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Best Home-Based Learning Resources For Your Child in 2020

Thursday, 21.05.2020

angrytodd

Best Home-Based Learning Resources For Your Child in 2020

Preschools may be closed but that's no excuse to put your child's learning on pause. Most preschools have designed home-based learning (HBL) kits to facilitate your child's learning from home, and these resources are developed specifically for infants to K2 children. We've rounded up a list of HBL resources available online for free and will be using these 6 criteria to compare which is the best of them all:

1. Ease-Of-Use

2. Age-Appropriateness

3. Mother-Tongue

4. Quality of Resources

5. Variety i.e. across various learning domains

6. Interactivity i.e. Just worksheets or include videos

 

NTUC First Campus’ My First Skool

Score: 6/6

Ease-Of-Use

My First Skool is the only Anchor Operator (AOP) that has a dedicated home-based learning page, giving them an edge over the rest of the AOPs. This page can be found under the 'Resources' tab of their website, which hosts a series of videos featuring home-based learning activities children of all ages - from infants to preschoolers. This website is made available to all parents, and not just limited to My First Skool’s parents, with the aim to support and partner all parents in their parenting journey and children’s learning during this period.

My First Skool also understands how challenging it is for parents to juggle their child’s home-based learning while working from home, hence parents will love their videos resources that allow for independent learning - simply play the video for your child to learn, and you'll free up precious time and peace of mind while working from home.

Activity kits are also available for download at Grow @ Beanstalk – ECDA. Each kit contains up to 10 activities in a printable format for easy reference.  

 

Age appropriateness 

The learning resources are available for:

  • Infants
  • Toddlers
  • Playgroup 
  • Nursery
  • Kindergarten 1
  • Kindergarten 2

Not every preschool has learning resources for infants’ learning and My First Skool is one of the few that has home-based learning resources catered for infants.  

 

Mother-Tongue

Available in Chinese and Malay.

My First Skool is one of the few preschools to have video content available in  Chinese (storytelling, 手指谣 and音乐律动) and Malay

 

Quality of Resources

The activity sheets have a nice layout with defined segments to include clear learning objectives, duration required, materials needed and instructions for each activity. While most websites feature third-party content for video resources, My First Skool’s videos are developed in-house by early childhood educators to ensure that your child's home-based learning is in line with My First Skool’s holistic and quality curriculum to prepare them for Primary school.

 

Variety  

Activity Kits

Worksheets and activity kits are available for parents to download for free, and these worksheets are a good indication of how My First Skool's curriculum prepares children for Primary school. Each activity kit includes as many as 10 home activities to do with your children and covers academic topics like English, Mathematics and Science as well as non-academic ones like Music, Art and Dance.

 

Video Resources

Parents can access their library of over 300 home-based learning video resources for their children that cover a wide range of topics from phonics to motor skills and science. Apart from these self-directed learning videos, we also discovered other useful resources from their website.

 

Audiobooks 

Parents can access My First Skool’s collection of audiobooks available for your child to tune in for independent learning and to keep them occupied while you work from home. Click the link above to receive free monthly audiobooks from My First Skool (available in English and Chinese).

 

Recipes With Love

This cookbook kit includes 21 healthy and delicious recipes by the dedicated cooks at My First Skool childcare centres, featuring breakfast, lunch and tea menus for young children. Each recipe is designed to be fuss-free and easy to prepare for busy parents, and the dishes are curated based on the chefs' experiences of cooking for picky eaters.

 

The recipes are visually colourful and printer-friendly for easy reference and do indeed cater to busy parents with the manageable steps and easy-to-purchase ingredients. These recipes also feature ingredients that are in accordance with the guidelines laid out by the Healthy Meals in Childcare Programme (low in fat & sugar, whole grains, variety from the four main food groups) to help your child develop healthy eating habits from a young age.

 

To complement this cookbook kit, My First Skool has over 80 videos with their in-house cooks sharing their delicious and nutritious recipes for parents to try whipping up dishes like apple pancakes or Japanese curry. 

 

Complimentary e-book titled 'Covid-19, A Child's Voice' 

(Available in English and Chinese)

This e-book is free for all parents to download from their website under the 'Resources' tab to help their children understand the Covid-19 situation better through the medium of storytelling.

 

Interactivity

What gives My First Skool an edge over the other home-based learning sites is the high level of interactivity with their content. Your child's learning is supplemented with video resources and audiobooks that allow for independent learning. They also have a dedicated Youtube channel with over 300 videos that are easily categorised into playlists to allow for continuous viewing of their learning activities and resources. There is even a playlist of workout sessions for children to keep them active during this circuit breaker.

 

PCF SparkleTots

Score: 4/6

 

Ease-Of-Use

While PCF SparkleTots does not have a dedicated site for their home-based learning resource, they do have activity kits available for download at Grow @ Beanstalk - ECDA. Each kit includes up to 12 activities and are in a printable format for easy referencing. The activity sheets also feature learning goals like 'improve language & literacy' or 'develop fine motor skills', which can be useful to help parents choose the activity. There is also a 'tips for parents' segment at the bottom of each activity sheet for additional resources or suggestions.

 

Age-Appropriateness

Activity kits are available for various age groups:

  • Pre-Nursery
  • Nursery
  • Kindergarten 1
  • Kindergarten 2

Mother-Tongue

Resources are available in Chinese, Malay and Tamil.

