Reading comprehension is a part of most standardized tests. How can you help your child improve his understanding of what he/she reads? Try a “paired reading” with your youngster.
1. First, you and your child silently read the same part of a story, an article, or a textbook. Try two or three paragraphs to start.
2. Next, listen while your youngster summarizes aloud what they have just read. They might say, “I learned that sedimentary rocks are made from pressure.” After your child finishes summarizing, offer your corrections or additions to what they heard. Example: “We also learned that igneous rocks come from cooling lava.”
3. Then, take turns reading another two or three paragraphs and changing roles. Switch back and forth until the whole story, article, or chapter is read.
*This activity is a good study aid for subjects like science and reading — and it builds great listening skills.
Reading aloud with other children can be a great time for talking, relaxing, and just being together. Here are several ideas to get a read-aloud discussion going:
Help your children check their understanding of what they’re reading. Try asking, “Does that make sense to you?” or commenting, “This part sounds important. I’m going to read it aloud again.”
Encourage your youngsters to think about what they read with questions like, “Do you think that could really happen? or “What do you think the author wants us to learn?”
Connect the story to other ideas. For example, say, “Does that character’s reaction remind you of anything?” Or discuss similarities between the story and a person or event in your child’s life.
Predicting is a great way to build comprehension. Ask, “What do you think this part of the story is about?” or “I wonder what would happen if…?”
Finally, value your young reader’s comments. Be open to their interpretations and ideas about the text.