I try to take an active role in my children’s education and learning, and I’m keen to continue building on what they have learnt at school when they are at home.
Since Neil started school last year I’ve tried my best to help him achieve his potential, and try to work on things at home that he struggles with in school.
I have often spent evenings looking for fun activities and resources to help him, and came across a site called Twinkl on numerous occasions. I always liked the look of the resources on offer at Twinkl, but most of the content I wanted required a paid subscription, and I’m a bit of a scrooge with my money so usually just closed the page and moved on.
It wasn’t until I was given the opportunity to try a platinum Twinkl account that I realised what I had been missing all of those times.
For those of you wondering what I’m going on about when I say Twinkl, it is a website full of educational and fun resources for primary school children, which can be used by teachers, home schoolers and parents who simply want to do a bit extra at home.
Setting up an account on the site was very easy, you can sign up and be ready to get stuck in in a matter of minutes.
What first struck me about the site is the sheer amount of resources available, and it’s all so beautifully presented. The colourful headers clearly mark out sections of the site, making it very easy to navigate. The settings are arranged so that you can choose your resources depending on what stage of the primary system your children are at – Foundation, KS1 & KS2, and there is a section for Special Educational Needs. Dropdown menus then allow you to choose which type of resource, such as literacy or numeracy.
One of the things I really loved about Twinkl is that they seem to have a theme for anything your child might be interested in, be it dinosaurs, superheroes or princesses. There’s even a section for you to create your own, if you can’t find something you are looking for.
To begin I printed some dinosaur themed number formation sheets for Neil and some pencil control sheets for Caitlin.
The printouts are so colourful and eye catching, perfect for children. My two couldn’t wait to have a go at the activities.
So far we have tried to use work sheets which complement the work that is being done at school. Neil struggles with his fine motor skills so writing and formation is something he finds difficult. Using these worksheets is a great way for him to practice his writing, but in a way that doesn’t feel too much like work.
Not all of the resources are purely educational based, there are a wealth of craft activities, colouring pages, party packs, recipes, reward charts…. in fact, I’ve only scratched the surface on what is available.
We all know the addictive qualities of Pinterest…well this is just as addictive, only you print things you like instead of pinning them. You only log on ‘to print one thing’ and half an hour later you’ve run out of ink… and paper.
Twinkl has three levels of subscription: Free, which as the name suggests, is free… Gold which works out £2.08 a month… and Platinum which works out costing £3.33 a month. You can find out more about what each of those levels allows you to do here.
Subscriptions must be paid upfront for the year ahead, which is something to be aware of. I would have liked to have had an option to possibly pay monthly, or even quarterly, because £39.95 to spread the cost a bit. When broken down, £3.33 a months is a fabulous price for what you are getting, but some people may be put off having to pay the price in full, and the option to choose a payment plan would be a fantastic feature. I must add though, this is not something that would put me off getting a Platinum account. I know for sure when my year is up I will happily pay for another year because I’d be lost without it now.
My advice to people looking at the site for the first time is to have a nosey through the ‘parents’ section and go from there. The amount of worksheets and resources available is so vast it can be a bit daunting, but this section is a great starting point to help you get to grips with the site.
There is so much more I could say about Twinkl. I’ve barely touched on the SEN section of the site, which we have found absolutely invaluable with Neil. So much so, that I’m going to dedicate a whole post to how we use twinkl for Neil’s ASD, so keep an eye out for that next week.
I was upgraded to a Platinum account free of charge for the purpose of an honest review of the service. All opinions are my own.