Your child may know how to read, but reading comprehension is a completely different skill. Reading only requires having the ability to understand the sounds of letters in order to create words.
Comprehension, on the other hand, involves thinking about the words in order to understand the meaning behind the words that have been read, not just for the individual words, but also for the entire text.
Without the proper comprehension skills children lack the ability to fully understand what they have read. Without understanding they cannot learn the important lessons, stories and arguments presented in the text. Furthermore, reading comprehension will also increase their enjoyment of reading, and will be an important skill in all stages of life, helping them both academically and professionally. Reading can also be a nice hobby to have in one’s personal life.
Parents often mistakenly assume that reading comprehension only benefits children in Language studies, however in has benefits in many different areas of the education systems. From properly understanding word problems in Mathematics to learning about History, reading comprehension skills help children excels in all of their classes.
Here are some ways you can help your children improve their reading comprehension skills:
Parents should help their children practice reading out loud for at least half an hour every day. This will force them to read slower, giving them more time to fully understand what they have read. It will help the child create a positive relationship with reading, and also allows the parent to help them comprehend the steps if they are having difficulty.
Parents should monitor the child’s understanding by asking questions related to the key concepts of the text. Not only does this ensure that the child has an understanding of what they are reading, it will also teach them what kinds of questions they should be asking themselves as they read.
Connect with Your Children
While helping your child read, share any experiences you have that relate to the story, then ask them to do the same. While reading aloud, take turns so your child may learn how to pronounce any words they are having trouble with directly from you.
This will help your child to become invested in the story, and will also teach them that the two of you have something in common in reading.
Create a Visual
Children may struggle to properly visualize the events of the story they are reading. Help your child visualize the story, describe the scenes, events and characters in your own words.
Further help them visualize by having them draw how they are visualizing the scene. This will involve them in creating their own version of the story, and help them to better understand what is happening.
As soon as your child has difficulty answering one of your questions, go back and re-read the section of the text they did not understand. It is important to track their progress in this way to ensure they have properly understood what they have read. Whether it in the first sentence, or even at the end, as soon as they cannot answer a question, go back and re-read.
Re-reading also provides the benefit of building fluency. By allowing them to read books they have already read, you will be allowing them to read quickly and smoothly, and also improving their confidence in their own reading skills
Provide Books of the Correct Level
Make sure the books you are reading are not too difficult for your child to understand. They should understand at least 90% of the words within the text without any help.
Having to stop more often to figure out the meaning of a word makes it harder for children to fully grasp the meaning of the story. Being able to read without help or having to ask what certain words mean will also help them build fluency.
Talk to the Teacher
If you feel your child is struggling with reading comprehension, it may be best to speak to their teacher. The teacher can then focus on helping your child improve those skills, and advise you on the best way to move forward.
By asking the teacher about what they are reading in school, you can look for easy to read books on similar topics to help them increase their knowledge on the subject.
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