Let Learning Flourish At Home: Making Learning Effective and Fun

Design Challenge

#3: How might we learn from COVID-19 to reimagine our future for life, work, learning and play?

Project Description

Without a structured learning space and educational direction, students and parents have been struggling with home-based learning. We propose an educational solution which blends key classroom traits and adapts it for the Singaporean home environment.

We believe that effective learning requires structure, a developmentally-appropriate and engaging curriculum and close support from trained educators. Thus, our approach encompasses:
1. A visual schedule,
2. A home-based curriculum with a focus on sensory engagement, and
3. Online consultations with parents

We are targeting learners most vulnerable to the current home-based learning environment– early learners (2 to 3 years old) and learners with special needs. Our proposal addresses gaps should home-based learning become ubiquitous.

Criteria #1: Value

Target Audience
1) Parents with young children (2-3 years old)
2) Parents of children with special needs

1) Changes in childcare arrangements during circuit breaker – Parents, especially working parents, must care for their children at home 24/7 and cannot make alternative arrangements e.g. send to childcare centre or engage the help of grandparents.
2) Difficulties with engagement – Young children and children with special needs tend to have short attention spans, thus requiring more time and attention from their parents. This can be taxing alongside other responsibilities e.g. other children needing care in the household and work responsibilities.

Criteria #2: Inspiration

As SPED teachers, parents often ask for home-based tasks for their children. This suggests that parents are willing but unable to provide their child with suitable activities to engage them at home.

We found that current products lack clear instructions or are too open-ended for children to engage meaningfully with. This inspired us to launch individualised educational products that would effectively teach skills and make home-based learning more meaningful.

Additionally, we aim to build a virtual community of parent-educators through functioning as a platform connecting our customers. This allows parents to interact with and consult like-minded others for educational solutions.

Criteria #3: Impact

1) Educational – Teach fine motor skills, pre-literacy and numeracy skills (sorting, discrimination), early literacy and numeracy skills
2) Provide structure – Visual schedule will provide clarity & predictability to the child’s day, allowing them to gain independence, learn skills and have fun
3) Stimulating – Allows children to creatively explore their environment with their senses and interact with materials in multiple ways
4) Engaging – multiple methods of interaction can engage young children for a longer time, allowing parents to tend to other responsibilities
5) Positive stay-at-home experience – materials provide a platform for parent and child to bond.

Criteria #4: Timeliness

This proposed idea, with sufficient funding, will be able to launch within 3 to 6 months. The business platform would be entirely online, eliminating the need for a physical space. Additionally, our entire product development from ideation to implementation would be short since bulk of the work is done in-house, with only the printing of materials outsourced to a reliable vendor. The only challenge we might face would be in purchasing educational resources because of disruptions to the global supply chain. However, we intend to circumvent that by going to local suppliers with robust inventories on-hand.

Criteria #5: Systems Thinking

Our solution works in tandem with the current education system for children between 2-3 years old and children with special needs, as well as the current circuit breaker measures.

During normal circumstances, our products can engage young children outside of any preschool programmes they may attend. During this circuit breaker, our products also allow children to practice sensorial, language and maths skills at home.

Secondly, our online platform provides support remotely to parents should home-based learning become ubiquitous.

Lastly, as our platform and products can be obtained online and will remain accessible to parents regardless of the external situation.