Hands up who learned to read with Ladybird books? Me too. Their imagery and text forever have a place in my heart. I have been loving their revival in recent years and added Mr Kat’s vintage collection to our bookshelves.
I was recently looking for ways to support the reading work Milla does at school and I came across the Key Words series. The foundation of this series lies on research by William Murray over 45 years ago who found that 100 of our most used words represented 50% of the words we use daily. By becoming familiar with these words at the outset it stands to reason that reading will be a smoother journey.
We have been reading the books at home and using the set of flashcards for a few weeks now. Using her phonics letter sounds Milla was able to read the books with little help from me. The books build on each other leading your child through simple repetition and practice. Words are introduced gradually through the A and B parts of the series and in part C children are encouraged to write the words. We have also been using the flash cards which Milla engages with strongly as she can choose how many or how few she reads. I came into the kitchen the other day to find her diligently copying her Key Words cards so she could take them to school and show her friends.
Adding to our home library of books with Ladybird’s Key Words has worked really well for us. Milla can link her school reading books and work with what we have at home. There’s no time pressure or expectation so her enjoyment of reading books within her capabilities has flourished.