As I have mentioned in a couple of posts, D has really cracked reading since the new year, and it’s lovely to see this skill (and I also take a lot of pride that this is such a noticeable thing that Damian and I have helped him learn).
We were offered a trial subscription to a book postal service called Reading Chest, and when I read a little more into it, it sounded absolutely superb and had me wondering why on earth I hadn’t thought of it!
There are many different reading schemes that children can follow, and schools will follow different ones. Early reading books are banded, but the bands differ according to the reading scheme, which means if your children is following one reading scheme in school, it can be hard to know how that reads across to other reading schemes. Equally, if the books on the schools reading scheme just don’t grab your child’s imagination, then you’re going to struggle to keep them engaged.
When you sign up for Reading Chest you are prompted to select your child’s reading band. This is pretty easy to do, even if like us, you Home Educate and don’t really follow these bands. When you select a band you are shown a range of sample pages from the books across the different schemes, and this enabled me to confidently choose the correct band for D. An example is below – it’s really easy to see what you can expect in each band.
You can then choose which reading schemes you want to have books from, so you might want to exclude the one your child is using at school (so as not to duplicate) or you can ask for only fiction or non-fiction books. You’ll then get the first delivery of books through the post pretty quick.
The first package comes with the books and also includes a sticker chart for your child to mark off when they’re read a book and a handy bag to keep the books and return envelopes safe in.
D was really excited to receive his books and it’s been wonderful for him. We opted to take all the reading schemes and we have had a lovely selection of books to read so far. Once we have read three books we pop them back in the return envelope and drop them into the postbox. They are all first class return envelopes and the next selection of books are despatched back to you the same day the returned ones are received, which means that you pretty quickly get a new selection of books.
This is such a great idea and it really works for us in terms of keeping D engaged with his reading with a steady stream of books; he is always excited to see what books are in his envelope each delivery and it’s easy enough to move him onto the next book band. When you move your child up to the next book band you can print a certificate out to mark the achievement.
I’ve been really impressed with reading chest and we have thoroughly enjoyed it so far. It’s great to receive a steady stream of books that D is able to read and ones that really engage him. With cutbacks in library services and such services like this really do plug that gap and help to get children engaged in reading.
You can read more about Reading Chest and the different subscription packages that they offer on their website here.