Kelley and Isiah (4 years)
Kelley and Isiah have been using Bud-e at home for the past few months. Kelley says Isiah can’t wait to start school early next year as he has an older brother and sister already at school.
“Isiah calls it his ‘school game’. It’s exciting for him, like buying his school uniform, because he knows it’s getting him ready for school. Now, when his older brother and sister get out their homework after school, he says: “I’ll get my school game!” and he pulls out Bud-e and plays it while they do their homework,” says Kelley.
As a mother of four, Kelley is used to digital apps for children but sees Bud-e as a cut above the rest.
“I feel better about letting him use Bud-e rather than other iPad games because I know Jill Eggleton’s name. My other kids have brought home her books from school and so I feel confident if she created Bud-e it’s going to be the same as how they teach in school.”
“For me, as a parent, I feel confident sending him off to school knowing he’s prepared now as far as knowing his alphabet, understanding a book, how it has a storyline and being able to follow a story and answer questions.”
She says Bud-e has given him that confidence: “It’s nice to have done something and he can go in confident knowing his letters and his sounds.”
Meg and Molly (4 years)
Meg and her four-year-old daughter Molly have been using Bud-e at home to prepare Molly for school. Meg says Molly is loving Bud-e and the stories, written by New Zealand literacy expert, Jill Eggleton QSO, are so engaging Molly wants to read them again and again.
“They are simple and I like the fact that they ask the child what they think about them so they get the opportunity to elaborate and use their imagination.
It’s fun and it’s really captured Molly’s interest. She absolutely loves it so that makes the learning fun.”
Molly is due to start school early next year so Meg says this was a perfect time for her to be benefiting from the skills Bud-e teaches.
“I was definitely very keen for her to be involved in the trial. I definitely see the value of it. With her kindy there’s no focus on this sort of stuff and I feel a bit anxious about her entering school without many skills in terms of reading and writing.
“I have seen two of her peers at kindy were ahead of her in terms of literacy. Anything we can do to help her and ease the transition [to school] is valuable. For most parents there are anxieties with each child and this, with her, is very relevant.”
Meg felt reassured in the quality of the Bud-e program because it has been created by Jill Eggleton, who is well known in New Zealand for the hundreds of books she has written for school children and her involvement in literacy and teacher development.
“It’s got credibility because of who Jill is and that makes a big difference. You can rest assured that it’s doing things the right way. I don’t know the right way so it’s good to have that expert input.”
Meg says: “It’s an excellent resource for pre-schoolers and their parents.”