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Reading Chest - any good?

(21 Posts)
SaveTheMockingBird Thu 13-Mar-14 10:30:49

Has anyone on here subscribed to Reading Chest?

DS is 5 and in Reception. He only gets one reading book per week which IMO is not enough. I have scoured the local libraries for reading books for his level and there is hardly any.
So I signed up to RC yesterday and awaiting the first delivery of books. It's �13 a month for 12 books which is quite expensive I think, more than �1 a book, so I'm a bit unsure, will see how it goes. I think DS will enjoy the variety of books, especially non fiction books.
Has anyone ever done it and was it worthwhile?

Cringechilli Thu 13-Mar-14 10:36:11

I got the gold subscription for both my dcs and it's been brilliant. When the were the age of your ds, we did one book a day, so 30 a month. Reading chest deliver quickly and both mine are excellent readers, having read right through everything reading chest has. Both were free readers when they were aged only 7 and 5 and it is due solely to reading chest. School supplied very few books and they were largely 30+ years out of date - ie not even phonics ones!

Dreamingofcakeallnight Thu 13-Mar-14 10:50:34

We use it and love it. Brilliant. Turn around is super quick.

SaveTheMockingBird Thu 13-Mar-14 11:10:51

Thanks. Sounds great! We do aim to read a book a day, but sometimes DS is too tired or unwilling so I thought 4 books a week (includes the school book) for the moment, plus we have some books at home too, should be enough for now. If he gets on well with them I will upgrade to the gold, especially as my 3.5yr old is also able to read simple words now and is really keen (more so than the 5yr old!), so can get books for her too.

AmberTheCat Thu 13-Mar-14 15:19:07

Can you change DS's school book more regularly? Just asking because I know schools aren't always that good at explaining their system. At my kids' school the teacher changes their books once a week, but in between times they can change books with parents as often as they like.

simpson Thu 13-Mar-14 17:22:59

Yep loved it!!

Used it for all of DD's nursery year as she was reading then (at a very basic level) and did not get any reading books at all and kept her on it till Xmas of reception.

We had the silver package too, combined with Oxford owl and the library was plenty smile

Wisteria36 Thu 13-Mar-14 17:25:24

We use it and really like it. Ds gets three school books a week but we use reading chest for weekends and holidays and to give him more of a variety of reading schemes. School mainly do ort, read write inc and songbirds so we get things like project x and phonics bug from reading chest. We have a good local library too but it's hard to borrow enough of the right level. Ds is reception and I think we will probably continue with reading chest up to the beginning of year 1 and then see. We only have the basic membership though.

MrsKCastle Thu 13-Mar-14 18:07:38

We used it for a while and liked it. We didn't need it for very long though, we dropped it once Dd got to the stage where she could pick up and read most picture books. But for that intermediate time, it was very helpful.

beanandspud Sat 15-Mar-14 21:25:09

We used it for a while and the service was great. I subscribed during the long summer holiday so that DS continued to get a supply of reading books and it kept him reading. It was also good for getting different books at the right level when he was reading school books so quickly.

Now that he can pretty much read anything I stopped the subscription, there were no questions asked and no one hassled us to subscribe again.

Iggity Sat 15-Mar-14 22:51:50

I signed up a couple of months ago for my DS who is in Reception. Although he gets 3 books a week, they are rarely a challenge for him. We signed up to Gold. I'm not sure if it has helped DS but as others have said, libraries don't have a great selection for the very early readers. DS surprisingly loves Biff and Kipper and enjoys the Yellow Door Ragtag rhymes. I think it will be useful to encourage reading over the holidays and I have him on a higher level than his school book band so he finds them a bit more challenging.

catkind Sun 16-Mar-14 08:37:19

I was also going to say have you tried asking school for more books? Our school started off sending 1 book a week, but we asked for more and now get 2 books changed as often as we write in the reading diary he's ready to change.

