School Start Buddy: Create a world of opportunities for your child
Help your child learn to read and write before starting school and/or during their early school years with this exciting and effective teacher-designed resource
“School Start Buddy is brilliant. It has been a fantastic resource in helping my sons build the foundational skills in both reading and writing. My sons love the engaging and interactive activities and I love the quality time I get to spend with my boys, watching them grow and learn.”Rosie Perre
Would you like to give your child a head start with reading and writing before they begin formal education?
Do you want to teach your child literacy the right way, using a teacher-created resource that complements the primary school system?
Are you worried your child might struggle with reading and writing, falling behind in class?
Are you keen to boost your child’s confidence and self-esteem in the classroom from the very first day?
Do you want to invest in a versatile, effective and long-term resource that can be used before your child starts school, as well as during their early years?
Are you a teacher who would like to use School Start Buddy in the classroom, like so many other teachers already do?
If you answered ‘yes’ to any of the above questions, then the School Start Buddy is perfect for you.
Hi, I’m Sharona Edwards, I’m a primary school teacher, literacy coordinator and mother of four children. I’m also the creator of the School Start Buddy. As a child, I constantly struggled with literacy, which made me feel embarrassed, self-conscious and frustrated. Not only that, the fact that everyone around me was spelling beautifully and just ‘getting it’ made me feel demoralised. Unfortunately, it meant I didn’t reach my full academic potential at school.
The good news is that I overcame my literacy challenges later in life, and as a result, I’ve become passionate about teaching literacy skills to children, and ensuring every parent has tools and resources to help their child read and write – especially in those early, important, foundational years. The spelling resources I’ve created are exactly the type of resources my own mother longed for when I was a child.
I’m humbled to say that my programs are loved by parents, enjoyed by children, praised by teachers, and have even received the tick of approval by organisations such as Specific Learning Difficulties Association of SA (SPELD SA), where I’ve delivered student workshops.
How the School Start Buddy works
The School Start Buddy is specifically designed for children who are preparing to start school or who are in the early stages of school.
The handbook provides easy, step-by-step guidelines to use the School Start Buddy to help teach your child to read and write.
The case contains:
57 magnetic letters
Magnetic letters are an effective resource for teaching children letter sounds, as well as how to read and write words. The design of the case ensures it is quick and easy for children to find the letter they are looking for.
24 blank magnetic sentence blocks
The magnetic sentence blocks are designed to make it fun and easy for children to transition from reading and writing words to reading and writing whole sentences.
1 Small magnetic whiteboard eraser
The small size allows children to erase just one letter at a time, leading to more confidence and less frustration.
Children feel more confident to write on whiteboards because any mistakes they make can be easily erased. The two whiteboards allow all the magnetic resources to be clearly displayed on one board, while the other board is free to play and learn on.
1 whiteboard marker
100 blank sight word cards and 2 alternate colour pens
Most schools require children to learn to read sight words (the most commonly used words). The handbook explains how your child can learn to read sight words by using the cards, pens and other resources inside the School Start Buddy.
1 School Start Handbook
This is a guide to teaching a child to read and write. All the activities utilise the resources inside the School Start Buddy case.
Why Choose School Start Buddy?
√ Give your child the best start to school
Literacy, which includes reading, writing and spelling, is the foundation of all learning at school, and beyond. By equipping your child with literacy skills before starting school, you give them a priceless head start, strengthening their ability to learn from day one, and for their entire school life.
√ Give your child the gift of confidence
Starting school can be both exciting and nerve-wracking. Your child is adjusting to a new environment, new routine, new adults and new friends. Equipping them with literacy skills can improve their communication skills and help them feel more confident during the transition.
Also, when literacy is introduced in the classroom, your child will feel relaxed and comfortable with the concepts, because they’ve already been exposed to them. Children who are confident at school tend to enjoy school more, and readily embrace learning.
√ Feel empowered
Many parents want to teach their child to read and write before school, but think they need special skills to do this. That’s not the case at all. Teaching a child how to read and write is quite simple, if you understand You don’t need special skills or training, you simply need the right resource and easy, step-by-step guidelines. That’s exactly what you get with School Start Buddy!
√ Encourage a love of learning
The School Start Buddy is about discovering words. Words are the basis of every aspect of our lives, so by promoting a love of them, promotes a love of learning. An early exposure to words encourages great thinkers and wonderful learners!
My daughters love using the School Start Buddy; we have used it in all different ways. The use of a whiteboard and marker is a fun way to write or record ideas, and the magnetic letters and sentence blocks are an easy way to make words and sentences. The School Start Buddy has been an essential tool in both my children’s early literacy development.Melanie Angeleski
√ Quality time
Some of your most treasured moments can be spent around the School Start Buddy, enjoying time together. It can be slotted into your day as ‘game’ time, which doubles up as quality time.
√ Avoid the learning ‘traps’ of online programs
Computer programs and apps can give the impression of understanding and learning, all without parental guidance. However, your child might be just going through the on-screen motions, not quite grasping literacy concepts or understanding them correctly.
With the School Start Buddy you can see whether your child is understanding the concepts, and can tailor the ‘play’ accordingly.
√ Improve dexterity
The School Start Buddy is a completely ‘hands-on’ resource, allowing your child to manipulate and play with the letters, words and sentences. They’ll enjoy a tactile experience that will encourage fine motor skills and a love of learning.
When my children were younger, I found lots of great literacy ideas online or in magazines, but rarely implemented them because I didn’t have the equipment.
The School Start Buddy not only gives you activity ideas and easy-to-follow guidelines, but it provides the actual resource. This is why I created it in the first place, so that parents and teachers would have everything at the tip of their busy fingers. There’s no mess either because everything is within the case. Simply open it when you’re ready, close it when you’re done.
√ Easy and effective to use
You don’t need a teaching degree to use the School Start Buddy with your child because it’s designed to make it simple to teach fundamental reading and writing skills.
As an experienced teacher I know that when children are learning to read, they have to learn to use three reading cues: knowing that what they’re reading ‘looks right’, ‘sounds right’, and ‘makes sense’. When you use the blank magnetic sentence blocks from the School Start Buddy with your child, you are inadvertently teaching them to use the three reading cues. Easy as that!
√ Useful and unique gift idea
Take advantage of our gift package (save $100) and give a unique gift to a child who is excited about starting school.
√ Teach and ‘play’ to suit your child’s specific needs
With School Start Buddy, you can individualise how much you want to ‘play’ and teach, whether your child has started school or not. For example:
- Teach your child how to write their own name, as well as other important words in their life. The Handbook shows you how to do this using the magnetic letters.
- Teach your child to make sentences from their school reader using the blank magnetic sentence blocks. The handbook will show you how.
- Teach your child words from their school spelling list.