Reading with Lil..

Lil wants to read. She has a hunger for it.

To start with we have being using signs and symbols as with all children they sometimes cannot transfer words on the page to words in everyday situations. We read together a lot. Bedtime stories or just snuggled on the sofa. We are a family of avid readers. My older two have always read above the age range. That is not to say they were early readers. On the contrary I have never pushed for them to read. I let them come to it naturally, in their own time. Just sharing the love of the written word with them. Sometimes a film has spurred them on to pick up a book. What ever works is alright with me.

I then started to look at phonic systems. I was taught this way when a child, and I know schools in the UK have changed their approach over the years back and forth with phonics but it is something that Lil seems to get on with.

I started with the TV show the Alphablocks to help with the phonic sounds. The mix of the visual and correct sound is great for different types of learners. Visual and Auditory mainly but also Kinesthetic. Lil does not do well sat down. She is usually watching these while kart wheeling across the living room.

I bought the DVD’s from amazon but videos can be viewed on YouTube. And also on the Cbeebies website.

They even have their own reading programme.

We dip in and out of these DVD’s, 10 minutes before bed, or when we are having quiet time. At the moment we are blending words so this is learning in a fun way and a little TV time.

However she struggles with words in some books and as a result I ended up buying 3 reading systems for her.


The first being the Biff Chip and Kipper books that are used mainly in schools. I HATE them. The stories are dry and I find that she reads these more by rote. I am not saying that she doesn’t with the other books too once she gets to know the story. I have to prompt her to read the words. But I find with these books she does it more.

The second set. The lovely Julia Donaldson, creator of the Gruffallo has worked with Oford reading tree to create  Oxford Reading Tree Songbirds: Levels 1+ and 2: Get Started With Julia Donaldson’s Phonics Story Collection
I love this a lot but she needs a lot of assistance with these. I don’t feel they are for a true beginner reader but once they have grasped reading the basics. There are books to read together at first. I love the fact they rhyme. Which leads to conversation about rhyming words and similar sounding words. I love the colourful inviting pictures too.


And the one we use more often is the Usborne My Very First Reading Library 50 Books Set Collection Pack Early Level 1 and 2


These have a page for parent to read, and the opposite page is in large type for the child to read, So you truly share the book. Lil has gotten on with these the best. I also love the fact that they have worksheets to accompany the books as well as word banks on their web page for you to download and use with your child, Which we do.

They also have little activities/puzzles at the back of each book too.

So that’s it for us. Suspect in the end she will read through all three sets but for now we are sticking with the Usbourne set for more formal learning and the Julia Donaldson Songbirds set for a mix up and a change.

So that’s us, what works for me, may not work for you, so have a good look around and find something that suits you are your child. Check them out at the library first before you make an investment. They may have the whole set so you don’t need to purchase, but my experience is that they don’t.

Other reading systems/Phonics books:


Early reader collection

Traditional Tales

Cat in the hat young readers


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