Any child can read a book, but it takes good comprehension skills to be able to absorb and retain the information. If your child has this skill, it will carry them through their entire school career, from preschool to college. It also means they are less likely to get bored with reading.
Sometimes children struggle with this a little bit and it’s up to parents and teachers to work as a team to get them on the right track. Here are 6 tips on how to improve reading comprehension and ensure that your child won’t just be reading books, but thoroughly enjoying them and increasing their vocabulary.
Point Out Connections
Many parents elect to read out loud with their children. This opens up great learning opportunities. One of those opportunities is to make connections.
For example, if you’re reading a book with your child about a beach, and you and the family have been to the beach on vacation, you can bring that up. The child will be able to make a connection about the reading and identify with it a bit more.
You can talk a little bit about the memories you had there, or what the beach looked like. This will make the child more focused on the reading and helps with improving reading comprehension.
Stop and Ask Questions Often
When you’re reading out loud with your children, you can stop and ask questions. This will encourage the children to backtrack and reread to search for answers. It will also leave them wondering about the content they just read.
Allow them to ask you questions and discuss possible answers, as this helps with improving reading comprehension.
If your children are reading a book by themselves, you can still be involved and ask them a question. When you notice your children reading a new book, you should ask them questions about it. This will make them really think about what they’ve read so far so they can give you satisfying answers.
The questions should cause them to think. For example, asking them what they enjoy about a book will make them think of common themes in the story.
Ask them what’s going on in the book because then they will have to think of parts that they read recently and revisit them to tell you. When they’ve finished the book, ask them if it ended the way they thought it would, or to summarize it.
To make inferences is to guess how you think the story will go based on the clues it’s given you so far. For example, if character A is blushing while talking to character B, we can infer that A has feelings for B. You may guess that they will get together before the end of the story.
Don’t be afraid to make these inferences out loud so your child can make their own. Respond to their inferences as they would yours. This stimulates conversation and will help the child pay closer attention to the plot and characters.
Have the Child Read Out Loud
When a child reads out loud they read a bit slower which allows them to really take in the information that they are reading. Also, many people learn easier when they aren’t only seeing information but listening to it as well.
Even as adults we tend to catch things that we wouldn’t when hearing it aloud. This same idea works for a child. Listen to the child read, and help out when you can.
By doing the things we’ve listed so far while reading out loud, you will stimulate learning and change the way the child reads. They may even find a lot more enjoyment from it.
Find the Right Reading Material
It’s important that your child is reading books that are on their reading level. If they stumble on words that are too big for them, they may become frustrated, and the reading won’t be enjoyable. Not only will the reading not be enjoyable, but the frequent stops they will have to make will prevent them from absorbing the information.
On the flipside of this, if the reading is too easy for the child, they will become bored because they aren’t being given a proper challenge.
Talk to Their Teacher
Some children struggle with reading comprehension more than others. If you notice your child isn’t grasping it, don’t be afraid to schedule a meeting with their teacher. Together, you might be able to come up with a plan to help them.
This doesn’t end with reading comprehension.
If you notice that your child really enjoys reading, but isn’t doing as well in other subjects, you can meet with the teacher to find out what they are currently studying.
For example, if your child is failing in science, you can ask the teacher what subject they are covering in their science class at the moment. Get a book that revolves around this subject but is interesting to read. The child might be able to understand the information better this way.
Steps on How to Improve Reading Comprehension
Taking these steps on how to improve reading comprehension will help open new doors for your child. They will be able to take this skill and soar to new heights throughout their entire educational career. All it takes is reading with them.
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