After speaking to Nathan McGurl (the founder of The Study Buddy) I was intrigued to find out more about The Study Buddy Approach and his resources, in particular how they can be used to help children manage their time. Whether it be for home learning, homework or studying for GCSE exams.
The Study Buddy approach is all about empowering children and teens to manage and structure their own time. As Nathan explained, sometimes parents end up creating timetables for their children. But often this means timetables and organisation are seen as something that simply happens to the child/teen – not something within their control. The Study Buddy approach gives back this control to children.
We’ve been having a go at using The Study Buddy approach over the last couple of weeks and honestly, it is absolutely brilliant! We tried out their ‘Home Starter Pack’ which is made up of the ‘Buddy Board’ (a brilliant 90 x 60cm magnetic, white board, which has a ready to fill in timetable for each day of the week) and their dry wipe pens, board eraser and magnetic cards.
My children are too young to be studying for exams but when using the Home Starter Pack for home learning it became hugely apparent that there are so many benefits for all ages of using this method and resources.
What did we like about it?
- Improves Engagement and Reduces Stress- Half the battle when supporting learning or revision at home is keeping children/teens engaged and motivated. Especially when perhaps they’d much rather be off doing something else. What’s great about The Study Buddy Home Starter Kit is they can structure the day themselves, making sure they include down time and hobbies. This helps them to visualise how the day will pan out and keep them motivated. It also reduces the risk of them ‘burning out’ by doing too much work in one go and instead helps them to pace their revision/learning, reducing stress.
- Great for Adding Structure to Home Learning – For those who are home educating either permanently, or temporarily (perhaps due to COVID-19 cases in your child’s school) The Study Buddy approach is a fantastic way of adding structure to your day. The children adored using it themselves to plan when they would like to do phonics, maths and even when they would like to play on my iPad! Their first attempt at planning their week was perhaps a bit too heavy on the computer games.. but, after practise it was clear that giving them ownership of the structure of their learning and their day was paramount in keeping them motivated. I also think its great to start this at a young age, introducing the idea of organising your time and studies early. And I hope that this sets them up nicely for organising their future learning and study.
- Personalised and Content Relevant Magnetic Cards – A brilliant part of the Home Starter Pack are the magnetic cards that come with it. These cards are genius. The Study Buddy have basically broken down 300 GCSE and Level 2 courses, from 8 exam boards and popped them conveniently onto the magnetic cards. So you can order a set of cards for each of the subjects your teen is studying and they can stick them onto their timetable and feel reassured that they’ve not missed a section of content from one of their subjects. I think this is fantastic as one of the parts of revision that takes the longest is exactly this, working out what to revise! They’ve take this (boring!) task away from teens so they have more time to concentrate on the important part of actually revising. I must mention as well, that the personalised magnetic cards aren’t just for exams – we were sent a set of cards personalised specifically to the children’s home learning topics, hobbies and they even made us some with pictures of their favourite dinner choices on.
- Ideal for Preparing teens for GCSE Exams – I’m a former secondary teacher/SENDCO and I also tutor children with Special Educational Needs and what struck me particularly about these resources and in fact the whole approach is how wonderful they would be for helping teens prepare for exams. Revision is tough, even for the most diligent pupil therefore having the timetable to write on to structure their time and the magnetic cards with the areas of revision specific to them, should really help. For teens who may also have additional needs as well, when it comes to revising for exams the change in routine and structure of the day, can for some teens, be particularly challenging. Having this resource that helps them to structure their day and make it more predictable may also, for some, make a big difference.
You can find all these resources on The Study Buddy website here.
*Please note we received a sample of their resources for the purpose of this review and this is sponsored. All words and opinions are our own.