With Boo starting primary school in September, I feel like I am becoming obsessed with phonics,
While I learnt the alphabet phonetically all those years ago, it is different now and I have been worrying about confusing her yet still really wanting to help.
She has come a long way at nursery and I am all too aware of the slip in learning which happens with every child over the summer holidays.
Due to a lot of reasons, Boo cannot afford to slip too much so I was really pleased when Collins Big Cat Reading Lions books said we could review some of their books.
We received a pack with six books in it at Level 1- First Reading at Home along with a Collins Picture Atlas.
I remember reading my own Atlas when I was a little girl and I loved learning about the world and different countries. The atlas I had was, what I would describe as an ordinary atlas-lots if blue, green and brown.
The Collins Picture Atlas is extraordinary.
It is bright and exciting and, it shows children the expected things like continents and countries but then it goes a step further.
It depicts landscapes with mountain ranges and forests. It shows children famous landmarks and native animals. It also retails local folklore like trolls in Scandanavia and the tooth mouse on Spain.
I feel like even I learnt something reading the atlas. Boo loved asking ‘what’s this, what’s this?’ Her favourite saying. I enjoyed showing her where we lived and how small it is compared to some of the other countries in the world.
I think one of the other great things we loved about the atlas was the attention to detail-especially with the seas and oceans. Usually, they are painted blue, just like water which is fine. I did feel the Collins Picture Atlas went one step further though, placing sea creatures and boats in the water which really sparks a child’s imagination.
We all know reading with children is important. Picture books with vibrant pictures and enchanting stories are the way to get children to loose themselves in books.
The six First Read at Home Books do this but with the added advantage of using simple language, suitable for youngsters just starting out in speaking, reading and writing.
As well as that, each book includes handy hints and tips for parents who, as I mentioned before, can sometimes feel out of their depth when it comes to phonics.
At the beginning of every book, phonics are explained but it also tells you what to expect from each story and how to look out for ‘tricky words’ such as said and see which, because of our strange English language, do not follow the same pattern as the other words in the books that can be read and spoken, phonetically.
I am a firm believer in learning through play and I also know that children whose parents support their learning have a better chance at school. Who wouldn’t want that for their children?
I talk to both of my children all the time. Probably too much but ours is such a complex language that children starting out need all the help and encouragement they can get.
Reading with your children outside of school is proven to help your child’s reading progression and with the Big Cat Reading Lion, you know that you are learning things that really will he,ps the, in school.
Not only that, but the books are also widely used in schools so both parents and teachers will be singing from the same hymn sheet.
Collins Big Cat Reading Lions help parents to supports their child’s reading development at home, using books created by leading children’s authors and illustrators and carefully levelled by educational experts.
The picture atlas is brought alive through an online interactive game, suitable for children aged four to eight.
By going to www.collins.co.uk/pictureatlas, children can journey through the different areas of the world, meeting different people and animals, and learning new things along the way.
You can order the atlas from the page link above and the map from this page and enter a competition to win a copy of each, plus a jigsaw puzzle of one of the atlas pages.
Not only that, I also found some great apps on the website which will also aid learning and are fun. The website really is the place to go for help and resources on your child’s educational journey.
We have just downloaded the Steam Train which is a story app which allows children to be read to, read it themselves or create their own story.
I really cannot recommend this series enough.
Each pack of six books costs £24 and the Atlas is £8.99.
*We were sent these books for the purpose of this review but all opinions are my own.