5 Tips to Help Your Child Improve Reading Comprehension
Reading is an important developmental skill. A person’s reading comprehension informs their ability to conceptualize and solve problems, as well as understand complex ideas.
The Benefits of Reading
The benefits of reading extends to any age, but the importance of a student’s formative years should be stressed; better reading comprehension at an earlier age leads to success throughout the years. It encompasses the ability to understand school assignments, life tasks, and basic communication.
Reading promotes creativity and fosters a deeper understanding of storytelling and basic organization skills. A child’s ability to compartmentalize information as they read carries into many different facets of their lives, and it’s important to instill confidence in these areas. Communication starts with language, and there is no better way than to read, write, and speak it.
Monitoring your child’s progress is imperative to their success. There are plenty of reasons students fall behind on reading comprehension, but even more ways to get them back on track. Finding problem areas means finding solutions. These are some helpful solutions to common issues that arise when learning how to read, positioning you and your child to be on top of their education.
Your child may be lost in their progress because of a limited vocabulary, which can impact their reading comprehension and their ability to communicate their thoughts and ideas. The best way around this? Teach vocabulary! Have your child learn new words through flashcards and use them in their daily life. Word of the day, anyone?
Sounding out words, learning basic grammar lessons (like the meaning of subject and predicate or synonyms and antonyms), and grasping themes, characters, settings, and how they interact are all part of the process. If your child is struggling with any of these aspects, then take some time to brush up and hone in on any weak points. That way, your child will have a strong foundation to fall back on.
Following along with what students read in class is a great way to gauge their progress and tackle problem areas. Find out what reading material is on the table, and you can help your child with comprehension questions they might have. Whether in lower school, middle school, or upper school, tracking progress helps students take their literacy and reading level to new heights.
Five Reading Techniques for Grades 2-6
Finding the best reading strategies for your child will set the stage for success throughout their grade school career. Laurel Springs has put together a list of five techniques that will position your child ahead of the game, expand their reading abilities, and prepare them for more rigorous reading material in high school and beyond.
An inquisitive mind seeks knowledge, and that mindset can be taught! By asking questions about the content we read, we reinforce our understanding and memory of the reading. Have your child write down three questions about what they’ve read, such as “why did x character do x?” or “where does this story take place?”
By repeatedly reiterating the intricacies of the story, a reader becomes more engaged and recognizes the interconnecting parts on a deeper level. Free multiple choice quizzes can be found online for many texts.
By taking the time to visualize the subject, a student is able to immerse themselves within. Teach your child to picture what they’ve read in the text, perhaps even have them draw something to represent what they’ve read. There are also plenty of graphic organizers readily available online to aid in comprehension instruction. This will allow a better creative connection and better skill in conceptualizing knowledge.
Have your child summarize what they’ve read, and feel free to help if you see holes in their understanding of the text. Summarization allows a student to practice understanding the big and small picture of a story when reading texts, separating the less significant details from the overall themes and main plot points. This skill extends far beyond reading comprehension into basic problem-solving, and is an important step in your child’s formative years.
Understanding how a story is written and what to call the interconnecting parts will allow a student to see the big picture. By instructing the meaning of characters, events, settings, main ideas, plot points, and more, students are able to separate content into different categories and better internalize what they’ve read. A great way to do this is to have your child storyboard what they read, combining visualization with structure.
This is a fun one! By taking the knowledge obtained so far in a story, have your child assess what they’ve read and give a prediction on the outcome. Drawing conclusions while reading bolsters the use of context clues and strategic thinking. It allows students to revisit characters, settings, and plot points in a creative way that illustrates and reiterates a basic understanding of what they’ve read. Help your child navigate their decision by asking them to explain their reasoning for each prediction; and if possible, read along with them and share predictions of your own.
Reading to Learn Leads to Reading for Fun
Reading comprehension is a skill that comes differently to each student. People excel in separate ways, and it’s important to understand what your student needs. By practicing these lessons, your student can learn how to effectively read, write, and communicate on a higher level—and have some fun while doing so!
For extra help, Laurel Springs ensures that every student goes through an academic planning session with a counselor to meet their individual needs. Students also have access to one-on-one teacher services, and parents are encouraged to tap into these features as they monitor their child’s progress. Together, we can help your children become vibrant communicators and reading champions.
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