In our increasing reading comprehension series, we have already discussed how taking notes, drawing pictures, and making timelines can be useful. One of the best ways to increase reading comprehension though is by reading out loud.
How Reading Out Loud Helps
There are several reasons why a child may struggle to understand a story. They could be losing focus on the story, not understanding the words in a story, or simply forgetting the events. If they forget the events, the three strategies we have already talked about can help. However, reading out loud can help you as a parent see if your child is having a hard time focusing during reading or if they can’t understand many of the words they are reading. When a child is reading out loud, it is easier to see if they are getting distracted or having a hard time sounding out words.
Tips for Reading Out Loud
- Listen actively to your child. While you do not have to be looking at a copy of the book the whole time he is reading out loud, you should be listening actively to the story. This will allow you to be able to discuss the story with your child. It will also help you recognize when your child is coming across words that they may not be able to read.
- Listen for difficult words. If your child is encountering a high number of words that he has trouble sounding out or that you think he probably doesn’t understand, the book itself is probably too hard. Many times children choose books they are interested in without bothering to think about the reading difficulty of the book. If a book seems too difficult for your child, you may want to help him find some books that are on the same topic, but a little easier to read.
- Ask questions to check for understanding. Spend a little time after each chapter talking to your child about the book. Ask him questions about what happened in the chapter and discuss why those events might have happened. Talking with your child about the book helps you make sure that they are understanding the events of each chapter.
A child who is reading out loud will read slower and more deliberately. This helps him to understand more of what he reads and allows you to make sure he is understanding.
What other tips do you have for increasing reading comprehension?
Photo by: Eden, Janine and Jim