In our house reading is a big thing, we have read to all three Little Ones since babyhood and still continue to do so every night. It may have changed over the years from toddler lift-the-flap books to short stories to Daddy and Little 1 taking it in turns to read pages of Harry Potter series but still we read. Did you know that Reading with your child can be THE most important thing to do with them to help them at school, to get along in life and even reach their full potential?
It can be pretty confusing as a parent when your child is beginning to learn to read and in those early years especially with words like phonemes and digraphs floating around, what can you do to help your child and what is the right thing to read at home to support their current stage of reading? Are you aware of the decline in a child's reading ability following the long summer holidays if you do not read with them at home during this time?
This is where the Oxford University Press new home levelled reading and activity scheme can help. Launched back in May 'Read with Oxford' and 'Progress with Oxford' aim to provide parents with fun and effective home learning support through clear step-by-step reading stages alongside online support, advice and activities to help your child through their learning journey.
Read with Oxford has been launched alongside 'Read with Oxford Stages' a new clear six stage levelling system to support learning at home. We were offered the chance to try out the new system and with the long summer approaching and Little 2 steaming ahead in her reading I jumped at the chance to try it out.
What I love about the scheme is its simplicity, with six colour coded stages from first early reading steps to independence and an age range of around 3-8 years it has been designed for parents to find the right books at the right stage. All the reading books in the scheme contain the well known and lovable characters from the Oxford books your child might read at school- the good old Biff, Chip and Kipper, Winnie and Wilbur and Songbirds for starters. And as well as this each Read with Oxford stage corresponds with the coloured bands and Oxford levelled reading books that are popular in schools making it easy to see how your child is getting on and what to read next.
In order to find out which stage your child is at there is a simple online quiz for you to complete with your child, you simply answer a couple of questions about their age and how long they have been reading then the quiz selects an extract from one of the levels for your child to read to you, you then answer a couple more questions about how they got on and ther understanding, the quiz may then give you a level or offer a simpler/harder extract before deciding.
Little 2, like her sister, is reading above her expected level, she did the test at the end of May and came out as a level 5 which was spot on as she had just moved up to purple books in school and level 5 is equivalent to purple/gold level (she has jumped up again now though and went straight to White as we end the school year). We were sent three books from stage 5 for her- Cosmo for captain, Winnie dresses up containing two stories and The strange old house and other stories featuring the familiar Biff, Chip and Kipper.
These books were perfect for her, she immediately took to reading the longer one herself at breakfast the following morning, even with headphones on listening to disney songs she sat and read aloud and was able to read it with no issues, she has picked this book up numerous times since, sometimes we have read together and written it in her school reading diary and other times I have found her reading in the corner or sat on the step in the bathroom waiting for her turn in the bath! She loves the books as she can read them herself ( and her younger brother) with no problems.
The books contain little questions to prompt discussion and comprehension questions at the end to help support your child's understanding and on the Read with Oxford website there are extracts from other stories, stories read by the authors, online activities such as word searches and games as well as downloadable activity sheets all tailored to each stage which is all FREE. It is easy to buy the books for each stage as they are clearly listed, you just click on the Amazon link Alongside the books to purchase them at really reasonable prices.As well as 'Read with Oxford' Oxford University Press also launched 'Progress with Oxford' which is a series of activity workbooks to help develop children's essential English and Maths Skills. The books are designed to compliment what is taught in schools and for children to be able to complete independently, with fun characters, simple clear activities as well as stickers and progress charts Little 2 was keen to get stuck in.
Oxford University Press and the Oxford Owl can also be found across social media on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram too.