Reading Champion is a primary reading series which was developed with UCL Institute of Education to help young readers to read independently from 3 years old up to 7 and older. Although these are great stories for you to read with your child, they’ve specifically been crafted with theme and language choice to help readers to start to read by themselves. I find that a lot of younger children’s books are aimed at the family reading them together, which of course is a fun activity, but by reading independently children can really develop their reading skills and confidence.
We’ve been getting hands on with the Developing Readers Series 2 boxset from book retailer Books 2 Door, which is a total of 30 different storybooks each colour coded at different levels for ages five to seven (although of course this does vary from child to child). You start with orange banded books, and then move up to turquoise, purple, gold and white. This makes it so easy for me to judge whether my son is developing and to pick an appropriate difficulty book. You don’t want to jump to something too difficult, as skipping ahead could result in a child feeling frustrated and not confident in their abilities. So a gentle increase is the best way to move forward and a graded system allows for that.
The books are a great size for little hands, and get longer as the ages increase, to satisfy increasing attention spans, which is something I personally hadn’t thought of needing, but it makes perfect sense. The stories are simple, but engaging, with colourful covers and illustrations throughout. They deal with themes and characters that all children, both boys and girls, will enjoy, from Dragons and Robots, to cats, dinosaurs, butterflies, snowballs, children and tons and tons more. Each story is unique and memorable.
I like the fact these books come in a easy to store bag, to keep them clean and together. Bringing them out once a day is a lot more effective than just having loads of books on the shelf in my opinion, as kids attention tends to wane if they’ve got easy access to something all of the time. As a parent I also appreciated the handy leaflet explaining the Reading Champion grading system, and also giving some helpful advice for encouraging reading confidence in young readers.
At the end of each book there is a short educational game, where you have to sort the pictures into the order of the story. This helps encourage thinking and memory as well as being fun.
The RRP of the boxset is £149.70, but you can purchase it from Books 2 Door for just £24.99 – which is less than £1 a book! I’ve used Books 2 Door before and am always impressed with their prices and delivery service.
This 30 book set is perfect for home education, or for developing reading skills outside the traditional classroom. Because the stories are fun, colourful and engaging, they’ll want to be read time and time again, and won’t ever feel like homework.