 

Quality of Resources

The activity sheets have a printer-friendly layout that is designed for easy reference, featuring learning objectives, materials needed and instructions for each activity. They have also gone the extra mile to include a 'tips for parents' segment at the bottom of each activity sheet for additional resources or suggestions.

 

Variety

Each activity kit features 10 to 12 activities suited for the various age groups. While they do provide an assortment of activities targeted at developing healthy habits and good hygiene practices at home, the academic-based activities are limited to suggested storybook titles for Read-Aloud sessions.

 

Interactivity

Each activity kit also includes instructions to sign up for free e-Books via Oxford Owl for ages 3 to 11 for children to read at their own pace, but this appears to be a supplementary resource that is not intended to be used in conjunction with the activity kits.

 

MYWorld

Score: 2/6

 

Ease-Of-Use

MYWorld does not have a dedicated site for their home-based learning resource, and their home-learning kits are available for download on Grow @ Beanstalk - ECDA. Their resource is a 14-day home learning kit that comes in two parts - Set 1 (Instructions) & Set 2 (Resources).

By splitting the home-learning kit into two separate sets, it does limit the ease-of-use as parents have to refer to different sets for each activity.

 

Age-Appropriateness

The activity kit has adopted a one-activity-fits-all approach for home-based learning and is generalised for all ages instead of being curated for various age groups with different learning requirements. The instructions for parents is to simply 'vary the difficulty level of the activity for your child', but the learning needs of a toddler varies greatly from that of a 3-year-old.

 

Mother-Tongue

Resources are available in Chinese.

 

Quality of Resources

The activity sheets have a confusing layout and are not as printer-friendly as compared to the other preschools – with 4 to 5 activities squeezed into one page as opposed to the 1-activity-per-page format that is easier to refer to. Unlike other activity kits, this one doesn’t include learning objectives or duration for each activity.

 

Variety

The activities featured in this kit focuses more on non-academic activities such as dance routines, developing healthy habits at home and sing-a-long sessions with less focus on activities that are academically in line with the curriculum.

 

Interactivity

There is a small degree of interactivity as most of these activities have accompanying third-party Youtube videos for your child to view. They have also sourced for videos that feature read-a-loud versions of books so that your child can listen to the story before the activity. However, most of the activities still require parents to facilitate their learning.

 

Skool4Kidz

Score: 4/6

 

Ease-Of-Use

Skool4Kidz does not have a dedicated site for their home-based learning resource, and their home-learning kits are available for download on Grow @ Beanstalk – ECDA. Each kit includes up to 15 activities and are in a printable format for easy referencing.

An especially convenient feature is that most activities only require common household items, so parents can easily access the materials needed from home.

 

Age-Appropriateness

Activity kits are available for various age groups:

  • Ages 3 - 4
  • Ages 5 – 6

Mother-Tongue

Resources are available in Chinese, Malay and Tamil.

 

Quality of Resources

The activity sheets are visually attractive, with very clear segments that include the learning objectives, suggested location, duration required, materials and instructions of each activity. Some additional features that are unique to their activity sheets include a ‘Do You Know?’ segment and a QR code that links to a supplementary reference video. However, their videos feature third-party resources instead of in-house content.

 

Variety

Each learning kit has been curated based on one specific topic such as recycling or science-based experiments. Hence, the variety of activities featured are limited within each kit.

 

Interactivity

Each activity has accompanying videos for your child to view and is easily accessible via a QR code. For example, a recycling activity features an animated short film titled 'Plastic Pollution in the Ocean'. However, all activities require parents to facilitate the child's learning.

 

E-Bridge

Score: 3/6

 

Ease-Of-Use

E-bridge does not have a dedicated site for their home-based learning resource, and their home-learning kits are available for download on Grow @ Beanstalk - ECDA. While the activity sheets are available in a printable format, some activities are simply fill-in-the-blank questions or sentence punctuation worksheets without accompanying instructions or learning outcomes.

 

Age-Appropriateness

Activity kits are available for various age groups:

  • Pre-Nursery
  • Nursery 1
  • Nursery 2
  • Kindergarten 1
  • Kindergarten 2

Mother-Tongue

Resources are available in Chinese.

 

Quality of Resources

This learning kit appears to be an assortment of third-party resources that have been compiled and put together for supplementary practice, and it appears to lack the curation of quality content that other preschools may offer. The activity sheets also lack a standardised layout or format, as some features clear instructions and materials needed, while others do not.

 

Variety

While they do make the effort to include an assortment of academic and non-academic topics, a large portion of these activities seem to gear towards academic topics such as phonics, punctuation and numeracy.

 

Interactivity

The level of interactivity is low as there are no accompanying materials to the worksheets. However, they have included a list of educational and fun online resources ranging from children-friendly workouts to yoga or music creation. While these are third-party resources (NASA, Nat Geo, Chrome Music Lab), the consolidated list makes it easy for parents to access these supplementary resources.

 

Pre-School

Ease-Of-Use

Age-Appropriateness

Mother-Tongue

Quality of Resources

Variety

Interactivity

My First Skool

PCF SparkleTots

MYWorld

 

 

Skool4Kidz

 

 

E-Bridge

 

 

 

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