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Parents and teachers are always looking for ways to help kids understand what they read. Though it may not seem like it at the time, there is a lot of information to be gleaned from text if kids just know where to look. And that’s the aim here—to give you some tips that will help your child (or students) understand more when they read.
This is an important point that cannot be overstated. If you want your child to understand what they read, they must make connections from their life. Connecting the information in a book to the reader’s life helps in two ways. First, it helps establish a purpose for reading. Second, it provides personal relevance to the subject matter.
When they find connections, they will apply what they read to their daily lives. When you see your child make connections, you will also see their comprehension.
One way to help with this is to provide books that are related to things they like, or to things they can relate to.
Questions will help develop their thinking skills and help them to recall what they read. Start with questions that have straightforward answers, like “Who is the main character?” or “What is this book about?” From there, you can move into more challenging questions that require your child to think about the deeper implications of the book, like “What do you think the author meant?” or “How does this character feel about what he did?”
Have your child look for clues in the text to understand what the author is trying to convey. Look for clues in the title. Look for clues in the illustrations. Look for words that are italicized or bold. Look for phrases that are repeated, like “a time to live, a time to die,” from the book Siddhartha. Look for comparisons: “Do you think this character is like someone from your life?”
This is a good one for a couple of reasons. First, it gets your child reading more. Second, it is a great way to work on comprehension. Reading along with your child is a great way to make sure they understand what they read.
Just sit there and read the book with them. It’s the perfect time to ask the questions listed above.
A great way to teach your child to understand what they read is by using interactive learning. Even just reading the book along with your child is interactive. But there are a variety of ways to get interactive with the text.
Have your child write and draw to help them understand. Have them write their interpretation of how the story begins and how it ends. Have them draw a map of the setting, or their vision of the setting. Have them draw the characters as they imagine them. Have them write about what they think the characters think and feel about what just happened.
You can use your child’s imagination to help them understand. Have them act out a certain part of the book or the whole book. This will help them see the story from another perspective.
Games are a great way to get your child to think about what they read. As you read the book, have them take turns for each character and share what the character is thinking and feeling.
As teachers, parents, and caregivers continue to search for ways to make learning more fun and meaningful, these are tips you can use to enable young kids to grasp what they read. The key is to make reading fun so they won’t see it as a chore or a requirement.
Kids Plenty offers homeschooling resources that you can use to boost your child’s reading comprehension. We offer a new educational technique that makes learning fun and exciting. Get the app today!