Improve Your Child’s Reading Comprehension Today!
There are many tips to improve your child’s reading comprehension. Reading comprehension is just one of the components of reading instruction. It is the understanding of what is being read, not just the reading and sounding out of words.
If a child is not staying engaged in their reading, it’s considered “mindless” reading as the child is just reading words, and not taking in the meaning of the text whether it be fiction or nonfiction. There are many ways for a child to stay focused on their reading and there are tons of tips to improve your child’s reading comprehension.
Some children can read words but have no idea what they’re reading. When they’re asked to tell you what they just read, they often can’t tell you. And other children have some understanding of what they are reading, but they need to use strategies to have a better understanding.
Before I go into my tips to improve your child’s reading comprehension, I want to show you the list of the components of reading success. These are just some of the steps your child’s teacher will take starting in kindergarten to ensure your child’s success in reading.
Oral Language – a child’s understanding of the structure of language.
Phonemic Awareness – a child being able to hear the sounds in words.
Letter recognition/Identification – when a child sees a letter, he/she should be able to recognize the letter and be able to identify it.
Letter/Sound Correspondence– a child needs to know each letter and the sound that goes with that letter.
Sight Words – these are words that each child should practice so that they will know them immediately when they see them in their reading assignments.
Vocabulary – a child should know the meaning of multiple words.
Comprehension – a child will also need to put the words and meanings together to be able to understand what he/she is reading.
The 10 Tips to Improve Your Child’s Reading Comprehension
KWL – have your child either write down the responses or just discuss them. The KWL is a strategy widely used throughout school systems. It is a way to become engaged in reading which is SO important when it comes to a child understanding what they’re reading. This is what the KWL letters stand for:
K– WHAT DO YOU KNOW? – Before reading your child thinks about everything they know about the reading, it can be any connections, true information, etc.
W – WHAT DO YOU WANT TO LEARN? Then your child thinks about and discusses what they want to know about the reading.
L – WHAT DID YOU LEARN? And when the reading is completed, your child says what they actually learned from the reading.
READ-COVER-RETELL – have your child read a page or 2, cover the page/pages, and they retell what they read.
FOLDED PAPER – fold a paper in 3 parts, and ask your child to draw a picture of an event in one of the thirds, to write down a question that they have after their reading in another third, and have them write down an interesting word in another third (or change around what they’ll respond to in the thirds)
When they are done, they can turn the paper over, cut into a square and try some Origami.
HIGHLIGHT (if it’s your book) highlight the story events, or the characters names, or the parts of the story (characters, setting, problem, etc.) You can also use different color highlighters for different questions you ask.
RETELL THE STORY – either ask or have your child write down what the story/reading is about.
STICKY NOTE STRATEGY – have your child write their questions, comments, predictions, etc. before, during, and after their reading.
MATCH A LEARNING STYLE – kids can really excel if you focus on their reading style. This reading style quiz has just a few questions and it determines which learning style fits your child. That means that your child could be better at LISTENING (auditory), LOOKING (visual), or DOING (physical). There are actually more than these three learning styles, but you can use the results of the quiz to plan an activity for a quick comprehension practice.
Whatever the task, you can sometimes connect it to a learning style. For example, a visual learner style child will most likely enjoy drawing pictures that go along with a story, an auditory learner will more likely enjoy making reading responses into a recorder or creating a rap and a kinesthetic learner will more likely throw a ball in a basket as they give you a response to a question about reading material.
GRAPHIC ORGANIZERS – Graphic organizers are a visual way to organize information that has been read. This helps your child stay engaged with their reading, and understand and remember what they read.
READ AND ASK QUESTIONS (AND REREAD) – if a child asks herself questions before, during, and after her reading, she is going to understand what is being read. Reading everything and anything while keeping engaged with the reading is a huge way to build comprehension skills. Have your child read books, magazines, ebooks, appropriate websites or WHATEVER THEY WILL READ! Having your child stay engaged with the text they read by asking questions before, during, and after reading is very important in strengthening reading comprehension. These are some examples of questions:
What do you think will happen next?
How would you explain what you visualize?
What has happened so far in the reading?
How would you explain connections you have to this text?
Why would the author create that character?
Why did that character do that?
How do you think the story will end?
Here are a Few More Tips to Improve Your Child’s Reading Comprehension
RECORDED BOOKS – Looking at a book and reading along with the recorded book on tape is a great way to help reading comprehension. It also helps with other reading skills, vocabulary, fluency, etc.! This book on tape of Diary of a Wimpy Kid is just one of the many available. And this is the actual book that goes with that book on tape. Your child should listen and read along as the words are being read from the CD.
I’ve also added a website that has pictures of classroom anchor charts that reflect more reading comprehension strategies. When using tips to improve your child’s reading comprehension, you can sometimes have your child verbally give you answers instead of writing the responses down. Sometimes a child does not want their parent to act like a teacher so try different tips and find what works – I know that adding an incentive usually helped me with my daughter. For example, if she could finish a task then we would go get ice cream, or go for a walk, etc.
Some Previous Blogs
In addition to more ideas on tips to improve your child’s reading comprehension, these are just some of my previous blogs and web pages that will give you tons of advice on reading:
- How to Help Your Struggling Reader at Home
- Reading Motivation Activities
- Help for a Child with ADHD at School
- Do you Know the 4 Signs that your Child is Struggling in School?
- 3 Reasons Why Your Child Won’t Read
- Educational Gifts that Promote Learning
- How to Help a Reluctant Reader
- 25 Ideas for Reading Skills Practice at Home!
- How to Help Your Child Get Ready to Read
- Is Your Child a Reluctant Reader?
- Motivate your Child to Read More – a Reading Challenge!
- Super Fun Ideas For Reading Practice
- Memory Techniques to Help Your Child Remember Information
- 6 Reasons Why Your Child Won´t Read
- How to Get Your Child to Read – Second and Third Grade
- How to Get Your Child to Read – Fourth and Fifth Grade
There are tons of resources available to you for reading help. Let me know if I can help you locate any specific materials. Leave a comment or question below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com and I will respond quickly. And if you’d like the above document, also leave me a comment or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’d love to hear from you!