Monday, 12 November 2018

Encouraging Reluctant Readers With Reading Chest

A few weeks ago, I received an email asking me if I'd like to try out a service called Reading Chest and after a quick look on their website, I was really keen to give them a try.

As a blogger I'm often asked to try out and review products and services, and I'm always happy to give them a go even if they're not quite the fit for us as I'm aware that what will be useful to my readers may be different to what's useful to me - but in all honesty - it's quite rare that we discover a service that is perfect for our own needs.

But every now and then, it happens...and this experience was one of those times!

Reading Chest is a by-post reading book rental service for 4-9 year olds, giving you the chance to access a huge selection of banded reading books from the recognised reading schemes used in schools such as Oxford Reading Tree & many others, without the cost of buying them.

As a home educating parent, I know how expensive it can be to buy books from these reading schemes. When my son left school to start home education, I was keen to keep using the Oxford Reading Tree books he was used to using at school and so I purchased a set of Band 1 books - it cost me £40 for the set, which I think is quite expensive considering the fact that he would only read each book once or twice before moving on to the next.

To purchase these books throughout the year as he moves through the bands would cost me quite a lot, and it would also mean that I'm left with a lot of books to store too - something which is a bit of an issue for us as we don't have a great deal of storage space at home.

Reading Chest offers the perfect solution to all my reading book problems!

Upon signing up, you are able to select your childs reading band (if you're not sure you can go by their age group, it's easy to change it if you find the books aren't quite the right level for your child and you can view sample pages on the website too)  and you're then sent 4 books by post.

Once you've read some of the books, you can return them using the pre-paid envelope to swap them for new ones! You can swap up to 3 books at a time, which means you should always have one book at home.

Book swaps are sent out on the same day that they're received back by Reading Chest, so it won't be long before your new ones land on your doormat.

There are 3 different membership levels available which offer different numbers of swaps per month - the cheapest option is the Bronze package which offers 2 swaps, meaning you would get up to 6 new reading books each month.

There is also a Gold package which offers unlimited swaps, and this membership package can be shared between up to 3 siblings at different reading levels.

There are no due dates or late fees to worry about, you can keep the books for as long as you like and if you don't use your swap credits they can be carried over to the next month (up to 8 swap credits can be carried over), which is great if you're on holiday so your swap credits don't go to waste.

You also have the option of customising your book preferences on the website - you can create a "Favourites" list of preferred titles which Reading Chest will do their best to send to you as soon as they're available, or you can also add books you're not so keen on to your Book Bin so that you won't recieve them.

Your first delivery from Reading Chest will contain a branded Book Bag (I loved this, as not only does it give you somewhere to keep the books safe but it's great for home educated children who don't have book bags in school - it helps them to know when that when the book bag comes out its reading time,) as well as a Reward Chart and stickers.

These can be used however you'd like to use them, but my boys loved the idea of getting a sticker on their chart each time they finished a book - you can also download Certificates from Reading Chest's website to give to your child when they complete a chart.

If you lose a pre-paid envelope or need a new reward chart, then it's super easy to request new ones on the website too - everything is so straight forward!

My children absolutely love receiving their Reading Chest books in the post, and I know that the prospect of new books arriving in the post will keep them interested as they love the surprise element of opening a package - it makes it all that bit more exciting. I do sometimes find it difficult to encourage my 5 year old to want to spend time reading, but I know that Reading Chest is going to help us with that.

I think Reading Chest offers a fantastic service which is ideal for parents of school children wishing to help reluctant readers to get in some extra practise at home, and as a home educating mum I think the service is absolutely ideal for our own needs - giving us the chance to access a huge range of reading books without needing to store them or costing us a small fortune.

This is a service I will be subscribing to personally, and I'm so pleased to have discovered it.

Membership packages start at £9.95 per month for the Bronze package.You can find out more at

*Written in collaboration with Reading Chest

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