My new favourite thing is an interview with US mum Jennifer Ose-MacDonald, about how she worked with her local library to create a collection of decodable books. It’s on the excellent Teach My Kid To Read YouTube channel.
Jennifer took action after she discovered that her local libraries only had books for beginners and strugglers full of too-hard “bomb words” which deflate their reading confidence. Bomb words. A term we need, I’ll be using it a lot. Brilliant.
Jennifer says (just after the 10 minute mark, if you don’t have time to watch the whole 15 minutes) “there’s a lack of understanding in the general population about what a decodable is, because it has a name, people think that it’s special, or that it’s only for a select group of people, and that’s a misunderstanding of what they are. So I think my new role is helping people understand that THESE ARE JUST BOOKS KIDS CAN READ! That’s all they are, they’re books kids can read. And if you want kids to read books, why don’t you look at these? And you’ll see that if you pick the books that are at the right skill level, they can get through a page without having to stop and get frustrated over a word that shouldn’t be there in the first place”.
This is the first in what looks like a series of videos, so I look forward to the next one.
We all want children to experience the joy of reading. Typical books for beginners offer joy and hope, but that hope is too often dashed. Decodable books offer joy and confidence.