James loves reading, his school set a challenge to read each night. He loves challenges too; he read to us every single night for 16 weeks. He came 1st in the reading challenge in his class and he was so proud of himself, his smile almost touched his ears! When the summer holidays started and we returned all the reading books to school, we all felt a bit lost, reading had become so ingrained into our routine.
Reading Chest: Review
We wanted to continue reading over the summer holidays and planned to use our local library, but they don’t follow the ‘oxford reading tree’ bands that the school uses. All the children’s books from 0-5 years are mixed together, meaning that I would need to guess which books are close to his level, or I could let James pick, but risk ending up with books too easy or too hard to read himself.
Then we found Reading Chest.
What is Reading Chest?
Reading Chest is an on-line subscription based scheme, which supplements school reading books perfectly.
How does it work?
- You sign up on their website, and choose your subscription (which decides the number of books you recieve, and the number of swaps allowed each month, see options here)
- Choose the right level or ‘band’ for your child, and create a reading list.
- You receive your books, book bag, bookmark and sticker reward chart
- When you are finished reading, you return your books in the pre-paid envelope and wait for your next selection to arrive.
What did we think?
Reading Chest is working really well for us, we have the gold subscription and I have added Lily (who starts reception in a month) to the scheme too. The books they have received have been perfect for their reading band, and the selection has been varied and interesting. Sending the books back in the pre-paid envelope is really convenient, and I was impressed at the speed in which our new books arrived. I really like the book bag that arrives with the first delivery of books, making it easy to keep them together.
What did James & Lily think?
They both love receiving and opening their own post, and enjoy posting the books back too. They have enjoyed the selection of books, James especially enjoys the ‘Project X’ books, he read a book about flying tonight and followed the instructions to make his own paper aeroplane. They both love earning a coloured star to put on their star chart. Lily is sometimes reluctant to try, but if she is reluctant (or the TV is switched on), I remind her that she would earn a star and she is usually convinced. I changed James reading band earlier this week, and he received a free printable certificate, which he really enjoyed.
Will we continue after our trial?
We are planning on continuing as our school only change his reading book once/twice per week (parents/children can change more often if they want). Now James has a excellent memory, meaning after the first time he has read a book, he can repeat most of it from memory rather than actually reading it! I found myself going into his class after school at least 3 times a week to change his book, but from September I will be collecting two children from different sides of the school, so this will be much more challenging. (Infact collecting both children, from different sides of the school, with a toddler and baby in tow will be a challenge in itself!)
Find out more about Reading Chest here
Are you reading over the summer holidays?
Disclaimer: We were given a reduced subscription for a trial period of this service in exchange for an honest review.