School Start Buddy

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Loved by children, praised by parents, valued by schools.

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

R/1 teacher and parent of three boys aged 5, 7, and 9

How the School Start Buddy works

The School Start Buddy is specifically designed for parents/carers to use with children who are preparing to start school or who are in the early stages of school.

It empowers parents to make sure their child/children achieve essential literacy skills in the foundational years of school. It comes with a handbook that provides parents with easy, step-by-step guidelines to use the School Start Buddy with their child. 

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. The handbook explains exactly how to use the sentence blocks, as well as how children learn to read. 

  • 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.

  • 2 whiteboards

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

It is important that children learn to quickly read commonly used words (also known as sight 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.

TEACH YOUR CHILD TO WRITE WITH THE SCHOOL START BUDDY

If you own a School Start Buddy, simply follow these simple steps to teach your child how to read and write.
The videos will guide you through each step.
Best of all – everything you need is inside your School Start Buddy!

Teach your child to write their name

It is great if children can start school knowing how to write their name. Here is a really short activity that will have your child writing their name in no time!

Teach your child to say letter sounds and blend 3 letter words

This simple 10 minute activity can be done daily so that your child is able to recognise all the letters of the alphabet and read three letter words. These skills should be the focus during a child’s first term of school because they are the foundation to learning to read.

Teach your child to write

The following two videos explain the process of teaching a child to write using the School Start Buddy.

Teach your child how to hear sounds in words

This video explains how to explicitly teach a child to hear sounds in words, which is an essential spelling strategy.

Teach your child essential reading strategies when they start bringing home school readers

These two videos explain how to use the sentence blocks from your School Start Buddy, along with their school reader, to teach essential reading strategies. The first video demonstrates the activity with a decodable reader (these have lots of blend words and encourage your child to focus on the letters in the words), and the second video demonstrates the activity with a more meaning based reader (these have lots of high frequency words and encourage you to use the picture a bit more).

Teach your child to quickly read high frequency words

This video demonstrates a 10-minute activity that you can do with your child each day until they are able to recognise around 50 high frequency words (also known as sight words). The best thing about this activity is that your child will also learn essential reading and writing strategies.

Teach your child letter names, the alphabet and Upper-case letters

Once your child is confidently blending sounds to read words, it is a good time to make sure they can recognise and say the letter names. This activity explains how to use the School Start Buddy and the School Start Capital Letter Case to teach the alphabet, letter names and to match upper and lower-case letters. 

Teach your child letter patterns / digraphs

This video explains how to use your School Start Buddy to encourage your child to make connections between words according to a particular digraph or letter pattern. This is the perfect activity to learn a list of spelling words.

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 and in their first years of 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/children to read and write, 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

Mother of 6 year old and 4 year old girls

√ 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.

√ Convenience

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.

 Give your child the gift of confidence and literacy

Buy School Start Buddy + Extras

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