Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Peter and Jane

Your kids either like them or hate them.

But Yiyi loves them. Every morning, the moment she wakes up, she'll talk to them. Every night, before going to sleep, she'll chat with them again.

Peter and Jane are actually the main characters in the series of books known as Ladybird's Key Words Reading Scheme.

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(Photo from here)

The first book was published in 1964 and was designed to teach small kids to read and write. The system was devised by teacher William Murray, which uses a system of key phrases and words. From his research (together with Prof. Joe McNally), Murray realised that only 12 words account for a quarter (1/4), 100 words account for a half (1/2) and 300 words account for three quarter (3/4) of the words we normally used in our conversation, reading and writing of the English language.

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(Photo from here)

There 12 sets in the series. Each set consists of 3 books/grades: a, b and c (i.e. 1a, 1b, 1c.....2a, 2b, 2c.....). As you moved from one series to another, more words are introduced to the reader. The fonts will gradually become smaller and smaller, and the sentence structure becomes more complex. The text is usually on the left, while the illustration is on the facing right page.

Yiyi and "Peter and Jane" (as it is popularly known) are inseparable. Whenever she goes, she will bring them along. To grandpa's house, to my in-laws, even when we went for a holiday, she'll bring it along. She's now reading 3a and 3b at (pre) school but she's also reading 4a at home. She has been doing quite well, and according to her teacher, she's progressing very very fast.

She's also learning how to write on her own! She would ask Mami how to spell certain words and by checking on her ABC book, she would try to write it out. The first word she wrote on her own is Mami's name.

Now, let me get her to write my name pulak.