh, which has a very mild accent for Scotland-I remember getting off the bus and-despite having traveled quite widely in Europe and Turkey, despite being a Londoner who knew many people with many different accents-yet the Edinburgh accent really flummoxed me. I acclimatised fast, of course, but it was hard at first! I then spent some years in a relationship with someone with an amazinly hardcore Glaswegian accent,after which no Scots accent could faze me, I think...

post #11 of 13
Thread Starter 

Did you listen to the Pirate Spelling for Scottish Level 1?  I honestly have never heard a Scots accent that mild, but you can hear why it's easier on American ears than the KS1.  I'm curious what you think of some of the basic vowels on words like "rot" and "gut", both words that we had a hard understanding, on either level.  Or not.  Only if you have more time to waste!

post #12 of 13

I'll take a look. Which one am I looking at the basic vowels on-the English or the Scottish?


Had a quick look at the Scottish. My ability to identify Scots accents is far from what it was but I'd say its an East coast/Edinburghish accent, the equivalent to English RP (so like you'd get on Poirot, Sherlock, etc). It sounds to me much milder than the other pirate one.

post #13 of 13
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by Fillyjonk View Post

I'll take a look. Which one am I looking at the basic vowels on-the English or the Scottish?


The English one.  That's what made the spelling difficult on the "medium" level especially since the missing letter is a vowel.  I was curious how typical some of the vowel pronunciations are--especially for "o" and "u".  I know, there are a lot of accents over there.  Thanks for sticking with me and my curiosity.

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