SaveTheMockingBird Mon 17-Mar-14 10:44:57

Thanks for your replies. I haven't asked the school, but I doubt they will give out anymore books as once we took in his book bag mid week (by mistake) and got told that they only give out once a week. So don't really want to ask, although they are lovely staff.
We got the books the day after I signed up! I chose a level higher than his reading level at school as I thought the school level wasnt' challenging enough. DS has been reading them quite well, although quite slowly and has to be told a word or two each page (mostly alternative phonemes which he hasn't covered at school yet). Does that sound about the right level?

BornFreeButinChains Mon 17-Mar-14 11:03:08

I don't like the idea of subscribing to this because once reading takes off, it takes off usually quickly I am not keen on the idea of holding them to a particular set level.

For that amount of money you can get a huge range of books from charity shops, bags full... all sorts of things and fill your house with books, you can see yourself what sort of level the books are and mix it all up.

SaveTheMockingBird Mon 17-Mar-14 11:12:56

I like your thinking BornFree and we do have a houseful of books, childrens books crammed into sevel book shelves, that even my book mad DH says it's too much, but all these books are books that I have to read to my DS. At the moment he is only in Reception, so he can only read the simpler words and although he can read some words in the books that we read ,it's nice to have him being able to read a whole book targeted to his ability.

Bunnyjo Mon 17-Mar-14 23:19:19

I subscribed when DD was in Year 1 and between Gold and White; she was literally devouring books at a rate of knots - I was taking her to the library weekly and buying her books too, but I wanted to ensure she was reading text appropriate to her level and this was my main reason for subscribing.

However, I honestly didn't find it value for money - DD actually enjoyed the books she got from the library more. I think I would have found the subscription more useful for DD when she was at a lower reading level; but at the level we subscribed to I felt that the library was a better resource for different texts than Reading Chest.

OP, have you checked out the free eBooks on Oxford Owl? You may find this helpful.

Mothergothel99 Tue 18-Mar-14 07:07:59

I agree with born free, you can get charity shop books or book people book much cheaper.
We have picked up some fab reading books for pennies in the c shops, which I can use on dc2. I also visit several libraries to get appropriate books, the bigger libraries have a better range of books, you can return them to any library.
The book people books are great value, you can even sell them on when your done.

BornFreeButinChains Tue 18-Mar-14 09:31:09

op we have all levels of books here, bunny that was sort of my experience, but I guess they learn at different speeds, I got some from Marks and S and Tesco, they have reading books, and by the time she read them, she had advanced and didnt like them! There needs to be fluidity, if there is fast learning going on.

ReallyTired Tue 18-Mar-14 10:12:56

Amazon, Tescos, ebay, book people and charity shops are good place to get cheap/ second hand books. If you team up with a friend then you get share the cost of reading books. When children become more proficent at reading then the libary becomes your friend.

It is frustrating when primaries can't get their act together and provide our children with the books they need.

SaveTheMockingBird Tue 18-Mar-14 10:42:21

Will have a look at book people again. We did buy a series of Usbourne reading books and it's acually at the right level, "fat cat on a mat plus other stories", but DS doesn't like the subject matter hmm so it's just sitting there unread. I have also picked up books from charity shops and libraries. The main library in our city is reopening this weekend with a brand new childrens section so will see if it's better stocked with reading books for his level. We visited a tiny libary in my DH's hometown during the christmas holidays and they had an amazing selection of reading books, loads of books that DS could have read, but at the time DS wasn't interested. It's really hit and miss with libraries. Ours only have about 3 books that within his level and we've read them all!

BeyondRepair Tue 18-Mar-14 11:56:30

dont forget car boots as well!

dixiechick1975 Tue 18-Mar-14 13:14:13

You don't have to subscribe for long and can adjust the level of books easily online - not each batch sent has to be the same level.

I did it for 2 months when DD finished reception for the 7 week summer hols.

Worked wonderfully - yes we have lots of books but the treat of books coming in the post that were perfect for her level was great. Her reading really took off - she was ready to and no doubt would have done so in yr 1 but I've no doubt it speeded things up.

She was one of the top few readers when she went back to school in yr 1.

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