Learning to read involves so many different skills: letter recognition, decoding, phonics, etc. And one of the skills many children often struggle with most is reading comprehension. But this may simply be a matter of training the brain to slow down and remember.
Here are a few techniques that parents can use at home to help their children develop their reading comprehension strategies.
There is no better teacher than practice. So encourage your child to read, read, read! But parents can also read to their children, asking them to listen to the story and pausing to ask questions like, “What do you think will happen next?” or “Why do you think (s)he felt that way?”
If your child is reading, encourage them to go slow and think about the words. Make them pause every few sentences and ask them to explain what just happened. This helps to build up their short-term memory about the story they are reading.
Audio books are awesome tools to help your child learn to listen and understand the subject matter. These are especially good for introducing the Classics to your child, and it helps them expand their vocabulary while helping them understand the story line.
After reading, ask your child to tell you what the story was about in their own words. Begin with short stories and gradually increase the length. Your child can tell you about it verbally or by writing it down.
Instead of writing it out, ask your child to draw you a few scenes from the story. Your little illustrator may surprise you with how much they remember and learn when they have the opportunity to manually and visually tell the story.
Story boards are a fantastic tool for reading comprehension. By combining art with the subject, you reinforce the child’s understanding. Story boards can have as few as 4 or 5 frames, to as many as 12 or more. As you can see from the picture above, the center frame is used for the title of the story or subject. The surrounding frames can be used to draw items, scenes, or characters related to the story/subject.
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