Reading is an important life skill. Words are often considered the building blocks of your kids’ life. Therefore, reading should be non-negotiable in their life. The actual meaning of reading is comprehension. It merely means understanding the meaning of written text.
Many children can read. However, reading and reading comprehension are poles apart.
Does Reading Equal Comprehension?
Reading means translating and decoding text, and comprehension means thoroughly understanding its meaning. In a simple term, reading comprehension means your child has the ability to read, understand, process and recall what they have just read.
Without comprehension, there is no meaning in reading anything; it is totally a frustrating and pointless exercise. In fact, how well your child develops the ability to understand what they read has a deep effect on their entire life.
Therefore, if you want your child to become a competent and enthusiastic reader then put into practice the following tips and tricks. It can help you to develop the expertise, skills and capability they must have to become a proficient reader.
1. Ask Questions
When you ask your kids questions before, during and after reading, it helps to ensure that they entirely comprehend what is happening or going to happen in the text. Therefore, you can ask questions including:
- What do you think the book will be by seeing its cover and reading its title?
- Do you know anything about this topic or the characters in the story?
- How do you think the character in the story will handle the situation?
- What has happened in the story so far?
- What is the moral of the story?
- Can you tell me the story in your own words?
2. Have Them Read Aloud
When your child reads aloud, it forces him/her to go slower. It gives him/her more time to process what he/she has read and improves reading comprehension skills. In addition, he/she is not only seeing the words but hearing them too. You can also take turns reading aloud.
3. Provide Books at the Right Level
It is a general rule of thumb that your child should able to understand 90% of the words in books to feel comfortable with the reading procedure. That is why you should not set the bar too high.
Ensure this by providing them with books that are not too hard for them to understand. If they are stopping more often, it will interrupt their flow and they will get confused. Therefore, they will not be able to understand the meaning of the story. Also, pick a book that interests them.
4. Fluency is Important
To derive meaning from text and encourage reading comprehension, your child needs to read speedily and effortlessly. If your child reads the familiar and simple books, it will give them practice at interpreting words quickly. So, he/she will become more fluent in reading comprehension.
5. Help Them Make Connections and Visualization
Experience sharing is one of the most important things that you should do with your child in order to improve their comprehension skills. When you and your child read aloud, you should share an experience that relates to the story and have them share theirs. Make them understand how vital it is to establish connections with the characters and events in the story.
Sometimes children can’t visualize what they have just read. So, help them to do that. Give them a pencil and paper and tell them to draw it. In this way, they will get involved and create their own story that will help them get a clear understanding of what is happening.
6. Opt for a Tutoring Program
You can improve your child’s reading and comprehension skills at home but if you feel your child needs an extra boost, you can opt for a tutoring program. A comprehensive tutoring program for reading comprehension skills improvement is the best way to make your child a better reader.
7. Make Interference and Predictions
Asking questions and making interference and predictions should go hand-in-hand. Interfere with your child and try to take clues and knowledge they have gathered by reading a story. Ask them to guess what might happen next in the story. You can ask them the following questions:
- What does the author of the story want you to think about the story?
- What will happen next in the story?
It is an overwhelming feeling when your child is struggling with reading comprehension. It is not relatively easy to improve your child’s reading comprehension skills. It takes time and effort. However, you can make small changes to where and how they read while working on developing their reading skills.
In this way, you can significantly improve your kids’ reading comprehension and make reading a much more fun experience for them. Concisely, you can try the above-discussed tips to help your child develop stronger literacy skills.
How often does your child read? What techniques or tips have you found to be effective to help your child develop strong comprehension skills? Share your views, suggestions and questions on this in the comments below.