Knowing how to read and understanding what you read are two very different things. Many children are able to pronounce every word in a passage, but they lack reading comprehension skills, which means they don’t understand what the passage means.
Strong reading comprehension skills are crucial to your child’s academic and professional success. That’s why if you’ve ever thought, “My child struggles with reading comprehension,” it’s important to know what you can do to help your child improve these vital skills.
What Are the Signs Of A Reading Comprehension Problem?
It can be hard to spot the signs of a reading comprehension problem. This is especially true if your child has strong decoding and fluency skills, which means they are able to correctly pronounce words and read quickly.
Knowing how to spot the signs of a reading comprehension problem is the key to getting your child the help they need to succeed. Here are some of the signs you should look for:
- Your child is unable to determine the difference between important and minor details of a passage.
- Your child struggles to connect two different ideas within a passage.
- Your child cannot summarize what they have read or answer questions about the characters, main events, or other elements of the story.
- Your child can read a lot of words, but doesn’t understand what they mean.
If you spot any of these signs, it could indicate that your child is struggling with reading comprehension.
Why Does My Child Have Trouble With Reading Comprehension?
There are a number of reasons why a child may struggle to develop strong reading comprehension skills. Some of the most common causes of reading comprehension problems include:
- Dyslexia: This learning disability makes reading much more difficult, which can impact a child’s ability to understand what they are reading.
- Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD): Kids with ADHD find it hard to pay attention, so they may not be able to focus on what they are reading, which can impact their ability to understand it.
- Lack of interest: If your child is not interested in reading, they may not be motivated to focus on the text.
- Limited vocabulary: If your child’s vocabulary is limited, they may find it difficult to extract meaning from a text since they won’t be familiar with most of the words.
- Lack of instruction: Some children struggle with reading comprehension simply because they have not been taught how to develop these skills.
As a parent, you should try to pinpoint the underlying issue that is causing your child’s reading comprehension problem. This will help you determine the best strategy that can be implemented to improve your child’s reading comprehension skills.
How Can I Improve My Child’s Reading Comprehension?
There are countless ways that parents can help improve their child’s reading comprehension skills at home. Try these strategies:
Parents should get in the habit of asking their child questions about the text they are reading. Don’t wait until your child has finished reading a story to ask. You should try to ask them questions before, during, and after they finish reading. Start with these:
- What do you think this story will be about based on the cover’s illustrations?
- What do you think will happen next?
- What caused this event to happen?
- What was the character feeling when he said or did this?
- What’s the main character’s name?
Asking questions like these will keep your child engaged in the story, help them connect ideas, and deepen their understanding of the text.
Choose the Right Books
Let your child choose what they want to read. Letting your child choose will give them the opportunity to select a book that they are actually interested in reading. This may improve their ability to focus, which will enhance their reading comprehension skills.
You should also make sure that you are choosing level-appropriate books. If the text is too difficult for your child, it will be incredibly challenging for them to understand what they are reading.
Reread Difficult Passages
If your child doesn’t understand a passage, ask them to reread it with you. Then, use this as an opportunity to teach them how to extract meaning from a difficult passage.
If they encounter a word they aren’t familiar with, show them how to look it up in the dictionary. Point to context clues in the passage that they can use to figure out what the text means. Help them connect the events of the story to something that has happened in their life.
Teaching your child these strategies will help them drastically improve their reading comprehension skills.
What is the Best Reading Comprehension App For Struggling Readers?
One tool that parents can use to help their children improve their reading comprehension skills is the Readability app. Readability is the only app that is designed with a voice-based questions & answers feature, which allows your child to communicate with the app like they would with a reading tutor.
The app will ask your child questions about the text and listen as your child responds to confirm that they understood the passage. This innovative feature will keep your child engaged with what they are reading, which can help them develop stronger reading comprehension skills.
Download the Readability app on your smartphone or tablet to start the free 7-day trial today.