Use this list of useful educational resources to assist you and your schoolgoing child at home. It’s like having the teacher right there in your home.
Think like a teacher. Use any or all of these books to help your child learn at home.
1. First Fact Finder by Helen Lewis (Metz Press). Based on the National Curriculum (CAPS) for children from Grades 1 to 3, it covers the following areas of learning: life skills, maths, home language and the first additional language. Also invest in the book, Fact Finder, for Grades 4 to 6.
2. All About South Africa by various contributors (Random House Struik). This is a comprehensive reference book for South African school children looking for information about the country.
3. Children’s World Atlas for South Africans (Map Studio). The book has interactive map activities, a South Africa overview map, maps of the country’s provinces as well as a a world political map, a physical world map and more.
4. Multilingual Illustrated Dictionary by John Bennett and Nthuseng Tsoeu (Pharos). This is a seven-language glossary, fully illustrated with colour pictures and photographs.
5. The English-Afrikaans-Xhosa-Zulu Aid by Isabel Uys (Pharos). A compact guide for children who are learning a new language, this book lists words alphabetically, covering 51 topics, as well as often-needed phrases.
6. Oxford School Dictionary and Thesaurus (Oxford University Press). This publication combines a comprehensive dictionary at the top of the page with a companion thesaurus at the bottom, for the upper primary student moving into secondary school.
7. Early Learning Resource Unit books. A series of books that deal with everyday situations, including references to maths, nature and social sciences that are written in English and two other official languages. The content is delivered the same way a teacher would. The reading level of the books is for early graders and preschoolers, but any second-language student can use them to practise words and sentences.
8. Be Bright Level 2 by Anita Potgieter (Human & Rousseau). This educational activity book is aimed at children aged seven to nine years old. It is designed to help children sharpen their maths and language skills, while also challenging them to be bright and creative. Be Bright Level 1 for six to eight year olds is also available.
9. Oxford Primary Atlas for South Africa For Grades 4–7 (Oxford University Press). Based on the most up-to-date maps and data, this atlas is fully revised for the CAPS curriculum, which equips learners with the content as well as the skills needed to excel at map work. The Oxford Secondary Atlas for South Africa For Grades 8–10 is also available.
10. My First Book of Southern African… (Random House Struik). This fully illustrated series introduces young children (from the age of four years old) to various subjects through simple, informative text in English, Afrikaans, isiXhosa and isiZulu. Themes covered are the seashore, wildlife, mammals and more.
11. Preparing for High School Maths (Cambridge University Press). The book consolidates key CAPS skills and has been written for students in their final year of primary school who want to make sure that they are fully prepared to begin secondary school maths.
Other helpful resources
- ASP Schoolprojects. You can download digital products or buy CDs with study material for exam preparation based on the CAPS syllabus for Grades 1–7. Visit asp-schoolprojects.co.za
- Bubblegum. This tablet is preloaded with educational games and parental control software. Choose from arithmetic, storybooks and memory games.
- E-Classroom. This website was created for educators and parents to access teacher support material to use in the classroom and at home. Visit e-classroom.co.za
- Getahead.co.za and click2learn.co.za. Shop for English and Afrikaans educational worksheets and software.
- Indigo Learning. The focus inn building the cognitive skills required for learning (working memory, attention and concentration, processing rate and sequencing), and address language convention, fluency and comprehension skills.
- Leap Frog. They create games, books, e-books, writing activities and more to help children overcome obstacles and master new skills.
- My Maths Buddy. This maths dictionary is available in several formats, including an app.
- Readers are Leaders. Offers a wide range of exercises to help improve many aspects of reading, which will also help in learning and understanding various subjects. Visit readersareleaders.co.za
- Smart Kids. Each book in the series from Pearson Education is compiled by an experienced South African teacher. It was developed to support a child’s learning at home and the workbooks contain worksheets designed for South African children.
- Stimulearn. An app with three different games based on memory, learning time and making stories that stimulate your child’s learning.
- The Toddler Playbook. An app created for android phones with a platform for affordable, educational play ideas all in one place. Search for Toddler Playbook in the Google Play store.
- Umfundi Books. A Zulu Workbook series with activities to help learners in Grades 1–3 with isiZulu. The series is aided by the Picture Dictionary, which is available in English and other indigenous languages. Visit umfundibooks.co.za
Marina Zietsman and Simone Jeffery